Former Congressman Allen West has reportedly been booted from his high profile role at Pajamas Media after an exchange with a staffer in which he is said to have called her a “Jewish American Princess.” Buzzfeed reports:
Former Congressman Allen West is leaving his job at Pajamas Media after an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a “Jewish American princess,” BuzzFeed learned on Thursday.
“In order to focus on political interests, Allen West will transition from his full-time role as director of programming for Next Generation.TV to a twice-a-month contributor of written commentary on PJMedia.com, effective October 1, 2013,” PJ Media financier Aubrey Chernick wrote to staff in an email from Sept. 16. “I wanted our staff and consultants to have this information first. However, PJ Media is not announcing this publicly for several weeks, so please do not share this news with anyone outside of the company until you see our public announcement.”
Now, when someone says “please do not share this news” in 21st century America, what do you think will happen to that news? And of course, West had his spin:
In a message to staff, West wrote: “Shortly, I will be giving up my position as director of programming at Next Generation.TV to get back on the front lines to expand the message of constitutional conservatism across our country.”
Two sources familiar with what happened told BuzzFeed that West had gotten into an argument with a female employee and called her a “Jewish American princess” while telling her to “shut up.”
Two sources is acceptable reporting — versus much blogging which would run with one source. Buzzfeed checked it out. And also called West:
Reached by phone, West told BuzzFeed he was leaving his job voluntarily, though one source familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed he had been fired. He did not deny that an exchange with the employee had occurred, but said it hadn’t led to his leaving the company.
“No, I didn’t get fired,” West said. “I’m leaving to pursue political aspirations. That’s it. There’ll be a statement that comes out and it’s effective in October.”
Asked specifically whether he referred to the employee as a “Jewish American princess,” West said simply, “There was an exchange, that’s all.”
PJ Media’s comments and West’s will spark deja vu among those who’ve worked for corporations where someone was “allowed” to leave to spend more time with their families…or political aspirations.
On the Internet today there were some comments about how Jews tell Jewish American Princess jokes. Like most ethnic jokes, the phrase plays upon a stereotype and like most ethnic humor its popularity was at its peak in another era (the 70s and 80s). But there is indeed a difference between someone Jewish telling a good natured Jewish American Princess joke (there are tons of them…just look them up on the Internet) and someone getting angry and hurling the phrase.
It’s the difference between Chris Rock telling a joke with the “N-word,” and Michael Richards using it when he loses his cool in a comedy club.
And, to be sure, many people who are Jewish will still shrug when they hear about West using the phrase. But there would be some who will not and West apparently wasn’t telling the staffer a joke that he thought was funny. He lost it — and so he apparently lost his role at PJ Media (to pursue political aspirations).