Readership of alt-right news site Breitbart has plummeted since former chairman Steve Bannon was ousted in January following his fall-out with Donald Trump for critical remarks that he made about Team Trump in Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury.”
Politico reports today that the number of unique visitors to Breitbart plunged from 15M in October to 7.8M in February. The loss of Bannon, according to Politico, stripped Breitbart of its identity. A re-energized Fox News, which shifted from Trump skeptic to true believer, also contributed to Breitbart's woes.
Billionaire heiress Rebekah Mercer, whose family bankrolled Breitbart, gave Bannon the heave-ho because he took the site “in the wrong direction,” according to her Valentine’s Day op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.
She expressed confidence that a Bannon-less Breitbart “has the opportunity to refine its message and expand its influence.” That’s not working out so well.
Her dad, Robert, former Co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, bailed out of Breitbart in November and sold his stake to his three daughters.
Breitbart probably isn’t on top of Rebekah’s mind these days. The Mercer family is an investor in Cambridge Analytica, which is smack dab in the middle of the Facebook mess.
Rebekah serves on CA’s board. Her old buddy Bannon was a VP and investor in CA before leaving to run Trump’s presidential campaign.
The Washington Post reported March 20 that Bannon worked on CA’s program that used Facebook data to create voter profiles. That effort resulted in nifty Trump campaign themes such as “drain the swamp.”
CA worked for Trump’s campaign and for the Mercer family’s Make America No. 1 super PAC that supported the presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and Trump.
It’s good bet that the Mercer family, which prefers to shun the media spotlight, will go under scrutiny in future investigations probing Facebook/CA’s role in the 2016 election.
Rebekah may have thought that she was washing her hands of Bannon after she fired him at Breitbart.
She may be in for a reunion with Steve.