The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Ilhan Omar and Joe Rogan, A Short Play


Scene 1: One day on Twitter

Glenn Greenwald: Republicans criticizing Rep. Omar for saying Israel has hypnotized the world shows that members of Congress prefer Israel's interests to Americans' right to free speech.

Rep. Omar: It's all about the Benjamins.

Scene 2, later on Twitter<

The crowd: That's antisemitic! You are repeating the classic trope that nefarious Jews buy off domestic political leaders to serve their own interests while being disloyal to their home country.

Rep. Omar: I was talking about AIPAC having too much influence in Congress.

The (media) chorus: She was talking about AIPAC having too much influence in Congress, what's the big deal?

Scene 3: Several years later, on a popular podcast somewhere in America

Rogan: "It's crazy Did you see [Adam Schiff] sitting next to Ilhan Omar, where she's apologizing for talking about it's all about the Benjamins? Which is just about money. She's talking about money. That's not an antisemitic comment, I don't think that is. Benjamins are money. … The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That's like saying Italians aren't into pizza. It's fucking stupid."

Scene 4: later during the same podcast episode

Rogan: You can't criticize Israel without someone calling you antisemitic.

Scene 5

Narrator: Omar was not talking about AIPAC, and Rogan was not criticizing Israel.