The media has a memory for its own malfeasance measured in minutes.
Even as the media suggests that conspiracy theories about Jews are the province of fringe alt-right crazies, here’s a flashback conspiracy theory from Politico about Chabad, the Orthodox Chassidic Jewish group whose synagogue came under fire in the Passover attack.
Politico, the same site behind DeSantis’ fifth “race-related” controversy, ran a smear piece targeting Chabad Chassidim, an Orthodox Jewish denomination, as “Trump’s kind of Jews”. Collateral damage for that one included a Rabbi in Long Island who had previously been in the news for the way that his synagogue had weathered the damage from Sandy, but was now deemed to be one of the “shortest routes” between Trump and Putin.
The Rabbi was forced to issue a statement denying that, “I nor any of our staff know, or have been in contact with, any current or former members of the Ukrainian parliament.”
Politico pushed its smear piece with conspiratorial tweets like, “The Chabad is unexceptional, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Trump and Putin run through it.”
The fallout from the bizarre smear piece was extensive.
The article was soon picked up by the Forward under the headline, “Is Chabad the Missing Link in Trump’s Russia Scandal?” The current headline reads “Politico Called Anti-Semitic For Accusing Chabad In Trump’s Russia Scandal Read.”
Politico itself changed the article lead art, from a silhouette of Chabad Jews to an image of Putin.
I was told that a source for the Politico article may have been GPS Fusion, a secretive political messaging shop out of Washington D.C. run by three former WSJreporters responsible for the Trump dossier story.
Washington Monthly apparently ran a piece titled, “The Odd Chabad Connection Between Putin and Trump.”
David Horovitz, the editor of the left-wing Times of Israel, an anti-Israel site, conducted a high profile interview which also focused on a Putin-Chabad connection.
And there was this ugly moment.
Newsweek political correspondent Nina Burleigh has come under fire for peddling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on Twitter.
Responding to a thread by Al Jazeera reporter Sarah Kendzior attempting to prove US President Donald Trump’s illicit connections to the Russian government, Burleigh wrote: “Interesting thread. To answer your final question, Israel, mossad, Chabad and black cube… you’re hitting the third rail of American journalism, Sarah.”
The media keeps forgetting its own ugly rhetoric.
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