The Washington Post

Bachmann ‘Jewish’ story — tough nut

Not easy reporting on the New York Post’s Tuesday story alleging that Jewish GOP donors perceive Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as Jewish. That perception, says the story, has created a fundraising problem for top-tier contender Mitt Romney.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben said the first he’d heard of such a notion was when he got the call from the New York Post. He also repeated the points he’d made to the New York Post about Bachmann’s “love for the nation of Israel.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul didn’t respond to inquiries.

So the Erik Wemple Blog has begun excavating the story. The logical approach appears to involve looking up Bachmann donors and asking some questions. Each call entails a messy, multi-step inquiry, as follows:

First: Find someone on the donor rolls who could be Jewish.

Second: Find a number and call that person.

Third: Try explaining the really weird reason for your call.

Fourth: Ask the person if he/she is Jewish.

Fifth: Confirm that he/she is a Bachmann donor.

Sixth: Ask if he/she was under the impression that Bachmann was Jewish.


After several calls, the Erik Wemple Blog succeeded in connecting with a donor who the Erik Wemple Blog thought might be Jewish. She wasn’t. She’d grown up as a Southern Methodist and her husband grew up as a German Lutheran, though they now consider themselves “classical Christians.” And she didn’t think Bachmann was Jewish.

We’ll keep dialing till we can corroborate the New York Post story or until Halloween, whichever comes first.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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