On a recent appearance on the little seen Current TV show The Young Turks with host Cenk Uygur, BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings attacked best selling author D’Souza as a “hack” writer, one that “lives in a fantasy world.”
Hastings attacks D’Souza’s various books on such high concepts as the existence of life after death and how the cultural left bears some responsibility for the attacks on Sept. 11, ridiculously and childishly oversimplifying D’Souza’s points.
Hastings slammed D’Souza for not only being a graduate of Dartmouth but for being crazy enough to believe in religion and for thinking that the cultural left might be a bad influence in the U.S. (transcript below):
Okay, some background on Dinesh D’Souza. He’s a hack but he’s a bestselling hack, so I’ll give him that. That being said, he’s also a Dartmouth grad, another cause for suspicion. But, but he lives in a fantasy world, if you look at his body of work, this is a guy who blames Hollywood for Sept. 11th, wrote a book saying why there is heaven, you know, these sorts of things that he pushes.
The reason they broached this subject is the forthcoming movie D’Souza made to highlight his claims that one of the driving forces behind President Obama’s pathology is the “anti-colonialist ideology” inherited from his extremist, left-wing father. Host Uygur articulately called D’Souza’s ideas “loony tunes” and a “cuckoo for Cocoapuffs.”
Amusingly, Uygur proclaimed that President Obama is actually a “center right” guy and not as far left as “most Democrats.” Hastings agreed, of course. But as he did, he revealed quite a light grasp of history:
Well, first off, what’s wrong with being anti-colonialist? Like aren’t we as Americans anti-colonial, didn’t we throw off the British Empire to gain our own freedom? I mean wasn’t like Gandhi a good guy, isn’t he on our side?
Apparently Hastings never heard of the Spanish American War or the Philippine Insurrection. As to Mahatma Gandhi, for all the many things he should be celebrated for, he also didn’t support the war against Hitler in WWII because he was so dedicated to non-violence and independence of India from the British, he opposed the formation of Israel, was often less than interested in democracy, and supported many things the U.S. opposed. As to being on “our side,” Gandhi most certainly respected a lot of our country — for instance, the work of American writer Henry David Thoreau — but he was not much interested in the United States when all was said and done. I don’t think Gandhi would have agreed that he was “on our side.” Gandhi was pretty focused on his own country, as he should have been.
Back in March, for instance, Hastings was on CNN with Piers Morgan gushing over Obama, saying how “impressed” he was by the Senator in 2006.
The first time I met President Obama was in 2006 in Baghdad when he was a junior Senator and at the time I was actually quite impressed by him. He took us journalists aside and told us, you know, asked us what’s really going on here, and sort of flattered us. And it was quite, quite a moment and you could tell that this guy was obviously one of the most talented politicians around.
Even former Romney adviser Richard Grenell scoffed at any thought that BuzzFeed is a serious, unbiased news source after the gushing treatment Hastings gave Obama. Early in June Grenell slammed Hastings, saying, “So, the reporter covering Obama for Buzzfeed giggles at the GOP & thinks its [sic] fine cuz he went to Baghdad?”
Grenell went on to say that Hastings is in the tank for Obama.
“Unfortunately, the guy they have covering the Obama team is proving to be anti-GOP and an Obama sympathizer,” he said.
Current TV’s Cenk Uygur: So, D’Souza goes and he thinks he’s gonna go get Obama and prove he’s an angry black man, except Obama appears to be the least angry man in America, uh I wish he’d get angry once in a while. Is this a fool’s errand or, hey, you know what, they’re gonna make money off’a it so what difference does it make?
BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings: OK, some background on Dinesh D’Souza. He’s a hack but he’s a best selling hack, so I’ll give him that. That being said he’s also a Dartmouth grad, another cause for suspicion. But, but he lives in a fantasy world, if you look at his body of work, this is a guy who blames Hollywood for Sept. 11th, wrote a book saying why there is heaven, you know, these sorts of things that he pushes. So, he comes along and wants to sort of push this narrative that President Obama is sort of obsessed with this idea of being anti-colonial and that somehow has shaped his world view which will somehow lead us to this socialist, you know, dictatorship in 2016. That’s the kind of level we’re dealing with.
But as you said, Obama’s not an angry guy and his half brother George comes across quite well, he seems pretty cool. He doesn’t seem very upset by the whole situation.
Uygur: So, Michael this sounds like coo coo for Cocopuffs. So, let’s share with the audience his full theory, let’s be fair to Dinesh D’Souza. Here he is speaking at CPAC about this anti-colonial theory he’s got.
Dinesh D’Souza on tape: And I think that if you take the anti-colonial ideology of the father and apply it to the actions of the son you will see a jigsaw pattern come together. So, in this film which is going to be in theaters in the Summer, it’s a big film. I think if the American people knew who Obama really was they would see that he is not an ordinary Democrat.
Ordinary Democrats want to redistribute income in America. Obama wants to realign America in the world.
Uygur: Michael as I look at this I think this is loony tunes. I mean, I think if anything President Obama is center right. I mean certainly more to the right than most Democrats. I mean, how many times does he compromise with the Republicans, he extended the Bush tax cuts. If he’s got some sort of like genius strategy to be some anti-colonialist, radical liberal, MAN he’s hidden it well.
Hastings: Well, first off, what’s wrong with being anti-colonialist? Like aren’t we as Americans anti-colonial, didn’t we throw off the British Empire to gain our own freedom? I mean wasn’t like Gandhi a good guy, isn’t he on our side? I mean, you go through the list. So, that’s just one point. But what Dinesh D’Souza is tapping into and this is very real is there is such hatred for President Obama. A lot of it centers around his race, a lot of it centers around his background, we see it with the birther controversy. There’s a sense in this alternative narrative that the right has built up around President Obama that is, will not change no matter how many facts or how many arguments you sort of put in front of it.