Steve Bannon was doomed from the start. The pseudo media mogul was always too much of an outsider to survive on the inside. Here’s a timeline of how things shook out*.
*Information in this story is based entirely on contextual clues and is possibly mostly false
Friday, February 24, 2017
“Pew, pow pow, uuuuuumppphh… YES suck on that you fatherless twat.”
Steve Bannon has just spent the week counseling the president on a bevy of important subjects and is now hours deep in the reprieve of Counter-Strike battles. Trump and his family have headed off to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend, taking with them four captives: Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan and the winner of Trump’s Instagram contest from last Wednesday, Mark from Bethesda, MD.
Bannon relishes in these moments spent shattering the psychological participation trophies of the kids he battles online. “No one is safe,” Bannon frequently cautions, harking back to his days in the Navy. Bannon was a Lieutenant, but his tales of caution are mostly steeped in the intense hazing he experienced during his service. “Yeah Steve was a real asshole,” his former mate Rich Rollins recalls. “He was always the guy who would take the prank too far and wind up getting someone hurt. When we confronted him about it, he would just laugh maniacally and call us all ‘cucks’.”
Bannon’s been known to play all night, often showing up late for work with an even-more-disheveled-than-usual appearance. Tonight though, Bannon’s gaming – or The School of Hard Knocks, as he often refers to it to his bewildered colleagues – must be cut short. He’s expecting company.
“And remember that the next time your teacher tries to tell you that you are special you unloved sidewalk feces.”
Bannon signs off, satisfied with his efforts in building a better tomorrow. He exhales calmly and deeply, his self-prescribed routine for going from seated to standing. His vision blurs for a brief moment – Bannon’s blood is thick (a serious medical condition, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you it’s because he is so deeply American) and he often gets lightheaded when moving too strenuously. He heads over to the bar cart in the corner of his makeshift office.
His space is a converted conference room which Bannon has decorated with only the bare essentials – a large flat screen, his Xbox, a single bean bag, and the bar cart that has exceeded its capacity of uncapped, half-drank bottles of Hennessy and Limoncello. Bannon keeps two types of liquor purposely – Limoncello for when his heartburn is acting up and Hennessy for all other occasions. A Carrie Mathison-inspired bulletin board hangs next to the bar cart, with different color strings and pushpins mapping the connections Bannon needs to remember after creating them in a haze of stale booze, pills, and sleep deprivation.
As he’s carrying out his extended pour and reflecting on the lessons he taught a few unfortunate pre-teens earlier that evening, he hears a light knock on the door. Bannon takes a deep inhale and lets out a thunderous belch that echoes, “Cooooommmeeee in”. The door handle deliberately turns all the way as the door glides open smoothly and quietly. A goatee hesitantly peeks around the door and after scanning the room (Bannon is a known work-masturbator), in walks Sebastian Gorka.
Gorka has brought a binder with him, which after confoundedly looking around for a table, he sets on the floor. Bannon offers him a drink. Gorka, who Bannon knows is a recovering alcoholic, declines. Gorka has come over at this late hour to discuss something that has been bothering Bannon over the recent weeks: His ongoing battle with Jared Kushner and Ivanka for the president’s attention.
Gorka and Bannon are of the same ilk – extremist media contributors who both had their sense of reality eroded through years of excessive drinking and self-discovery in the texts of historically-disregarded academics. Bannon fancies himself a deft manipulator of the media, a perceived skill he honed during his time at Breitbart. All coverage is good coverage, he often thinks to himself. Gorka on the other hand, made his name as a contributor on Fox News, often spouting debunked and racially charged myths about other cultures. Together, Bannon hopes they can implode the radical liberalization the Trump presidency is experiencing at the hands of Jarvanka.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Bannon waddles into the conference room across the hall from his. Trump’s staffers have set out seven water bottles for the eight-person meeting – Trump likes to see who doesn’t get a water bottle and voice his displeasure with their inability to compete as a way of making himself feel better. “You know if you weren’t such a pansy,” he frequently begins without aim, “you know my father called me a pansy? You know what a pansy is? ‘Pansy this pansy that’ he would say. Pansy – Very big pansy, alright?”
Bannon takes a seat to the left of the head of the table, the spot clearly reserved for Trump with an elegant fabric draped over the seat (it’s really a scarf that Ivanka bought for him on Etsy). Bannon knows Trump leans left when he thinks, giving him unrivaled influence to the President. “That beta Kushner’s got another thing coming if he thinks he can stop me,” Bannon whispers to himself, breathing audibly with a mixture of excitement and lifestyle-induced asthma.
Several minutes pass before The Trump Train enters the room. Trump has named the group of people who follow him from meeting to meeting The Trump Train. On Fridays, they carry a Bluetooth speaker with them that plays Locomotion on repeat. He’s unaware of their names aside from Kushner, and refers to them instead by their position in the train – “Car 4, make a note to think of a nickname for Pelosi this week.”
Everyone files into their seats, with Reince Priebus drawing the drinkless spot for the twelfth consecutive day, a fact Trump relishes. Kushner takes the seat to the right, partially contributing to the mild heart attack Bannon is now experiencing. “He’s sitting on his right, does that make him his right-hand man?” Bannon asks himself, nervously clutching his chest. He’s no stranger to these attacks, and now carries a small bouquet of dandelions wrapped in a tissue with him, which he sniffs to mitigate the symptoms. “Is that a sign of his growing affinity for the right? Is he tricking Trump into thinking he’s a true conservative,” Bannon worries – Trump is under the impression that right and left refer not to a person’s political leanings, but their physical location.
The meeting begins as it usually does, with Trump receiving a briefing on some of the terminology he’ll be hearing throughout – “The debt ceiling…” Trump’s attention wanes as Car 7 (Mnuchin) drones on for 20 seconds or so. It feels like an eternity.
Finally, Trump sees a void for him to fill. “Jared, you can work with Car 7 on this, right? You know about this stuff, right? Look, everyone Jared knows all about this stuff, he’ll take care of it.” Kushner looks up from his graffiti-covered notepad angry and confused. He doesn’t respond to Trump’s claims, which to him means something different than it does to Trump.
“Alright, next agenda.” Trump proclaims, still struggling to discern between agenda and agenda item. Bannon sees an opportunity. “President Trump, have you heard about the immigration crisis they’re experiencing in the Ottoman Empire?” Bannon posits, knowing full well how to manipulate his boss. “They’re seeing so many immigrants coming in that there are now more of them than Natural Borns. Your Highness, I strongly encourage you to take preemptive action so as to not have this happen in the U.S.” Trump looks around infuriated. He cannot believe this is the first he’s hearing of this. “Caboose, did you know about this?” he screams at Priebus, who is trying to bargain with Kellyanne Conway for a few sips of water across the room. Priebus hasn’t been listening since the meeting started, instead focusing on his growing paranoia about dehydration. He meekly shakes his head.
Kushner speaks up. “Look, dad, you can’t listen to this guy. He’s out of his fuckin mind,” he says motioning towards Bannon who is openly snorting cocaine out of his bullet shell necklace. “You know where I got this fuckin necklace,” he screams at Kushner. Bannon refuses to accept that Kushner never served his country, ignoring entirely that Trump is an infamous draft dodger. “You’re a fucking coward, rich boy.” Bannon laments that Kushner has a rich father and that his brother is a Hillary supporter.
Kushner calmly replies, “Steve, maybe you can get some sleep. We’ll touch base this afternoon and I’ll fill you in on what you missed.”
Bannon is furious. He stands up quickly, shooting his chair out behind him, nearly fainting from the rush. “You’re not,” he swallows violently and catches his breath, “You’re not ousting me just yet, Cuck!” Kushner pulls his middle finger out of the inside pocket of his blazer, a move he mastered during a particularly boring externship in law school. Trump smiles, thinking only about the ratings this altercation would get in primetime.
Kellyanne Conway finally speaks up. “Will you fucking idiots shut up, this is a meeting with the President of the United States,” she shouts. Bannon walks to the front of the room, blocking the projector screen and leaving an unfortunately shaped shadow of a kangaroo performing felatio behind him. Somberly, he launches into one of his infamous soliloquies on the dismantling of Americanism.
“You’re all seeing it, aren’t you? You’re all seeing what’s happening in Europe, and Southeast Asia. Every god damned day we wake up there’s another brown person in rags blowing up our goddamned planet. They’re sending children into these places with bombs on them for Christ’s sake. We cannot let this continue. Have any of you even read The Bell Curve?”
Kushner exhaustedly drops his head into his hands. Bannon continues.
