The Donald Trump White House probably has the largest crop of loathsome characters, both currently serving and formerly serving, in recent memory. One of the most loathsome of those characters was Sebastian Gorka, who served as a counterterrorism adviser in the West Wing for the first eight months of the Trump Administration.
Gorka was made to order for a president who made Islamophobia a major plank of his campaign. Before joining the Trump White House, he worked alongside Steve Bannon as Breitbart News’ national security editor, where he argued that Islamist terrorism happens because Islam is inherently violent. Terrorism experts and religious scholars, both liberal and conservative, consider this a gross oversimplification.
Gorka also faced serious questions about whether he was qualified to serve at such a high level. He does not speak Arabic, has never lived in Muslim-majority country, and has only read the Qu’ran in English translation. He has never submitted articles to scholarly journals.
Sebastian was also a foot soldier in Trump’s war on the media. For instance, in February 2017, he told radio host Michael Medved–whose timeslot he now holds–that any critical coverage of Trump will be considered fake news. Listen here.
Gorka said–with a straight face–that the media had no business ganging up on Trump two weeks into his presidency, and until it realized how “unhealthy” this line was, “we are going to continue to say ‘fake news.'”
The international media wasn’t immune to this either. Later in February 2017, after a bonkers press conference at which Trump spent more time berating reporters than answering questions, Gorka blew his stack at the BBC’s Evan Davis. Watch here.
When Davis asked Gorka if he thought Trump was “unhinged” at the press conference, Gorka said it was “weird” and “pathetic” to even ask such a question. He went on to accuse the BBC of being fake news for, among other things, daring to call out Trump’s numerous false and hyperbole-laden statements.
This context is needed to understand the treatment he got on Monday’s edition of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Host Bill Scanlan took a call from “Amy” from Georgia, who used the opportunity to question why Gorka was even on the show in the first place. Watch here.
Amy slammed Gorka as “a known grifter, a propagandist, (and) a provocateur” whom she didn’t think was going to “add anything to the body politic…in any kind of positive way.” She urged C-SPAN to “choose your guests more thoughtfully.” In Amy’s view, Gorka “likes to be dangerous” and “likes to provoke.” While she doesn’t mind hearing conservative commentary, she thinks commentators need to be “accurate, fair, above-board.”
Gorka harrumphed that this was yet another example of the left wanting to “control information.” Um, Sebastian? Amy was simply asking that C-SPAN bring on credible guests. And you should know that while you’re entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts.
Apparently deep down, Gorka knows he’s busted. Perhaps he has the good sense to know that it would be bad form to go after an ordinary American in the same manner he might go after the media. More likely, though, he knew Amy had done her homework, and there was no way he could possibly counter what she said.
Whatever the case, Amy did a public service. She managed to put a rabid Trump supporter in his place.
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