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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!'”

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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.

“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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

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