Everybody knows that if you disagree with the Left’s lies, you will either be smeared as a bigot or thrown down Orwell’s memory hole. What isn’t so well known is that this process also applies to big names on the Left who deviate from the correct line. No matter how big a celebrity you once were, you will soon become a non-person.
Here is one example. Jeffrey Sachs is a major left wing economist and an ultimate “Insider”. But he started telling the truth about the Ukraine war and Anthony Fauci. He publicized star reporter Seymour Hersh’s proof that the US blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. What do you think happened to his stellar reputation among the Left? See for yourself. This is from the “Renew Democracy Initiative” September 22, 2022: “Last week, the medical journal the Lancet released its landmark COVID report after two years of work. Anything from the Lancet’s COVID commission should be a big deal, as it promised ‘to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic,’ and emerged from arguably the most well-respected and influential medical journal in the world. Instead, the report is an embarrassment, and the Lancet has Jeffrey Sachs to thank for that.
Jeffrey Sachs is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University, where he chairs its Center for Sustainable Development. He’s best known for advising post-Soviet states on their transition to market economies and writing popular books like 2005’s The End of Poverty. Those days are long gone.
Now, Sachs is a peddler of anti-American talking points. Over the past few years, he’s praised the Chinese Communist Party, argued that there is no Uyghur genocide, and blamed NATO for instigating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s all bad, and it gets worse. A few months ago, Sachs announced that he’s ‘pretty convinced’ that the US is to blame for creating COVID. Apparently, the bug emerged from NIH research with Anthony Fauci as the mastermind. According to Sachs, the US and the scientific community are colluding to bury what would be the most important story of the generation. And like Sachs’s other controversial opinions, it strongly echoes Chinese propaganda.
Sachs is actively promoting the interests of Russia and China, democracies’ greatest rivals, by discrediting everyone from victims of genocide to American scientists. So how did the economist come to lead an independent commission into a virus emerging from China for a top medical journal?
Perhaps Sachs’ unorthodox perspective on the origins of COVID-19 could be taken in better faith if he did not disparage the entire U.S. medical establishment while associating with known lunatics. In August, Sachs joined the podcast of Robert F. Kennedy Jr, probably the most influential anti-vaccine campaigner and conspiracist, for an episode on the ‘Origins of the Virus.’ Sachs laid out how he came to suspect the true origin of COVID despite being ‘lied to so many times.’ He praised research by US Right to Know, a group funded primarily by the Organic Consumers Association which is a bastion of anti-vaccine conspiracies. The podcast ended with a plug for Kennedy’s book ‘The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health.’
Jeffrey Sachs is so devoted to his kumbaya diplomacy and the idea that American power is the root of all evil that he’s turned himself into an anti-American propagandist. He has as much business running a commission on a virus that emerged from China as a creationist does running an evolutionary biology department. And yet, here we are.”
Here is another account that claims Sachs has become a crank. “ A funny thing happened to Jeffrey Sachs on his way to becoming president of the United States. The Columbia University economist with the cocksure demeanor and the Kennedy-esque head of hair who once had the ear of U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, the financial backing of George Soros, the friendship of Bono and Angelina Jolie, and a plan for ending global poverty has become, instead, something between a ghost and a … well, if not a laughingstock, exactly, then a sort of impeccably educated Thanksgiving uncle.
Consider that in one of his increasingly rare appearances in the mainstream media—Bloomberg Television, last October—Sachs, brought on to discuss the invasion of Ukraine, surprised host Tom Keene by stating as fact that it was the U.S. and not, as first reported, Russia that had, in 2022, sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines, those undersea conveyors of natural gas to Central Europe, presumably as a sub-rosa way of punishing Vladimir Putin beyond the announced sanctions. (Sachs’s basic line about Ukraine is that we ought not be overly hard on Putin, because of Russian history and World War III.)
‘Jeff, we’ve got to stop there,’ a flustered Keene said. ‘What evidence do you have of that?’ The effectiveness of Sachs’s response can be inferred from a headline in the next day’s New York Post: COLUMBIA PROFESSOR JEFFREY SACHS YANKED OFF AIR.
