Steve Bannon Calls David Remnick 'Gutless'

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As news of the former White House chief strategist's headlining appearance spread on Monday, more and more of the festival's celebrity guests began to makes waves as they took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction at his inclusion, and ultimately began to threaten to back out of their own scheduled appearances.

The New Yorker has announced that Bannon has been dropped from the lineup. "See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?" comedian and actor Patton Oswalt tweeted, referring to the notorious right-wing speaker.

He is still set for an appearance at The Economist's Open Future festival, also in NY, later this month. On Monday evening, The New Yorker announced that Bannon wouldn't be welcome at the festival after all.

Remnick, who was going to interview Bannon on stage at the festival, explained his decision to invite and then disinvite Bannon in a statement. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event. But this isn't James Baldwin vs William F Buckley.

Bannon's planned participation in The New Yorker and The Economist events drew rebukes online, while some who said they had planned to take part said they no longer would. "The audience itself, by its presence, puts a certain pressure on a conversation that an interview alone doesn't do".

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In the end, though, Remnick said the outcry led him to conclude there were better ways to engage with Bannon - who would have been paid an honorarium and other fees for taking part in the festival.

Meanwhile, Bannon is scheduled to appear September 15 at The Economist's "Open Future" festival in New York City. But, he also noted, "I don't want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I've ignored their concerns".

Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, said in a letter published Tuesday on its site that in recent months the media outlet has solicited contributions from a range of people - including those "with whose views we agree and disagree" - in the run-up to its "Open Future" festival, set for September 15 in Hong Kong, London and NY.

Remnick's decision came after several panelists said they would not share a platform with Bannon, whose influence was seen as having driven Trump's travel ban on majority Muslim countries and his reaction to the killing of a protester by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia past year.

Steve Bannon's invitation to speak at a festival hosted by The Economist is still on. "Could never happen", Carrey said. He claimed interviewing Bannon, "one of Trumpism's leading creators and organisers", was not tantamount to pulling him out of obscurity as the former aide was already a public figure.

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