The Scramble: How The Alt-Right Influenced The 2016 Election

Jul 24, 2017

Almost nine months after the 2016 election, there still isn’t one generally agreed-upon theory of what happened.

Today on the show, you’ll hear journalist Joshua Green explain his theory – that strategist Steve Bannon assembled an alternative version of the Republican party and conservative press, funded that version from wealthy traditional Republican donors, used it to discredit Hillary Clinton, and circulated visceral rhetoric to harness the anger of groups of Americans whose feelings were not widely understood.

Among Bannon’s newly deployed weapons was the aggressive wit and reckless daring of a gay, British-born provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, whom you’ll hear in the second half of the show. Yiannopoulos came to prominence as a commentator on Breitbart, the flagship publication of the alt-right.

Yiannopoulos is that rare thing: an ardent, vocal Trump-supporting pundit whose fortunes have not improved under the new regime. Instead, Milo’s trademark trick of taking his rhetoric a little too far caught up with him. He was banned permanently from Twitter – his preferred medium – for his role in a harassment campaign against comic actress Leslie Jones. He resigned from Breitbart after the surfacing of his comments on a podcast where he attempted to validate certain kinds of consenting sexual encounters between boys and adults. The remarks also cost him speaking engagements and a major book contract.

With a self-published book out now, Yiannopoulos is trying to answer a question about his future role in American public discourse: is he mainly a fallen angel and artifact from the word-wars of 2016 or a voice that still speaks to a large audience otherwise distrustful of political analysis?

You can hear Milo's unedited interview with Colin here: 


Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. 

Betsy Kaplan, Josh Nilaya, Catie Talarski, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.