Valerie Plame, a Democrat running for Congress in New Mexico, was caught flat-footed by CNN New Day host John Berman when she protested that when she retweeted a virulently anti-Semitic article in 2017, she hadn’t read the whole article. Berman countered with a statement that left Plame momentarily speechless, saying, “Initially, again, when people did raise objections to the article, you said, ‘Read the entire article and try just for a moment to put aside your biases and think clearly.’”
The exchange went like this:
Berman: So I’m going to ask you a question right now, and this is something that you address on your own campaign website, and it’s about an article that you retweeted in 2017, and the headline of the article is that “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” And inside this article there are lines like, “Jewish groups and deep-pocketed individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries.” So you retweeted this; ultimately you regretted it, you apologized, and you’ve written about it a lot now, but let me start at the beginning: why did you at first, like this article?
Plame: I didn’t like it. All I was looking at, the only thing I focused on in that article was I thought it was a very bad idea to get out of the Iran nuclear deal. That’s very much what I was focused on. I stupidly did not read the rest of the article; when I did I was really horrified. It’s anti-Semitic; that has no place, at any time, anywhere. It’s not who I am; it’s not what I believe, and I apologized as sincerely and with heartfelt conviction as I possibly could. And there will be people that understand, you know, she’s human; she messed up; she didn’t read the whole article. And I look forward to moving forward and contributing in other ways, but there of course have been people who have used that and hit it over my head.
Berman: You have, you have, you have, you have now apologized, you have now apologized. I just wondered because initially, again, when people did raise objections to the article, you said, “Read the entire article and try just for a moment to put aside your biases and think clearly.”
Berman asked, “So even when you were saying ‘read the entire article’ you are now saying you had just skimmed it.”
Silence. Plame, stumbling, “I did – really–foolish, and I’m embarrassed by that whole episode. I shouldn’t— it was a— I should not have been anywhere near social media or a computer at that time.
As Jim Geraghty noted in National Review, even aside from the specific piece in question, Plame’s actions have been replete with anti-Semitism::
In the face of objections, Plame doubled down, declaring the article, “very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish . . . Read the entire article and try, just for a moment, to put aside your biases and think clearly.” A short time later, she backtracked: “OK folks, look, I messed up. I skimmed this piece, zeroed in on the neocon criticism, and shared it without seeing and considering the rest.” (This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering how an hour earlier, she was telling everyone else to “read the entire article.” If Plame genuinely failed to discern any anti-Semitic themes in the articles she read and shared, I guess we should be glad she wasn’t a CIA analyst.)
She repeated an urban legend about dancing Israelis sighted after 9/11 and an article touting “Israeli fingerprints all over the place” in the investigation of the worst terror attack in American history. She shared an article entitled “Why I Still Dislike Israel” that laments the “Israel Lobby electing and controlling a malleable congress [sic] and increasingly even officials at state and local levels.”
As journalist Yashar Ali pointed out, Plame had tweeted at least eight other articles since 2014 from the same website that published the anti-Semitic piece: