Breitbart.com serves as the communications arm of a web of nonprofit and for-profit entities owned or supported by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. The conservative website shares staff with those organizations and regularly promotes their work.
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was executive chairman of both Breitbart and the conservative research organization Government Accountability Institute (GAI) from 2012 to 2016. Breitbart Managing Editor Wynton Hall and Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer also serve as GAI’s communications strategist and president, respectively. The Mercers are part-owners of Breitbart and their foundation is GAI’s primary funder.
The committee that handles congressional press credentialing is currently reviewing Breitbart’s claims of editorial independence in response to the website’s bid for permanent credentials. The committee has to this point denied Breitbart’s request and has expressed concern about Breitbart’s practice of sharing key staff with GAI and its connections to the Mercers.
A Media Matters review of the website’s reporting finds that these concerns are justified: 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.
This intermingling of private, news, and nonprofit organizations culminated in the production and promotion of Clinton Cash, the 2015 anti-Clinton book authored by Peter Schweizer, reportedly based on research he led at GAI. As Bannon himself explained in a 2015 interview, Breitbart was …read more
Source:: Media Matters for America