Tucker Carlson's recent interview with David Mastio, USA Today’s deputy editorial page editor, featured an infographic comparing President Trump's chief strategist and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Carlson had intended to use the graphic to point out the "hyperbole" of the comparison made in a USA Today editorial arguing that both Bannon and al-Baghdadi share a worldview, but instead sparked an instant internet meme.
Mastio quickly made the agreement that the editorial was not comparing Bannon and Baghdadi's record but instead commenting on the fact that both leaders had said they share a “clash of civilizations” worldview between the West and Islam. “Bannon agrees with Baghdadi that it is a war between Islam and the West. We don't need to give Baghdadi that propaganda victory," insisted Mastio.
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Mastio also made the point that as an editorial board, USA Today reached out to the White House and Bannon to offer their counter-point of view to run in opposition to the piece in question for an open discussion on the newspaper's editorial pages.
The debate aside, Twitter users immediately jumped on the graphic as the meme went viral. Some Twitter users even altered the graphic to further poke fun at the comparison.