Mike Huckabee stepped in it this week by publishing on his Face book page a fake news story that blamed “Jewish liberals” for campus vandalism in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.
Problems: The vandalism, at Northwestern University, was eight months ago and nobody had ever said the vandals were “Jewish liberals” except people like Huckabee trying to gin up pro-Trump propaganda (anti-Semitic, too) in the face of protests of his election. From a Jewish news outlet:
The story, appearing on the Conservative Tribune website, blamed an attack in March at Northwestern University on “liberal, Jewish Northwestern students” seeking to smear Trump and his supporters.
Daily News columnist Shaun King exposed the story’s false claims on Wednesday, and Huckabee removed the post from his Facebook page, and apologized on his website.
“They accused me of spreading false information and hatred, and demanded an apology,” Huckabee said of the Daily News. “And they’re right, I do owe readers an apology.
But, as is often the case with Huckabee, it was an apology with an asterisk. Not really an apology at all for the most egregious error. What Huckabee said:
The New York Daily News attacked me for linking to a story from Conservative Tribune about two students who were arrested for defacing the chapel at Northwestern University with racist, anti-gay, and anti-Semitic graffiti and the word, “Trump.” They accused me of spreading false information and hatred, and demanded an apology. And they’re right, I do owe readers an apology. Due to a posting error, the story was actually from last March, but it appeared to be a new story. I didn’t remember the original story and assumed it was new. For that mistake, I sincerely apologize. But the facts of the story were otherwise accurate.
As for the rest of the paper’s attacks on me, which included a disputed report that the vandals were Jewish, that was part of the original story and was certainly not intended as any sort of slur on Jews. It was considered relevant only because the hateful graffiti included a swastika, obviously intended to make it falsely appear that the vandalism was committed by anti-Jewish Trump supporters.
Got it? There was just a little old “posting error” that made the article appear new. And, hey, the conservative website said Jews did it. Who is Huck to argue? But here are some inconvenient facts and interpretation about that from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which hits Huckabee where he often makes money:
The Chicago Tribune did not identified the accused, Anthony Morales, 19, and Matthew Kafker, 18, with any political allegiance or otherwise suggest that the attack was a false flag bid to smear Trump, nor did it say they were Jewish.
Huckabee, who leads tours of Evangelical Christians to Israel, said in his apology that he identified the students as Jewish because that’s how they were described in the Conservative Tribune story. He did not intend it as a slur.
“It was considered relevant only because the hateful graffiti included a swastika, obviously intended to make it falsely appear that the vandalism was committed by anti-Jewish Trump supporters,” he said, evidently sticking to his belief, absent any evidence, that the attack was an attempt to smear Trump.
The offending Huck post: