Cancel Culture

Labor Department Official Quits After Bloomberg Law Reporter Discovers Anti-Semitic Facebook Post That Is Not Actually Anti-Semitic

Leif Olson was clearly making fun of the alt-right.

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Leif Olson, a Trump appointee in the Department of Labor, resigned from the federal government this week after attracting scrutiny from Bloomberg Law reporter Ben Penn, who accused Olson of referencing anti-Semitic tropes in a Facebook post from 2016.

"A recently appointed Trump Labor Department official with a history of advancing controversial conservative and faith-based causes in court has resigned after revelations that he wrote a 2016 Facebook post suggesting the Jewish-controlled media 'protects their own,'" wrote Penn.

The post does reference anti-Semitic tropes, but the post itself is not anti-Semitic. On the contrary, it is clearly mocking the kind of alt-right people who hold such views.

The post in question discusses the victory of former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R–Wisc.) over his 2016 primary challenger, Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist. "[Ryan] just suffered a massive, historic, emasculating 70-point victory," wrote Olson. "Let's see him and his Georgetown cocktail-party puppetmasters try to walk that one off." It's obvious that Olson is pro-Ryan, and is not actually attacking the congressman. He's copying the language of an anti-Ryan troll.

As Vox's Dylan Matthews explains:

Written in the voice of a Breitbartist conservative who hates Paul Ryan, the post assails Ryan for his "emasculating 70-point victory" after Ryan defeated Nehlen by that overwhelming margin. The comments are what got Olson in (undeserved) trouble: "Neo-cons are all Upper East Side Zionists who don't golf on Saturday if you know what I mean," and, after a friend joked about Ryan being Jewish, Olson added, "It must be true because I've never seen the Lamestream Media report it, and you know they protect their own."

You do not need a PhD in linguistics to correctly identify this as obvious sarcasm — another commenter on the thread praised the post's "epic sarcasm." Conservatives, especially ones of a neoconservative bent on foreign policy, have made sarcastic jokes like this about what they perceive as (and what sometimes, as in the case of Nehlen, is) anti-Semitic criticism of neoconservatism, a movement primarily founded by Jewish intellectuals.

But if that post was not clear enough on its own, Olson added an additional post making his point extremely, extremely clear.

Matthews goes on to note that he is generally supportive of cancel culture, and thus it's important to hold the cancellers accountable when they unleash the mob on an undeserving target. "The Department of Labor ought to rehire Olson so he can keeping advising them to pursue policies I disagree with," Matthews wrote. "Not doing so would damage our societal immune system and make it easier for false charges like this to stick in the future."

Going after Olson for this post was an obvious misfire on Penn's part, and it's a shame that Penn seems to have doubled down on his mistake.

NEXT: Catholic School Pastor Thinks Harry Potter’s Spells Are Real, Bans the Books

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28 responses to “Labor Department Official Quits After Bloomberg Law Reporter Discovers Anti-Semitic Facebook Post That Is Not Actually Anti-Semitic

  1. “and it’s a shame that Penn seems to have doubled down on his mistake.”

    Yeah, it was Penn’s “mistake”. Sure. He REALLY thought the guy was dead serious. He just missed the next comment after the cut-off in the article where a guy noted that the post was “epic sarcasm”.

    “Matthews goes on to note that he is generally supportive of cancel culture”

    Hmm, no “to be sure” about the problems of it. Yeah, you’re making Dave Weigel seem libertarian.

  2. “Labor Department Official Quits After Bloomberg Law Reporter Discovers Anti-Semitic Facebook Post That Is Not Actually Anti-Semitic.

    Is this what is known as gobbledygook?

    1. Do you have something against Asians? How can you not see how offensive the word gobblyg**k is? You should be ashamed.*
      *Disclaimer for Bloomberg Law, this is sarcasm.

  3. Matthews goes on to note that he is generally supportive of cancel culture…

    A Vox requirement, one would assume.

    1. Vox did a great job of driving revenue to Crowder when they tried canceling him.

      1. Except YT utterly violated their contract with him and then created new, thoroughly undocumented policies aimed at him.

  4. One of these days someone who gets unjustly fired like this is going to snap, track down the jackhole that got them fired, and murder them in cold blood.

    1. Better would be to find the perp’s own mis-spoken or mis-interpretable faux pas and hoist them by their own petard.

      Or simply dox him.

      1. Wouldn’t matter.

        The shit who peddled the false anti-Semitic bullshit ALSO has made racist jokes online. It’s been pointed out.

        He, uh, has not lost his job. Nor will he. Because he’s a leftie and the rules don’t apply to them.

        Just think: big tech is turning “law and order” Republicans into people willing to ignore laws and rules. Bet that won’t end poorly…

  5. Undoubleplusungoodthink.

    Newly minted progressive journalists have their sarcasm detectors surgically removed for maximum earnestness.

    1. Well, they were fact-checking the Babylon Bee, so …

  6. Matthews goes on to note that he is generally supportive of cancel culture, and thus it’s important to hold the cancellers accountable when they unleash the mob on an undeserving target.

    Fuck him in the ass with a rusty bread knife. The “cancellers” are a mob.

  7. I thought Reason writers supported pointless virtue signaling when it hurt anyone associated with the orange overlord?

  8. “I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.”

  9. Why y’all always linking to Vox? Do they ever link to you?

    1. Reason links to many woke sites now.

  10. And now conservatives found put reporter Penn used a real racist joke in a comment about blacks and watermelons.

    Odds he gets fired? Probably low.

  11. Going after Olson for this post was an obvious misfire on Penn’s part, and it’s a shame that Penn seems to have doubled down on his mistake.

    When you’re crowing about the fact that the most important part of the story is that your story got somebody fired and not whether or not the story is true, there was no “misfire” on the story, obvious or otherwise. The fucker straight-up assassinated somebody and you’re chiding him on his trigger discipline.

    1. Going after Olson for this post was an obvious misfire on Penn’s part, and it’s a shame that Penn seems to have doubled down on his mistake.

      Shit, sorry, I just re-read that quote and realized I was obviously replying to OBL. You got me on that one, Robby.

  12. He actually says it:

    “Finally, I think it’s important to defend Olson because I believe in cancel culture.”

    “It was my little daughter,” said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.”

  13. I get the joke right away.

    Chapelle is getting hit by the PC crowd. I thought the show was hilarious. The LGBT bit was classic Chapelle.

    I am glad that I am not a young person today. Growing up with all of these rules and nonsense.

  14. So cancel Ben Penn then. Tit for tat. The next unperson.

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  16. Racism today in America, it no longer matters what you write or say, it matters what someone (mistakenly) reads or hears. Yet the continual playing of the race card, will just weaken examples of actual racism and hurt the cause or equality.

  17. Why did Olson resign? That’s caving in to the Inquisitors. Trump should re-appoint him to some office with oversight of the Penns of the world, if such exists.

  18. But the thousands of people wishing Hurricane Dorian would hit Mar A Lago (based on the comments in any story about the storm in the Washington Post), are just kidding about hoping southern Florida gets flattened, and so should not be criticized.

  19. I assume that pretty much everyone in the mainstream media (including Bloomberg) is out to get Donald Trump and anyone who works for him. So far, what is going on in present day media-ville is rather consistent with this assumption. My guess is that the people who yell gotcha get a bonus.

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