Jewish groups and various media have responded negatively to an edgy headline by Huffington Post, proclaiming the end of the career this week of White House presidential strategist Steve Bannon.
Apparently intended to mash Yiddish while echoing a lyric in Beyonce’s song “Lemonade” in which she chucks a lover with “boy, bye”, the reference is clear to those who are up on pop music. Obviously for those who understand basic Yiddish, the substitution of the “G” for the first “B” appears aimed at the number of Jews in the Trump White House.
Or at least, it does to Jews.
Lydia Polgreen, Editor in Chief of HuffPost denied it, tweeting, “We do puns and pop culture references all the time. This one was too narrow and too easy to misinterpret” followed by, “And missed the mark. We changed it. Lesson learned.”
Anti-Defamation League national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s response to the headline – “GOY, BYE!” was diplomatic, but clear. He tweeted his relief that the headline was changed: “Glad you changed the headline. Not sure your intent but it was in poor taste at best, very offensive at worst.”
Julia Ioffe, staff writer at The Atlantic was one of the more sedate writers, tweeting, “I love your work, but wish you hadn’t gone with this headline.”
Michael Wilner, Washington bureau chief for The Jerusalem Post wrote, “Goy, bye? What is HuffPost thinking?”
But it was John Podhoretz, editor-in-chief of Commentary, who was really the most straightforward of all, and who summed it up. Intended or not, the headline was, he wrote, “witless, stupid and offensive.”
Readers taking a brief spin through the tweets of the night will be able to see that some were deleted; others were placed on “caution.”
Steve Bannon is known for being pro-Israel, despite numerous attempts by sources during and after the campaign to portray him as otherwise.