One day after The New Yorker dropped Steve Bannon from their festival line-up, The Economist released a statement defending their own festival invitation to the former White House strategist. “Mr Bannon stands for a world view that is antithetical to the liberal values The Economist has always espoused,” Zanny Minton Beddoes, The Economist’s editor in chief, said in the Tuesday statement. “He helped propel Donald Trump to the White House and he is advising the populist far-right in several European countries where they are close to power or in government.”
The statement continued: “The future of open societies will not be secured by like-minded people speaking to each other in an echo chamber, but by subjecting ideas and individuals from all sides to rigorous questioning and debate. This will expose bigotry and prejudice, just as it will reaffirm and refresh liberalism."
Celebrating the weekly magazine’s 175th anniversary, The Open Future festival will take place on September 15 to “remake the case for liberal values in the 21st century by engaging in a global conversation about our world view with our supporters and, crucially, our critics.”