“We cannot succumb to these people. We are too strong. This is the United States of America and it’s about time we start fucking acting like it!”
Stephen Miller, who is no longer invited to the meetings after expressing that he thought The Trump Train was stupid and childish, looks on through the glass window to the conference room, a cloud of steam appearing and disappearing in front of his mouth with every breath (Miller has a permanently deviated septum). A tear forms in his eye.
Kushner stands up and gathers his things, clearly at his wit’s end.“ Alright, I’ll let all of you deal with this maniac,” he offers as he exits the room. Kushner has actual work to do and refuses to get caught up in the sideshow. He pulls his Blackberry out of his coat pocket and dials as he’s leaving. “Ivanka I swear to God I’m done with this shit. Book the cabin in Vail for tonight. I can’t even,” his voice fades as he speed-walks down the hall.
Back in the conference room, Bannon continues his diatribe for another 30 minutes, drool now forming a noticeable stain on his already-yellow white tee. Trump glares at anyone who even hints at making a move for the door. When the cocaine finally starts to wear off, Bannon becomes noticeably less aggressive, and at times confused. When he finally takes a seat, Car number 2 (Paul Ryan) looks at Trump to gauge the appropriate response. Trump pauses a moment, then looks around astonishingly and claps. “Can you guys believe that? That would blow SNL out of the friggin water! We gotta send a clip of that to ABC.” “Car 5,” he asks, “Can you send that footage to my people at Fox?” Kellyanne Conway nods and says she will, agreeing that she’s sure everyone will love it.
There was no one recording any of it.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
The sun penetrates the mini blinds in Steve Bannon’s office. It’s 11:30am and he is awakened by the light zapping one of the scabs on his face, like ants under a magnifying glass. Bannon has been famously homeless since 2010 when he first emerged onto the DC political scene, so he sleeps on his office beanbag. He was up until nearly sunrise with his assorted balls of yarn and several heavy pours of Hennessey.
He’s been struggling violently with ways in which he can shift focus onto that Globalist Liberal Kushner. He can feel the weight of the world creeping down on him, a feeling he remembers vaguely from his childhood wrestling matches with his brother, Mike. Bannon’s memories are all vague, dulled by years of substance abuse and a general disdain for the upkeep involved in being an adult. He hears a knock.
“Come in,” Bannon grumbles. He rises to a standing hunch and runs his hand through his greasy bedhead, looking down at himself and deciding that his drooled-on t-shirt and the half-chub contour of his tighty whities are acceptable for whoever may be at the door. It’s the president.
“Steve, you look terrific,” Trump proclaims, clearly not looking at Bannon. Trump’s come to help clear the air between Bannon and Kushner. “Steve, surely you’ve seen the headlines, this is not a good look for us,” Trump lectures as he squats into Bannon’s piss-covered beanbag bed. Bannon isn’t listening. He’s busy making himself brunch – a cocktail of Limoncello and neck sweat that he stirs with his finger.
Bannon turns and begins pacing around the room. “Let me stop you there, Don.” He walks over to his bulletin board. “Do you know what this is, Don?” Bannon softly caresses his fingers along the red yarn, hinting at the connections he thinks will bring Kushner to his knees.
Bannon doesn’t know it, but he’s about to be fired. Trump has come to deliver the news personally, using the opportunity to let his mind breathe in between hours-long sessions of cable news – He looks at the exercise as a way to get in shape for golf season. But something’s happened. The sight of Bannon, a man at the lowest of lows, has triggered Trump’s sympathy, and he’s having a change of heart.
“Look, Steve, you gotta get yourself together. I love your ideas, but we can’t send you out in front of the country with you looking like this. Do you have a shower in here? Do you want me to get you a room at the Towers?”
Bannon takes a shot and puts both his hands on the bar cart, nearly losing his balance. “I never thought it’d be this hard,” he mutters, tears on the precipice. “Why can’t people see it? It’s so obvious,” tears now simmering in the bacteria on his cheeks. Bannon has long struggled with the public’s inability to see his universal truths, often falling back on drugs as a way to cope.
“Steve, don’t worry. I’ll get you a room at the Towers and a few hookers, we’ll give you a few days off, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.”
Bannon meekly agrees. He’s had enough of the spotlight, and he’s ready to fade back into the shadows.
Also published on Medium.