Jennifer Rubin (journalist)

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Jennifer Rubin
Nationality American
Occupation Columnist
Known for Columnist and blogger for The Washington Post
Religion Judaism[1]

Jennifer Rubin is an American neoconservative columnist and a blogger for the Washington Post. Previously she worked at Commentary Magazine, the Pajamas Media, Human Events, and the Weekly Standard. She also published at Politico, New York Post, New York Daily News, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and a variety of other media publications.

Career[edit]

Rubin was born in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, and moved with her family as a child to California in 1968.[2] She attended college and law school at the University of California, Berkeley. Before moving into opinion writing, Rubin was a labor and employment lawyer in Los Angeles, working for Hollywood studios, for 20 years. She now describes herself as a 'recovering lawyer'. Commenting on working with her from 2000-5, Hollywood animator and trade union leader Steve Hulett described her to Media Matters as "always funny, with sharp observations. I never got the impression she was anything but a Democrat...she was mildly critical of some of Kerry’s campaign moves during the ’04 campaign, but she wasn’t in the Bush camp...it’s somewhat startling to me that she is now hard right."[3]

In 2005, she moved to Northern Virginia with her husband and two children. She offered a column to the Weekly Standard about Mitt Romney, and continued doing freelance work for two years before joining Commentary Magazine.[4]

Rubin's move to the Washington Post in November 2010 became a national news story and was discussed by the media on all sides of the political spectrum, ranging from The American Conservative and the Weekly Standard, to Salon Magazine and the Slate magazine. In 2011, she was included on the list of "50 Most Influential American Jews" by The Forward.[5]

Political views[edit]

Slate blogger David Weigel called Rubin "one of the right’s most prolific online political writers".[6] The Commentary editor John Podhoretz writes that Rubin "labored daily from her home in suburban Virginia [...] never missing a news story, never missing an op-ed column, reading everything and digesting everything and commenting on everything. She is a phenomenon, especially considering that for the first two decades of her working life, she was not a writer or a journalist but a lawyer specializing in labor issues [..]".[7] In welcoming remarks, The Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt writes that "her provocative writing has become 'must read' material for news and policy makers and avid political watchers."[8]

Rubin's political views are widely characterized as neoconservative.[9][10] She was also called a supporter of Tea Party movement.[11] She has opposed Barack Obama on multiple occasions, calling him “the most anti-Israel U.S. president (ever),”[12] and writing that “Obama isn’t moderate, doesn’t like the free market, and isn’t interested in waging a robust war on Islamic fundamentalists.”[13] Rubin consistently supports the Likud government and other conservative factions in Israel, and has been a harsh critic of Hamas and of the PLO leadership.[14][15][16][17][18]

In November 21, 2013, column, Rubin called on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to end its campaign against same-sex marriage. “Like a candidate losing every primary, you wonder how long the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) can hold on,” Rubin wrote. “What exactly does NOM do as voters in state after state decide to expand marriage to gay couples? There aren't enough states for a constitutional amendment. It's no longer a matter of judicial activism, but a sea change in public opinion that is propelling the legal shift. How many contests does NOM lose before it—or its donors—figures out the argument is not going to carry the day?” Rubin said NOM should "[c]ampaign for marriage, not against gay marriage."[19]

Criticism[edit]

In January 2010, Rubin authored an article for Commentary Magazine asking "Why Jews Hate Sarah Palin".[20] The article was criticized by Heather Horn writing in The Atlantic as "illogical, poorly-argued, and anti-Semitic".[21]

After joining the Washington Post, Rubin drew criticism in the wake of the 2011 Norway attacks after she published a blog post suggesting incorrectly that the attacks were carried out by Islamic jihadists.[22] In a follow-up column,[23] Rubin acknowledged that her decision to blame Muslim extremists for the Norway attacks was premature, but she did not apologize for her remarks nor did she condemn the right-wing anti-Muslim ideology that motivated the attacker, Anders Behring Breivik. Jeffrey Goldberg defended Rubin's initial article that falsely accused Muslims of perpetrating the attack.[24]

Rubin used her blog to accuse the Occupy Wall Street movement of antisemitism.[25] In her blog posts Rubin promoted a video by the Emergency Committee for Israel that purported to show antisemitism at the Occupy Wall Street protest. Critics of Rubin have described her portrayal of the protest movement as inaccurate, noting that Rubin's primary example of what she calls "antisemitism" is actually a mentally unstable homeless man unaffiliated with the OWS movement who has been wandering the lower Manhattan financial district for years.[26]

In Oct 2011, Rubin again drew criticism for tweeting a blog post by Rachel Abrams, which some have interpreted as a call for genocide against the Palestinian people[27]. Beirut's English language newspaper Al-Akhbar ran a story by Max Blumenthal headlined "Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin promotes call for Palestinian genocide"[27], whereas M.J. Rosenberg argued in an opinion piece for Al Jazeera that Rubin's support for such a position should disqualify her from writing for the Washington Post.[28]

