Republican Paul Gosar shared an edited video Monday that depicts the congressman as an anime hero violently taking on Democrats. The animated video even shows Gosar killing fellow member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which is eerily similar to some of former President Donald Trump’s edited videos. And that’s obviously no coincidence.
Gosar, who recently spoke at a white nationalist conference, tweeted the video approvingly Monday night, writing, “The creativity of my team is off the hook.” The video is edited from footage of the Japanese anime TV series Attack on Titan and features not just Gosar killing an anime version of AOC, but attacking President Joe Biden as well.
Far-right extremist politicians like Lauren Boebert from Colorado and Marjorie Taylor-Greene from Georgia are also featured in the video. Real-life footage of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border and Border Patrol agents can also be seen rapidly cut into the anime scenes in what obviously appears to be an anti-immigrant message.
Twitter flagged Gosar’s tweet as against the social media platform’s own rules banning hateful conduct, but is allowing the video to stay up under its “public interest exception.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet by pointing out Gosar’s ties to neo-Nazi groups and sarcastically saying it’s a “fun Monday” when this kind of content is being shared.
“So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me. And he’ll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses. Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect [women of colour],” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
As Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu points out, anyone who did this kind of video edit in a normal workplace would be fired immediately. Congress, of course, is no normal workplace.
“This is sick behaviour from Rep. Paul Gosar. He tweeted out the video showing him killing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez from both his official account and personal account,” Rep. Lieu tweeted on Monday.
“In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired,” Lieu continued.
But Gosar’s camp is standing by the video and its message while downplaying the seriousness of threatening to kill a coworker. Jessica Lycos, the digital director for Gosar, gave a statement to the Washington Post late Monday that tried to make it sound like people simply couldn’t take a joke.
“We made an anime video,” Lycos told the Post. “Everyone needs to relax. The left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future. It’s a cartoon. Gosar can’t fly and he does not own any light sabers. Nor was violence glorified. This is about fighting for truth.”
Before Gosar became predominantly known as the far-right extremist who supported the Jan. 6 insurrectionists that tried to stop the Electoral College vote count at the U.S. Capitol, he was simply the congressman whose siblings hated him. Seriously. Six of Gosar’s estranged siblings have gone on the record saying that he’s a danger to the country and shouldn’t be allowed in public office.
“I consider him a traitor to this country. I consider him a traitor to his family,” Gosar’s brother Dave, an attorney in Wyoming, told NBC News back in June. “He doesn’t see it. He’s disgraced and dishonored himself.”
And yet Gosar remains in office, while Democratic leadership insists there isn’t much they can do. But the Democrats’ more junior members at least got some sick burns in while Republicans flirted with the end of democracy.
“This dude is a just a collection of wet toothpicks anyway,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “White supremacy is for extremely fragile people & sad men like him, whose self concept relies on the myth that he was born superior because deep down he knows he couldn’t open a pickle jar or read a whole book by himself.”
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