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[flagged] The next fleet of Breitbarts is already raking in ad dollars (branded.substack.com)
30 points by niviachanta 11 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 103 comments

This was the original ”fake news”. News mills in places like North Macedonia creating clickbait fake news for ad clicks. Breitbart’s are more sophisticated. They are whitewashing lies by having a look of authenticity. Doesn’t help that your president regularly links to it. He might have lost the election but he took a big win in the information war. American journalism is fighting for its dear life because you elected a person who is immune to facts. Now it’s a party that’s immune to it. Soon it’s the voters.

The causation runs in the other direction. The Breitbarts made the voters immune to facts. The party followed them, and they elected a leader who matched.

There's a feedback loop as well: Breitbart found fertile ground because of decades of partisan separation from the facts, including a TV news network run by former political operative for the party. There's positive feedback between manipulation and profit motive. That primed people for a tenous connection to reality, waiting to be broken by fake news sites, and then to vote for candidates who rely on it.

> This was the original ”fake news”.

No, that is a narrow view of history. The history of propaganda, yellow journalism, sensationalism and fake news has a long and storied history beyond today's talking heads

Trump isn't the cause of the problem with American journalism; at most he's a symptom. They American news media has been eating its own tail for decades.

Yes and they are not exactly objective either.. when democrats say theres russian collusion there is full media coverage of rumours and gossip.

When trump say there is fraud or bidens son has stuff in ukraine its "fake news" and its tweet are censored.

There is a so high level of despising the people who voted for trump... You guys in america got what you deserved..

If you can't or won't stop posting political flamebait to HN, we are going to have to ban your account. It's not what this site is for, and we've asked you more than once already.


How on earth is this flamebait ? The truth is that the double standards of the american media is an insult to the entire trump vote base and thats why they vote for him.

This is 100% objective from a french guy, i would vote bernie sanders if I was american. The extreme right in my country goes up for the exact same reason and people who think they are so smart by hating trump are arrogant and unable to see it's just tribalism from both side.

How can twitter think they have the right to hide some claims from one camp and not from the other when at the end of the day no one really has any fact at hand ?

I support the left ideas but they have no way to win if they dont have the regular people on their side or worse, despise them.

"You guys in america got what you deserved" is obvious flamebait. The problem is that it's hard to see this sort of thing in one's own comments.

I agree the wording may sound agressive but the meaning is stiln the same:

Most outlets and people who criticized trump in the name of being more "reasonable" or "presidential" or more "intelligent" ended behaving with the same tribalism and arrogance by insulting and laughing at his user base. To the point of not even realizing that by fighting and insulting him, they were alienating their user base more than it was already and actually helping him being elected.

Thats what i wanted to point out with they got what they deserved: democrats and media arrogantly thinking they were "so smart" but having stances that gave the opposite result. In the end trump was the only one openly owning completly a "tribal" behavior, the only one not hypocritical about that, and probably the only one who knew what he was doing.

P.s. Policing words and arguments on a forum like here or reddit is the same essence: you think you improve the level of the debate but actually people who stay are all the same polite makov chains that doesnt want to offend each other and agree, and the angry disagreeing ones just leave to the_donald or the manosphere. So much for improvement..

Fight and provocation are good and should be in the open. Its the only think that make people move. Read about how the google culture when it started.

You can't compare the google culture when it started, which was a tiny group of people engaged in intensely bonding activities (in more ways than one!) to an online community of millions of people who have basically no relationship with each other. Fight and provocation strengthen community in the former case, and destroy community in the latter.

I've posted about this many times. A partly-related comment from today is https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25130956. An earlier one is https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24620683 and there are links to a bunch more explanations. If you read those, and still have a question that isn't answered by them, I'd be curious to know what it is.

I think your arguments in linked posts are reasonable for a tech forum. I am not so convinced of their relevance for political discussion, especially american politics where being "nice" versus "confrontational" has almost been an implicit political stance for democrats versus republicans in the campaigns, and one which could almost entirely explains Trumps popularity.

Political discussions will always messy and confrontational because its about real people issues.. Only rich and priviledged people can afford being nice about it because they dont care.

Maybe you should just ban the political discussions altogether on HN if you want to avoid the drama.. no one will blame you

The article is about how ad vendors are allowing for people monentize disinformation, but that seems to me to be entirely the wrong take. Breitbart et. al. are grifters. The disinformation economy is real and vibrant, and they're just catching some of the extra cash. For every Breitbart or Newsmax link shared, there are seven or whatever to a blog or PAC or campaign that is not monetized.

