Steve Bannon, an adviser to President Donald Trump, told the news media to "keep its mouth shut" on Jan. 26.
Bannon, the former CEO of Breitbart News, issued his advice during a phone interview with The New York Times:
The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.
In response to Bannon's call for self-censorship, CNN host Jake Tapper stated: "No," notes Mediaite.com.
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CNN political analyst Phil Mudd called Bannon's demand "comical," reports Mediaite.com:
Is Steve Bannon telling me to keep my mouth shut? Dude, that ain't going to happen ... We're having an administration not understanding this transition from campaigning to governance, that the role of the media is not peripheral, it is core. To my mind, even as a former CIA officer, that's nerve wracking. It makes me uncomfortable.
CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson added: "I think in the democracies of Europe, that's a shock."
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger also pushed back on Bannon's advice: "I think the role is not to be a rubber stamp. We’re not supposed to be state television here. We’re supposed to ask the hard questions, and I think we ought to keep doing that."
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Bannon proudly told Mother Jones in July 2016 that Breitbart is "the platform for the alt-right," a white supremacist, anti-immigrant movement.
Speaking of the election, Bannon told The New York Times: "The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong."
He also called the election "a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there."
"The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign," Bannon lamented. "Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign."
The New York Times notes that Bannon did not name any journalists, but tried to make it personal with the newspaper: "That’s why you have no power. You were humiliated."