June 11, 2015

Did NPR host Diane Rehm just make an honest mistake when she said to Bernie Sanders "Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel..."?

Sanders corrected her, and she immediately stepped back saying, "I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list, forgive me if that is...."

Why would she say something wrong like that and embarrass herself if she weren't making an honest mistake? Why would she float an accusation right in front of Sanders, if she knew it was wrong, when he'd smack her down instantly?

I have here in my hand a list of journalists who are known to be fellow travelers of the Hillary Clinton campaign and who nevertheless are still working in mainstream media.

It was only last weekend that Bernie Sanders shocked the Clinton campaign in the Wisconsin straw poll by getting 41% to Hillary's 49%. He's not an amusing sideline anymore. What can be done to keep Democrats from drifting his way?

An outright lie about him doesn't work, does it? Well, yes it does! It made everyone take notice that Bernie Sanders is Jewish. He's not an Israeli citizen. That's cleared up, but the impression remains: He's Jewish. That stirs up any free-floating anti-Jewishness that may be useful to his opponent. It stirs up suspicion that Sanders feels affiliated with Israel in a way that is inconsistent with the American presidency. I'm sure many people hadn't even noticed that Sanders is Jewish, and now we all know that, and we know additional facts. From the first link above, which goes to Politico: "Sanders, who is Jewish, has visited Israel several times and spent several months working on a communal farm called a Kibbutz in the 1960s."

That's all powerfully useful to Hillary. Am I supposed to believe this was a mere oopsie by a nice old lady? She's 78, give her a pass? Did you know Diane Rehm is an Arab?

78 comments:

Akiva said...

Open season on Jews by Arabs in the U.S.? Am I paranoid, or are they really out to get me?

Obama, "friend of Israel", has made "Israel" a dirty word? But he's a race healer! (Gag)

Brando said...

First, I don't think Jews are too fond of being on "lists."

Second, color me shocked that Clintonistas would resort to subtle Jew-bashing! Anything that serves their goal.

Third, I hope the dirty attacks yet to come--and they will come--against Sanders from the Clinton camp are enough to get him to take his gloves off and start really fighting.

Monkeyboy said...

From the federalist, here is her apology,
"On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact."

See? She doesn't keep lists of troublesome Jews, she just repeats whatever random post she sees on Facebook as an established fact....because journalism.

Xmas said...

Luckily, Sen. Sanders lives in Burlington, VT. So there will be no jabs about him living in a fabulous ski chalet in a resort town.

Ann Althouse said...

The full apology quote appears in Politico, which I've linked.

Paco Wové said...

"Sanders corrected herself"....???

Steve Uhr said...

She should not get a pass because of her age. Neither should Pat Robertson

MadisonMan said...

I have here in my hand a list

Excellent reminder.

How to shred whatever reputation you had as a Journalist: Repeat a List your "saw on Facebook".

Laughable.

I would flunk a student who turned in a paper that used a list from Facebook as fact.

southernprogressive said...

I wouldn't automatically jump to the conclusion that it is the Clinton people although it wouldn't be a huge surprise after the picture incident with Obama last primary. I think this could actually help him in many ways,

Ann Althouse said...

""Sanders corrected herself"....???"

Oh, dammit.

I had it right, then proofread and saw it as a mistake.

Thanks for the prompt. Sorry for the confusion!

Tank said...

Gaffe: Intending to smear Sanders as "A Jew," but not doing it sufficiently smoothly for it to slip by unnoticed. She became the story instead of "The Jew" becoming the story. Except, low info voters (is that a euphemism?) will remember - Bernie Sanders = The Jew.

An old person made the "mistake" of not being slick enough.

Needs to study a good con man. Hmmmm.

Jason said...

I wonder if Rehm and Helen Thomas are friends.

Monkeyboy said...

Another question...who's Facebook feed had the list? I'll wager that it was CAIR.

Anglelyne said...

Lol. So subtle. "Are you or have you ever been a Jew?"

Isn't identity politics fun?

Do the Clintons really want to tick off Jewish donors and lose Jewish support, though? Unless they think they can distance themselves from their operatives pulling this stuff - which they probably can't. At any rate, have at it, all you ethnic hustlers and race-baiters. The fun has hardly begun.

That said, I don't think noting the possession of dual citizenship should be off limits in a presidential campaign. If, ya know, the candidate is a dual citizen. (I don't know why we allow it in the first place, though I realize forward thinking people have long-since abandoned the quaint idea that the American president is elected to serve the interests of the American people.)

