Breitbart.com published nearly two dozen articles last year promoting a virtually unwatched documentary whose production company is owned by the website’s partial owners Robert and Rebekah Mercer and its then-executive chairman, Stephen Bannon.
The website’s advocacy of the film is a case study in how Bannon and the Mercers use Breitbart to promote a web of nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies. The credentialing body for congressional reporters is currently investigating these ties as part of a review of whether the conservative website is sufficiently editorially independent to obtain official press credentials to cover Congress.
Torchbearer is a Phil Robertson (of “Duck Dynasty” fame) vehicle whose thesis is that “God is the only meaningful anchor to a civilized society” and that purported efforts by progressives to cut God out of public life are destroying Western civilization. It received a limited October 7 release in 31 U.S. theaters.
Stephen Bannon, the Breitbart chief and conservative filmmaker who took over Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last summer and is now a top White House advisor, wrote, directed, and produced the documentary.
One of the film’s production companies was Glittering Steel LLC, which was founded and is owned by Bannon, hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and his daughter Rebekah.
Bannon says he left Glittering Steel and Breitbart when he moved to the Trump campaign, but there’s reason to doubt that this is true, as Breitbart’s CEO has contradicted his claim, and Bannon retains an ownership stake in Glittering Steel worth between $100,001 and $250,000 (which he currently intends to sell), according to federal filings.
The Mercers are also partial owners of Breitbart, and Rebekah Mercer reportedly “often points out areas of coverage [to the website’s editors] that she thinks require more attention.”
Torchbearer attracted little attention from the public and was …read more
Source:: Media Matters for America