Who exactly is financing the appearances of Milo Yiannopolous, Ann Coulter, Steven Bannon, and other right-wing luminaries at Berkeley next week? Yiannopoulos said in an email Monday that fees and accommodations for the speakers will cost approximately $250,000, and that his own company is picking up the tab. Which raises the obvious question: Who’s paying Yiannopoulos’s company to do this?
Here’s Joseph Bernstein’s analysis from the July 13 edition of BuzzFeed News:
“Secretive hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his family launched themselves into the top rank of American power through a series of spectacularly successful cash investments in politics: in Breitbart News, the far-right media outlet; in Cambridge Analytica, the controversial political data firm; and, of course, in Donald Trump, the president of the United States. To those ventures — and a host of others — newly uncovered evidence strongly suggests an addition: Milo Yiannopoulos, the anti–political correctness crusader and conservative provocateur.
Leaked documents, including a promissory note and emails, as well as conversations with several people familiar with the matter, strongly imply that the Mercers funded Yiannopoulos following his resignation from Breitbart News after video surfaced in which he appeared to condone pedophilia. Together, they suggest that the financiers of the new conservative politics aren’t simply interested in protecting their money, but in winning a brutal new culture war waged largely online.
More than that, the documents point to a relationship that Yiannopoulos seems to regard as a kind of personal patronage, expecting from the family not just financial but legal support, after the British citizen’s visa status became tenuous post-Breitbart. ‘Rebekah Mercer loves Milo,’ said a source familiar with both Yiannopoulos and the Mercers, of the eldest Mercer daughter, who runs the family’s foundation and served on the executive committee of the Trump transition team. ‘They always stood behind him, and their support never wavered.’ The Mercer family declined requests for comment.
Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News in a press conference on Feb. 21. Less than a week later, in an email titled “Entity” and addressed to a handful of staffers, his lawyer, and Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, Yiannopoulos mentioned the Mercers as funders of his new venture.”
Or IV. Or V. I’ve lost count…