Last week we looked at the story of how a very pricey, upscale country club was reconsidering a plan to invite soon-to-be-retired President Barack Obama to join their organization for free. The problem was that a significant majority of the membership is Jewish and they have some severe reservations over the White House’s handling of the recent UN resolution condemning Israel. (Go figure, right?) At the time I said that this was a story that couldn’t possibly end well for the Woodmont Country Club and it was going to be twisted into a pretzel by the media no matter how the matter was eventually resolved.
Well… that didn’t take long. One of their members is the Mayor of the town and he’s just resigned from their ranks in protest over the “intolerance” on display. (Fox News)
The local mayor and member of the exclusive Maryland country club whose members are preemptively trying to keep President Obama out over his stance on Israel announced that he was dropping out over the controversy.
Jeffrey Slavin, the mayor of the Montgomery County town of Somerset, said he could no longer belong to a community at Woodmont Country Club with such “intolerance,” The New York Post reported.
The Washington Post reported that some members of the historically Jewish club were bothered by Obama’s recent decision not to vote on a U.N. resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.
“[President Obama] has created a situation in the world where Israel’s very existence is weakened and possibly threatened,” longtime member Faith Goldstein wrote in a Dec. 26 email obtained by the Washington Post. “He is not welcome at Woodmont. His admittance would create a storm that could destroy our club. ”
Why is this story such clickbait for the press? On the surface it sounds like a non-event. Even the way it’s being characterized tends to lead the reader astray. First of all, the members are not “preemptively trying to keep President Obama out” of the club. The invitation was under consideration but had not been extended. For his part, Obama hasn’t applied to be a member. (And why would he bother if he was going to be offered a free ticket for a full pass?) You really can’t “keep somebody out” when they’re not trying to get in.
But the mayor – one Jeffrey Slavin, who I’m just going to assume is a Democrat – seems to be milking this for all he can get out of it. Rather than simply disagreeing with his fellow golfers, he’s chosen to quit and put out a statement describing the potential decision as intolerance. It doesn’t take much ability to read between the lines to know what that means. He’s accusing the members of being racists and the press is picking up the ball and running with it.
So if you fail to offer the former president a free membership, that’s racist because he’s black, right? It couldn’t have anything to do with a bunch of Jewish golfers who tend to be more supportive of Israel, could it? Naw… that would make for a terrible story. But when somebody firebombs a synagogue, it’s criticism of the policies of Israel and not antisemitism. For those of you playing along at home, you can now see why there’s more catnip to this tale than a simple country club membership would normally hold.
Exit question: If any golf courses not owned by the President Elect start putting out the unwelcome mat for Donald Trump, how would that be characterized? I can only imagine the outpouring of support for both free speech and free market capitalism from the press when that day arrives.