Tank said...


Anglelyne said...

Lol. So subtle. "Are you or have you ever been a Jew?"

Isn't identity politics fun?

Do the Clintons really want to tick off Jewish donors and lose Jewish support, though? Unless they think they can distance themselves from their operatives pulling this stuff - which they probably can't.


I think you over rate the general electorate. To the extent they are paying attention at all, they will remember Sanders = Jew. To many listeners on NPR (often National hate-the-Jews Radio), that will be plenty.

On NPR the original misinformation about Ferguson and Trayvon live on.

MayBee said...

Dismaying.

Who thinks getting a "list" of Jews off from Facebook is good journalism? And who doesn't know that implying Jews have first allegiance to Israel is a common anti-Semitic smear?
And whose Facebook posts is she reading?

I wonder if she is someone who makes fun of Birthers.

traditionalguy said...

She is just another tree calling out that " There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him."

Her middle eastern Facebook friends live focused on how criminal it is to be a Jew in Israel. They can all see yellow stars which are hidden from the rest of us.

The problem for them is that 55% of Americans are totally free of any anti-Semitic (Jew hating)thoughts. Rehm probably thought was talking for the new virulent form of anti-Zionists that hold all Jews accountable for the military of Israel refusing to die on command from allah.

harrogate said...

Your post made me think of an article I read yesterday. According to Dave Zirin yesterday, Rehm may have been right and Sanders wrong: "David Blatt, born in Framingham, Massachusetts, holds dual citizenship in Israel by virtue of being of the Jewish faith." Is that really true?

MayBee said...

Do the Clintons really want to tick off Jewish donors and lose Jewish support, though?

Do you think they could? Obama has a whole video taped anti-Israel tape in the vault at the LA Times (provided by the Clintons) and yet he considers himself the most Jewish US President in history.

Unknown said...

Ann Althouse is a genius

MayBee said...

. According to Dave Zirin yesterday, Rehm may have been right and Sanders wrong:

Any Jewish person can become a citizen of Israel. The claim that he *is* a citizen of Israel is a dual loyalty smear.
Joe Lieberman got the same thing when he was running.

MayBee said...

And harrogate- if you think about it, that means she was basically saying, "I have a list of all the Jews"

Bob Boyd said...

Could Diane Rehm be Laslo's Neo-Nazi girlfriend?

Bruce Hayden said...

Rehm is a liberal hack. Always has been. She is the primary reason that I not only don't listen to NPR, I ask that it be turned off, unless it is Keiler or the car guys. Am I surprised that she is antisemitic? Of course not - I would have expected it if she isn't Jewish herself, and given her 50/50 odds if she is.

Which gets me to my gripe here. NPR is funded primarily, as I understand it, by private money, much of it coming from those ubiquitous begathons. In any case, I would expect that a lot of the money is coming from Jews, since they tend to be better off progressives who can afford this sort of thing. Enough of it that they could probably force Rehm out, if they got together and boycotted giving to NPR until it went antisemitism free. I suspect that they won't do the boycott, but should.

Ken B said...

The introduction of the list is key. She could have just asked him about his citizenship. She didn't because by talking about a list she obtained subtly conveys the idea of secrecy, conspiracy, cabal. And of course she could have have fact checked first. So, no I don't think she made an innocent mistake.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's good that Rehm apologized, but why did she ask the accusatory question in the first place?

No, I did not know that Rehm was an Arab! Interesting. What was the source of her "list" -- CAIR?

Michael K said...

I also wonder who her Facebook friends are. Probably CAIR is one.

Uncle Pavian said...

Mr. Sanders is still my favorite national socialist candidate.

Sebastian said...

"He's Jewish. That stirs up any free-floating anti-Jewishness that may be useful to his opponent . . . That's all powerfully useful to Hillary"

You're right: anti-Jewishness is powerfully useful to Hillary. Tells you all you need to know about her base.

Will Prog Jews self-hate enough to cough up the $$ she needs?

Of course, they can use the O version of philosemitism for any rationalization: being Jewish = supporting Prog causes (pseudo-corollary: O = most Prog Pres, therefore most Jewish), therefore supporting Prog causes = being Jewish (pseudo-inference: some anti-Jewishness = anti-non-Prog-Jewishness, therefore pro-Prog, therefore actually pro-Jewish).

Greg Hlatky said...

Oh, a list! How many names on it? 57? 208?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm guessing you'd have to get approval from about 15 different government agencies before you could nail a mezuzah to the front doorframe of the White House.

Scott M said...

She looks WAY more healthy in that video than her voice ever led me to believe she would look. She has this weak, droning delivery that brings to mind an old, shawl-wearing woman listening to guests through an ear horn.

William said...

I congratulate Althouse on a deft twist of the blade. Rehm deserved it. My guess is that Rehm is not so much anti-Semitic as philo-Hilllary.......Apparently she comes from a Syrian Christian background. I'm asking because I don't know. Given the brisk rate at which fanatical Muslims are slaughtering Christians in Syria, is a Syrian Christian more antipathetic to the Moslems or the Jews?.......The Poles were said to be anti-Semitic. Perhaps they were, but they were far more emphatically anti German. The Danes were said to be tolerant of the Jews in their midst. Perhaps they were, but they were also tolerant of the German soldiers occupying their land. Their was no Danish resistance movement and German soldiers were sent to Denmark for R&R leave.

Jim said...


The Missouri State Auditor committed suicide for less. I hope John Danforth calls out Diane and Rehm's her a good one.

William said...

There are people who didn't know Liberace was gay. I suppose it's possible that there are people who don't know Bernie Sanders is Jewish.

Anthony said...

I figured Sanders was Jewish but in the left wing practically atheist culturally Jewish sort of way. In reality I have no idea and really do not care,

Mary Beth said...

However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.

Lol, yeah, that's gonna happen. I hadn't heard of the rumor before this.

holdfast said...

In my experience, most Christian Arabs aren't too keen on Jews (especially those from Lebannon or the Palestinian territories). And they generally don't bother to distinguish between Jews and Israelis.

Any "proper" Jew - i.e. born of a mother who was ethnically Jewish or was converted in by an Orthodox Rabbi, can claim Israeli citizenship. This covers millions of Americans who could - but don't. The Jews' only friends in the Middle East are the Kurds (far from Israel but sharing lots of enemies) and some sub-sets of Druze and Bedouins).

I always assumed Sanders was Jewish - he has a particular NY Jewish accent and manner typical to a sub-set of outer-borough, left-wing, secular Jews that I have always found to be particularly grating (and yes I am Jewish too - it's people like Sanders that always seem to be picking arguments at parties). The kind of Jews who would always support an Obama over the interests of the Jewish people. He certainly does not sound like a Green Mountain Boy.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

I don't know why we allow it (dual citizenship) in the first place

Technically we don't, but other countries do.

Our oath of citizenship includes an explicit renunciation of any other allegiances.

YoungHegelian said...

Sanders, who is Jewish, has visited Israel several times and spent several months working on a communal farm called a Kibbutz in the 1960s."

Because that's what Jewish socialists did in the 60's: they spent time on a kibbutz.

People forget now just how left-wing the origins of Israel are. All of the founding fathers of Labor Zionism came from left wing political backgrounds. I mean, hells bells, when Yitzhak Rabin was courting his future bride, part of their dating ritual was to read Marx's Das Kapital to each other!

The major "right-wing" Zionist was Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the ideological granddaddy of the Likud Party. But, his thought had no purchase among the left-wing Askhenazi majority. It wasn't until Israel took in the Sephardic Jews that had been expelled from surrounding Arab countries after 1948 that the future Likud Party got its foot soldiers & voters.

cubanbob said...

Has Rehm ever asked one B. Hussein Obama about his dual or triple citizenship?
Is there any evidence Obama has ever renounced his Kenyan or Indonesian citizenship's? Maybe Rehm can interview him and ask him those questions.

Brent said...

Despite my libertarian leanings, I love many shows on NPR. I find them informative and often entertaining. Radio Lab and This American Life are great. But when ever Rehm's show is on, the channel gets changed quickly. I can't listen to thirty seconds of her these days. If I am not instantly bored while I hear her try to get out a simple sentence in twice the time as an average speaker, then I am bothered by her boring bias. Bias can be entertaining, but her bias is so irritating. And her guests? Usually terrible.

Brent said...

