David Sirota, the pro-Russian journalist, has been hired by Bernie Sanders to assist the independent Senator’s run for President. Journalist Edward Isaac-Dovere broke that story in The Atlantic.
Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents—all without disclosing his work with Sanders…
The Atlantic, and many outraged commenters on Twitter, highlighted Sirota’s complete lack of ethics. One glaring lie that most seem to have missed: Sirota, after attacking Neera Tanden of Think Progress for her former work for Debbie Wasserman Schulz, was asked in December “When did you work for Bernie Sanders?”
“1999,” he lied. “Worked for House Dems in 2001, and CAP in 2003. This is all on my website.”
He was, in fact, working for Sanders as he typed out that falsehood. In fact, Sarah Huckabee Sanders could not have lied with a straight face any better than David Sirota. But Mr. Sirota has a worse problem than being outed as an unethical PR flack faking being a journalist.
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David Sirota’s Pro-Russian Activism
Bernie Sanders has admitted that he knew that Russian bots and trolls – the notorious ‘Bernie Bros’ – were helping him in 2016. Mueller will certainly be interested; he is non-partisan when it comes to Russian interference. One of the first investigations Mueller handed off to other federal prosecutors involved ostensible Democrats – Tony Podesta, former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig of the now notorious Skadden, Arps law firm, and Republican Vin Weber. In fact, Podesta may have been the first referral we know of – CNN reported “one of the matters, involving Podesta, was referred to SDNY by Mueller’s team shortly before the FBI executed searches of Cohen’s home, office and hotel room in early April .”
Bernie Sanders certainly was beloved by Vladimir Putin. As we have noted elsewhere on Patribotics, a raft of the most famous Trump trolls online – Cassandra Fairbanks, Jack Posobiec and Anthime Gionnet, better known as ‘Baked Alaska’, were all using pro-Bernie personae before switching, as a bloc, to Donald Trump. The other thing all of them had in common was fealty to the Russian state. Conversely, one of the most notorious pro-Russian trolls on social media, Sameera Khan, was a spokeswoman for Sanders before moving on to Russia Today.
With all of Bernie Sanders previously known links to Russia – Paul Manafort’s partner Tad Devine actually ran the Sanders campaign – you might think he would steer clear of Russia shills during his 2020 campaign. But you would be wrong.
David Sirota is a huge fan of Russia and has, at every turn, minimized its attack on America. This reporter challenged him on Twitter in what now seems a very one-sided conversation, as Mr. Sirota has deleted all his Russia-related tweets. Fortunately, I archived many of them for Patribotics, and it’s quite the collection of Putin apologism:
For journalists, the question then arises: was Sirota being paid by the Sanders camp not only to attack Democrats, but also to defend Russia? Conversely, what Russia-aligned groups, including the Young Turks – a “fake opposition” group that loves Russia and is funded by Republican Bobby Roehmer – have paid Sirota to smear the FBI, attack America and defend Russia? He was working for Sanders when the Republican-backed group published this attack on the Democratic Party:
Has Mr. Sirota registered as a foreign agent for Russia under the FARA laws, as he is required to do if he has taken money – or indeed knowingly distributed propaganda on behalf of any foreign principal. The law does not require a foreign agent be paid. In fact, here’s Mr. Sirota working with Wikileaks, from 2013 onwards.
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But perhaps Sirota should be most worried about his knowing distribution of foreign propaganda. There is indeed an exemption under the FARA laws for journalists. However, lying, as Sirota has done, that he was a journalist even as he was a hired, paid, PR boy for Bernie Sanders, does more than harm both him and the Sanders campaign over their lack of ethics. It removes from Sirota the claim to have been a journalist in good faith. He is a propagandist, and a propagandist for the Russian state, including Guccifer 2 and Wikileaks. Taking the job with Bernie Sanders while pretending to still be a journalist may wind up costing Mr. Sirota more than merely his reputation.
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