SAN FRANCISCO – Civil right groups and numerous people across the country have been denouncing President-elect Donald Trump’s pick, Steve Bannon, as White House Chief Strategist because of his alleged ties to the alt-right movement.
The 62-year-old Bannon counters the accusations that he embraces white nationalism by saying “I’m not a white nationalist. I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Multi-award winning Fil-Am journalist Emil Guillermo, a current contributor to NBC News Asian-America, says that it’s hard to dismiss those claims because of the connection between Bannon and Breitbart News.
“Bannon was the head of editorial,” said Guillermo. “He was the chair of Brietbart News which is a conservative website. Now that should concern everyone if you look at the headlines of the stories Brietbart published because there are all stories that are anti-women, anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-affirmative action. They’re pro-white and the fact is this is the man who now has the ear of Donald Trump and that’s a scary thing not just to Filipino-Americans but all Americans.”
Guillermo says that news consumers should recognize the alt-right and its journalistic legitimacy, or lack thereof.
“The alt-right is the media that is right of center that is so conservative,” said Guillermo. “You might think that Fox News in conservative but as Fox News has been more moderate in recent years. The Alt-Right has taken over as the more extreme view of conservatism in the country. So you might want to categorize the Alt-Right as Fox News on steroids.”
Guillermo says that all Americans also needs to improve their media literacy.
“I think news consumers need to be more aware of what they’re reading, where they’re getting news, and then do some background checking, do some fact-checking of their own, do a search, see if other people are reporting the same thing,” said Guillermo. “As smart consumers we become a smarter and better electorate and a more informed public.”
Trump’s transition team responded to a recent conference of the Alt-Right National Policy Institute by saying “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American. To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds”.