A Bloomberg News senior reporter whose “scoop” publication of Facebook posts Tuesday resulted in the resignation of a Trump administration official has a history of publicly making jokes about race.
Ben Penn came under fire from both conservatives and liberals Tuesday for publishing a story on Trump Department of Labor appointee Leif Olson, who resigned over sarcastic comments that Penn falsely labeled anti-Semitic. Here’s what Olson wrote on Facebook that led to his resignation after Penn’s attack.
In 2013, Penn tweeted that a Popeye’s-themed birthday cake made for a black man was not racist unless watermelon was featured as a side.
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) September 3, 2019
This comment in his past notwithstanding, Penn proudly touted his work that led to the resignation of a senior official in the Labor Department over false charges of anti-Semitism. Neither Penn or Bloomberg News have responded to requests from The Federalist for comment.
The Bloomberg story received backlash from people across the political spectrum and Jewish groups that came to Olson’s defense.
Ironic that this disgracefully shamefully dishonest reporting is coming out the same day people are complaining that the Trump administration is going to hold reporters to the same standard. Here is the plainly ironic statement at issue: https://t.co/BTAcIpmE7J https://t.co/TnSuSM27qQ
— (((tedfrank))) (@tedfrank) September 3, 2019
Trump Labor official Leif Olson has resigned due to a putatively anti-Semitic Facebook post. But if you read the post, it appears to be mocking anti-Semitic conspiracy theories: https://t.co/C9UPvhKbzz
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) September 3, 2019
the reporter here seems to have badly misinterpreted these facebook posts https://t.co/2vMARhziNw
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) September 3, 2019
Bloomberg is standing behind Penn however, issuing the following statement to the Washington Post:
We stand behind our reporting. We contacted the White House and the Department of Labor asking for comment on Mr. Olson’s Facebook posts. Within four hours, the Department of Labor responded that Mr. Olson had resigned.