The New York Times ran a hit piece on Saturday painting Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) as a right-wing extremist, leading her to reiterate a threat to boycott Tuesday’s Democrat debate, which the Times is co-sponsoring with CNN.
The Times article, “What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?“, claims that Gabbard is beloved by white nationalists, antisemites, and Russians attempting to interfere in the election, citing “suspicious activity” around her campaign.
For example, the article states:
Then there is 4chan, the notoriously toxic online message board, where some right-wing trolls and anti-Semites fawn over Ms. Gabbard, calling her “Mommy” and praising her willingness to criticize Israel. In April, the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, took credit for Ms. Gabbard’s qualification for the first two Democratic primary debates.”
Brian Levin, the head of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, said Ms. Gabbard had “the seal of approval” within white nationalist circles. “If people have that isolationist worldview, there is one candidate that could best express them on each side: Gabbard on the Democratic side and Trump on the Republican side,” Mr. Levin said.
The article also cites Gabbard’s threat last Thursday to boycott the October presidential primary debate as evidence of her alleged appeal to the far right:
The questions [about Gabbard’s right-wing sympathies] deepened on Thursday after Ms. Gabbard threatened to boycott Tuesday’s debate, arguing that the corporate news media and the Democratic National Committee are working together to rig the event. (The New York Times is a co-sponsor of the debate with CNN.)
[I]t’s also an argument that reminds some Democrats of the narrative pushed by Russian actors during the 2016 presidential contest, when an operation by internet trolls worked to manipulate American public opinion: that the electoral system is broken and cannot be trusted.
In response to the Times article, Gabbard reiterated her threat to boycott:
As if to prove my point, NYT just published a “greatest hits” smear piece. All your favorite hits in one article! These are the folks who will be acting as the “neutral” questioners/moderators of Tuesday’s debate lol
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 12, 2019
Gabbard failed to qualify for the third debate last month, but at the second presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan, in August, she damaged Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) with strident — and true — accusations that the former California prosecutor had put thousands of non-violent marijuana users behind bars and initially opposed the use of DNA evidence that might exonerate a death row inmate.
Gabbard, a major in the U.S. Army National Guard, is also known for her strong views against armed intervention abroad, particularly in Syria. A Samoan-American, Gabbard is also the first Hindu elected to the U.S. Congress.
She supported “democratic socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 election, famously quitting the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over its unfair treatment of Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.