September 27, 2013

"Did Allen West Lose Media Gig Over Politically Incorrect Statement?"

"The fiery Republican reportedly called a colleague a Jewish American princess."
The alleged incident isn't West's first un-PC "exchange" with a female colleague. In a scathing e-mail sent in 2011, West told Florida congresswoman and Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz that she was "vile, unprofessional and despicable" and not a "lady."
I'm noticing this because I saw I was getting traffic this morning to a 2011 post of mine about the Wasserman Schultz incident.

The "media gig" West lost was at Breitbart. Too bad there's no Andrew Breitbart around to manage the reputation and practices of the media enterprise that carries on under his name. Why some internal dispute goes public like this, I don't know, but everyone connected with it gets hurt.

18 comments:

Hagar said...

"Jewish-American Princess" is a slur?

Ann Althouse said...

I think it's the context that mattered. Does West deserve to be called "anti-Semitic" for saying that? Not for the term alone, perhaps, because it could be used affectionately or with light humor, but it sounds like there was a big conflict and I'm guessing that there were issues with other people.

Why they let the bad PR break out like this is another matter? Who involved had an interest in letting this stuff leak?!

Lyssa said...

"Jewish-American Princess" is a slur?

I don't think that "slur" is the right characterization, but it bothers me for the same reason that the "lady" thing bothered me (and I like AW, and can't stand DWS).

The thing is that there's simply no reason to bring that up, other than animus. She's not polite or well-behaved, sure, but indicating that "ladylike" behavior is the standard is specifically pointing out her sex in a context where it is irrelevant to her role as a public official. Similarly, her religion/ethnicity (or whatever we're considering Judaism these days) is as irrelevant to her political actions as West's is to his, and to specifically draw attention to them is suggestive that a person sees the demographic descriptor rather than the individual or judges them by a different standard because of it.

EDH said...

Too bad there's no Andrew Breitbart around to manage the reputation and practices of the media enterprise that carries on under his name.

I often wonder how Breitbart would feel about his name becoming synonymous with the annoying auto-play ads at links to the web site bearing his name?

Lauderdale Vet said...

He's a real stand up guy. My parents run into him now and then and think the world of him.

Carol said...

Too bad because I like listening to Allen West.

Hagar said...

There is no context given.

Colonel West is getting a lot smoother with more experience in the civilian world of politics, but he still has a tendency to unlimber the howitzers when lighter fire would do. Or when no answering fire at all would be best.

On the eastern seaboard "Jewish" is a big deal and a very touchy subject for any non-Jew to bring up. And Allen West is a Black Republican, which in any case is a thing to be discouraged by any means available.

Sam L. said...

Even worse, she's a (gasp) Democrat!

phx said...

You don't call someone something like that in the workplace ever, period. Doesn't matter if you call it anti-Semitic" or not - it's just stupid and in today's environment definitely unaccceptable.

No big puzzle that the story got out, IMO, esp. if you assume he said it publicly with witnesses. Apart from the politics virtually nobody likes to see someone tearing down another person, a teammate, in public in the workplace. You do that behind closed doors. I think anyone who's ever been humiliated by a coworker or boss in the workplace knows why this got leaked.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Jewish American Princess" is so dated that I'm astonished to hear anyone using it now. But it's a very old and not particularly attractive stereotype. An early scene in John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer (yes, that Klinghoffer, the one dumped overboard in his wheelchair by Palestinian terrorists) involved a bunch of NY Jews merrily going to the mall and spending a lot of money. Adams cut this after the premiere production, supposedly because it impeded the dramaturgical flow. Um.

That said, back when people were saying "Jewish American Princess," so were young, female, American Jews. It's not even a reclaimed insult like "nigga." It was the sort of thing used in a gently ironic vein.

Hagar said...

At that "Jewish-American princess" is a little odd. Did she first refer to him as an "African-American something"?

Luke Lea said...

I know nothing about the particulars but the question is, was she a Jewish American Princess? It is a real phenomenon after all.

ken in sc said...

The rules are that a non-Jewish person is not supposed to ever mention that another person is Jewish. It similar to the rule that a white person is not supposed to ever notice that a black person is black.

My wife is a liberal Democrat and an administrator in a medium sized organization. She frequently shares with me her frustrations with problem employees. She never states and I never ask the race of those problem employees. We both know that in our location, the problem employees are black. It is never mentioned. Those are the rules.

Hagar said...

Lyssa,

President Obama said DWS was "cute" and, I think, "articulate."

This is better?

And is not being called "lady" now derogatory, so "no lady" must be a compliment. Right?

tim maguire said...

JAP is a slur, but not really an anti-Semitic one. It's too specialized an insult to carry that much water.

But what about the other example given? How is "vile, unprofessional and despicable" and not a "lady." un-PC?

Are all insults against a member of a protected group now un-PC?

paul a'barge said...

What if she really is an insufferable Jewish American Princess?

Freder Frederson said...

I think it's the context that mattered. Does West deserve to be called "anti-Semitic" for saying that? Not for the term alone, perhaps

Cedarford couldn't have said it better himself.

Gary Rosen said...

How can you tell when a Jewish-American Princess has an orgasm?

She drops her nail file.