At times, Mr. Bannon’s rants against the ruling class — in which he is at least as unsparing of Republicans as of Democrats — strikingly echo populists on the left. In a revealing 2014 talk via Skype to a Vatican conference, some of his words might have come from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or Mr. Sanders of Vermont.Passive observation, not even observation from above, voyeurism without the acknowledgement of voyeurism that would even make it enjoyable. It's bad art and bad politics. Bannon's a fascist. It's not that the article doesn't say it directly but that reading it you get the impression Scott Shane would never want to be seen as jumping to conclusions.
“Not one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with the 2008 crisis,” Mr. Bannon fumed. “And in fact, it gets worse. No bonuses and none of their equity was taken.”
But if his scathing economic analysis sometimes seemed to dabble in Marxism, on other subjects, including race and religion, he made no concessions to political sensitivities. After Mr. Bannon met Mr. Breitbart at the 2004 screening of “In the Face of Evil,” the two men hit it off, bonding over their similar views and a common irreverent streak.
Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.
“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”
Mr. Bannon’s African-American friend from his Goldman years said that he had been at pains to defend him in recent years to mutual acquaintances put off first by Breitbart’s reputation and now by Mr. Bannon’s association with Mr. Trump. Most Christmas seasons over the past two decades, he said, Mr. Bannon was “my only token white guy,” or one of two or three, invited to an annual dinner at a New York City club for nearly a score of African-American friends who work or worked in finance.
“Now I’m getting a lot of, ‘What happened to Steve?’” from concerned black acquaintances, the friend said. He said he hoped Mr. Bannon — and more important, Mr. Trump — would more forthrightly denounce the bigots who have cheered them on. Still, he said, he completely rejects the accusations against Mr. Bannon.
“Hell, no, he’s not a white nationalist,” the friend said.
Shane tweets his work: "My attempt to understand Trump's lightning rod".