No candidate, Republican or Democrat, would ever be forced to defend an interview with The Washington Post. This is interesting, because if Democracy Dies in Darkness™, I wonder what happens when it’s subjected to glorified yellow journalism.
But, hey. I can’t really criticize The Post, since it is the U.S. capital’s paper of record. (I also subscribe to it, although mostly because I can write it off on my taxes; why you would subscribe to it otherwise is certainly your business, but unless it’s a write-off I think you’re taking the words “disposable income” a bit too literally.)
Now, nobody’s going to pretend that Fox News doesn’t have any sort of slant. As Hunter Thompson once pointed out, true objective journalism is only really seen in things like “box scores, race results and stock market tabulations.”
That being said, if you want to reach out to voters on the other side of the aisle, you’ll have to appear in media that isn’t going to fawn over you.
If you’re Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, however, that can be a very dangerous thing. As you’re no doubt aware, there are plenty of liberals who think the Hawaii Democrat and presidential candidate is some sort of Muscovite candidate and a useful idiot for Vladimir Putin and his holy war against American democracy.
The latest liberal to accuse Gabbard of being a dupe was Joy Behar of ABC’s “The View.”
There’s something vaguely comical about Behar calling anyone a dupe, but we won’t go there.
Instead, we’ll deal specifically with Behar’s accusation that Gabbard’s appearances on Fox News were problematic.
“You’re on state TV all the time,” Behar told Gabbard Wednesday on “The View.”
“Why do you go on Fox channel, which is a propaganda network?”
Behar went on to call out Gabbard for appearing 16 times on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, then called Carlson “a liar and a propagandist.”
“I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me, but to speak who those who may disagree with me, recognizing that I’m asking for the opportunity to serve every single person in this country,” Gabbard replied.
”We have to come together for our country and our country’s future.”
Gabbard also shot back at Behar’s claim that the Hawaiian congresswoman “might be an unwitting asset.”
“Not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used,” Behar said.
Gabbard, meanwhile, said Behar’s comment was “offensive.”
“That’s exactly what it means, though,” Gabbard said, referring to Behar’s claim that the host wasn’t calling the candidate “stupid.”
Several things. First, it’s interesting to hear Behar talking about a “propaganda network” on a show which basically exists so that three ireful women can beat up on a token excusatory conservative and pass it off as balanced. The irony, as always, is lost on her.
Second, let’s be fair to Behar. (Yes, yes, I know — it’s painful, but we should give it a shot.)
It’s not clear that she’s calling Fox News “state TV.” I get the feeling she’s talking about a New York Times article — the same one that Hillary Clinton referenced in her ham-handed attempt to take down Gabbard on David Plouffe’s podcast — in which Lisa Lerer noted that Russian state TV gives an awful lot of coverage to Gabbard.
“An independent analysis of the Russian news media found that RT, the Kremlin-backed news agency, mentioned Ms. Gabbard frequently for a candidate polling in single digits, according to data collected by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a group that seeks to track and expose efforts by authoritarian regimes to undermine democratic elections,” Lerer wrote in the Oct. 12 piece.
But that’s still problematic.
Gabbard didn’t appear on Russian state TV nor did she endorse the coverage. Furthermore, it’s totally explicable as to why she appeared on there: She’s an isolationist and Russian state TV likes isolationists. That doesn’t mean she’s a useful idiot.
And, if Joy Behar believes Fox News is “state TV,” well, then, who’s the useful idiot now?
Gabbard let Behar have it using the language of the left.
“Let me start with how offensive it is to say that I am a witting or unwitting asset of a foreign country, working against the interests of our people and our country, a country that I am willing to lay my life down for,” Gabbard, who is a veteran, said.
”So if you are saying it’s not deliberately, then you are implying that I am too stupid and too naive and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing. That is extremely offensive to me and to every woman of color.”
Gabbard isn’t necessarily my cup of tea politically. That being said, she certainly managed to own Behar as brutally as possible.
Candidates should be praised, not excoriated, for appearing on shows that aren’t necessarily friendly to them.
They shouldn’t be accused of being Russian assets or white nationalists for reaching out to the other side. That this is even a question is absolutely preposterous.
Behar — and the liberals who agree with this line of questioning — ought to be ashamed of themselves.
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