While interviewing Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken on Sunday, Jake Tapper used the classic "some other people say" tactic — in this case, referring to "some columnists" — to peddle the idea that there is a deliberate anti-Semitic undertone in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's final 2-minute campaign ad.
As much as the low-energy Franken can move on anything, the Minnesota Senator pounced at the opportunity to say that he saw a "German Shepherd whistle" (i.e., a big dog whistle, get it?) in the ad's simultaneous picturing of George Soros, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein.
A quick Google search indicates that the "some columnists" to whom Tapper referred are in far-left fever swamps at the Talking Points Memo, the Huffington Post, and Slate, not to mention self-proclaimed Clinton hack Glenn Thrush of Politico. A label here would have been more honest.
Google wants us to believe that their search results aren't twisted, but it's more than a little odd that the critics' complaints appear above the listing for the ad itself in a simple search on "Donald Trump final ad" (not in quotes). So exactly how does that happen, Google?
JAKE TAPPER: “I want to ask you about this new two-minute ad that the Trump campaign is going to be airing.
It blasts the Washington and global establishment. It uses images of Obama and Clinton, but some columnists have noted that there are three other individuals in the ad: George Soros, Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein, and all three of them happen to be Jewish. What was your take when you saw the ad?
FRANKEN: Well, when I saw the ad I thought that this was something of a German shepherd whistle, a dog whistle to sort of the — certain group in the united States.
I’m Jewish. Maybe I’m sensitive to it. Clearly had sort of Elders of Zion sort of feel to it, international banking crisis plot or conspiracy rather and then a number of Jews. So I think that it does speak to a certain part of his alt-right base.
Bannon, I mean Bannon, who is head of Breitbart, is his chairman. They traffic in that. Trump has retweeted a lot of that sort of thing. And I think that it’s an appeal to some of the worst elements in our country, as a closing argument. I think that people who aren’t sensitive to that or don’t know that history might not see that in that. I immediately saw it.
The CNN segment did not show actual footage from the Trump video ad.
CNN's presentation would have viewers believe that the ad actually names the three people involved, and that it shows the three of them together in a single frame. It does neither.
Soros and Yellen appear in separate consecutive half-second clips at about the 22-second mark. Blankfein appears at the 1:14 mark, again very briefly. In all three cases, if you blink, chances are you'll miss them.
The anti-Semitism claim is rubbish.
The problem with Soros isn't that he's Jewish; it's that he and his organizations lavishly fund groups which are working against the best interests of representative governments and everyday people throughout the world.
The problem with Yellen and the Fed is that they have artificially propped up the U.S. economy with little in the way of genuine recovery to show for it, while encouraging the rest of the world to follow their failed policies.
The problem with Goldman Sachs is its close relationship with the power players in the Obama administration — a relationship so close that Obama's opponents have justifiably nicknamed him President Goldman Sachs. The administration's relationship with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms likely explains why no executive has been criminally prosecuted or convicted — including execs at the the government's own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — as a result of the subprime mortgage and general mortgage-lending meltdowns of 2007-2008.
None of this has a flippin' thing to do with Soros, Yellen and Blankfein being Jewish. And of course, many others who are part of the global establishment pictured throughout Trump's ad are not Jewish.
It takes a special kind of paranoia to count heads like far-left columnists have done, to find just three, and to scream "anti-Semitism." It's incredibly irresponsible for Jake Tapper to give Al Franken an open mic to make the charge without anyone from the Trump campaign to call him out for how ridiculous his claim is.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.