At this point I think the game is lost. I mean... we just had an election which came out (absent higher turnout) more or less exactly like the last one, to within a percent or two. And half the country genuinely believes it was stolen by fraud to the tune of hundreds of thousands of ballots across at least four states.

How do you come back from that? I don't think we do. I just don't know what the endpoint is going to be yet. But disinformation is no longer just competing with real facts, it's won the war.

I agree with your take, but I think you understated the case.

Before the 2016 election, the Republican partisans insisted that fraud and malfeasance were likely, and the Democratic ones said it was impossible.

From 2016-2020, the Democratic partisans insisted that there had been some sort of fraud or malfeasance, and the Republicans insisted that it was impossible.

By the end of 2020, we're back where we were in the middle of 2016, where the Republican partisans insist that fraud and malfeasance were likely, and the Democratic ones say it was impossible.

And those are the so-called 'mainstreams' of the respective parties! The situation is part Orwellian, and part real-life satire.

I think there's some "both sides are equal" aspects in your position that mischaracterize the reality as I understand it.

In 2016 Democrats thought manipulation / fake news (exactly the root problem in this article) was happening, and it appears it was. They recognized there is risk to systems and proposed to enhance election security based on the new (and proven) information that state actors were directly involved in trying to manipulate our election. I do not remember (I may be proven wrong), Democrats undermining the fidelity of the election itself, or alleging fraudulent votes, excepting one or two places where it was proven to happen (see the Dan McCready campaign).

My understanding is both parties now are roughly aligned with their longstanding positions in terms of how they view election security and relative occurrence of voter fraud and malfeasance. Comparing the 2016 positions on interference via fake news is apples and oranges, it is fundamentally a different subject – and the allegations of election interference were literally proven true by a justice system run by the Republican party.

First off, I'd like to thank you for responding thoughtfully and directly.

I'm not saying both are equal, I am saying the situation is ridiculous. I think you're about right in your assessment, though I do think each side has shifted its emphasis to whatever points were most convenient.

State actors trolled people on Facebook and Twitter and spent $3100 on Google AdWords - against approximately $3 billion total spent on the 2016 election season.

I think you're misrepresenting both sides. The Republican position has always been "Voter fraud is common and affects our elections". The Democrat position has always been, "Voter disenfranchisement and misinformation is common and affects our elections".

The only thing that changed between 2016 and 2020 is the party of the winners.

Almost nobody alleged fraud in the process of tallying votes for the 2016 election. The assertion was that a rival country fomented (and continues to foment) misinformation with the intent of swaying our elections. Reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee and statements from our own intelligence services affirm that this happened and that it presents a significant risk to the functioning of our democracy.

On the flip side, the allegations from the 2020 election are repudiated by virtually all elections officials. Direct accusations of election misconduct have been recanted by their original claimants. At least as of a few days ago, ten out of ten suits filed by the Trump campaign were lost or thrown out of court. And even if every single suit filed to date was won, it wouldn't overturn the results of the election.

The two sides are not the same at all.

How many prominent Democrats refused to acknowledge election results in 2016?

Edit – the fact that I'm getting downvoted (-2 right now) instead of getting a single valid answer pretty clearly shows the political lean of this forum.

Here's a story on H. Clinton saying Trump is illegitimate: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-trum...

Your article is from 2019. Here is her concession speech from the day after the 2016 election - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv4hsmfgRuI.

Ah, but both in 2016, and at the time that the article is written, she acknowledges that he won the election, and that the election was counted correctly.

I said the Democrats were alleging "fraud or malfeasance", not just 'counting errors'; you're putting words in my mouth (or taking them out).

Fraud and malfeasance in propaganda has been a thing for hundreds of years.

But that's not what Republicans in 2020 are complaining about. They are, with a straight face, but with no proof, claiming that the election's results are illegitimate - because they feel that the votes have not been counted correctly.

This isn't a valid case of two-sidism. There is no way to bridge or alleviate or equate those concerns.

> From 2016-2020, the Democratic partisans insisted that there had been some sort of fraud or malfeasance, and the Republicans insisted that it was impossible.

Please provide evidence for this claim. I don’t recall any democrats claiming fraud in the 2016 election. This has been parroted repeatedly lately and I don’t recall anyone saying trump won because of electoral ballot fraud.

