‘Useful Idiots’? How Two Republicans Wrapped Themselves In The Russian Flag
No, this time it isn’t a story about Wisconsin Sen. Ron “Anon” Johnson. Today we first bring you the sad saga of Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who – pardon the cliché – crashed and burned yesterday on Twitter while attempting to congratulate the United States Air Force Reserve on its 73rd anniversary.
Her tweet expressed her thankfulness “for all the reservists who are constantly on the ready to serve our nation” and was accompanied by a graphic of five jets in flight and a logo. Problem is the jets depicted are Russian SU-34 medium-range bombers, which are instantly recognizable by their forward fins. They most certainly are not flown by the U.S. Air Force. But wait! There’s more.
The logo that her crack social media team (CSMT) included wasn’t even the correct logo of the Air Force Reserve. It’s probably stock imagery available for purchase online. Once Twitter called out the glaring errors, CSMT sprang into action and deleted the tweet – but not before it had been archived, as you can see below.
Cindy Hyde-Smith deleted the tweet, still doesnt change she was celebrating the Air Force Reserve's birthday with Russian SU-34 bombers in the image. LOL pic.twitter.com/Nbo7CCQrkx
— Eric Heggie (@EricHeggie) April 14, 2021
Undaunted, Hyde-Smith’s CSMT issued a new tweet within an hour to ensure that the Air Force reservists knew that she appreciated their service. This time they got the logo right, but populated the sky with the Navy’s F-35C jets flying over water. The Air Force Reserve doesn’t fly those aircraft. Finally, as sharp-eyed observers spotted, those Navy jets had Russian missiles attached under their wings.
Good job: American aircraft
Bad job: That’s a Navy plane – not an Air Force plane.
Also bad job: Those are Russian missiles some weirdo attached to the plane in the image.
Just say happy birthday and move on, please.
— Chris Lippincott (@texaslippy) April 14, 2021
Useful idiot number two is Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, who really wants to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate.
The Republican explained why in a three-minute campaign video announcing his candidacy. Gibbons proclaims that he’s “plainspoken and I tell it like it is.” At about the one minute mark he declares that he is “running for the U.S. Senate to make sure other people have the ability to achieve their American dream.”
That patriotic, America-is-the-land-of-opportunity sentiment is illustrated with a brief video clip of a young couple walking hand-in-hand with their daughter through a field. That field and the people shown in the field are Russian, footage that can be purchased through the stock video website Pond5 for $69.
Later in the video, when Gibbons declares that “I believe that families matter, churches matter, neighborhoods and small towns matter,” there’s a beautiful shot of a family having their photo taken during a meal. That footage was shot in Ukraine.
Finally, when the Ohio businessman promises to be “unafraid to stand up to the left and cancel culture that’s ripping our country apart,” his pledge is illustrated with video that shows a lineup of young protestors who are walking down a street carrying flares and signs that say “YES,” “WE NEED A CHANGE” and “PROTEST.” The video of those protestors and the street also are in Ukraine.