Robert Reich, February 3, 2017
The events at Berkeley Wednesday night have been a boon to Milos Yiannopoulos, of Breitbart News, and to Steve Bannon, formerly head of Breitbart News and now Trump’s consigliere.
As you may know, on Wednesday night, February 1, Berkeley gave Yiannopoulos a major forum to spout his racist and misogynistic vitriol. But police had to cancel the talk because about 150 masked agitators threw Molotov cocktails, smashed windows where Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak, and threw rocks and fireworks at the police – delivering made-for-TV images of a riot.
According to a promotional Breitbart story that ran before the event, Yiannopoulos was going to “call for the withdrawal of federal grants and the prosecution of university officials who endanger their students with their policies.”
Which is exactly what Trump did via tweet early the next morning:: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
Which raises the possibility that Yiannopoulos and Brietbart were in cahoots with the agitators, in order to lay the groundwork for a Trump crackdown on universities and their federal funding.
Thursday night on CNN, I said “I wouldn’t bet against” that possibility.
I don’t want to add to the conspiratorial musings of so many about this very conspiratorial administration, but it strikes me there may be something worrying going on here.
I wouldn’t bet against it.