Also, who keeps a Jewish list to check their guests against? It is one thing to check the bio of a guest, but a Jewish list?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If Sen. Sanders ever goes on Survivor: He's a Jew!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Shouldn't her apology bring more shame than the question itself, by the way? "I read a list on Facebook?!" Wow, did you fire up ol' Wikipedia first, or was it just "somebody posted something on FB" then straight to the interview? I mean...this is a professional journalist, folks.
But yeah, it's purely a coincidence that her own sloppiness and evidence of bias just happen to come together in a way that ostensibly helps candidate Clinton. Nothing to see here, honest mistake.

Skyler said...

Rehm is a hack. Go drink some water, Diane, Keep that mouth wet so you can keep mouthing out your propaganda.

Skyler said...

Diane Rehm's salivary system doesn't work. I'm sure it has nothing to do with a meth addiction.

Paco Wové said...

"She looks WAY more healthy in that video than her voice ever led me to believe she would look."

Rehm suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, which is why her voice is so creaky and old-woman sounding.

Brent said...

"Rehm suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, which is why her voice is so creaky and old-woman sounding."

With a due respect to her disability, is a radio show an appropriate profession for someone with that disability? I always am left wondering, who listens to her show. It would take the patience of Job to make it through one of her shows.

Jason said...

Rehm is a disaster. A face made for radio and a voice made for print. Her show is terrible. She doesn't do show prep, apparently, and is no better informed on any given topic than your average regular newspaper reader. She interrupts her guests with totally inane non-sequiturs, and her panels are always Three Libs and a Moderate whom NPR thinks represents the conservative position, but it's always the most pathetic, mealy-mouthed eunuchs that Rehm's producers think they can control.

Anyone who says "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never listened to the Diane Rehm show.

She would have been kicked off any normal radio station in the country, but she has a sinecure at NPR because she's just the 'right kind' of libtard.

Juan Williams, no. But Rehm? She's a fixture there.

Coupe said...

Give her a break, she's successfully outlived the mortality tables of Prudential, and obviously enjoys entertaining her older women listeners. If she can avoid offending the corporate sponsors, she's got basically a meal ticket for life.

Paco Wové said...

"is a radio show an appropriate profession for someone with that disability?"

"The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment."

       —Vonnegut, K. Harrison Bergeron

Brando said...

"There are people who didn't know Liberace was gay. I suppose it's possible that there are people who don't know Bernie Sanders is Jewish."

It's possible, particularly for low-information voters (Hillary's target demo). "Sanders" isn't normally a Jewish-sounding last name, and "Bernie" can go either way. Vermont does have a Jewish population, but it's small--I attended a Jewish wedding there once, and one theme in the speeches was how difficult it was to find a Jewish community up there!

This "list" thing is what intrigues me, as well as the poorly sourced info. It's fine to ask him about a rumor going around, but she approached it more as a fact. If she has ties to Hillary then I can see this being part of the overall plan, ham fisted as it is.

Joe said...

Rehm isn't just a hack, but a surprising stupid hack. Due to a late commute, I used to occasionally listen if the guest was interesting, but eventually have up and would tune in only when she had interesting, and much more qualified, guest hosts. Even then I finally gave up during a particularly inane show where nobody asked simple, obvious questions that would have utterly destroyed the guest's argument.

Zeb Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

It is well known that part of Hillary's base is racist Democrats.

If you haven't watched the clip of the racist Hillary supporter on a motorcycle ranting against Obama the A-rab! You should watch it.

tim in vermont said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIcV4N1qvss

Not sure why the link didn't work...

Christopher said...

Rehm developed her spasmodic dysphonia long after she had an established following on WAMU and NPR. She is very difficult to listen to if you're not already in that camp (and probably if you are), but it's like the last 15 years of David Letterman--he'd never had succeeded that way out of the gate, but he was already there when he stopped being funny. Rehm was already there when she stopped being listenable.

It's interesting that she has an Arab background but as implied above it's probably more salient that she hails from the American left. You live in that country, sooner or later you're gonna swim in that stream.

southcentralpa said...

Listening to her is the aural equivalent of watching someone give a speech who has Parkinson's. I can listen when there's a guest who does most of the talking, but yikes.

Christy said...

I stopped listening to Rehm back when John Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court. She, seriously, thought a psychologist would be the best nominee, didn't see why they had to be lawyers.

Michael K said...

"Apparently she comes from a Syrian Christian background. "

I have a friend who is a Coptic Christian from Egypt. He hates Israel with a passion. They all think that they would be fine if those damn Jews hadn't stirred up the Muslims.

St. George said...

