NEWS
09/05/2018 16:31 EDT | Updated 09/07/2018 10:15 EDT

Steve Bannon To Square Off Against David Frum At Munk Debates In Toronto

The debate will take place on the eve of U.S. midterm elections in November.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at a campaign event for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Fairhope, Alabama on Dec. 5, 2017.

Steve Bannon — former head of the Breitbart News Network and U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist — will appear on stage at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall on Nov. 2, organizers announced Wednesday.

The event is part of an ongoing debate series that regularly draws an audience of 3,000 people or more. It is organized and moderated by Rudyard Griffiths, former television anchor and newspaper columnist.

The debate, titled "The Rise of Populism", will see Bannon arguing that "the future of western politics is populist, not liberal," according to organizers. David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic and author of the recent book Trumpocracy, will argue from the opposing side.

Bannon has been widely criticized for his racist and sexist views. The announcement has already drawn harsh backlash online.

But the conversation hasn't been one-sided. Some were excited about the event, which will take place just before U.S. midterm elections four days later.

The announcement comes just days after The New Yorker Festival cancelled its scheduled on-stage interview with Bannon following several high-profile artists either dropping out or threatening to drop out from the festival lineup, including Jim Carrey, Jimmy Fallon, Judd Apatow and Jack Antonoff and Patton Oswalt. Bannon is still set to speak at a festival hosted by the Economist later this month.

Tickets to the debate are selling for between $40 and $100 each.

The Munk Debates were established by the late Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk and his wife, Melanie, in 2008. The last debate featured Stephen Fry, the actor and writer, and Jordan Peterson, the academic whose controversial views have earned widespread criticism. The topic for that debate was political correctness.

"The Rise of Populism" will be broadcast throughout Canada by the CBC and across the continental United States on C-SPAN.

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