Dan Gainor: Bloomberg Law is burned over false report of anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a huge problem, big enough that the press doesn’t have to manufacture anti-Semites to further left-wing goals.

But this is 2019, and that actually happened, thanks to Bloomberg Law, one of the many publications of the company headed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Senior reporter Ben Penn spread his “SCOOP” on Twitter about how “Trump Labor Department's new sr adviser Leif Olson posted on Facebook that Jewish media ‘protect their own.’”

The story was worse. It was headlined: “Trump Labor Aide Quits After Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts Surface.” The piece led with skewering Olson for having “a history of advancing controversial conservative and faith-based causes in court.” Oh no!

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That didn’t stop the Anti-Defamation League from initially bashing Olson. Rather than face the media firestorm, Olson resigned.

Only the story didn’t end there. That was just the beginning. The ADL backed out when it realized Olson was actually mocking someone else’s anti-Semitism. And then a ton of people threw their support behind Olson – across political lines.

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Even in battleground 2019, there was widespread disgust at the way that Bloomberg and Penn tried to destroy Olson, simply because he’s conservative.

For a while, Bloomberg stood by Penn’s lousy reporting. Washington Post Media Critic Erik Wemple described that attitude as “unsurprising and highly disappointing.” Lefty Vox headlined its take, “How mocking anti-Semitism got a Trump official falsely accused of actual anti-Semitism.” And conservative National Review described the incident as “Ben Penn’s Bad-Faith Hit Job on Leif Olson.”

NationalReview.com Editor Charles Cooke called the story “a deliberate attempt to get a guy fired for mocking the very position you’re accusing him of holding.”

Pundits lined up to blast Penn. Commentary Editor John Podhoretz messaged Penn and called him a “Repugnant child” and said he was “either stupid” or “utter garbage.” Penn actually captured an image of the comments and posted it, acting indignant. Only that generated even more criticism.

NationalReview.com Editor Charles Cooke called the story “a deliberate attempt to get a guy fired for mocking the very position you’re accusing him of holding.”

Of course, no true D.C. scandal is ever complete without the cover-up. And Bloomberg supplied it. After the story blew up, the outlet “removed ‘Anti-Semitic’ from the headline and clarified Olson’s reference to those tropes.” It still left the original hit job on the site.

And then it tried to get people to stop talking about it. The Washington Post reported that a Bloomberg editor urged staffers not to “tweet out the story or about the story (or use any other social media to post anything).” The goal was to avoid “more Twitter-rage.”

Bipartisanship has finally returned to Washington. Penn and Bloomberg Law are widely and deservedly mocked on both sides of the aisle. And Olson got his job back, in the ultimate rejection of Penn’s politics of destruction.

Sleepless Nights at The New York Times 

The New York Times has been on a downward spiral lately. It’s not that paper has gone farther left, it just can’t hide it anymore. It’s been only a month since a headline that treated President Trump fairly was changed and it appears that Times staffers have lost their minds.

Or maybe that’s not new.

Such is the case of Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, who was writing about the newspaper’s favorite topic – the demise of the Republican Party. She was referencing the book “R.I.P. G.O.P.,” which claims the 2020 election “will produce a second blue wave on at least the scale of the first in 2018 and finally will crash and shatter the Republican Party.”

Goldberg twisted that into her ideal fantasy: “the Republican Party, that foul agglomeration of bigotry and avarice that has turned American politics into a dystopian farce, not just defeated but destroyed.”

But in the course of her counting chickens exercise, she let slip a personal detail. Speaking of author and pollster Stanley Greenberg, she noted: “His confidence will not be enough to lessen the insomnia that has plagued me since the cursed night when Trump was elected.”

So, she can’t sleep because of … Trump. Maybe she should read the Times.

College Athletics in Black and White 

Atlantic staff writer and former ESPN host Jemele Hill host caused controversy about African-American athletes this past week. Her black-and-white analysis had people seeing red all over.

It all started with the headline that read, “It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges.” Hill’s article followed that up with suggesting black athletes pick historically black colleges and universities instead. She was roundly criticized as being “pro-segregation” and asked what a “white college” was.

Hill wrote that the idea could “bring some welcome attention and money to beleaguered black colleges, which invested in black people when there was no athletic profit to reap.” But she went on, noting that, “More revolutionarily, perhaps they could disrupt the reign of an ‘amateur’ sports system that uses the labor of black folks to make white folks rich.”

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Singer Kaya Jones responded, saying: “My grandparents went through it! It was illegal in most countries to be married outside your race. MLK and my grandparents are rolling in their graves.”

Hill has said and written controversial things about race before. She made a comment about Malcolm X’s assassination that she tied to Trump, eventually offering to apologize. Then she quoted the late president Andrew Johnson saying said that the U.S. has “a government for white men” and added that, “Under Trump, Johnson’s wish came true."

‘Compassionate’ Stripping 

You’d think it was sweeps month over at “Good Morning America.” ABC has long had a lurid fascination with fringy sex stories, even highlighting Erika Eiffel, who changed her name to Eiffel because she had a commitment ceremony with the Eiffel Tower.

This week we had strippers. It was for a good cause, though. GMA was promoting the new Jennifer Lopez movie “Hustlers.” GMA anchor Adrienne Bankert described it as a “star-studded female-led drama where the women flip the script” and called it a “compassionate message about love and friendship.”

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Well, not exactly. They strip for and then rob their clients. The GMA gang fell over themselves showing respect for the idea of sex work and robbery. Host Michael Strahan responded to the idea with the rationalization of the day: “You gotta do what you gotta do.”

He even asked former Disney Pop Tart Keke Palmer, who plays Mercedes, what her ideal stripper name would be. Palmer told viewers that “it would be something sweet like baby girl, or baby doll.” Ah, the wholesome family fun of felonious stripping.

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