There is plenty of evidence that outside nations targeted American voters on social media in 2016. There is 0 evidence for widepspread ballot fraud in 2020.

Polls show that 52% of registered Democrats believe that the Russians actually altered the vote counts.

And there was definitely ballot fraud in 2020. How widespread it was is yet to be determined.

> Polls show that 52% of registered Democrats believe that the Russians actually altered the vote counts.

Source? I can't find a poll that asked this question, or anything closely resembling it, reported.

>From 2016-2020, the Democratic partisans insisted that there had been some sort of fraud or malfeasance

What notable Democrats have "insisted" there was "fraud or malfeasance" in the 2106 election? I'm genuinely curious. The only claims of 2016 fraud that I can recall at the moment are those of Trump (when he tried to account for losing the popular vote).

Here's a story on H. Clinton saying Trump is illegitimate: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-trum...

Okay that's fair. I don't think Hilary should have said that.

But since Trump lost the popular vote, "illegitimate" is a somewhat reasonable opinion IMHO. As in he won the election legally but is not the "legitimate" leader of the people in a moral sense.

There's a big difference between influencing the way people vote, and election fraud.

The evidence that Russians do try to influence out electorate is pretty ... evident.

I said "fraud and malfeasance" for a reason, you're omitting the second word.

You didn't say "fraud or malfeasance" though. You said "fraud and malfeasance".

I was actually somewhat careful about my wording, here is what I said about Democratic allegations (unedited):

"From 2016-2020, the Democratic partisans insisted that there had been some sort of fraud or malfeasance"

Why did you include the word "fraud" at all? You haven't yet supported it with evidence.

It's simple - either show us where Democrats have maintained there was widespread fraud in 2016 or withdraw that part of your comment.

You're misunderstanding the difference between election fraud and election interference. They aren't the same thing.

Election fraud means actual illegitimate votes were involved. Election interference means pretty much every other thing that one can do to influence an election. Most notably - disseminate false or misleading information.

So... one side believes an election was stolen with no evidence beyond partisan sources, and you say that's bad, right?

The other side believes that Russia acted to influence the 2016 election (not really the same thing as "stole", but whatever, I'll grant that) based on reputable journalism, and that's... bad for the same reason?

It sounds like you're making a PRO-disinformation argument here! You're saying that sourcing and truth doesn't matter, just the opinion that it produces? Yikes.

That is not election fraud.

I said "fraud and malfeasance" for a reason, you're omitting the second word.

If there is a throwaway word in your argument that has no meaning, why did you pick "fraud" instead of "sodomy" or whatever?

So you're admitting the fraud part of the claim is inaccurate?

I’m ignoring it because it’s widely known that Russia and perhaps other countries tried to influence US voters. What’s your point? The only person claiming election fraud in 2016 was Donald J Trump. While HRC called him “illegitimate”, she accepted the election results.

One side wants a photo Id to vote. A basic fraud prevention technique.

Other side opposes it strongly.

Can’t argue about fraud if one won’t even take a basic precaution.

Is a national photo ID that is freely provided and easy to obtain (no strange DMV hours) acceptable?

As that is where many of the issues with an ID requirement are: https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/Dem...

National id is a good suggestion at least. Passport is a valid ID. Would definitely need to be free with assistance available. Otherwise would cross line from fraud prevention to “poll tax” territory.

Also a fan of federal standards where states run Their own ID, but have to have some basic security steps in place.

Photo ID at the poll is not a "basic precaution" it is an intentional vote suppression tactic. Many people lack government IDs and a significant number of those lack them because the racist regimes into which they were born did not bother documenting their birth.

And further, these same locations make it difficult for those with working-class jobs to acquire IDs. Not everyone can drive long distances, wait in line for several hours during the work day, and/or pay the cost of a government ID.

If we allow voting by mail—which doesn't require a photo ID—then we can allow voting at the polls without one either.

We shouldn't allow voting by mail either. Absentee voting with a notary public witness signature is fine by voting by mail is ripe for abuse.

Not really. It's very simple to prevent abuse in these elections, because the registrar of voters ... registers ... voters ... hence the name. You don't just mail your preference to the election board on a post card.

They also perform risk-limiting audits. Every state does them.

Every single person I've seen that claims that vote-by-mail systems are ripe for abuse seems incapable of describing how one could reliably affect the outcome of an election by abusing it.

