Breitbart News, the right-wing conservative outlet run by former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon, has been attacking Democrats for their past connections to disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. But according to a report from the Associated Press, Bannon himself pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a joint business adventure with Weinstein.
Since The New York Times‘ bombshell report exposing Weinstein’s years of sexual predatory behavior, Weinstein’s penchant for donating to progressive groups and politicians, most notably the Clintons, has been seized upon by Breitbart and other pro-Trump media figures as proof of an alliance between Washington liberals and corrupt Hollywood elites. Since the revelations, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have spoken out in condemnation of Weinstein’s alleged sexual predation.
Back in 2004, Bannon was the chairman of a company that distributed DVDs and he joined up with the now-defunct Weinstein-owned company Genius Products. The AP reports that Bannon was awarded a $500,000 consulting contract the Weinstein Company, along with a $200,000 bonus and $1 million in stock options.
Since the story broke, Breitbart has featured a blog promoting live updates on the scandal with headlines targeting top Democrats like Clinton and Obama for their past associations with Weinstein, even accusing other outlets of ignoring the story.
But transcripts provided by the AP show Bannon radiating with enthusiasm over his partnership with the Weinstein company back in 2004.
“We are extremely honored to be in business with the new Weinstein Company,” Bannon told investors in a conference call, adding that the Weinsteins “have the most impressive track record in the film industry” and that “Bob and Harvey are two of the most prolific studio heads in the history of Hollywood.”
The AP’s report further highlights the hypocrisy of the pro-Trump right’s tactic of using Weinstein to attack Democrats. President Trump’s penchant for treating women like sexual cattle has been public knowledge for years, and was solidified by his own words. Even then, his base catapulted him to presidency.
If silence and association is complicity in the case of Weinstein, then it’s even more so for Trump.