The Alt-Right’s Alternative Reality

President Trump’s “Alt-Right” is a grab bag of mostly incoherent or contradictory ideas derived from white resentments. Now, it will be played off against the Republican establishment with unpredictable results, as JP Sottile explains.

By JP Sottile

One thing to keep in mind during the Age of Trump is that reality shows are far more scripted than they appear. That simple fact should be used like a decoder card to decipher the combative stories and click-baited headlines emanating from Steve Bannon’s portentous reboot of Breitbart.

Then-White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

This is particularly true of the #WAR meme gleefully spread by Breitbart’s shock-troops at the very moment Bannon triumphantly returned to the fold. Like an exiled sheriff returning to a one-horse town, Bannon boasted that his hands were back “on his weapons” after a short trip from the West Wing to Breitbart’s nearby headquarters. And how proud Breitbart’s staff must be to find themselves holstered on Bannon’s hip, ready to be deployed as his at-will instruments of destruction.

True to form, Bannon reportedly led an editorial meeting to plan an attack on a presidency he pronounced “over” during a tour de force exit interview with the Weekly Standard. That interview punctuated a week of mixed messages from a swollen Svengali who’d been transformed by the media into jacked-up version of Karl Rove. TIME even dubbed Bannon “the Great Manipulator” in a Trump-baiting cover story. It was quite a meteoric rise for a man who’d previously hitched his star to Sarah Palin.

Although Rove sanctimoniously denounced his kindred spirit, the alluring idea of Bannon as Trump’s version of Bush’s Brain 2.0 was toothsome fodder for a press corps forever on the prowl for juicy details of palace intrigue from inside Trump’s White House. Some, like deposed hit-man Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, believed Bannon slaked their thirst with his self-serving leaks. Perhaps that’s why Trump wisely avoided poisoning Bannon’s media-friendly well.

It would explain why…

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