Jimmy Dore is a comic who has taken on Russiagate, a deadly serious matter. He is one of those brave souls who count themselves as progressives but dared to call into question Russiagate.
There are those who will tell you that Trump is a despicable human; and so if Russiagate tarnished Trump, the argument goes, what did it matter whether it was true. (The proposition that Trump is more monstrous than his predecessors, Obama, W or the Clintons is highly dubious to say the least – but that is a different topic.). There is, however, a very good reason why it does matter whether the charges making up Russiagate are true; for opposing Trump over his tax policies or stance on health care is quite a different matter from labeling him a Manchurian Candidate who colluded with Vlad Putin in 2016. Russiagate put a US President in a position where he was unable to negotiate crucial issues with the other nuclear superpower. To do so invited charges of being a Putin puppet, as evidenced by the howls that went up from the Establishment and most progressives over the Helsinki Summit.
What if the tensions between the US and Russia were to spin out of control in hot spots like Syria, where troops from the two nuclear superpowers pass within a whisker of one another, or Ukraine or even Venezuela? To extract us from such a predicament, Putin and Trump would need to make concessions to one another, as Kennedy and Krushchev did successfully in the Cuban Missile Crisis. But with the cloud of Russiagate hanging over his head Trump could make no such concession without being labeled a treasonous Putin puppet. So Russiagate took away from Trump the ability to negotiate his way out of an existential threat should one emerge. As such it should have been based on the highest levels of evidence. In fact it was not based on any hard evidence at all – there was none for the central charge of collusion. And the Mueller investigation finally admitted this. Given this, those who knowingly concocted Russiagate owe us all a great apology, for they committed the most serious of crimes by creating a situation that potentially threatened the existence of the American and Russian peoples – and perhaps all of humanity.
The absurdity of Russiagate and the absence of evidence for it was evident from the start. But very few on the progressive side broke with the mainstream media and the Democratic Party political herd to say so. That carried the risk of being shunned in progressive circles. Or as one brave Russiagate dissident said under his breath, "I don’t have much social life any longer." That fact in itself is a sad commentary on what is called "progressivism" in the U.S.
Nevertheless, a handful of Russiagate debunkers emerged on the left, including Robert Parry and others at Consortium News, Aaron Maté now at The Nation, Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept, Michael Tracey, Stephen F. Cohen of EastWestAccord.com, Ray McGovern of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Matt Taibi of Rolling Stone, Craig Murray, and others. They deserve enormous credit for poring over the detritus that the media dumped on us 24/7 for over two years and refuting it, one noxious bit at a time. (Most of these writers have appeared on Antiwar.com, much to its credit.)
A standout among these dissidents is Jimmy Dore, a nightclub comic with a YouTube show run out of his garage in Pasadena. Dore took on Russiagate just as he took on the Dem Establishment and backed Bernie in 2016, and as he now offers high praise for Tulsi Gabbard, the peace candidate for 2020. Jimmy Dore made the exposure of Russiagate fun.
Dore enjoys raising a simple question in the wake of the Mueller report: How did a "jagoff comedian," as he calls himself, who claims on occasion to smoke marijuana when he gets out of bed in the morning, get Russiagate right when grads of the Columbia School of Journalism and pundits like Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow and David Corn got it so wrong?
Dore has the answer, taking Maddow as an example who earns $30,000 for every single show. For that and the celebrity career that goes with it, she lies – simple as that. Dore even allows that he might be willing to lie at $30,000 an hour. But, he laments, the invitation has not been forthcoming. And what is true of Maddow and the other Cable "News" talking heads is just as true of the upscale propagandists who dump their extrusions into gilded receptacles like the NYT, WaPo, New Yorker, NPR. In contrast to be a Jimmy Dore or any of the other truth tellers requires a considerable dose of courage, because swimming against the mainstream can be a career terminator as Chris Hedges once of the NYT and a number of others can testify.
One of Dore’s approaches is especially powerful. He provides a quote from the mainstream media, an establishment journalist or a faux progressive, reads it and then tears it apart. Dore likes to play down his intellect – a good comic shtick – but the precision of his takedowns tells another story. The takedown is followed by invective that is as accurate as it is impassioned. Dore’s invective for which he has considerable talent would turn Jeremiah green with envy. In this task he is usually aided by his fellow comic, the insightful Ron Placone and Dore’s wife Stefane Zamorano, who styles herself The Miserable Liberal.
It is very satisfying to watch Dore in action – and funny. In fact at the gym I watch Jimmy on my iPad to save me from looking up at the omnipresent fake news on CNN. My cardiac health, as well as my mental health, over the past two years has depended on his show. If Dore were a physician, he could bill me.
You can best appreciate the Jimmy Dore show by going to YouTube and watching an episode. I recommend this one, "Mueller Report Drops! Aaron Maté Explains." Here Maté also names the names of the fake progressives who caved to the Establishment narrative and some of the heroes who did not. Dore expresses his usual sympathy for Mate’ for having to live among journalists most of whom compromise themselves whereas Dore gets to dwell among comics.
For a dose of truth, sanity and fun – catch the Jimmy Dore Show. Russiagate is behind us but Dore already has the bogus basis for war on Venezuela and Iran clearly in his sites – along with the 2020 election and its rich veins of hypocrisy to mine.
John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com.