Former Donald Trump advisor and Breitbart editor Steve Bannon

Massive kudos.” “Interview of the year.” “Legendary.” Such were the gifts from the workers to their queen. The Monday night buzz in legacy media was for Four Corners and its majesty. Sarah Ferguson’s “match up” with Steve Bannon was not “gobsmackingly” good. It was a smack to the gob of good sense. Still, some journalists saw “strength” in Ferguson. Me? I saw a soft-tissue massage.

This cannot be “current affairs”. Surely, this was not praised by other journalists as “world class”, “masterful” or as anything short of a horror. A horror that has mistaken itself for a romantic comedy in which Meg Ryan is the lead. Meg meets her fiery “match” in a book-shop parcel mix-up. He has her Margaret Atwood novels. She has his Milo Yiannopoulos.

They both learn soon that opposites attract!

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Last night’s program was like that, but without the will-they-won’t-they. The pair did not argue to outpace any sexual tension. They argued to outpace another kind of tension: the racial tension Bannon is famous for selling.

Last night, I heard Ferguson tell her guest she had no reason to believe that he was racist. Last night, journalist Lisa Wilkinson must have heard something else entirely. Who knows. We know what she saw, however, because she describes the great spectacle on Twitter thus: the “master” Ferguson just gave a “grilling”. So, Ferguson’s failure to ask a guy who monetised racism about his product creation is now a master grill.

Honestly. The fact of Bannon’s personal character is not the point. I don’t care one jot if this person of middling wit, who Ferguson nonetheless interviews as a genius, is racist. I am interested to learn how Ferguson, or any journalist, can fly over oceans to ask questions of the former chair of Breitbart without once thinking, “I’d best have a look at this Breitbart.”

From the time he was appointed chair, Bannon dug a reeking for-profit pit. Next, he filled it with shit — a pardon to the gentle reader, but there is no term more fit for the stink of racism made for profit. Some of this unspeakably stupid, deceitful and hate-crammed waste has been taken down from Breitbart. Some of it has been archived by its targets, which were largely black people, uppity people and uppity black people, such as those troublemakers, Black Lives Matter.

And here we have Ferguson conspicuously not asking Bannon the most piddling question that she can: are you a racist? As though this were even a question for the former investment banker whose trade in the hate commodity not only diminished the will of those brave “troublemakers”, but helped bring journalism to this dead end. This dead end where anybody who has a bad thing to say about the fool who became the president is very welcome to say it.

Bannon didn’t invent racism, but he sure helped tailor it to the “sharing” economy.

Last night, the “I’m With Her” Australian media auxiliary praised Ferguson. They did not make the “outstanding” and “tragic” height of idiocy approved by Hillary Clinton. But they made some great exertion and cheered on this 40-minute neo-nationalist ad.

Bannon outsmarted the host. The host made a fool of herself and of history when she claimed that the truly powerful racist was not the Goldman Sachs guy sitting before her, but the poor white vulnerable trash. These people are the ones we have to look out for.

How do you do this? How do you forget that reactionary, ultra-reactionary and fascist sentiment always starts with the ruling class and is a poverty of thought that trickles down.

Even Glenn Beck gets this. Some ex-Fox News tea party calamity recalls the basic Goebbels tale. And anyone who has ever done five minutes with Durkheim or any sort of modern era sociology knows that anomie is used to the advantage of powerful men.

Look. I know I go on about the ABC and all its myopia, and by now, I’m that girl who cried Marx. But to truly know less of Western social history than the detached, and now actually irrelevant, monster who is sitting before you is a crime.

Or, it’s at least as bad as, say, Sky News giving time to a Nazi. Ferguson, like her pals on Twitter, has no context outside “I’m with Her”. Politics is nothing. Hardship is nothing. On the ABC, we know that the only true power is the evil white working class.

No. The evil of profit and the detachment it produces is before you. And the opportunistic deceit of nationalism will be the working class rationale for the same old ruling class.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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