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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/6/21

An Ugly War Among Leftist YouTubers Shows Two Common, Toxic Pathologies Plaguing U.S. Politics

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Baselessly accusing people of being Russian agents and weaponizing accusations of sexual misconduct are reputation-destroying cancers at the heart of liberal discourse.


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An incredibly vicious and protracted war is being waged, seemingly with no end in sight, among numerous prominent liberal and left-wing commentators who work primarily on YouTube. The conflict erupted on May 26 when Cenk Uygur the founder and long-time host of The Young Turks, the largest liberal-left YouTube platform baselessly and falsely accused independent journalist Aaron Mate' of being "paid by the Russians," while his co-host, Ana Kasparian, spouted innuendo that Mate' was "working for" unnamed dictators.

Mate' is one of the very few left-wing journalists who reported skeptically on Russiagate and who questioned the U.S. Government's narrative about the civil war in Syria, including by traveling to war-torn parts of that country to do so. He won the 2019 Park Center for Independent Media's Izzy Award for his work debunking Russiagate. Yet with a one-minute rant from their insulated studio, Uygur baselessly branded Mate' as someone who is "paid by the Russians" while Kasparian asserted that he "seemed" to be working for Assad and other dictators -- a potentially reputation-destroying smear for a journalist and one that can be quite dangerous for a reporter who, like Mate', works on the ground in war zones.

The conflict engendered by those grotesque fabrications escalated significantly when Kasparian sent a private Twitter message to one of Mate''s defenders, Jimmy Dore, in which she threatened to accuse Dore of #MeToo-type sexual harassment from when they worked together seven years earlier. Kasparian made clear that her intent to publicly vilify Dore as a sexual harasser would serve as punishment for his criticisms of The Young Turks.

Dore then revealed Kasparian's threat on his program, and days later, Kasparian made good on her threat by accusing Dore of sexual harassment back in 2014. Twitter Direct Message from The Young Turks' Ana Kasparian to Jimmy Dore, Apr. 14, 2016 and June 11, 2021. While I used my social media platforms to denounce the false accusations voiced by Uygur and Kasparian against Mate', none of this would merit an article or stand-alone commentary if not for the fact that the two weapons they chose -- false accusations that someone is a paid Russian agent and exploited sexual harassment accusations -- have become extremely commonplace in Democratic Party politics, liberal circles and U.S. politics more broadly.

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[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive (more...)
 

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