NPR host resurrects anti-Semitic canard

Diane Rehm, whose political interview show is nationally distributed by National Public Radio, is considered a peer of the realm when it comes to DC liberal pundits, able to interview pretty much any Democrat she chooses, and almost any Republican.  And she has just unmasked herself as an anti-Semite.

One of the most heinous charges leveled by Jew-haters in America today is that Jews have “dual loyalty” to Israel and America, and therefore are unworthy of the public trust in high office. The idea is the latest variant on an ancient charge used against Jews wherever they live -- that they cannot be fully of (fill in the blank: Germany, France, England, Poland, Russia, etc.) because Jews are cosmopolitan wanderers, unlike real (fill in the blank) citizens.

Yesterday, Rehm, interviewing Bernie Sanders, stated as a fact that the Vermont Senator has dual US-Israel citizenship. Here is a transcript:

Diane Rehm: Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.

Bernie Sanders: Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.

Rehm: I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list.

Sanders: No.

Rehm: Forgive me if that is—

Sanders: That’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the Internet. But that is absolutely not true.

Rehm: Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship or is that part of the fable?

Sanders: I honestly don’t know but I have read that on the Internet. You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. He loved this country. I am, you know, I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the Internet. I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship.

Here is a recording of the exchange.


It is a remarkable thing for someone of Rehm’s stature to make such an accusation with absolutely nom factual basis. And on a taxpayer funded media outlet, to boot. Sen. Sanders wondered were the accusation came from, and so do many others.

The Free Beacon reported:

Rehm gave a statement to Jewish Journal this afternoon about the incident, saying she was sorry for making a mistake but “glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.” She also said she’d read about his supposed dual citizenship in a Facebook comment.

So she trusted a Facebook comment as a reliable source? She gave no indication of whose comment it was. Tim Blumer of Newsbusters did some investigation:

Rehm, WAMU and NPR haven't further discussed the origins of the "list" to which she referred. But since she mentioned Facebook, many are focusing on a graphic found there which on its face lacks credibility for more reasons than I can enumerate in a limited space.

This is awfully raw stuff. If Rehm is relying on this sort of material, she ought to be fired by NPR. As David Harsanyi of The Federalist notes, “NPR’s Diane Rehm has a list of troublesome Jews she wants you to know about.”

She has apologized, but for the wrong reasons:

“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. He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately,” Rehm said. “I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement. I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.”

Blumer of Newsbusters demolishes this:

Rehm's apology indicates that she believes she should have asked a question instead of just making an assertion about Sanders' dual citizenship. That's not right at all. She should have investigated the matter before she went on the air so she didn't waste listeners' time talking about a claim that's completely bogus.

The ancient wry saying among journalists is, “Some stories are too good to check,” meaning that when the writer’s prejudices are in play, skepticism goes out the window. It is clear from her question and even more so from her apology that Rehm believes that all American Jews are properly the objects of suspicion. In othr words, she is an anti-Semitic bigot.