In the last two days, CNN’s Jake Tapper explored the politically motivated double standard in the media regarding coverage of anti-Semitic attacks during interviews he conducted in two programs he hosted.
Though he did not specifically say it, an example of the politics involved in such stories is that neither CBS nor NBC mentioned the fact that the attacker in the weekend Hanukkah stabbing attack of five people at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, Grafton Thomas, was connected to the racist “Black Hebrew Israelite” movement.
Correspondent Stephanie Ramos of ABC News, on the other hand, did report: “Investigators say journals recovered from Thomas’s home appear to ‘express anti-Semitic sentiments’ and refer to the ‘Black Hebrew Israelite’ movement, some of its members espousing hatred toward Jews.”
“Prosecutors say there were also references to Hitler, ‘drawings of a star of David and a swastika,’” she added.
The anti-Semite Black Hebrew group was also linked to the violent attack on a kosher market in New Jersey earlier this month.
“The Lead with Jake Tapper”
In one interview on Monday, Tapper asked New York Times editor Bari Weiss, the author of the book “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” “Do you think the reaction by the politicians and the media would be any different if these recent anti-Semitic attacks were committed by white supremacists instead of who they were committed by?”
“I do. And the reason for that is because it took a man walking in with a machete the size of a broomstick for there to be any public outrage during the holiday of Hanukkah,” Weiss replied. “Remember, when he walked into that rabbi’s house in Monsey, New York, not 30 miles from where I’m sitting right now, there had already been nine hate crimes against Jews in New York City and Brooklyn that week.”
Weiss went on to explain a personal perspective on the issue. “Three weeks ago, there was an attack in Jersey City that targeted a kosher supermarket. I went there the day after the attack and viewers probably don’t know this, I’m from the synagogue in Pittsburgh that was attacked, Tree of Life, about a year ago to the day and in that case there was an incredible outpouring of communal solidarity and support. When I went to Jersey City the day after that attack, there was not a single flower or a single condolence card. I went up and down the street asking people to say something about the attack that had happened to their neighbors and it was all they could do to get people to say they were sorry for what had happened. That’s really, really disturbing to me.”
At that point, the Times editor made a startling comment that goes right to the heart of the question about why liberals in the media cover such stories as they do. “What it tells you is, that in certain cases, when the person is wearing a MAGA hat or when they can be connected to the alt right, that’s sort of a clean case. It’s someone who we all — people of conscience, see as a villain.
“But what happens when the person who is an attacker is someone that we — when I say ‘we’ I mean we people of conscience see them as part of a victimized group. It seems then that a lot of people don’t know how to make sense of that.”
Tapper jumped in to say, “Just to clarify, obviously you’re speaking hyperbolically, you’re not talking about everyone with a MAGA hat.”
Watch a segment of that interview here …
Video by CNN
CNN’s “State of the Union”
Sunday, during the CNN program “State of the Union,” Tapper interviewed Oren Segal, vice president of the far left Anti Defamation League (ADL).
“This horrific attack last night, it’s the ninth apparent anti-Semitic attack in New York in just the last week,” Tapper said. “Obviously, there has been an increase in hate crimes against Jews in New York and nationally. Why do you think this is happening, specifically the attacks in New York?”
“For New York City, we have seen a 17 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents from January through November of this year compared to last year,” Segal replied. “So, we are indeed seeing a rise. And the answer of why is difficult. The mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in our public discussion, on our phones, I think, plays a part to it,” he said, apparently referring to how the media covers or fails to cover certain aspects of the attacks.
To his credit, Tapper went to the heart of the matter. “So, it appears that many, if not most of these attacks were allegedly carried out not by white supremacists, not by the alt-right, but by people of color,” he said. “What’s your response when members of the Orthodox community say — and I have heard them say this, and I’m sure you have too — that there would be more of an outrage if the attackers were white supremacists and thus fell more easily into a political narrative?”
“I mean, I think, again, this is where investigations, not only to bring those perpetrators to justice who are carrying out these incidents, but to identify their motivations, right?” Segal replied. “In Jersey City, it was something beyond merely an African-American, right? It wasn’t representative of that community. It was somebody who subscribed to real anti-Semitic ideology.”
“At this point, we are in an epidemic in New York City, of all places, for the Jewish community” Oren Segal, VP of the Anti-Defamation League, tells @jaketapper in response to the Hanukkah celebration stabbings in New York. https://t.co/Bw7w7JFxgv #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/irTSUrIoTs
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 29, 2019
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