That’s what one Hollywood business mogul is saying about the onslaught of disparaging racist and anti-semitic accusations hurled at Steve Bannon.
Jeff Kwatinetz, an active liberal and founder of the talent and production agency The Firm, once worked with Bannon during his brief but lucrative stint in the entertainment industry.
Kwatinetz, while admitting they don’t share political ideology, is taking the rare position to go on record in defense of his former business partner.
“As a liberal, I don’t judge people on their politics, I judge them on their character, and from what I knew then and what I know now, Steve has great character,” Kwatinetz told the Hollywood Reporter in Q & A.
“He’s not a racist or anti-Semitic. Things like that are absurd.”
The media has been relentless in painting Bannon as a racist and an anti-Semite since President Trump appointed him to a cabinet position as White House Chief Strategist.
Bannon’s appointment sent shock waves through the political world, namely for his previous role as executive chair of Breitbart News – a media outlet deemed “far-right” by leftist propaganda.
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) November 14, 2016
There is no basis as to where the “racist” allegations stem other than he doesn’t tow the liberal line, and Kwatinetz who worked with Bannon at The Firm can’t take it anymore.
“He’s a good friend and an incredibly hard worker. He has beliefs and stands by them. Those beliefs aren’t based on racism, they’re based on what he honestly believes is best for the world. Do I agree with all of them? No. He was a Bush and a [Donald] Rumsfeld supporter, I was a Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporter.
“But not being a liberal doesn’t mean you’re a racist.”
Whoa! That’s not the kind of tolerant, rational thinking you hear these days. And as far as Bannon being “anti-Semitic,” Kwatinetz was adamant on that point too.
“I know that he’s not anti-Semitic. I am absolutely positive that he’s not anti-Semitic or racist. It is absurd. I am Jewish, Roy Furman was Jewish, Andrew Breitbart was Jewish. He is not anti-Semitic. Period.”
Kwatinetz repeatedly maintained that he doesn’t agree with Bannon politically, but praised him for being “ridiculously smart” and true to his convictions.
“I do agree with Steve about equal opportunity and that big mergers and big banks have hurt a lot of people and that some of the perpetrators have gone unpunished. So there are things we agree on, but we disagree about politics more than we agree. But we both love America and want the world to be a better place and we believe in being true to ourselves.”
As far as risking his Hollywood reputation and career to defend Bannon, Kwatinetz said he had to do it.
“It’s dangerous because people want to believe what they’ve been told to believe. I’m telling you that the guy is a good person. I know it. And if it hurts my career to tell the truth about someone, then I guess it’s going to have to hurt my career, because he is a good person.
“Steve is not a devil. He’s a great guy, and if it gets me in trouble for telling the truth, then it gets me in trouble.”
Kwatinetz said he knows of at least two other Hollywood insiders who’ve spoken to reporters in defense of Bannon but were largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Bannon has made headlines by openly blasting the media as the “opposition party.” His position at the White House has also come into scrutiny amid rumors of insider fighting with President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
In February, Bannon impressed the CPAC audience and explained how the “opposition party” always gets it wrong:
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