On Friday (August 18), the White House announced Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, co-founder of alt-right news platform Breitbart, was the latest casualty in Donald Trump’s cabinet.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day,” the statement reportedly said. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
The move comes as the US is still reeling from violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as Trump’s response, which attributed blame to both white supremacists and counter-protestors.
The New York Times cited a person close to Bannon who said the departure was his own idea after months of clashes with senior advisers and members of the Trump family – and the move was delayed in the wake of Charlottesville.
Bannon is expected to return to Breitbart.
In the meantime, members of the "fake news" – including the "failing New York Times" – took to Twitter with responses that ranged from insightful to satirical:
For instance, Vanity Fair special correspondent Gabriel Sherman quoted inside sources about what’s next for Bannon and his former boss:
Bannon friend says Breitbart ramping up for war against Trump. "It's now a Democrat White House," source says.
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) August 18, 2017
And Rosie Gray, White House correspondent for The Atlantic, shared a quote from her own sources about Bannon himself:
"Steve is now unchained," source close to Bannon tells me. "Fully unchained." — Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) August 18, 2017
Meanwhile, Shaun King, senior justice writer at the New York Daily News, weighed in with a more personal perspective:
Before he became White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon personally attacked me and my family for months at Breitbart.
A bad person.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 18, 2017
While the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay went more for dark comedy:
I was going to say someone should make a reality show where all the Trump washouts go, but I realized that's just cable news. — Jason (@jasongay) August 18, 2017
Lauren Duca, the freelance journalist perhaps best known for her Teen Vogue piece, Donald Trump is Gaslighting America, opted for satire:
The all-male reboot of "Mean Girls" is getting GOOD https://t.co/ZI0dSDOsYA
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) August 18, 2017
…while the Daily Beast’s Erin Ryan played with a popular Trump theme:
fake news; nothing can convince me that steve bannon can run https://t.co/BF6sjwRI2s — Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) August 18, 2017
…and pointed out some irony in the timing of the announcement:
Vox founder Ezra Klein, too, poked fun of the timing:
Since when does the Trump administration break big personnel news early on a Friday rather than at 5pm? — Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) August 18, 2017
Others, like Mashable writer Chris Taylor, responded in GIF form (sort of):
Kermit sipping tea dot gif https://t.co/b0EhIBtXeB
— Chris Taylor (@FutureBoy) August 18, 2017
BREAKING: BANNON IS OUT https://t.co/4wZjQpS4r9 — Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) August 18, 2017
And satirical news site The Onion took it upon itself to create a memorial slideshow with Bannon’s greatest hits:
— The Onion (@TheOnion) August 18, 2017
…while Rachel Sklar, chief executive of visibility platform TheLi.st, reminded us Trump is still the man behind the curtain:
"Get ready for Bannon the barbarian" - a reminder that this, too, is a situation that Donald Trump created. https://t.co/lVqkdB6E0x — Rachel Sklar ❄️ (@rachelsklar) August 18, 2017
In a similar vein, New York Times’ White House correspondent Maggie Haberman noted Bannon gave himself eight months in the role:
Correct. He hit his self-prescribed expiration date https://t.co/sZ5YQRp4G1
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 18, 2017
…and comedian Margaret Cho mourned the loss for Trump nemesis Rosie O’Donnell:
.@rosie we will never see our dream realized. #Bannon#ByeFelicia! pic.twitter.com/rWBj8kEPox — Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) August 18, 2017
According to social media monitoring company BrandWatch, Bannon was mentioned more than 267,000 times online within the preceding week with the most mentions coming on Friday. As of 2:00 ET, Bannon had 80,000 online mentions, which marks an uptick of 187% from Thursday.
What’s more, BrandWatch said more than 57,000 mentions accrued within the 1:00 ET hour.
Sentiment surrounding Bannon mentions is 78% negative, BrandWatch added.