‘McCarthyist Witch Hunt’: Tulsi Gabbard Wages War Against Daily Beast for ‘Hit Piece’ on Pro-Russia Donors


2020 candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is apparently fundraising off a Daily Beast story that reported her presidential campaign was receiving donations from pro-Russia personalities, after Gabbard decried the report as “fake news.”

Gabbard was asked about the report on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos this Sunday. The Beast article, published on May 17, reported that her campaign is “underwritten by some of the nation’s leading Russophiles,” citing donations from figures sympathetic to Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

“You know, it’s unfortunate that you’re citing that article, George, because it’s a whole lot of fake news,” Gabbard said, echoing President Donald Trump — though not specifying what in the article was untrue.

Gabbard apparently sees the battle with the Beast as a winning one. Her campaign has sent out multiple emails to fundraise off the tabloid’s report.

One of the emails was sent out on May 19 – the same day Gabbard appeared on ABC to call the report “fake news”. The email derides the piece as a “McCarthyist witch hunt” and ends with an appeal to donate to the campaign:

The Daily Beast is really scraping the bottom of the barrel in their attempts to “get” Tulsi. They combed through our donor records looking for Russian support for our campaign. Despite only turning up $6,000 in donations from three people who fit their invented profile, they just published a hit piece claiming our campaign is being “underwritten” by some of the nation’s leading Russian sympathizers.

This hit piece is an example of the kind of McCarthyist witch hunt made possible by the mainstream media’s role in fomenting the new Cold War with Russia. It stirs up hysteria that makes it easier to push our country into war. It paints patriotic Americans as foreign agents and so-called “apologists” for foreign leaders. And it pushes us to sacrifice our hard won civil liberties at the altar of war.

The emails didn’t stop there. The campaign followed up with another appeal on May 22:

In case you missed the mainstream media soap opera hysteria that’s been unfolding over the last few days, allow us to catch you up:

  1. The Daily Beast put out a hit piece on Tulsi claiming her campaign is being underwritten by so-called Russian sympathizers – a grand total of three of them, out of 75,000 contributors.
  2. ABC News then carried on the smear by featuring the Daily Beast hit piece on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
  3. CNN and other mainstream media couldn’t resist the opportunity to spread it more widely.

The campaign called the Beast story “bottom-feeding BS” and cited a Rolling Stone critique from Matt Taibbi:

Fortunately, Matt Taibbi with Rolling Stone knows bottom-feeding BS when he sees it – and he’s courageously calling out the national media, who – in his words – live “on the unpopularity spectrum somewhere between botulism and Congress.”

Taibbi’s article dismisses the Beast report as “a vicious little article” and accuses the tabloid and other media outlets of being biased against candidates like Gabbard and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for their positions on foreign policy.

When reached for comment, Daily Beast editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman told Mediaite: “I’m glad that Rep. Gabbard is such a dedicated Daily Beast reader. I only wish she had mentioned that her campaign returned a donation from a convicted felon that we flagged.”

Shachtman is referring to the $2,800 worth of donations Gabbard’s campaign received from Ali Amin, who was convicted in 2015 of transferring millions between the U.S. and Iran. After the Beast’s reporting, Gabbard’s campaign said it was returning his donation. We’re eager to see if they mention that in their next fundraising email taking aim at the website.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: