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Connie Bruck dug into this claim for The New Yorker and found no solid evidence for the Seinfeld payout—and much skepticism on the part of people close to the show. Devil’s Bargain reveals that Bannon does get Seinfeld residuals, though the amount is far smaller than what has been reported; according to Green, on his White House disclosure statement Bannon listed the figure as “ million and counting.” It is a measly sum by Hollywood standards and supports the testimony of movie-business sharks who have little memory of Bannon.
“I never heard of him, prior to Trumpism,” the media tycoon Barry Diller has said.
But it thrilled a small but intense contingent of Hollywood conservatives.
Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, animus had been building against the big studios, “so non-understanding of normal human Americans,” as Peggy Noonan said at the time.
In Georgia, the most closely watched race, the Democrats poured in million for their candidate.
But the Republicans nearly matched that figure, and their narrow victory in June was perceived as a win for Trump—and Trumpism, however ill-defined it may be.
Green, more generously, describes Bannon’s Hollywood season, and his various other adventures, as preparing him for his true vocation as ringmaster of the new, Trump-led right.
Previously, Bannon had been an informal adviser while making Breitbart News, the website he had run since 2012, Trump’s main propaganda auxiliary, surpassing Fox News, which had been divided over Trump and roiled by a sexual harassment scandal involving the network’s late founder and , Roger Ailes.
In December 2004, Bannon and others, “peasants with the pitchforks storming the lord’s manor,” as he told a New York Times reporter, congregated at an event called the Liberty Film Festival.
After one screening Bannon was crushed in a bear hug by the online provocateur Andrew Breitbart, “squeezing me like my head’s going to blow up and saying how we’ve gotta take back the culture.”Breitbart wasn’t yet the “pirate king” of the new tabloid right that was forming on the Internet.
Today the best-known item in his growing legend—first reported by Green in his 2015 profile—is that he gets a handsome income in residuals from Seinfeld; it was included in a package of shows he got a stake in as part of a financing deal.
Seinfield, of course, became a colossal hit, and Bannon’s payout has been estimated to be as much as million.