I listen to Steve Bannon’s podcast for four hours a day, every day. While it's purported focus is the pandemic, at this point the show has devolved into a pro-beheading cesspool of election related conspiracy theories.
On the show, Bannon frequently brags about the size and diversity of his audience (the show is at the time of publication ranked 55th in Apple Podcast’s rankings). But though he considers himself a leader and a patriot, Bannon has failed his audience by deliberately squandering the opportunity to tell them the truth about urgent matters related to the election and the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, he services them lies and conspiracy theories about voter fraud and other vague, random Breitbart-style brain worms. In these sputtering sunset hours of the Trump legal defense, he’s live on YouTube for four hours every day repeating some combination of the following rabbit holes and falsehoods.
As such, Media Matters has compiled a non-exhaustive list of his various deranged election conspiracy theories and has ranked them from “extraordinarily” to “completely.”
1. “The Great Reset” conspiracy theory
Derangement rating: Extraordinarily
Bannon has embraced a conspiracy theory about The Great Reset initiative led by the World Economic Forum, the organization focusing on public-private partnership that hosts the world leaders, billionaires, and business leaders at an annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland. Of all his falsehoods, this one is perhaps the most vague and unhinged.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) describes the Great Reset initiative as a collaborative effort among the organization’s sponsors “to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being” in rebuilding a post-COVID world. The language may be vague and slightly creepy, but the initiative has no governance or enforcement mechanism -- its scope doesn’t extend beyond discourse. The Great Reset is also the title of a book written by Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive director of the World Economic Forum.
In Bannon-land, the great reset is an opportunity for the elite cabal to “depopulate” the earth to 500 million, then genetically engineer humankind using “the convergence of artificial intelligence, advances in chip design and bioengineering.” He explains that the Democrats are attempting to “steal this election” because “if they can thwart the will of the people in this country,” they’ll be able to achieve the great reset by taking down populist movements in other countries as well.
On November 20, Bannon returned to the conspiracy theory, saying “the deplorables understand” that Democrats are “trying to steal” the election in order to implement the great reset, which will involve “the convergence of advanced chip design, robotics, artificial intelligence with biotechnology.”
2. Donald Trump was reelected president
Derangement ranking: Extremely
On November 7, Joe Biden was declared the victor of the 2020 presidential election. But Bannon continues to tell his audience the opposite. On November 19, he claimed President Donald Trump “brought home the greatest victory in the history of this country in a presidential election.” He frequently repeats this talking point.
3. Democrats are responsible for widespread voter fraud
Derangement ranking: Utterly
Like his comrade and personal attorney to the president Rudy Giuliani, Bannon is all in on baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud by Democrats. As is the case with most the show, Bannon is light on details, heavy on apocalyptic innuendo. It is difficult to nail down Bannon’s exact allegations, as they often vary from rant to rant, but its essence is as follows: Democrats used fake ballots and manipulated voting processes to steal the presidency from Trump. (This theory fails to account for the fact that Democrats lost ground in the House and failed to flip most available Senate seats held by Republicans.)
- Without specifying where this took place or how he got this figure, Bannon said on November 23 that “Donald Trump was up by 800,000 votes before all the illegal ballots came in,” falsely suggesting that all ballots counted after election night were illegal.
- Bannon falsely claimed on November 20 that Democrats “got caught cheating in Michigan, massively.” According to MLive, “There are no credible allegations of fraud or irregularities that would change” Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
- On November 13, Bannon said ballots need to be thrown out “wholesale” instead of “onesies, twosies” because Democrats have got “the finesse working bigly,” referring to spurious allegations of voter fraud.
- On the November 4 show -- as large numbers of mail-in ballots were still being counted and many battleground states had not yet been called -- Bannon suggested that the mail-in votes in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, that had just been counted in the state was evidence of fraud (when in fact it is a normal and expected development) and said “This is the problem, ladies and gentlemen. 50,000 is -- I mean, this is what’s going to drive people crazy. … How does this just kind of materialize?”
- Bannon said Democrats are “going to steal this election. You know why they’re going to steal this election? Because they don’t think you’re going to do anything about it.”
4. The Dominion Voter Systems conspiracy theory
Derangement ranking: Downright
The Dominion Voter Systems conspiracy theory has been at the center of Trump’s legal team’s meltdown. Dominion Voter Systems is a software company used by local and state governments around the country to facilitate voting. Right-wing media and other bad faith actors have been pushing the false notion that Dominion software switched votes from Trump to Biden. Mainstream media outlets have repeatedly debunked the conspiracy theory, which has been a staple of War Room: Pandemic.
- Bannon cited former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell on November 23 to claim that based on “evidence” that “hasn’t been provided” by Powell, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp may have been bribed by a former lobbyist from Dominion to contract with the company. He continued: “I’m sure if Sidney Powell is saying that directionally she’s working on something.”
- A few days earlier, on November 20, Bannon had a meltdown reacting to Fox News host Dana Perino’s suggestion Dominion Voter Systems should sue Sidney Powell for her false allegations about the company. He said Perino’s comments show her “IQ is room temp” because Dominion would never want to go through a legal discovery process because it would “get down into the details of their criminality.”
- On the November 12 edition of Bannon’s show, Giuliani described his contacts with alleged whistleblowers at Dominion to suggest he’ll be able to provide evidence of fraud committed by the company. Giuliani has been a conduit of this conspiracy theory, claiming he’s in contact with “whistle-blowers” at the company who can attest to the scheme.
5. The Hammer / scorecard system conspiracy theory
Derangement ranking: Severely
On Election Day, Bannon interviewed a well-known right-wing conspiracy theorist, retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, to push a conspiracy theory about an old government-owned supercomputer named “Hammer,” which they claimed would be utilized by Democrats to deduct votes from Trump and turn them into votes for Biden. The thinly veiled conspiracy theory has been debunked by official sources.
6. “They” canceled Thanksgiving to stop families from talking about “the steal”
Derangement ranking: Completely
Speaks for itself.