Those who try seem completely unaware of even the most basic steps taken by elections officials to prevent exactly these kind of abuse.

It's almost as if the people we tasked with designing these systems weren't completely incompetent, considered how bad actors might try to interfere, and designed these systems with those considerations in mind!

You don't see how it's possible for abuse in a state that traditionally votes for a certain party to mail ballots unprompted to every citizen that you have in the state records when you don't regularly purge your data even for individuals who haven't filed state income tax in years?

I think we just fundamentally will have to disagree then.

Your position, is essence, is that people who file tax returns should automatically get ballots and people who need not file returns should not get ballots. This position is abhorrent.

No I'm saying it should be one of many types of checks to validate the data.

As of 2020, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming levy no personal income tax.

Are you actually okay with disenfranchising voters in all of these states?

Circular logic. because we have a less secure way to vote. We should make all methods less secure.

Then how do these people receive aid from social programs, without being able to provide proof of identity?

How do they operate motor vehicles to get to or from (or at) jobs, especially in the majority of counties in the United States without substantial public transit systems?

How do these people even purchase alcohol without proof of identity? I still get carded and I've been a legal drinker for well over 20 years.

> Then how do these people receive aid from social programs, without being able to provide proof of identity?

Many of them don't.

I would however like to call out your extremely offensive implicit assertion that anyone who doesn't have ID is likely to be a social aid recipient.

> How do they operate motor vehicles to get to or from (or at) jobs, especially in the majority of counties in the United States without substantial public transit systems?

Many of them don't.

It's extremely common to get rides from friends, family, and/or coworkers.

> How do these people even purchase alcohol without proof of identity? I still get carded and I've been a legal drinker for well over 20 years.

Many of them don't.

And this is locale-dependent. I was carded 100% of the time during a trip to Colorado last year, but I haven't been carded except a handful of times since living in California. I'm 35.

My much older sister was on welfare in California.

It was routine to “borrow” kids from friend to get more benefits.

At some point rules changed, and she stared working again.

While I'm enjoying the clever "fraud" twist in the otherwise well-worn trope about welfare queens in left-leaning states, I'm genuinely confused as to where it fits in with a discussion about voter ID requirements.

Welfare fraud was common and easy. My sister was 3rd generation on welfare.

It was a bit before my time.

But I’m guessing that welfare supporters dismissed concerns at that time as well.

Of course I could be wrong, maybe all politicians knew about the fraud and honestly reported on how easy it was.

I do not choose to doubt your personal story (although, it sounds like fiction) but statistics on welfare fraud show that it is a small fraction of welfare program spending, and that the majority of such fraud is perpetrated by third parties, not beneficiaries. As an example Social Security disburses over a trillion dollars every year but estimates fraud costs them $355 million, much less than one tenth of one percent, basically zero. By contrast retail "shrinkage", or people stealing the inventory, amounts to 1.5% of US retail sales, and compliance with the federal income tax stands at merely 85%. So social spending looks pretty solid by comparison.

So all these poor undocumented people lack an ID to buy alcohol?

Or perhaps a better argument is that millions of foreign undocumented people vote a certain way...

Between 9% and 21% of adults in US cities don't drink. And that certainly isn't a requirement for voting.


I'm curious about your "better argument" here. Do you have any data to show how, and where, these millions of foreign undocumented people are voting?

So you're concerned about people who weren't born in the USA not being able to vote because of a ID mandate? If they weren't born in the USA but have become citizens entitling them to a vote I assure you they would need documentation of their birth in order to become citizens.

You have incorrectly interpreted what I meant by "racist regime". I'm not talking about India or Egypt. I'm talking about Texas and Mississippi.

You come back from that by honestly addressing their concerns and issues. What you dont want to do is purposefully misrepresent their perfectly valid concerns and then censor and banish them from the discussion because then they will just go create their own platform leaving both groups in their own echo chambers.

Maybe real information needs a better PR strategy? What would that look like? I think it needs to be bottom up, at least it can't be centralized.

What I hear often from Republicans is they rail against “elitist” attitudes. Liberals need to frame their information as being subversive and stop trying to just slap more credentials onto everything. Half of America doesn’t care at all if you’re a respected scientist in your field, in fact it makes them distrust you even more! A very interesting situation.

> And half the country genuinely believes it was stolen by fraud to the tune of hundreds of thousands of ballots across at least four states.

