Everybody knows that Donald Trump likes to call out the national news media as enemies of the people—but I still think that Rush Limbaugh nailed it even better when he coined the term “Drive-By Media,” which far more accurately describes their tactics of indiscriminately firing away and not even caring about the collateral damage they inflict on their own reputations, to say nothing of the First Amendment right to a free press. Instead of acting as the public’s eyes and ears, keeping them informed through honest and objective reporting, they’ve chosen to become advocates for a political agenda—gladly squandering their Constitutionally protected role as reporters, all for the privilege of being the kind of propagandists you usually find in a Marxist banana republic.
As Erick pointed out in his post this morning, Bloomberg labor correspondent Ben Penn carried on in the vindictive spirit of this sad tradition by claiming the scalp of Leif Olson, after he “surfaced” a Facebook post that Olson made in 2016 that Penn characterized as anti-Semitic. Exactly why Penn felt the need to go digging through old social media posts to sully the reputation of a Trump administration Labor Department official with smears of anti-Semitism is a bit of a mystery, particularly when far more prominent—not to mention recent—utterances of the sort have spewed from the mouths of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, but there you have it. The only problem, of course, is that none of what Penn found is, in fact, anti-Semetic. Quite the opposite, Olson’s post actually poked sarcastic fun at anti-Semites—which would have been abundantly clear, had Penn not deliberately left that context out of his story.
This naturally led to a huge backlash, with Olson’s defenders pointing out that this had been a hit job and that Bloomberg should immediately issue a retraction, in addition to punishing its reporter for screwing up so royally. But, as one might expect with today’s media, that didn’t happen.
Yep, we got the facts of the story completely wrong and cost the guy his job, but we’re standing by the report anyway because Labor Department didn’t offer a comment quickly enough.
Now this doesn’t say much for the squishes over at Labor, who dumped Olson rather than telling Bloomberg where to stick it, but it says even less about the corrupt media establishment that refuses to correct its own error—which leads me to believe that they don’t consider this an error at all. Quite the contrary, they bumped off a Trump administration official—a win in their books, even if they had to commit a little journalistic malpractice in the process. That’s the reason Bloomberg is standing by Penn. Accuracy isn’t their goal here. In fact, when it comes to Donald Trump, accuracy is largely incidental—even detrimental, if it gets in the way of damaging the President and his agenda.
By the way, this isn’t the first time Penn has gone after Trump administration officials he doesn’t like. As the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway points out:
To me, that looks suspiciously like a pattern of malice—which, accompanied by a reckless disregard for the truth, is the makings for a pretty good libel case. Bloomberg doesn’t care, though. By now, it’s obvious that reporting the truth isn’t their primary goal. After everything we’ve seen lately, I’d be surprised if it was any concern at all.
UPDATE: By Ben Penn’s own standards, shouldn’t he resign from Bloomberg immediately?