Scruba-dub-dub: Bernie Sanders Secretly Paid A "Journalist" for Months to Attack Democrats



When I first wrote about Bernie Sanders's new hire for speechwriting, David Sirota, I knew that Sirota was merely the "liberal" who called Trayvon Martin a terrorist in his haste to equate President Obama with the killer of the young black teenager in Florida. I knew that Sirota got famous by using rash language and a holier-than-thou attitude in perfect tandem. I thought that he was merely a blowhard upon whose prediction of an 'economic miracle', the Venezuelan economy has tanked for five straight years.

While Sirota is a glutton for bashing Democratic candidates running for president, I thought that originated from his heartfelt contempt for Democrats who get things done, also known, in Sirota and Sanders lands, as "corporatist neoliberals."

Turns out, it's worse. It turns out that the reason Sirota left Bernie Sanders out of his vicious attacks against the Democratic field of candidates isn't simply because he and Sanders are ideological sympaticos. It isn't simply the fact that Bernie gave David his first job out of college.

It turns out that he was doing it because there was money on the table.

Sure, Sirota only got hired to be on the Sanders campaign staff formally on March 11, but he'd been advising and speechwriting for the campaign for months on a "trial" basis, according to Sanders's campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

Shakir also reveals that the trial period established Sirota would be a compatible speechwriter for Sanders, who likes to write his own speeches - meaning that Sirota's bludgeoning language is exactly what the 2016 loser had in mind when he said he wants to have "engage respectfully" with his opponents for the nomination in 2020.

But I digress. The Atlantic and the Washington Post report that Sirota had been in talks with the Sanders aides throughout 2018 - long before Bernie Sanders even declared his candidacy for the 2020 race (but come on, we all knew he never stopped running, not even during the 2016 general election campaign). Even by his own admission, Sanders's presidential campaign approached Sirota in January, and as he had been completing his "trial" period, he continued to trash Democrats who were - or were possibly - running against Sanders, claiming he was simply doing "journalistic" work. He did not reveal that he was either being paid at that very moment or was informally advising the Bernie campaign with the hopes of landing a job, which he did.

One can see the gaping ethical gap here for Sirota, especially for someone who demanded his targets become absolutely conflict-free: pretending to be a journalist, trashing candidates who are running against the guy you are on the payroll of and/or in job negotiations with, and never disclosing the conflict to your readers. It was decidedly the reason Sirota's "autodeleter" suddenly deleted 20,000 of his tweets, all at once, coincidentally right after a real journalist contacted him to ask what was going on.

So yes, David Sirota is an abhorrent, unethical troll.

But what about the man whose campaign was behind all of this?

Bernie Sanders's campaign has been working with Sirota for months, and Bernie Sanders and his campaign staff have no doubt noticed his tirades about the people Sanders supposedly wants to be respectful with while Sirota was a secret campaign advisor. Bernie Sanders especially must have known, because as his campaign manager admits, Sanders - not his staff, the candidate - had to be comfortable with Sirota's writing.

It is simply not possible that Bernie Sanders didn't know that Sirota is an insufferable fool. Which leaves only one possibility: Bernie Sanders hired David Sirota because of his utter disregard for journalistic ethics, not despite it. Bernie Sanders hired David Sirota because he is willing to be a paid assailant, and he's willing to keep his payer's confidence.

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that Bernie Sanders has been secretly paying a wholly unethical hack to bully his opponents in the Democratic party.

That's the kind of man Bernie Sanders is. That's the kind of campaign he is going to run. And most frightening of all, that's the kind of president Bernie Sanders would be.



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