Leif Olson, the lawyer who “resigned” his position at the Labor Department after Bloomberg Law published a shoddy piece accusing him of anti-Semitism, is going to be re-hired. From the Daily Caller:
The Department of Labor reinstated a political appointee Wednesday night who resigned under pressure after a Bloomberg Law reporter accused him of anti-Semitism for a Facebook post in which he was actually condemning anti-Semites in the alt-right, the Daily Caller News Foundation exclusively learned.
Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella “personally made this decision after carefully reviewing all the facts and circumstances,” a senior Labor Department official told the DCNF. “He concluded that a correction is much better than an injustice.”
Yes, a correction is better than an injustice. If only Bloomberg understood that principle.
It was immediately obvious to anyone who cared to look at what Leif Olson had written on Facebook that he was not making an anti-Semitic comment. In an obviously sarcastic, conspiratorial tone, Olson wrote, “Neo-cons are all Upper East Side Zionists who don’t golf on Saturday if you know what I mean.” The comment and the post it was part of were intended to mock Breitbart News and the Paul Nehlen campaign to unseat Paul Ryan.
One of the only remaining hooks reporter Ben Penn had to hang his inaccurate story on was a quote by the Anti-Defamation League condemning Olson’s comments. However, the ADL also corrected itself: “We appreciate Mr. Olson’s clarification that he intended to be sarcastic with his posts, and accept his explanation of the content in question.”
Even Vox published a story saying Olson had obviously been wrongly accused.
Despite this, Bloomberg refused to back down. When asked for a comment by the Post’s Erik Wemple, Bloomberg replied, “We stand by our reporting.”
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) September 3, 2019
Bloomberg’s response seems to lean on the idea that all they did was ask questions and the DOL responded with news of Olson’s resignation. What we don’t know is what Ben Penn told the Department of Labor when he initially contacted them. Did he clearly state that the comments were anti-Semitic as he did in the tweet below or did he present a balanced view of the comments?
This is the latest in a series of mishaps under the Trump administration personnel vetting system. What makes this one remarkable is that Olson's Facebook page was public to his non-friends. Any cursory screening of his social media accounts could've uncovered the anti-Semitism.
— Ben Penn (@benjaminpenn) September 3, 2019
I guess the only question left is what Bloomberg will do now that this splashy story has completely collapsed. As of this moment, the story still hasn’t been updated or corrected despite a clearly false headline that reads “Trump Labor Aide Quits After Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts Surface.” Bottom line: There were no anti-Semitic Facebook posts just a garbage story by a hack reporter.