On Nov. 7, 2021, Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a doctored video clip taken from the anime Attack on Titan. The clip spliced together footage of migrants at the border with scenes and music from the show’s opening theme, and depicts the lead character — with Gosar’s photoshopped face — killing a monster with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face.
The backlash to Gosar’s video was swift. Twitter flagged the tweet as “hateful content,” although it declined to remove it. And Democrats are preparing to vote on censuring the Arizona congressman and stripping him of his committee assignments.
Yesterday, Gosar complained about the reaction to far-right talk show host Stew Peters on his eponymous online show. Peters has defended the white nationalist “Groyper” movement and invited its top figureheads — e.g., Nick Fuentes — on his program. Gosar has embraced these same white nationalist figures, and spoke at a rally hosted by Fuentes in February.
And days ago Peters also suggested that the Second Amendment was necessary to fight both the government and the media.
In a Nov. 14, 2021 Telegram post, Peters wrote, “Rush Limbaugh famously said, ‘You know why there’s a Second Amendment, in case the government fails to follow the first one.’” He added that “This also applies to the media, and Fox is actively participating in the elimination of your First Amendment.”
Later Peters once again lashed out at Fox News for being insufficiently loyal to former president Trump, calling reporters for the right-wing outlet “communist propagandists dressed as journalists” who “betrayed, and continue to betray YOU.”
“Where are the Republicans backing you on a stupid, funny video, that you’re now going to be stripped of your committee assignments as a result of a stupid cartoon — an anime — where are the Republicans backing you?” Peters asked Gosar angrily during yesterday’s episode of The Stew Peters Show. “That’s what I’m asking. Where are they?”
Gosar told Peters that they had a “conference” that morning where he explained his rationale for tweeting the video but refused to apologize. He said he told his fellow Republicans the video “had nothing to do with harming anybody,” and that the purpose was to “reach out to the newer generation that likes these anime” and explain the problems with the Build Back Better Act.
Peters praised Gosar as a “pit bull” who is “doing exactly what voters sent [him] to Washington to do,” which is to “fight for their freedom.”
Gosar replied that “we need pit bulls,” and listed as examples Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and “a lot of the folks in the Freedom Caucus.” “You know, but we’re still a minority,” he added. “But you know America’s waking up. We saw that in Virginia and New Jersey. They want people to stand up and fight.”
Peters then asked if the Freedom Caucus or Rep. Kevin McCarthy were “gonna have [his] back on this” issue. “Well, so far they’ve given me support,” Gosar said. “The real push and putting is gonna be on the floor later today or tomorrow, whenever they put this vote up to censure me, as well as strip me of my committees. That’s where the real rub comes.”
When Peters asked about Nancy Pelosi’s call for ethics and law enforcement investigations of Gosar, the congressman responded by asking why no similar inquiries were made about Rep. Maxine Waters, the “people who did the GoFundMe page for the Black Lives Matter [sic],” or people who looted and rioted during last year’s racial justice protests.
H/T Nick Martin