In other words, Penn admitted the entire point of his reporting was to get a Trump appointee fired. In the article, Penn explained that Olson was part of the administration’s efforts to draft wage-hour regulations, which, one assumes, Penn opposes on ideological grounds. That’s probably why Penn was combing through Olson’s Facebook history in the first place. He later tweeted that the entire episode is “the latest in a series of mishaps under the Trump administration personnel vetting system”—in this case, a “mishap” orchestrated by Penn himself.
And when you’ve lost both the Washington Post and the Anti-Defamation League…
The [Post’s] Erik Wemple Blog checked with the ADL on Tuesday afternoon to see if it wished to revise its evaluation in light of social media’s verdict on the Olson post. It did indeed. “We appreciate Mr. Olson’s clarification that he intended to be sarcastic with his posts and accept his explanation of the content in question,” said Hyman.
Yet Bloomberg Law is sticking with its original formulation, including its reputation-damaging headline: “Trump Labor Aide Quits After Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts Surface.” Those posts aren’t anti-Semitic if they’re written with satirical anti-anti-Semitic sentiment. Here are other segments of the story that require correction or retraction in light of Olson’s tone:
So far though, for Penn and his editors at Bloomberg, as Bethany Mandel writes at Ricochet, “For Journalists, There Are No Consequences.” But they’re not journalists – they’re Democratic Party activists with bylines, as Penn himself admits above.