Bloggers impeach Jennifer Rubin’s ‘Sabbath’ excuse for failing to correct her assertion that Jihadists were behind Norway massacre

on 23 Comments

Ron Kampeas has a brilliant post at the JTA on “Jennifer Rubin and Sabbath,” thoroughly undermining the claim published by the Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton that Jennifer Rubin was unable to correct her blaming the Norway massacre on jihadists because it was the Sabbath when she learned the truth. I do wonder: Does Pexton feel that he was lied to by Rubin? Will these discrepancies cost Rubin her job?

[Eric Alterman writes at Think Progress,] “Sunset—the moment that the Jewish Sabbath begins, moreover—occurred on Friday, July 22, 2011, at approximately 8:20 p.m. in Washington, D.C., and hence offered Rubin plenty of time to correct her mistake. I will not speculate as to why she did not take the opportunity to do so. (Rubin, Pexton notes, did manage to post four (four!) additional items to her blog between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.).”

A friend points out to me that Rubin filed her last post that night at 9:07 pm — 45 minutes after candle lighting. I’m not sure when Breivik’s arrest was reported, but it was certainly earlier than 7:45 PM, when Ackerman filed his post — and before even the 18 minute rabbinical girdle assigned candle-lighting.

The same friend has scoured Rubin’s archives and found Sabbath postings. I’m not so interested in that — we all make Sabbath compromises. Rubin did that Friday night with her 9:07 post about the debt deal. The point is that this does not simply wash as an excuse; Breivik’s arrest was old news by the time Rubin signed off for the night.

And making Jewish observance an excuse when it clearly is not — well, it rankles. There’s way too long a history of Jews having to take risks to observe Shabbat for it to be used as a bad faith out.

Steve Clemons has also weighed in, here and raised the crucial issue of the absence of any pro-Palestinian voice in the MSM stables:

Fred Hiatt suggests that he brought her in to “balance” the progressives on the team.  If balance is an issue, which it might very well be, where is the “Muslim” or Arab voice at the Post that defends as passionately the other side of the argument? Or if having a blog voice on the Arab side of the equation is too much, how about a genuine two-stater from the Israeli side whose love of Israel and commitment to Israel’s long term interests wouldn’t be savaged as traitorous?

23 Responses

  1. Mooser
    August 4, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Perhaps Jennifer Rubin is an “atheist Jew”. If so, there is absolutely nothing wrong or the least bit unethical about her actions, as I understand the concept.
    I’m sure we have commenters who can clear up this sticky theological point.

    • DICKERSON3870
      August 5, 2011, 1:19 pm

      RE: “Fred Hiatt suggests that he brought her in to ‘balance’ the progressives on the team.” ~ Clemons
      “Perhaps Jennifer Rubin is an ‘atheist Jew’ ” ~ Mooser

      SPEAKING OF Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post and Jennifer Rubin: Inside CUFI’s 2011 Washington “Summit”, Special to, 07/29/11
      Our eyewitness report on Christians United For Israel’s annual Washington conference

      (excerpt)…And this is where those Jews who are strong supporters of CUFI come in handy. They can criticize Jews to a far greater degree than any Christian Zionists would be willing to do. Conservative commentator Jennifer Rubin spent a great deal of her talk slamming her co-religionists for being naively liberal, and referencing her fellow panelist’s father’s book – Norman Podhoretz’s Why are Jews Liberal? – as a way to try and explain that they have
      fallen away from God and been captivated by the “religion of liberalism”
      to which the audience expressed considerable dismay. Rubin and others are useful for this kind of criticism because it allows them to express contempt for their fellow Jews, which coming out of the mouth of anyone else would, quite rightly, be considered anti-Semitism

      ENTIRE REPORT – link to

    • talknic
      August 6, 2011, 7:53 am

      Mooser August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      If she’s an atheist then the excuse for not correcting is a LIE, which is not surprising. Lying or repeating lies (wittingly or unwittingly) is par for the course amongst those who support Israel’s usurping of the Palestinians.

      I used to take pro Israeli statements on face value (on the I/P/Arab issue). When I started checking …. sheeeeeeesh

    • stevieb
      August 6, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Perhaps she is but her actions are still unethical…

  2. Mooser
    August 4, 2011, 10:19 pm

    “Does Pexton feel that he was lied to by Rubin?”

