Hey Politico, Maybe Don’t Photoshop Anti-Semitic Imagery into an Article About Bernie Sanders?
The only Jewish candidate in the race is shown standing next to a money tree. WTF?
Politico has come under fire for some photoshopped images that accompanied an article on Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The article, titled “The Secret of Bernie’s Millions”, shows Sanders flanked by a mansion on one side and a money tree on the other. The offensive image is reminiscent of the kind of anti-Semitic propaganda targeted at Jewish people since, well, the dawn of time.
Bernie Sanders has three homes and a net worth approaching at least $2 million.
In a strict, bottom-line sense, he has become one of those rich people against whom he has so unrelentingly railed.https://t.co/PawDq3S07m
— POLITICO (@politico) May 25, 2019
It’s a disturbing choice all around, but especially baffling coming from a major news site like Politico. The site doubled down with another photo shows Sanders grinning as two mansions are photoshopped on his shoulders. In a tweet, they also referred to Sanders as “cheap” a common derogatory insult used against Jews. That second tweet was removed and an apology was posted … yet it was replaced with the same money tree image.
For the record: This replaces a deleted tweet that needed more context. Our apologies.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 25, 2019
Many on social media are calling out the clear anti-Semitic imagery in the article:
Notice the people willing to explain this away, yet when Ilhan’s words are taken out of context, they are the 1st to jump on her.
Look at how these accusations are selectively enforced on the left, esp when it’s the *alt-right* actually committing antisemitic violence in the US.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 25, 2019
Saw the tweets about the Bernie money tree before I saw the money tree itself. Wild.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) May 26, 2019
Meet @Politico — a DC newspaper that sees a president call Nazis "very fine people," and then decides to create a graphic putting a money tree behind the president's Jewish opponent, whose father's family was killed by Nazis 👇 pic.twitter.com/dHblLCWfID
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) May 25, 2019
What if we photoshop a money tree next to the Jew?
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) May 25, 2019
MEDIA: When speaking of public figures we must be careful not to use racially insensitive tropes–except when talking about Bernie Sanders, then we can just crib straight from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion pic.twitter.com/nMKfzo8BBX
— New York City DSA 🌹 (@nycDSA) May 24, 2019
And here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with criticizing Bernie Sanders, and there’s nothing wrong with investigating how Sanders accumulated his wealth. When someone runs for president, they can expect to have every aspect of their life scrutinized. But to prop up an article using anti-Semitic imagery is gross, offensive, and frankly irresponsible.
Especially at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, thanks to the Trump administration’s thinly veiled anti-Semitism and support of the alt-right. Especially at a time when extremist movements are gaining global traction. 2017 and 2018 saw the biggest spike in anti-Semitic incidents in decades.
It’s the duty of news organizations to cover the rise of anti-Semitism, not add to it. Politico needs to issue an apology and take down these offensive images.
(via The Hill, image: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
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