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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

CBS’ 60 Minutes conducted a wide-ranging, highly anticipated interview with Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and current chief executive. But host Charlie Rose never mentioned Bannon’s patrons, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah. It is their support for Bannon that makes him a powerbroker from outside the Trump administration — and their history with the Breitbart chief has been littered with conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and corruption.

Bannon has served as the Mercers’ political adviser for years, according to The Washington Post, where he assessed “the impact of think tanks, policy groups and super PACs they were considering financing.” It was Rebekah Mercer who reportedly “pushed” then-candidate Donald Trump to hire Bannon on his campaign. When he clashed with other Trump aides in April, she reportedly urged him to stay in the White House. When his time was finally up, Bannon reportedly met with Robert Mercer as he was planning his post-administration strategy.

As their political adviser, Bannon has repeatedly convinced the Mercers to invest in businesses and non-profit organizations under his control. The Mercers are part-owners of and their foundation serves as the primary funder of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a conservative research group where Bannon previously served as chairman.

Bannon also co-founded the Mercers’ company Glittering Steel, which, the Daily Beast reported, “was little more than ‘a front for Bannon.’”

This collaboration created numerous conflicts of interest. An April Media Matters review concluded:

Breitbart regularly promotes the research and films generated by its owners’ and top editors’ other projects. In hundreds of articles over the past six years, Breitbart’s reporters have produced what amounts to press release copy for GAI, highlighting its findings, aggregating stories about politicians responding to GAI’s reports, and posting videos of GAI leaders — who are also Breitbart editors — discussing their work on television.

The conflicts of interest don’t stop with GAI. Bannon and the Mercers also co-founded and own the film production company Glittering Steel; Breitbart’s editorial resources have been used to promote that firm’s documentaries.

Later that month, the credentialing committee for congressional reporters rejected Breitbart’s bid for permanent press credentials because of those conflicts.

Bannon also previously served as vice-president of the board and part-owner of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm primarily owned by Robert Mercer that worked for the Trump campaign. In May, Time reportedthat congressional investigators looking into Russia’s role in the 2016 election were looking into the firm’s work.

The messy web between Bannon and the Mercer family is far from something of the past. As Politico reported(albeit, after the 60 Minutes interview was complete), Bannon is partnering with the Mercers to “pour millions of dollars into attacks on GOP incumbents,” including Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Dean Heller (R-NV).

Now that he’s no longer a member of the Trump White House, Bannon’s access to the Mercer billions is what makes him a potent political figure. And yet, given a rare opportunity to speak with Bannon on-camera, 60 Minutes never mentioned them.

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

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13 responses to “Steve Bannon Is Deeply Tied To The Mercer Empire. 60 Minutes Didn’t Ask Him A Single Question About It.”

  1. Andrew Breitbart, the “father” of a most nefarious and anti-God concept that ever existed.

    Muhammad during the early days of his Ministry on the Arbian Peninsula was bedeviled, reviled, and opposed by a group of “conservatives” in Mecca. One such Meccan was a fellow, Abu Lahab, who was to be stigmatized by Muhammad by assigning to him the epithet “Abu Jahl”(Father of Ignorance). Abu Jahl and his wife would go out of his way each day to make life as miserable as possible because they detested the reforms Muhammad advocated, were fearful of the signs of power being withdrawn from the conservative Meccan leadership which was intent on keeping Mecca in the dark ages, and despised the freedoms advocated for all residents by Muhammad. And as is the case with those who oppose the appearance of each new Religion and the call for a renewal of society, Abu Jahl would die a grievous premature death.

    Andrew Breitbart, in his haughtiness and arrogance likewise proved himself a barrier to progress and social/spiritual enlightenment, and perhaps as a result suffered a similar premature death.

    But like Abu Jahl’s fellow confederates would continue to resist change, thereby leading to the eventual demise of Islam’s ability to affect meaningful change, Andrew has sycophants continuing in his footsteps to be the embodiment of satanic forces bent on keeping society in a stultifying mold called Conservatism. The conservatism of the past ages are alive and well in America and other parts of the planet. Steve Bannon, the Mercer’s, Trump, and many in the GOP are destined to follow the same paths to a hellish plight as Abu Jahl and the other Meccans had embarked on.

  2. FireBaron says:

    And this slob still thinks he should be in control of the President. Can’t wait to see what Bob Mueller has on him!

    • Dapper Dan says:

      I can hardly wait to hear back from him. DT should be nervous about the Russian investigation. A lot of people are going to be indicted and I hope Pence is caught up in this mess so he’s not 46

    • dpaano says:

      I wonder what the General in charge of Trump has to say about Bannon……

  3. Daniel Jones says:

    This is why I despair of the large news media. Every damn one of them kowtow to the Corporate Sponsors to some extent.

  4. Buford2k11 says:

    We are seeing the enemies of democracy starting to be outed as the American oligarchy…the Mercers are the enemies we have been warned about by our Founding Fathers…there are many more oligarchs in the USofA, who we know about, and they must be removed from power…they own the republican party, and the republican party is showing us they are not real American patriots…the gop has become, what they have always condemned…

  5. idamag says:

    I watched as much as I could stand and I will not watch 60 Minutes again.

  6. Lynda Groom says:

    The more that the media exposes Bannon to the public the better. The man is clearly dangerous and out of touch with the realities of the real world. The fact that he had, and apparently still does, the ear and the mouth of Trump speaks volumes.

  7. Richard Prescott says:

    I saw various excerpts of the 60 Minutes interview.
    The fact that they never mention Mercer is probably due to a pre-interview agreement I have heard others mention. That an interviewee can request that certain lines not be followed. And since it took a long, very long, time for the Mercer connection between Bannon and Mercer to be exposed I would also assume that someone does not want it exposed more.
    But that connection is known and exposed and talked about. Just not on 60 Minutes.
    But hey, there are other places where it can and probably will be exposed, like John Oliver, Bill Maher, Fanon and Colbert. Also, SNL. And these places get just a large an audience as 60 Minutes.
    For those who do not know, Mercer was an IBM employee, who then went to Goldman Sachs and during the heyday of Fund Management made lots of money and got brought into a “secret” group that was able to make even more money. Bannon met Mercer around that time, back in the early 90s or so.
    They hit it off, as two like minded crazies will. And Bannon was then “inducted” into that “secret” group where he made money as well as contacts.
    Mercer also hated Clinton (Bill) and did anything he could to attack him. He also funded in part a few of Bannon’s idiotic movies (see recent George Clooney rants about Bannon) and then began Brietbart News with Bannon basically in control.
    Thus the beginnings of the hate fake exaggerated news via Brietbart then others.
    Until last year when his relationship was exposed Mercer remained in the background.

  8. Dapper Dan says:

    All I can say is Charlie Rose is no Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Dang I miss Uncle Walter

  9. dpaano says:

    First question….why in hell would 60 Minutes even give Bannon the time of day, much less interview him? I’m kinda glad I missed the show last night….I would have been up all night losing my dinner (and it was a good one too). I fully understand the concept of “free speech,” however, Bannon is an idiot that should be ignored as much as possible! If he were ever made president, we’d all be on our way OUT of the country….even the immigrants wouldn’t want to stay! Maybe we can all move to Mexico! I’m sure they’d welcome us and our money! Then, we could build a wall to keep the Trumpsters out!!!

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