Rolling Stone published an extended hit piece on Deputy Assistant to the President and former Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka Thursday.
“Gorka’s a former Breitbart editor with Islamophobic views and ties to neo-Nazi extremists – and he has the ear of the president,” bemoans the piece by Rolling Stone contributor Robert Dreyfuss.
In support of this alarm, Dreyfuss cites the oft-repeated claims about the medal of the Hungarian Order of Heroes Gorka has proudly warn in public. Despite the fact the medal belonged to Gorka’s father, who was awarded it by the Hungarian government-in-exile for service against the Soviet forces sent to brutally crush the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, leftist activists and politicians have continued to claim the medal is a “Nazi-sympathizer” badge.
The piece goes on to quote several “national security experts,” including a professor, Micheal S. Smith II, himself in a running public tirade against Gorka, to make strikingly basic accusations against the Hungarian-American firebrand for western civilization on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy team. “Gorka knows virtually nothing,” Georgia State professor Mia Bloom tells Dreyfuss, for example. “His views are a mixture of Islamophobia and racism.”
Smith, meanwhile, is quoted uncritically as “a veteran terrorism analyst who’s had unpleasant run-ins with Gorka.” “This is not somebody who should be working anywhere near the White House,” he says.
Much of the piece is devoted to tying Gorka to “right-wing extremism” because of the time he spent in his family’s native Hungary. Notoriously globalist neoconservative Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is quoted calling massively popular Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Victor Orban, on whose campaign staff Gorka served, a “neo-fascist dictator.” Dreyfuss then believes he has found a smoking gun in the fact a family friend of Gorka’s once joked about “a Hungarian border fence with pig heads” to keep out Muslim illegals.
These efforts to smear Dr. Gorka are not new, nor, as Buzzfeed found out this April, are they particularly fruitful. As Dreyfuss himself admits:
By all accounts, Gorka’s own writing and statements at the time included no anti-Semitic comments, and neither The Forward nor other reporters who’ve investigated his background in Hungary have turned up any evidence that Gorka himself participated in anything that could be called anti-Jewish.
The guilt by association game, however, is an odd one for Dreyfuss to play given his own past. Dreyfuss is a one-time adherent of the eclectic, vaguely-Marxist political ideology of famed American political eccentric Lyndon LaRouche. In the 1970s and 80s, Dreyfuss headed up Executive Intelligence Review, a leading publication of the LaRouche Movement, a difficult-to-define closely knit group of activists LaRouche has led for more than 40 years after leaving the militant-communist Socialist Workers’ Party in the late 1960s.
Called extreme-right by liberals and extreme-left by conservatives, the LaRouche Movement is often described as a “cult” held together by the now-aged Lyndon LaRouche’s force of personality. Its members have waged almost universally unsuccessful political campaigns across the United States and the world for decades and are known for demonstrating in public with conspiracy theory strewn signs and sandwich boards.
Dreyfuss was deeply enough involved with Mr. LaRouche, who would eventually go to prison for more than five years on fraud charges, to write a book, Hostage to Khomeini, on commission for him. The book promotes a conspiracy theory about President Jimmy Carter’s purported involvement in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Fellow leftist journalist Jamie Kirchick of the New Republic pointed out Dreyfuss’s LaRouche connection in 2008. At the time, Dreyfuss was not nearly so reverent of Sen. McCain, calling him a “hothead” for his bellicosity with Russia in the pages of The Nation. As Kirchick put it:
Though Dreyfuss officially left the employ of LaRouche (in the sense that he does not currently write for LaRouche’s publications, at least not under his own byline), his politics clearly haven’t changed much from the tinfoil hat variety characteristic of the 8-time fringe presidential candidate and conspiracy theorist. Dreyfuss still spends his days feverishly slumped over his keyboard warning of neocon conspiracies and shilling for authoritarian regimes–hallmarks of any good LaRouchite.
As for Rolling Stone, the left-leaning political magazine that, in the distant past, covered rock music and culture, it is best known today for its promotion of Sabrina Erdely’s famous 2014 University of Virginia rape hoax, “A Rape on Campus.” In April, the magazine settled another lawsuit over the story for an undisclosed amount after a jury awarded one of the victims, a UVA woman falsely accused by Erdely of telling Jacqueline “Jackie” Coakley not to report her non-existent rape, $3 million.
Despite indications almost immediately that Coakley’s wildly implausible story about being gang-raped on a pile of shattered tempered glass by fraternity brothers was not true, Rolling Stone stood by Erdely and her reporting for nearly five months. In the meantime, the men of the fraternity she mentioned by name were subject to national derision as sex criminals, with the University of Virginia taking Rolling Stone’s side against them. Erdely has still never apologized for the damage she did to the fraternity members’ lives.
As Dreyfuss’s piece on Gorka shows, Rolling Stone will still publish misleading and inflammatory material about those it considers to be its political enemies, whether that’s patriotic presidential aides or innocent “privileged” fraternity brothers.