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Steve Bannon’s 'War Room' Podcast Is Platform For QAnon Propaganda

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon's podcast, War Room: Pandemic, is a deceptive showcase for the QAnon conspiracy theory.

With its conspiratorial nature, calls for revolution and violence, and overwhelming number of QAnon-connected guests and co-hosts, the podcast mirrors other QAnon programming.

Bannon's podcast is broadcast by Real America's Voice, a far-right news site that also has a history of propagating QAnon content. Streaming platforms that host the show – including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and ViacomCBS' PlutoTV – are dispensing a program closely connected to the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory.

Apple Podcasts has delisted dangerous conspiracy theory content in the past, including Alex Jones' Infowars. According to ProPublica, Apple Podcasts has declined to comment on why the company continues to list Bannon's show while it seemingly violates its terms of service against "harmful or objectionable content."

The former Trump adviser started toying around with the conspiracy theory publicly on his show in October 2020, describing QAnon as "the elephant in the room" and claiming it "at least appears directionally to be correct."


STEVE BANNON (HOST): This is the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is this QAnon thing that's been out there.

The elephant in the room is, people say they're crazy, I'm just leaving that -- put a pin in it. But when they look at the facts of this, how are they not, at least an aspect of their argument, at least appears directionally to be correct.

After QAnon adherents and other Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, Bannon attempted to distance himself from the conspiracy theory by labeling it an "FBI psyop."

Despite this attempt to distance himself, Bannon has grown increasingly supportive of the conspiracy theory, defending it from scrutiny. On the July 8 edition of his show, for example, Bannon complained that mainstream media "disparages" the conspiracy theory and uses its coverage to "smear" QAnon believers.

While "Q," the lead figure in the conspiracy theory, is not discussed on Bannon's program, the show's complete detachment from reality, its extremism, and the sheer number of QAnon connections make War Room appear essentially indistinguishable from other QAnon podcasts.

Bannon has embraced and touted his podcast guests as trustworthy sources of information on politics, without noting their connections to baseless conspiracy theories.

Here are some of the people connected to the QAnon conspiracy theory who have appeared on War Room:

Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, ViacomCBS' PlutoTV, and other outlets are responsible for providing a platform to Bannon and dozens of QAnon supporters and conspiracy theorists to spread their dangerous misinformation and lies about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, elections, and more.

Bannon Says QAnon Is “FBI Psyop” After Embracing Cult In October 2020

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

After fully embracing QAnon, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is now denouncing the conspiracy theory.

QAnon claims that former President Trump was secretly working to take down a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who make up the "deep state" and Democratic Party. The conspiracy theory has been labeled as a domestic terror threat by the FBI and has been linked to multiple arrests of QAnon supporters connected to the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

Bannon embraced the conspiracy theory in late October while streaming his podcast War Room: Pandemic on YouTube. He went so far as to proclaim that QAnon "at least appears directionally to be correct" and suggested that the baseless theory is "real" and is "the elephant in the room."

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From the October 21, 2020, edition of War Room: Pandemic

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From the October 21, 2020, edition of War Room: Pandemic

Ever the pro-Trump strategist, Bannon has turned on the conspiracy theory following increased scrutiny of the far right in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. On January 22, Bannon's newsletter, Populist Press, had its lead story read "'Q ANON' AN FBI PSYOP."

Populist Press

CitationFrom the January 22 edition of Populist Press

The linked article suggested QAnon was a "psychological cyber operation" fabricated by the FBI to "discredit and ultimately derail the supporter base of US President Trump."

During the January 22 edition of War Room: Pandemic, Bannon and his co-host drilled down on their newfound disdain for the conspiracy, with Bannon calling one of the core QAnon claims that there would be mass arrests of prominent Democrats "nonsense." The co-host responded by labeling QAnon claims as "shortcuts to protecting your republic" and suggesting that QAnon followers are "in the way" of real political change with their "happy talk" and "fantasies."




From the January 21, 2021, edition of War Room: Pandemic

Bannon's embarrassing fall into the QAnon rabbit hole came and went as he watched Trump's loyal base of followers wreak havoc at the Capitol and fail to overturn the election results. His sudden turn to dismiss the conspiracy theory only further exposes the hollow political opportunism of his constant stream of misinformation and calls to violence as equally disingenuous and dangerous.

Bannon Launches ’National Tour’ To Promote Election Conspiracy Theories

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has kicked off a national speaking tour about the upcoming election titled "The Plot to Steal 2020." It's a thinly veiled attempt to spread conspiracy theories and discredit any efforts to ensure that citizens can vote safely.

Bannon, who recently pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges, has stated that the tour will take place in select swing states and via digital streaming platforms. In his most recent appearance, he outlined three main prongs of his conspiracy theory: Democrats will use "lawfare," social media, and street protests to supposedly steal the election from Donald Trump. His vague and incoherent conspiracy theories have also featured heavily in recent episodes of his podcast, War Room: Pandemic. Here's a selection from the September 21 episode:

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