Sachs’s classy pedigree seems to both inspire and lend credibility to conspiracy theorists and shoot-from-the-hip commentators like Tucker ‘Just Asking Questions’ Carlson. The economist’s unsubstantiated remarks on Bloomberg were repeated and enhanced last week in a Substack blog post written by the once-respected reporter Seymour Hersh, who hinged his story of American connivance and deep-sea derring-do on a single unnamed source. Needless to say, the U.S. government, and independent security experts, called the story out as being ‘utterly false’ and a P.R. gift to the Russian government.
What’s going on here? Is something eating away at the considerable brain of the man The New York Times once called ‘probably the most important economist in the world’? An A.I. chatbot could not engineer more obnoxious-sounding beliefs than Sachs has expressed on the Ukraine conflict, even as Russian missiles slam into apartment houses in Kharkiv—namely that ‘the West’ is responsible for provoking Russia’s violent invasion (just as it was in the now largely forgotten Ukraine offensive of 2014) and that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposed peace terms are ‘nonsense.’
As one of his academic peers told me, ‘I used to respect Sachs even if I disagreed with him, but now it’s just weird to watch him justify naked aggression.’
There is also the matter of the strange venues where Sachs is spouting this stuff. In addition to R.F.K. Jr.’s anti-vax-fest, he has popped up lately on a podcast run by a stand-up comic and conspiracy theorist named Jimmy Dore and a YouTube show hosted by former Democratic congresswoman turned right-wing firebrand Tulsi Gabbard.
Is it any wonder that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and CNN’s Anderson Cooper look elsewhere for good talking heads, that Sachs’s former Harvard classmate the public-relations magnate Richard Edelman has criticized him publicly for his ‘unbelievable’ parroting of Russia’s disinformation campaign—or that The Wall Street Journal recently put Sachs first on a list of ‘establishment figures’ it called ‘Putin’s American cheerleaders’”?
Sachs was an “Insider” until very recently, but you can’t get more “Inside” than the Kennedy family. Yet the Left has turned on the son of Bobby Kennedy—Robert Kennedy Jr— for his courageous books telling the truth about “Dr.” Fauci and about vaccines. Here is what the New York Times said about him last year: “Once a top environmental lawyer who led the charge to clean up the Hudson River in New York, the third eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy has emerged as a leading voice in the campaign to discredit coronavirus vaccines and other measures being advanced by the Biden White House to battle a pandemic that was, near the end of February, killing close to 1,900 people a day.
‘The minute they hand you that vaccine passport, every right that you have is transformed into a privilege contingent upon your obedience to arbitrary government dictates,’he told a cheering crowd at a rally against vaccine mandates in Washington last month. ‘It will make you a slave.’
Mr. Kennedy’s rise as the face of the vaccine resistance movement has tested as never before the solidarity of a family that has for decades remained resolute in the face of tragedy and scandal. It has rattled the Hollywood and entertainment circles that he inhabits, while showing how the vaccine debate is upending traditional political alliances.
And it has left the Kennedys and his friends anguished and mystified about the dramatic turn in the often troubled life of a man who was a pallbearer at his father’s funeral when he was 14, who emerged from drug addiction to become one of the leading environmentalists in the country and who is regarded as among the most politically gifted Kennedys of his generation.
Mr. Kennedy has effectively used his talent and one of the most prominent names in American political history as a platform for fueling resistance to vaccines that could save countless lives.
His conduct ‘undercuts 50 years of public health vaccine practice, and he’s done it in a way I’ve never see anyone else do it,’ said Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. ‘He is among the most dangerous because of the credibility of who he is and what his family name has brought to this issue.’
We can learn two lessons from all of this. First, no matter how famous you are, once you turn against the Left, they will come after you with everything they’ve got. Second, there are people courageous enough to speak the truth, in the face of a smear campaign against them. Let’s do everything we can to support them.