Media Analysis

Tulsi Gabbard has done the unpardonable: criticized US global hegemony

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The Times full spread hit piece on Tulsi Gabbard is a new low, even for the Times. It is yellow journalism half disguised as human interest, with a few random points of political information.

Headline: “Unorthodox Campaign Shows Isolationism May Have a Hold.”

Opening sentence: “Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of a country that she believes has wrought horror on the world.”

Their initial strategy was simply to starve her out – no coverage, no candidacy. Now, because she’s still in and lately told a truth that weakened the Times choice Kamala Harris, they are giving her the Bernie 2016 treatment: i.e. this candidate is outlandish, absurd, unaccountably heartless (her sister fell off a horse while the story was being written and her reaction was lacking in warmth), mystical (she spoke at a solar panel dedication event), a tool of the wicked (she points out that Syria never went to war against the US) – and possibly a Russian agent.

Among Times readers, fewer than one in 50 is likely to be a supporter of Gabbard, but turning off voters is the secondary purpose of such an article. The primary purpose is to shape attitudes at CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, the Washington Post, and the Times sister publication The New Yorker. Legitimize flat-out condescension and contempt in the influential outlets and you keep her numbers down, since people won’t hear her voice at all.

A war veteran, an experienced and respected lawmaker, and a woman of color, but she commits the unpardonable error of criticizing worldwide US hegemony and so they follow the corporate reflex: make her a laughingstock.

Postscript. Gabbard stands up to an MSNBC hack who tries to overwhelm her with pro-war talking points. MSNBC is part of the perpetual war machine, as is the Times; they backed the Iraq war, and they’ll do the same for the next war, whether it’s in North Africa, east Asia, or Ukraine.

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The unpardonable thing that Tulsi Gabbard did was to go hang out with Bashar Assad and refuse to call him a war criminal.

Being disqualified from being President for this behavior is completely fair and just.

I don’t read the NYT, but I thank you for bringing this to my attention. David, I wrote something similar in a couple of comments in The Guardian with regard to the attacks on Biden and the silence with regard to Gabbard. I’m sickened by the whole display. She is an intelligent, seasoned veteran who has witnessed the catastrophes of US wars and their failed, imperialistic, hypocritical policies, and is a reasonable person. She seems… Read more »

DAVID BROMWICH- “The primary purpose is to shape attitudes at CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, the Washington Post, and the Times sister publication The New Yorker.” Indeed, one of the most important functions of the imperial newspaper of record is to set the imperial meme which will then inform the “news” of the rest of the imperial media. And all of this against a woman who is a less militaristic version of business as… Read more »

I like her. She speaks the truth about the military industrial complex created by both sides.

the media has done a damn good job of keeping the american people out of the loop on what’s happening in syria. the idea that what anyone following that war knows, that we are in bed with AQ over there, and isis too, is taboo. US helicopters have been spotted and filmed arriving to scoop up their assets just in the nick of time when SAA have come in to clean up the messes. in… Read more »