NPR...jobs for life.

Susan Stanberg and her cranberry sauce recipe...since 1971.

That's 44 years.

Daniel Schorr....

Skyler said...

Who's the guy that does the sports reports that absolutely hates anything about sports? I'm not a great sports fan, but my god that man makes me furious.

The Godfather said...

Why do we need to have taxpayer support for public broadcasting? Surely there are enough rich anti-semites to support the Rehm show.

Big Mike said...

Rehm says she had a little list (cue up The Mikado). I wonder where she got that list? Did it perhaps get Emailed from a server in Chappaqua, New York?

NPR and the phrase "honest mistake" do not belong in the same sentence, or even the same paragraph. Moreover the excuse that "she got it from Facebook" suggests that she's too stupid to be a creditable journalist. I mean, I thought the entire profession got a rude wakeup call when Pierre Salinger announced that TWA Flight 800 must have been shot down because he read it on the Internet.

Coupe said...

The Godfather said...Why do we need to have taxpayer support for public broadcasting?

Actually there is no taxpayer support for public broadcasting. Those kinds of things are bought on credit. If China and Germany give us a billion dollars in credit, we then print a billion dollars in new currency.

Taxpayers are completely off the hook.

hombre said...

Rehm just wanted to be certain that Democrat primary voters knew that Sanders was a Jew with connections to Israel. For the non-Jewish liberal elite and the morons, mostly students, who consort with them, either is the kiss of death.

The dual citizenship thing was just an unsuccessful grab at the brass ring.

Mediaswine!

Rusty said...

Coupe said...
The Godfather said...Why do we need to have taxpayer support for public broadcasting?

Actually there is no taxpayer support for public broadcasting. Those kinds of things are bought on credit. If China and Germany give us a billion dollars in credit, we then print a billion dollars in new currency.

Taxpayers are completely off the hook.

In 2011 the Corporation for Public Broadcasting got 430 million in federal funding or about 15% of their budget, and of course that also goes to NPR.

Brad said...

Anglelyne said...
Lol. So subtle. "Are you or have you ever been a Jew?"

Isn't identity politics fun?

Do the Clintons really want to tick off Jewish donors and lose Jewish support, though?


Unfortunately, I don't think that's possible . . .

Clinton's goal is to win the nomination by whatever means possible - she knows Jewish support will be there for her in the general, no matter what she might do, because she has a "(D)" after her name.

The only group more "On the Plantation" than our Jewish friends are our African-American friends.

Harold said...

"She, seriously, thought a psychologist would be the best nominee, didn't see why they had to be lawyers."

Actually, Supreme Court justices don't have to be lawyers. Or have degrees. Or meet an age requirement as do congresscritters and POTUS. FWIW, I think some average Americans picked at random from active voter lists could do a better job of reading the Constitution and interpreting it to say what it says, and not torturing the words to say something else. Only in the world of lawyers and academia does the ACA pass as an enumerated power of the federal government. Perhaps I phrased that too broadly. Only in the world of left wing lawyers and left wing academia....

LibertarianSafetyGuy said...

Jew. Or not a Jew.

Martin said...

Thing is, there's enough anti-semitism in the Democratic Party, masquerading as anti-Zionism if you insist, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, that this will be effective against Sanders. Especially as he is a socialist and that anti-semitism is mostly on the left wing. It may not move people to Hillary, but it absolutely will suppress support for Sanders.

The Democrats are, after all, the historical and current party of bigotry.

Glen Wishard said...

That apology is a lie. If she read a comment on Facebook, why did she say she had a list. She did have a list, drawn from a crude anti-Semitic meme that accused every Jewish member of Congress of having Israeli citizenship, and it was given to her by her staff at NPR.

Rusty said...

Was it on TV? Then of course she meant it. Progressive politics is never unscripted.

Dick Stanley said...

This Clinton backer and Jew-hating Arab knew what she was doing, as even TPM shows. She should be fired, but of course she won't be. That's not how National Progressive Radio operates. Our tax dollars at work.

Trashhauler said...

I thought Bernie Sanders was a putz long before I learned he was Jewish.

Coupe said...

Rusty said...In 2011 the Corporation for Public Broadcasting got 430 million in federal funding...

With the current fiscal deficit you can't know if that was funded or unfunded. Whether it was revenue, or borrowed.

My feelings are, that line-items like this are put under the unfunded column, and added to the debt when the books are closed in September.