Steve Bannon's Breitbart is promoting a new conspiracy theory concocted by rape apologist Mike Cernovich that Trump is being held under "house arrest" in the White House.

Steve Bannon’s return to the white supremacist website Breitbart that he ran before joining Team Trump is on full display with a new story alleging that Donald Trump is “under house arrest.”

The fake news is based on an allegation from conservative activist Mike Cernovich, who is a one of the most prominent members of the so-called “alt-right” movement. In an appearance on Breitbart’s satellite radio show, Cernovich alleged that he’d “heard from people that Trump is on house arrest” and “there is some kind of coup going on there.”

Cernovich lamented that the appointment of John Kelly to be Trump’s chief of staff, along with the departure of figures like Bannon and Nazi sympathizer Sebastian Gorka, means that Trump is being cut off from the people who helped him win the presidency.

His ravings should be dismissed for what they are — anti-factual ramblings of a hateful misogynist with a track record of excusing rape — but at Breitbart, this is the sort of nonsense that qualifies as news.

Cernovich’s claim to fame was making up stories during the presidential campaign, like the idea that Hillary Clinton was near-death with a mystery illness, and using social media to promote them so the mainstream press covers them.

In this aspect, he is a perfect fit with Breitbart’s editorial ethos, where publishing fake stories has been enshrined in its DNA since launch.

After his unproductive time in the White House as Trump’s chief strategist, Bannon’s return to the site was heralded as a major moment in the right-wing media, and Breitbart is supposed to be leading the way as the most pro-Trump outlet around. (Pay attention, Fox News.)

But instead, weird stories praising Trump’s poor response to the Texas hurricane — completely out of line compared to multiple opinion polls — and crackpot theories like this one from Cernovich are what the site is really producing.

Things have not really changed. Breitbart is as terrible and conspiratorial as it always was. It’s just that now, thanks to Trump’s compulsion to wallow in the sewer as long as it says nice things about him, the site has the force of the White House behind it.


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