NYT Reporter Stuns CNN’s Goldberg by Spinning for Anti-Semitic Protesters

On Tuesday’s CNN This Morning, while right-leaning contributor Jonah Goldberg was condemning the anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas rhetoric used by far-left protesters on college campuses, New York Times reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro got snippy as she jumped in to cut him off and argue against the use of police against anti-Israel protesters harassing Jewish students.

After host Kasie Hunt had just interviewed Congressman Josh Gottheimer — a Jewish moderate Democrat from New Jersey — about his visit to Columbia University and his calls for the university administration to protect Jewish students, she then went to Goldberg to begin a panel discussion. The right-leaning CNN contributor and Fox News alum complained:

Look, I think the anti-Semitism stuff, particularly at Passover, is a big issue. It’s a legitimate issue to talk about. It’s a serious issue, and I think there’s a lot of anti-Semitic stuff going on out there. But when you’re saying you’re Hamas, when you’re praising Hamas, when you’re praising Hezbollah, when you’re saying you’re going to globalize the intifada —

Garcia-Navarro took exception to his commentary and jumped in to interrupt:

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Excuse me, I’m so sorry.

GOLDBERG: Yeah?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I’m sorry, but everyone is —

GOLDBERG: I’m going to finish my point. It means you’re pro-terrorist. If you are celebrating Hamas, you are pro-terrorist.

After declaring that she was “not disputing” that part of his analysis, she then spun for left-wing student organizers who did not act to stop anti-Semitic rhetoric at their demonstration by recalling that left-wing Jews had also protested against Israel: “Yeah, but what I’m saying is there are selective quotes that are being taken not from students themselves — in the encampments in Columbia, they have said this — there are Jewish students who are actually part of this.”

As Goldberg reacted with a befuddled facial expression, the Times journalist added: “And I just would say more broadly, when people are calling for action — like Representative Gottheimer — what are they actually calling for? You already had police go on –“

Hunt jumped in to inject: “Well, hold on. If there are — if the people in those encampments — whether they’re Columbia students or not — if the university can clear them from that encampment, that is something the university can do.”

Garcia-Navarro continued:

But they’ve already put — let me just say how we got here. Columbia chose to bring police to clear the encampment that inflamed the situation to where you’re now seeing these protests spread to Yale, to New York University, and beyond. I am — many people have said that the action of bringing police into a group of people who are already feeling that they are sort of representative of the oppressed — who are inspired by what happened with George Floyd in 2020 and seeing what is happening in Gaza, that that has really only acted as a catalyst here. And so I wonder at the wisdom of bringing in the armed police into what is essentially a university campus.

Goldberg was visibly taken aback as the two went back and forth again:

GOLDBERG: I question the wisdom of having a double standard that says it’s okay to shout hateful pro-terrorist things at Jews, but you can’t –you have to have total —

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No one is endorsing that.

GOLDBERG (after looking shocked): A lot of people are endorsing that. A lot of people aren’t —

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not here.

GOLDBERG: — condemning it. Yeah. A lot of people aren’t condemning it, and I — look, I agree with you. Universities and the Democratic party and the left have a huge problem trying to figure out how to cut this Gordian knot that they’ve created for themselves.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

CNN This Morning
April 23, 2024
6:55 a.m. Eastern

(after interview with Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) (a moderate Democrat) about anti-Semitic protests on college campuses)

KASIE HUNT: Just how troubling is this? And how did we get to this point?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Gosh, you got an hour?

HUNT: We have six minutes.

GOLDBERG: I think there’s a long tradition of campus protests in this country that goes back to before the founding. It has gotten much more intense whereas schools — they consider part of your academic college experience to be protesters. And I think that sort of encouragement gives a lot of administrators a blind eye to when these things go off the rails.

Look, I think the anti-Semitism stuff, particularly at Passover, is a big issue. It’s a legitimate issue to talk about. It’s a serious issue, and I think there’s a lot of anti-Semitic stuff going on out there. But when you’re saying you’re Hamas, when you’re praising Hamas, when you’re praising Hezbollah, when you’re saying you’re going to globalize the intifada —

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO,  NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST/CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Excuse me, I’m so sorry.

GOLDBERG: Yeah?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I’m sorry, but everyone is —

GOLDBERG: I’m going to finish my point. It means you’re pro-terrorist. If you are celebrating Hamas, you are pro-terrorist.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I’m not disputing that.

GOLDBERG: Okay, that’s my point.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, but what I’m saying is there are selective quotes that are being taken not from students themselves — in the encampments in Columbia, they have said this — there are Jewish students who are actually part of this. And they are being used — (Jonah Goldberg displays a confused facial expression) — wait, let me — let me —

GOLDBERG: You didn’t let me finish my point —

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That’s true.

GOLDBERG: — but go ahead.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I just would say more broadly, when people are calling for action — like Representative Gottheimer — what are they actually calling for? You already had police go on —

KASIE HUNT: Well, hold on. If there are — if the people in those encampments — whether they’re Columbia students or not — if the university can clear them from that encampment, that is something the university can do.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But they’ve already put — let me just say how we got here. Columbia chose to bring police to clear the encampment that inflamed the situation to where you’re now seeing these protests spread to Yale, to New York University, and beyond. I am — many people have said that the action of bringing police into a group of people who are already feeling that they are sort of representative of the oppressed — who are inspired by what happened with George Floyd in 2020 and seeing what is happening in Gaza, that that has really only acted as a catalyst here. And so I wonder at the wisdom of bringing in the armed police into what is essentially a university campus. There have, you know, to try to be (inaudible)

GOLDBERG: I question the wisdom of having a double standard that says it’s okay to shout hateful pro-terrorist things at Jews, but you can’t –you have to have total —

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No one is endorsing that.

GOLDBERG: A lot of people are endorsing that. A lot of people aren’t —

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not here.

GOLDBERG: — condemning it. Yeah. A lot of people aren’t condemning it, and I — look, I agree with you. Universities and the Democratic party and the left have a huge problem trying to figure out how to cut this Gordian knot that they’ve created for themselves. But that doesn’t mean I have to sort of condone or not call out. I spent — I got a lot of scars from calling out horrible statements on the right over the last 10 years. I call out anti-Semitism and bigotry all the time on the right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Of course.

GOLDBERG: I don’t hear a lot of that from the sort of Squad adjacent type people calling out this stuff on the left.

HUNT: So John Fetterman had put out a tweet yesterday saying, like, “We are very close to Charlottesville for some of this stuff.” Do you agree with that?

GOLDBERG: I think the comparison can go too far, but I think Joe Biden’s statement yesterday where he basically — basically did “there are good people on both sides” kind of thing, was not the kind of moral clarity. The written statement was pretty good, but, look, Democrats have a huge problem here because there’s a big chunk of Biden’s coalition that does not like to hear criticism of any of this, you know, anti-Israel stuff, and they don’t know how to get out of it.

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