There is no place for antisemitism in America, but nothing shows the hypocrisy of the progressive press in the country better than the way Business Insider treated Kanye West, an avowed Christian conservative, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), when both were accused of antisemitic views.
At Accuracy in Media, we are against censorship in media, even if we don’t agree with the views being censored, and even if we think the views being censored are irresponsible, as is the case with both West and Omar.
West stumbled badly in taking to Twitter and tweeting: “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” and then claiming that he can’t be antisemitic because he’s Black.
We don’t know if he was using the argument that “Black people can’t be racist” ironically or if he really thinks that what he said was OK.
What he said immediately after makes it appear to be the latter.
“You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” West said on Twitter, seemingly referring to Jews as “you guys.”
In either case, the tweet was foolish and he promptly got banned from Twitter, again, after just serving a two-year ban in part for calling a Forbes editor a “white supremacist” and tweeting out the editor’s phone number.
By contrast, when Business Insider covered the antisemitism of Omar, the publication took great pains to describe the organization that Omar worked with to help organize boycotts of Israel, Miftah, as simply “problematic” for Omar because they supported suicide bombings.
Omar and her colleague, Rep. Rashida Talib (D-Mich.), both accused of being antisemitic, were traveling to Israel to help Miftah organize the divestment movement against the Jewish state.
Business Insider was quick to dismiss Miftah’s support for suicide bombing, saying “Despite its problematic record, Miftah is hardly a fringe group.”
The praise continued:
“Its founders include the late writer Edward Said, one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of the late 20th century, and its funders include the European Union, the United Nations, Oxfam, and a string of individual European governments. Its mission statement is to “promote the principles of democracy and good governance” in Palestine, and it is primarily focused on female empowerment and various sustainability projects.”
The not-so-subtle message here on Omar’s allies is that suicide bombing aimed at Jews is problematic, but acceptable if done for the right reasons like female empowerment, sustainability, the UN, the European Union and Palestine.
“As is often the case with entities pushing for revolution, Miftah can’t be defined solely by its most disagreeable aspects,” Business Insider reported.
That’s the literary equivalent of saying that Hitler, Stalin and Mao did a lot of good things too.
As such it’s indefensible.
The not-so-subtle message by Business Insider on West is that saying antisemitic things on Twitter should absolutely result in a ban from the platform.
But suicide bombings for the right reasons? Those do not meet the same scrutiny, by Business Insider’s standards.