If you're going to write a comment lamenting about how disinformation is unstoppable, you probably shouldn't use disinformation to try and make a point.

There was a poll just yesterday showing 86% of Trump voters felt that the election result was fraudulent! Are you really dinging me for "hyberbole" for rounding 41% (or whatever) up to "half"?

Just to be clear though, since I'm guessing how this answer will go: do you believe that the election result was correct? Because if you don't, it's rather a different kind of fallacy to argue sideways about it.

> They don’t want to make difficult decisions. One inventory manager told us that the only research they did before approving conspiracy theory website The Epoch Times for their inventory was to check out the All Sides media bias chart.

This changes my view from "media bias websites are dumb and shouldn't be taken seriously" to "media bias websites are dumb and shouldn't be taken seriously, but are also potentially useful for reputation laundering."

I have played around with the idea of the "minimum viable journalism," given what private equity has done with Sports Illustrated. Generate 1000 word pieces via MTurk or GPT-3, host on Netlify, cheap DNS name, buy traffic on Fiverr. Would $50/mo be enough to be rated on one of these sites? Get on publisher ad exchanges?

Why is this conversation on HN? Just because there were postings on election results doesn’t mean HN needs to be open to this sort of babble on a regular basis.

HN has been getting more postings on the political side of media, and that just lets in the shills, trolls, pundits, and the like. A posting with a title like “the next fleet of Breitbarts” is only going to lead to comments that are a waste of good photons and too much work for moderators.

For their own sanity, the moderators need to triage more ruthlessly on political matters.

I think its well past time to investigate why people are so drawn to this content, why they believe it wholeheartedly and where the money funding it comes from. I think it goes much deeper than internet ad dollars personally.

The more important questions are why people are consuming what amounts to fake news and conspiratorial worldviews. Trust in institutions is at an all-time low, censorship and surveillance are at all time highs leading people to seek the outsiders and outlets that agree and tell them "They are lying. They hate your guts and want to destroy everything you love". This basic message resonates as true for so many because everything around them is being destroyed and no one (else) is even offering to fix it.

This has nothing to do with being right-wing IMO, in fact I think right wing outlets are the only ones doing this because the American government crushed the far left so thoroughly its impossible for them to seek funding to build any such movement.

They need to understand that to anyone right of center, this comes across as a conspiracy to silence all dissent. No matter what you think of Steve Bannon (and even most conservatives don't think highly of him), that's a very bad look.

Maybe we should stop caring. We’re in “boy who cried wolf” territory here, where Gmail’s spam filters are even part of the liberal conspiracy because a Congressman’s email went to the junk folder.


You don't have to call it a conspiracy to see that things are broken.

The defense of broken things that "they could be even more broken" somehow isn't working.

Also, the Internet seems to have made a lot of people more thin skinned, and angry at thought provoking statements. (Did Cerf, Kleinrock et al. foresee they were laying the ground work for a reactive "venting" machine?)

The real question for hn (IMO) is whether these are problems that can be solved with technology.

Prominent conservatives frequently criticize parts of the left for its constant claims of persecution, and its intense competition in 'victimhood olympics'.

Perhaps we should throw that same playbook at organizations like Breitbart.

How do we square that, then. You want it to be OK to call for a public servant to be beheaded? (The Bannon case). You want it to be OK to just print lies (c.f. most of Newsmax and a lot of Breitbart)?

You need to understand that to anyone left of center, your demand seems to be a conspiracy to be wrong at will. Isn't that likewise a "bad look"?

What's your solution?

> You want it to be OK

What the fuck does this mean? I want people to be free to express themselves, and yes, that includes being free to earn money. I do not want a few corporations deciding what people are allowed to say on the internet, or even who is able to earn a living on the internet.

Just to be clear here: You're saying you don't personally have a problem with people making money from publishing specific and credible threats of violence (which is the case discussed in the original post), or from publishing intentional misinformation with real-world partisan political goals.

It also sounds like you don't support the ability of people who purchase ads to have any control over whether their money funds publishers of the type described above.

Do I have that right?

If a threat of violence really is specific and credible, clearly the FBI should get involved, and the person responsible should get arrested. If anyone really thought of a threat of violence as specific and credible, that's what they would call for, not for advertisers to demonetize the person making the threat.

It was not specific, not credible, and not a threat. The United Sates has never once beheaded anyone.