On November 7, 2012, following the presidential election, Rubin published a 'post-mortem' column criticizing the unsuccessful Mitt Romney campaign as ineffectual.[29] In response, others criticized Rubin as having been disingenuous or misleading during her pre-election coverage of the 2012 campaign. This was because Rubin had previously praised the Romney campaign for the same areas she found fault with after the election was over. [30][31]

Rubin has also been criticized for supporting an effort to cover up human rights abuses by the Moroccan government. Rubin is listed as having met with registered foreign agents for Morocco's government, and according to an investigative report by Samia Errazzouki, Rubin's "posts on Morocco have constantly spoken highly of the regime's 'reforms.'" [32]

In August 2013, former Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton, in an open letter to new Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos under a section titled "The Ugly" called for Rubin to be fired, calling her columns "shallow and predictable" and "at best...political pornography." He added that "she is often wrong, and rarely acknowledges it," noting that he received more complaint emails about Rubin than any other Post employee.[33][31]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Jennifer Rubin and Shabbat". 
  2. ^ California, There It Went, Commentary Magazine (October 2010)
  3. ^ Zaitchik, Alexander. "The Wash. Post's Jennifer Rubin Divide And The Iraq War". Media Matters. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Jaffe, Harry. Jennifer Rubin Is Whacking the Lefties, Washingtonian (April 2011)
  5. ^ "Forward's 50 Most Influential American Jews". Jewish Virtual Library. November 11, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ David Weigel, Punditin’ Ain’t Easy, Washington Independent, January 13, 2009.
  7. ^ John Podhoretz, To Jennifer Rubin, The Fondest of Farewells, Commentary Magazine, November 23, 2010.
  8. ^ WaPo Tilts Right, Hires Conservative Blogger, November 24, 2010.
  9. ^ Washington Post hires conservative blogger, Yahoo News, November 23, 2010.
  10. ^ Washington Post hires conservative blogger, Salon Magazine, November 23, 2010.
  11. ^ Rubin to WaPo, by David Weigel at the Slate Magazine.
  12. ^ Jennifer Rubin, Red Lines for Obama?, July 29, 2009.
  13. ^ Ali Gharib, Conservative Pundit Jennifer Rubin Joins the Mainstream Media, Columbia Journalism Review, December 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (March 14, 2011). "Right Turn: Palestinians celebrate and then reluctantly denounce Itamar murders". Post Opinions. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (April 26, 2011). "Right Turn: Palestinian police murder Jew who ‘sneaks in’ to worship". Post Opinions. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  16. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (January 11, 2011). "Right Turn: TIME magazine savages Israel -- again". Post Opinions. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  17. ^ Washington Post: Right turn: Evil in Norway. July 23, 2011.
  18. ^ Politico: Erickson: Post blogger is 'Likud', not GOP. October 26, 2011.
  19. ^ Jennifer Rubin (2013-11-21). "The Marriage Mission". Right Turn, The Washington Post. 
  20. ^ Why Jews Hate Palin, "Commentary Magazine", January 2010.
  21. ^ "The 3 Biggest Problems With 'Why Jews Hate Palin'", The Atlantic Wire, January 14, 2010.
  22. ^ The Washington Post Owes the World an Apology for this Item, "The Atlantic", July 23, 2011.
  23. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (July 23, 2011). "Right Turn: Evil in Norway.". Post Opinions. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  24. ^ Jeffrey Goldberg, On Suspecting al Qaeda in the Norway Attacks, "The Atlantic", July 23, 2011.
  25. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (October 17, 2011). "Right Turn: Occupy Wall Street: Does anyone care about the anti-Semitism?". Post Opinions. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  26. ^ Nathan-Kazis, Josh (October 19, 2011). "This 'Occupy' Anti-Semite Is No New Face". Forward Thinking. Forward.com. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b Blumenthal, Max (October 25, 2011). "Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin promotes call for Palestinian genocide". Al Akhbar English. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  28. ^ Rosenberg, MJ (October 28, 2011). "Is new Israel lobby bad for Jews?". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  29. ^ The Washington Post (2012). The next four years. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  30. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor. "The Right's Jennifer Rubin Problem: An Information Disadvantage Case Study". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  31. ^ a b Politico: Ex-Washington Post ombudsman: 'Fire Jennifer Rubin'. August 15, 2013.
  32. ^ Samia Errazzouki, Morocco Big Buck PR, www.freearabs.com
  33. ^ Pexton, Patrick. "Ombo Sauce: Advice for Jeff Bezos From the Post’s Former In-House Critic." The Washington City Paper. Accessed at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2013/08/14/ombo-sauce-advice-for-jeff-bezos-from-the-posts-former-in-house-critic/ on August 15, 2013.

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