Earlier this week, the Daily Beast published a piece by serial liar, disinformation artist, mixer-upper and Hillary-Clinton-supporter Ron Radosh. (I will resist noting that they deserve each other, but they do.) It is called: "Steve Bannon, Trump's Top Guy, Told Me He Was a `Leninist,' Who `Wants to Destroy the State."
According to the laws of punctuation, the quotation marks around `Leninist' and `Wants to Destroy the State' indicate that these words are actual quotations, but the whole "conversation" smells of a rat.
Why? For starters, Radosh -- and for brevity's sake, I'll leave it at that for now.
But there's more.
Radosh writes: ”I met Steve Bannon at a book party held in his Capitol Hill townhouse in early 2014.” He goes on to peg the date to the week of a February 19, 2014 column and essay by Thomas Sowell.
That sure caught my attention. I happen to know that Radosh met Steve Bannon at a book party at that same Capitol Hill townhouse, which doubles as Breitbart's Washington "embassy," on November 12, 2013. I know this because Steve Bannon told me so shortly afterward. That November book party was for David Horowitz, then launching the first of a miraculously endless series of books featuring every word Horowitz ever wrote, possibly on the theory that if posterity measures by the inch, he's immortal.
Believe it or not, Bannon invited me to attend the Horowitz party on the evening of November 12, 2013 -- he thought it would be "fun." By this time, Breitbart had already broken numerous "conservative" establishment taboos by following the American Betrayal wars: multiple news pieces; notably, my side of the story, which was mainly denied space elsewhere in "conservative" media; also several anti-pieces Horowitz continued to write (including the classic line, "She should not have written this book," now adorning the cover of The Rebuttal: Defending `American Betrayal' from the Book-Burners); and, climactically, one, later two, remarkable essays about history, the corruption of the Western world, American Betrayal and the disinformation campaign against it, co-written by the great Vladimir Bukovsky, co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement, and his associate Pavel Stroilov,"Why Academics Hate Diana West," (which treats the case of "Professor Radosh") and "West's `American Betrayal' Will Make History."
As it happened, I had already seen David Horowitz talk at Heritage that same day -- and, bonus, melt down over American Betrayal in the Q & A. That was plenty. I begged off.
This is what I remember Steve Bannon telling me soon after the event. At some point during the book party for Horowitz, Bannon noticed this old guy standing around. He went over to speak to him and found himself getting an earful about how awful American Betrayal was, how awful I was. Radosh -- of course. Here is the line, Bannon to Radosh, I will never forget: "What are you complaining about? She's the only reason you're relevant!"
Memory lane trip ended.
Radosh has a very different "memory" of meeting Steve Bannon in February 2014, not November 2013 -- although I should note that in Radosh's recent elaboration on the story (dangerous!) in a radio love fest with Glenn Beck, he got mixed up and said the meeting took place in October of 2014. (Radosh also said, "I wished I'd asked [Bannon] what he meant when he said he was a Leninist," apparently forgetting he had just written: "Shocked, I asked him what he meant.") The question is, did Radosh, in fact, meet Steve Bannon again at another book party in February 2014 -- as Radosh wrote?
I checked with a Breitbart source familiar with Breitbart embassy events to ask about book parties. My source confirmed that the Horowitz book party was on the schedule for November 12, 2013; however, he saw no book party, no events on the schedule for January, February 2014. The first such scheduled event at the embassy was a C-PAC party in early March. This was not to say, he noted, that some smaller party or dinner party might not have taken place; but ...
Radosh said "book party."
Why is the date so important?
In the Daily Beast piece, Radosh notes two Thomas Sowell pieces that appeared on February 19, 2014, one at National Review, the other at The American Spectator.
He writes, "During our conversation, I asked Bannon if he had read the [Sowell] pieces..." and he goes on from there to recount his ensuing "conversation" with Bannon about them.
If there was no book party on the Breitbart schedule at the time of the February 19, 2014 Sowell pieces, could there have been a Radosh-Bannon conversation about the February 19, 2014 Sowell pieces?
Why do I feel like I've been here before -- and before and before, going back to the beginning when, to make a cheap point in a false argument, Radosh declared that a deceased historian had recanted an important paper at a conference in the week before his death. On closer examination, Radosh's story, the details, the witnesses, morphed, shifted and disintegrated. This, as I have had to prove, is typical.
Prior to publishing the Daily Beast story, Radosh sent Bannon an email about their "conversation" for comment. Bannon replied that he did not remember meeting Radosh or the "conversation" Radosh was writing him about.
But whaddya know. It sounds as if Radosh doesn't either.