White House strategist Steve Bannon granted the New York Times an interview this week, and the main topic appears to have been how much he hates the New York Times and the rest of the news media. "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while," the former Breitbart chair said. "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." He said the media had gotten the election "dead wrong," making it a "humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there."
Bannon—who jokingly referred to himself as Darth Vader—described unspecified editors and reporters as "outright activists of the Clinton campaign," telling the Times: "That's why you have no power. You were humiliated." He staunchly defended new White House press secretary Sean Spicer, saying it was a "badge of honor" to have the media question his integrity. "The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work," Bannon said. At CNN, Jake Tapper's response to Bannon's request to shut up was a simple "No," while the ACLU tweeted that it will see the Trump administration in court if it tries to shut the media up. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post wrote that since Bannon "helmed a campaign heavy on deceit, division, and cynicism, we don't want any praise from his likes."