Sen. Ted Cruz is defending himself on Twitter today after accusing former New York Mayor and presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg of owning the media, a completely false statement that has seen Jewish and anti-hate groups criticize the Texas Senator for deploying an infamous anti-Semitic trope.
The controversy began after Cruz replied to a Twitter user who criticized Bloomberg News for delivering favorable coverage to Bloomberg on the campaign trail.
“It’s almost as if he owns the media,” Cruz said in response.
In reality, Bloomberg News and it’s affiliated television and radio stations are owned by Bloomberg, but that’s about it.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, was among those who quickly condemned Cruz’s comments, which rely on the anti-Semitic myth of the “Jewish Media,” an aging trope that has been around for at least a century and has been used push fascist and right-wing conspiracy theories about Jewish global domination.
Cruz doubled down the next day, explaining that he meant only Bloomberg News, not the entire media, and also highlighted his support of Israel.
But that explanation didn’t square well with Rep. Andy Levin (D-Michigan).
“My point again: it’s one thing to say someone owns a media outlet. It’s another to say a Jew ‘owns the media.’ Or to treat American Jews and the state of Israel as one in the same,” Levin wrote on Twitter. “I’ve dealt with anti-Semitism all my life. I don’t need you to explain it to me, Senator.”
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