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BUSTED: There are no records of Steve Bannon making money off ‘Seinfeld’ and yadda yadda yadda

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A key part of the mythos surrounding embattled White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon is that he makes millions of dollar in royalties from a savvy investment that included profit participation in the sitcom “Seinfeld,” but a New Yorker article about Bannon’s years in Hollywood is now casting doubt on that claim.

In an essay titled, “How Hollywood Remembers Steve Bannon,” journalist Connie Bruck dissects a number of Bannon’s key claims about his time in the movie industry and finds that most of them — including the “Seinfeld” story — don’t really hold up under scrutiny.

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“Last November, when Bannon was named Donald Trump’s chief White House strategist, many articles highlighted an extraordinary fact about his Hollywood career: that he had negotiated a profit participation in ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993, two years before the show went into syndication,” said Bruck. “Forbes reported that, if Bannon had a one-per-cent share in the profits, ‘he would have made about $32.6 million since 1998,’ and went on to say that ‘Bannon’s steady “Seinfeld” income’ was supporting his career as a conservative propagandist.”

The factoid first surfaced in a 2015 Bloomberg Businessweek profile of Bannon. According to Bannon, Westinghouse Electric hired his firm to sell the corporation’s small share in an entertainment company called Castle Rock.

Media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner was interested in buying all of Castle Rock including minority shareholders. Bannon said he advised Westinghouse to take the offer. The company’s representatives reportedly told Bannon that if the deal was so great, he should put up some of his own cash for the properties in the Castle Rock portfolio. One of them was “Seinfeld.”

“Some of those who were responsible for ‘Seinfeld’ became agitated by Bannon’s story,” wrote Bruck. “Larry David, the show’s head writer and executive producer, told me, ‘I don’t think I ever heard of him until he surfaced with the Trump campaign and I had no idea that he was profiting from the work of industrious Jews!'”

However, when Bruck scrutinized the deal — which Bannon and Co. reportedly came away from with a small portion of Castle Rock’s TV package — and followed it through a series of acquisitions and mergers until she found that after 1995, Warner Bros. acquired “Seinfeld” and began to send out regular profit participation statements.

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“The Castle Rock and the Westinghouse records from the early months of syndication are not readily available,” wrote Brock. “It is possible that Bannon’s deal was capped and paid out at that time. But, since then, neither CBS nor Castle Rock nor Warner Bros. has records of payments to Bannon, if those records are as they were described to me.”


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Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure

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Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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