If Tulsi Gabbard is trying to dispel the notion that she is “pro-Assad,” she’s not doing herself any favors when she promotes people who’ve made themselves unwavering mouthpieces for pro-Syrian and pro-Russian propaganda. This morning, she demonstrated one of two things: she’s actively promoting the agenda of a pro-Putin/Assad conspiracy crowd, or she has no idea who the people she’s promoting are.
In the wake of Gabbard’s admission two years ago that she met with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, a web of media personalities linked to the Kremlin-sponsored media outlet RT (also known as Russia Today) have descended around her, practically enlisting her as a public supporter of their narrative that says Assad is not a war criminal who gasses his own people, but a besieged leader trying to free Syria from the grips of ISIS and other jihadist groups.
Writing for Haaretz last year, Alexander Reid Ross gave a good explanation of this particular segment of far-leftists who’ve been co-opted by Russia. In their defense of Assad (one of Putin’s close allies in the Middle East), the RT Twitter crowd (as I sometimes call them) have played a big role in disseminating some of the most vile conspiracy theories on social media, many of them centering around the chemical weapons attacks carried out in Syrian cities such as Douma and Ghouta.
Which brings us to American stand-up comedian, podcaster, and frequent RT contributor, Jimmy Dore.
This Sunday morning, Gabbard retweeted a video published by Dore where he defends her against “smears” that say she’s a useful idiot of Russian and Syrian propaganda. One of those “smears” Dore is referring to is a piece from NBC News earlier this month that simply points out the obvious: Gabbard is becoming a favorite of the Russian propaganda machine.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) February 10, 2019
From NBC News:
An NBC News analysis of the main English-language news sites employed by Russia in its 2016 election meddling shows Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is set to make her formal announcement Saturday, has become a favorite of the sites Moscow used when it interfered in 2016.
Several experts who track websites and social media linked to the Kremlin have also seen what they believe may be the first stirrings of an upcoming Russian campaign of support for Gabbard.
At the outset of Dore’s video, he shared a clip of Gabbard’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast in September of last year. Sure enough, Gabbard can be seen praising Dore as some sort of truth-teller who’s shunned by establishment media.
“Jimmy Dore talks about a lot of things that you’ll never hear if you flick on the TV — on the cable news channels — and has very interesting conversations, and again, bringing facts and different things to life that people don’t otherwise feel like they have access to,” she told Rogan.
So to revisit the question at the top of this article: Does Gabbard know who she’s endorsing, or does she just see Dore and his cohorts as convenient anti-war voices she can reference to bolster the anti-interventionalist image she’s cultivating? Considering her comments to Rogan, it would seem she knows exactly who she’s promoting, so let’s take a brief look at the “interesting conversations” Dore is facilitating.
Tulsi Gabbard now promoting a failed comedian who propagated the seth rich conspiracy, among other nonsense. She really is the candidate of choice fringe left conspiracy podcasts and David Duke
— Danny Gold (@DGisSERIOUS) February 10, 2019
On the May 4, 2017 edition of his show, Dore had on as a guest Eva Bartlett, a frequent RT contributor who originally made her name as a pro-Palestinian activist and blogger. Bartlett, who is Canadian, has been at the forefront of a group of media figures who are unapologetically pro-Assad and who’ve characterized victims of Syrian bombings as being part of staged events, i.e., crisis actors taking part in false flag operations. At the outset of the segment, Dore praised Bartlett as a “great journalist doing some really great reporting that’s coming out of Syria,” adding that she’s “been giving us the truth about what’s been happening” in the region.
For almost 30 minutes, Dore fawned over Bartlett as she mocked the idea that Assad is a brutal abuser of human rights and a war criminal and referred to reports that his regime used chemical weapons against civilians as “lies.” At one point in the segment, Dore called the Arab Spring protests that were crushed by the Syrian military in 2011 “thuggish,” adding that the uprising was orchestrated by “outside agitators” such as “Al Qaeda” and “ISIS.” The entire video is worth watching because it’s basically one of the most complete and deferential whitewashings of Assad’s crimes that any authoritarian dictator could ask for.
Just a month before Bartlett’s appearance, Dore pushed the false flag narrative on his show in a video titled, “Evidence Suggests S-Y-R-I-A G-A-S ATTACK Is False Flag.” In the video, he repeats the false claims that the Syrian first responders known as the White Helmets are actually Al Qaeda affiliates who stage bombing scenes in an effort to frame Assad as a war criminal. It’s the same infantile and conspiracy-laden logic that Dore used during his 9/11 truther days.
It should be noted that Gabbard has also expressed skepticism that Assad was behind the use of chemical weapons against civilians. Earlier this month, she made comments that only serve to help Assad escape accountability for his crimes against humanity. While her public comments don’t reach the level of bile spewed by the likes of Jimmy Dore, Eva Bartlett, or the rest of the shady RT Twitter crowd, she’s definitely signaling that she’s sympathetic to their views.
In her next TV appearance, any cable news anchor who doesn’t ask why she’s promoting the Syrian genocide apologist industry is doing this country a grave disservice.
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube