How Many Schmucks Does It Take to Defend Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

President Obama and Schmuck
President Obama and Schmuck / Bruce Levy's Facebook
January 24, 2014

Over the past several weeks, Washington Free Beacon reporter Adam Kredo has written a number of stories exposing a secret lobbying campaign by DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stop the bipartisan Iran sanctions bill from advancing in Congress. Wasserman Schultz’s campaign is being conducted in secret, and the congresswoman continues to evade questions about her activities, for reasons we can only assume stem from the fact that she knows she is deeply out of step with her constituents on this issue.

Wasserman Schultz, of course, also has responsibilities as head of the DNC—responsibilities to her party, and to its leader, President Obama. The story of a DNC chairwoman torn between her constituents and her national party is, to say the least, an interesting one, and one worth pursuing. And we’re not alone in thinking so: The Beacon's coverage of Wasserman Schultz has been picked up by outlets in D.C. and in South Florida, where the Miami Herald, crediting the Free Beacon, likewise found that Wasserman Schultz is "helping kill [sanctions legislation] behind the scenes."

So we were a little surprised yesterday when Foreign Policy's Cable blog, in a snide item about a rift inside AIPAC over Wasserman Schultz's conduct, provided a soapbox to critics of our reporting. The author of the item, John Hudson, wrote on a letter sent by AIPAC activists in Wasserman Schultz's district asking the organization's supporters to call the congresswoman and ask her if the Beacon’s reporting is true.

Been there, done that—the letter's existence was first reported by the Free Beacon over a week ago. Yet for some reason Hudson, referring to the Beacon’s reporting on a letter that included a Free Beacon article, issues an all-points-bulletin "Irony alert."

Sorry, but we don’t see anything "ironic" about the fact that Adam Kredo first reported on the AIPAC letter. Kredo has owned this story from day one. Kredo’s covered the reaction in South Florida since day two. And Kredo was on the ground in Florida last weekend, following Wasserman Schultz and pressing for answers. It was thus entirely predictable that Kredo would be the first to report on the letter.

Hudson then quotes Bruce Levy, a member of AIPAC's national council:

"It probably gave [The Beacon] credibility, which I'm not happy about," he said. "Every little schmuck can express his opinion on the Internet, and unfortunately, it gains credibility when you endorse it."

Just to be clear: What gives the Beacon credibility is the fact that our reporting on DWS is correct, and that our reporting has come first. And we maintain that credibility because, unlike Levy, we are not expressing our "opinion," but reporting facts he does not even attempt to dispute.

If readers needed an "irony alert," it is this: Levy, who falsely accuses the Beacon of partisanship, makes not even the slightest attempt to hide the partisan nature of his gripe.

"Debbie can not poke a stick in the eye of the president," he said. "She's the head of the DNC for God's sake."

While he disagrees with the administration's "naivete" with regards to Tehran, Levy said the pro-Israel community must stand by her. "I don't envy her position," he said. "She's representing a large constituency in South Florida and the DNC at the same time. That can be a conflict."

So: In a conflict between his convictions on the one hand, and his party on the other, Levy chooses the Democratic Party, and excuses DWS for doing the same. That is the dictionary definition of partisanship, you little schmuck.

What FP did not tell its readers, and what we find relevant to the story, is that Bruce Levy is also a donor to Wasserman Schultz, contributing at least $3,500 to her campaigns over the last two years.

Is it really news that Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s donors don't like it that the Washington Free Beacon’s reporting has exposed her double-talk? Oddly, FP seems to think so. But surely FP should have disclosed the financial relationship between Wasserman Schultz and Levy, and allowed readers to draw their own conclusions.

We can't say we're really surprised FP didn't do that. Instead it gave space to the sort of opinions one expects to find on a partisan left-wing blog. Which is exactly what the Cable has become.