    Only if he is an anti-Semite, and the Post would not employ that type person, I’m sure.

    • Mooser
      August 5, 2011, 11:55 am

      “Does Pexton feel he was lied to by Rubin?”


      “If your politics are liberal and you don’t generally read Rubin, but you read her Norway posts, you probably would be pretty offended. But if you are a conservative, or someone who reads Rubin regularly, you’ll know that this is what she does and who she is.

      Rubin was hired by Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor of The Post, to be an opinion blogger who would appeal to conservatives and people who want to follow conservative politics. She does.”


  3. Shingo
    August 4, 2011, 10:34 pm

    While Rubin has been long overdue for her come uplands, she has posted far more egregious lies and bile than this and always gotten away with it.

    Still, it’s fin to watch her being exposed by the one group she has not dared to attack herself.

  4. ehrens
    August 4, 2011, 11:12 pm

    The old “I couldn’t do my homework on Shabbat and even if I coulda my dog woulda eaten it” excuse.

  5. Debonnaire
    August 4, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Jennifer Rubin is just a goddamn liar. And, if the Washington Post doesn’t fire her for this – they ought to be picketed with 100 rabbis leading the pack. What a disgraceful excuse for a human being.

    • MarkF
      August 5, 2011, 9:01 am

      To pick up on your point about firing her, I’m afraid it will never happen. Fred Hiatt and his crew have been wrong about so many things such as the Iraq war, and there is never a consequence for it. If any of us were as wrong as him we’d be fired long ago. Hiatt’s calls has cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars.

      I once wrote a letter to the editor picking apart an article written by William Kristol, who Hiatt loves, pointing out how his arguments were the furthest thing from conservatism. I receved an email asking me to call the person who handles the letters because they were thinking about publishing it. When I called, the person said that they probably won’t publish the letter because right now it’s a “very sensitive” subject talking about neocon vs. conservative ideology.

      Hiatt and his crew are neocon to the bone, and whether Rubin is wrong, and in this instance dead-wrong, she’ll never be fired. Heck, she quotes and links to Daniel Pipes, a guy who is a blantent racist. Can you imagine the uproar if she quoted and linked to Pat Buchanan? Betcha she’d be fired in a heart beat.

      I cancelled my subscription to the Post. Not a dime of my money goes to them until they can Hiatt and restore integrity to the editorial page. Sure do miss the Sunday insert section…:(

      • Oscar
        August 6, 2011, 8:11 am

        Shortly after the PNAC manifesto was created, the neocons hijacked the Republican party. Party leaders just let it happen, and conservativism was about going after those who hate us for our freedoms.

        As a gift to humanity, they gave us the unending war on terror.

        I long ago burned my Republican voting card (not that the Dems are any better). But Fred Hiatt’s pathetic modern-day version of the WaPo is meant to continue conflating neo-connery with conservativism.

        Hence, a “conservative blogger” like Jennifer Rubin gets paid to spew hateful and bigoted comments against an entire group of people. She seems to have a distaste for actually covering conservative issues — it’s all fluff until she gets to write about Israel.

        Her non-apology shows that she’s at Marty Peretz’s level in just not getting that she’s a vile bigot. Playing the Sabbath card doesn’t make her any less of a bigot.

        Way to go, Fred Hiatt! Great hire.

  6. iamuglow
    August 4, 2011, 11:43 pm

    I surprised Rubin has lasted this long. At a time when more and more people are aware of the reality of I/P, her over top propaganda pieces are just embarassing. She’s probably driving more people to support BDS and visit sites like this one.

    • annie
      August 5, 2011, 12:52 am

      She’s probably driving more people to support BDS and visit sites like this one.

      it’s probably a CT w/WAPO. instead of employing a radial leftie human rights activist they ‘balance’ their normal islamophobic coverage w/i&p by deploying an over the top nutjob (rubin) thereby driving millions of americans into the hands of radical islamics which in turn provides grist for the mill of the everyday ‘moderate’ neocon. she’s well positioned.

      just kidding

  7. PissedOffAmerican
    August 5, 2011, 1:12 am

    Hmmm. Goldberg gets a little pitty pat pat on the wrist by Fallows at The Atlantic, while Rubin gets the Full On Double Nelson Bitch Slap from Clemons (Who happens to be an editor at The Atlantic).


    Yeah, granted, Goldberg’s intitial rush to judgement wasn’t justified and explained with a bunch of unmittigated horseshit like Rubin’s was. But still, he deserved a bit more than the tsk tsk that Fallows whispered in his ear. And certainly, its kinda unbecoming of Clemons to go after Rubins and the Post and offer nary a word about Goldberg’s leap to judgement.

  8. eGuard
    August 5, 2011, 6:32 am

    Eric Alterman expands this topic nicely into the general demise of the WAPO. Quite funny and devastating is his analysis of “political self-segregation of liberal and conservative websites” [EA], which is part of Pexton’s defense.

    Here at Center for American Progress.

  9. Donald
    August 5, 2011, 7:47 am

    ” if having a blog voice on the Arab side of the equation is too much, how about a genuine two-stater from the Israeli side whose love of Israel and commitment to Israel’s long term interests wouldn’t be savaged as traitorous? ”

    Not good enough. Having a genuine two-stater from Israel is fine, but that viewpoint is represented in the press on a regular basis–the Palestinian viewpoint is at best given once in a while in the occasional opinion piece.

    Of course Steve might be right about the Washington Post–for all I know they might not even publish liberal Zionists. I’m thinking more of the the NYT.

  10. Leper Colonialist
    August 5, 2011, 8:13 am

    Rubin is incompetent, a liar, or never learned how to tell time properly. The first and the third possible explanations can be corrected in some fashion, but as for the second, we’ll let her own clumsy, painful verbal flailings-about and expository excretions speak for itself.

  11. MarkF
    August 5, 2011, 9:19 am

    Another point about Paxton’s defense – he pointed out how she gets “scoops” on stories from the hill. Well of course she does. Who doesn’t wnat to give someone a story who is going to portray it in such a glowing way. She LOVES Paul Ryan, he know it, and he’ll give her interviews, etc.

    She’s a neocon cheerleader and I’m sure she gets paid quite nicely.

    • Shingo
      August 5, 2011, 9:32 am

      She’s a neocon cheerleader and I’m sure she gets paid quite nicely.

      Not to mention, a cheer leader for Elliot Abrams, who she frequently cites as some credible and authoritative source.

      Seriously, her blog is a campaign platform for the GOP and Likud.

      • MarkF
        August 5, 2011, 1:29 pm

        “Not to mention, a cheer leader for Elliot Abrams, who she frequently cites as some credible and authoritative source.”

        Right, she sure does. Just amazing. Again, he suffers no consequence for the war and for what he did back in the 80s. In fact, he probably schooled her on how to NOT apologize and be unrepentant.

        Must be nice for Rubin and Abrams(and Kristol and NoPod and Murdoch) to never have to say the words “I’m sorry”.

  12. CigarGod
    August 5, 2011, 9:19 am

    She isn’t the first and won’t be the last to use religion to her advantage. The good news is, everytime her or those like her do so, it knocks one more chip off the integrity of the whole sky fairy thing.

    On Clemon’s comment:
    I just like to see an Arab giving Arab perspective in the media instead of Israeli’s, Zionists, zio-christians, neo-cons, etc. giving the Arab perspective.

  13. NickJOCW
    August 5, 2011, 11:03 am

    Let me try to put this another way. If you are ideologically persuaded you are right and the other side is wrong, then you may be convinced that infractions of accepted standards are excusable and, even if something specific you report is not actually true, it’s OK to leave it in the window if it sufficiently represents a broader truth of which you are ideologically persuaded. It amounts to the eager substitution of belief (which is fallible) for knowledge (which is not). What this Rubin writer appears to have done is, perhaps, less to be excoriated when you consider the innumerable contexts in which other journalists do exactly the same. You can’t blame a skunk for making a stink.

  14. Les
    August 5, 2011, 2:06 pm

    If Rubin, in advance of candle lighting time, switches her electricity supply from the power company to that supplied by the generator she has set up to be powered by her hamsters’ exercise wheel, she is not disobeying any Sabbath rules by using the pc receiving that power.

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