Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, talks about the approaching midterm election during an interview with The Associated Press, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Washington. Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon to defend populism at Toronto event

The announcement comes days after Bannon was dropped from next month’s New Yorker Festival

Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall.

The announcement of the event — part of the Munk Debates — comes days after Bannon was dropped from the speakers list at next month’s New Yorker Festival following intense backlash and threats of a boycott by other guests.

Munk organizers announced Wednesday that Bannon is expected to argue in favour of the proposition that “the future of western politics is populist, not liberal” at the debate on Nov. 2.

READ MORE: Upcoming book assails Trump’s ‘ethics deficit’ in golf

Rudyard Griffiths, the debates’ organizer and chair, said the event, which is scheduled days before the U.S. midterm elections, will showcase the two men’s “sharply different views” on the surging populist movement and its impact on Western politics.

“We believe we are providing a public service by allowing their ideas to be vigorously contested and letting the public draw their own conclusions from the debate,” he said in a statement.

“In our increasingly polarized societies we often struggle to see across ideological and moral divides. Civil and substantive public debate of the big issues of our time helps all of us better understand the challenges we face as a society and what, if anything, can be done to resolve them.”

Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, was a speechwriter for former president George W. Bush and is the author of the recent book “Trumpocracy.” He said the planned debate with Bannon would be an important discussion.

“Liberal democracy is founded on the belief that free people can be inspired to make wiser choices by words and ideas,” he wrote in statement posted on Twitter. “Mr. Bannon comes to the prestigious Munk platform because he believes his words can persuade people to follow him. I will face him there because I believe democratic ideas can defeat him.”

The New Yorker’s announcement Monday that Bannon was invited, then un-invited, to the magazine’s festival set off a heated debate about whether it was better to challenge or shun Bannon.

Bannon, meanwhile, said in a statement Monday that he had welcomed the opportunity to face off with the magazine’s editor, David Remnick.

“The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon said. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed that he was gutless when confronted by the howling mob.”

Bannon is still set to speak at a festival hosted by The Economist later this month.

Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, said she was deeply troubled by Bannon’s far right stances but believed open debate was more important.

Beddoes will be interviewing Bannon in New York on Sept. 15 at The Economist’s “Open Future” gathering. Some speakers at the event have cancelled because of Bannon.

Bannon, former executive chairman of right-wing Breitbart News, was chief strategist and senior counsellor to Trump until August 2017.

— with files from the Associated Press.

Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony welcomes athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official opening of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read