Bannon was talking of "heads on pikes", which is obviously metaphorical.

So, yes, that's OK. Even if he's completely wrong in his claims of fact, we shouldn't be expelling people from society over their choice of historical allusion.

The quote itself was literally not a metaphor: “Now I actually want to go a step farther, but I realize the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man. I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you’re gone – time to stop playing games.”

Now, you can argue that this was irony, sure. In the real world, if Bannon isn't delusional, we don't do that and it won't happen. But it's not a metaphor. The word "actually" tells you that right at the start. He is saying, literally, what he would like to do.

And that's awful, and shameful, and if anyone who wasn't on your team said it you'd be screaming (c.f. Kathy Griffin and the severed head -- which was a metaphor!).

No one is being expelled from society.

So elimination of free speech?

Russia used to have a joke department to ensure all jokes were politically correct.

Worked with some Russians who kept going on about how serious a matter it was.

Meanwhile there is literal beheading going on in France - but mainstream media is completely silent on topics like immigration. The general dissatisfaction with mass immigration in the USA and Europe, and the failure of the mainstream media to acknowledge this, is what is fueling the rise of Breitbarts.

Bannon didn't call for Fauci to be beheaded becuase of immigration... Fauci does disease response for the NIH.

The American right - and especially the religious wing of it - has been trying to silence those who disagree for generations, so their dislike at receiving some of the same treatment is not particularly compelling.

Consider the origins of the term "heresy"...

Their problem here is that it worked, and they won. So now people are trying to fight back by borrowing parts of the playbook. Victim of their own success by dirty tricks.

And what will be the basis for the payment processors to censor the content? Their revolutionary conscience? Shall we have Left payment processors and Right payment processors? Each with its own definition of "hate" and "misinformation"? Does anybody see how retarded things became? This is the direct attack on free speech, and people are cheering?!

I think the bar should be what it is. When published content could result in a credible threat to someone's safety or life then there's an issue.

In Bannon's case while he didn't directly call for beheading Fauci his comments certainly rose to the level of "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

Lauding Tudor England and the King's ability to call for the beheading of anyone who crosses him (which should be anathema to any patriotic American), basically says the above. And according to history Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights who crossed the English channel to rid the King of his meddlesome priest.

As far as monetising fear and anxiety, individuals have been doing that for years whether fire & brimstone preachers or the Alex Jones of the world who have a product to help you avoid some conspiracy he's promoted.

> And what will be the basis for the payment processors to censor the content?

The first amendment. Specifically, the freedom of association.

> Shall we have Left payment processors and Right payment processors?

Sounds possible. What about Leftcoin and Rightcoin?

This article spreads misinformation about Bannon. He said «heads should be on spike» which means people should be sacked. This article excaggerates it as «beheading». What a nasty trick to fool the readers

The full quote:

> I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put the heads on pikes. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.

He seems to mean it literally. Or he's taking the metaphor way beyond it's reasonable limit.

I'd say that not including the full quote while attempting to defend is a "nasty trick".

You think he actually wants to kill two people, behead them and put their rotting heads on pikes. One left and one right of the entrance of the white house. That is a completely reasonable interpretation of what he said?

It’s kind of hard not to have that interpretation when he prefixes the statement with “I’d actually like to…”. “

If he’d said “A part of me would like to” instead it probably would have been assumed to be metaphorical. But he didn’t, so here we are.

You're mistaken. Bannon said:

"Second term kicks off with firing Ray, firing Fauci. Now I actually want to go a step farther ... I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put the heads on pikes. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats"


You can't attack another user like this, no matter how wrong they are or you feel they are. We ban accounts that do it, so please read the rules and stick to them: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

Edit: Similar things have popped up in your other comments (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24954162) – that's not what we're going for here. If you'd lease review the guidelines and take their spirit to heart, we'd appreciate it.

Why am I getting abused?? Im even a «liberal» voter, but i stand up against misinformation against my worst enemy

Because you are likely a classic liberal.

We live in a time where those who claim to be conservative or liberal are anything but.

Because they are themselves spreading misinformation. The direct quote itself is pretty unambiguous. When a (former) government official declares that they’d “actually like to” put people’s heads on pikes, we should all be deeply concerned.

If Nancy Pelosi had said she’d “actually like to put a bullet between the eyes of Donald Trump”, would the secret service not consider that a grave threat of bodily harm?

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