Update: Mikey Weinstein Demands Retraction of Exposé

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has demanded (PDF) an immediate retraction of Mark Stricherz’s article, claiming Stricherz

stated, or quite deliberately inferred that Mr. Weinstein did not work in the Reagan White House, that the examples of anti-Semitic emails…were somehow fabricated and that his salary with the Foundation has somehow been set in contravention of appropriate legal guidelines.

Weinstein’s argument falls flat right out of the gate.

First, Stricherz didn’t state or infer Weinstein didn’t work at the White House. He examined the strength of Weinstein’s own claims about what he did at the White House, citing a former legal counsel in the White House who said Weinstein’s duty title was administrative, not legal. Weinstein was given the opportunity to expound upon his White House career and, allegedly, did little more than provide a picture.

To the second point, Stricherz only points out the obvious: Weinstein provided examples of emails with false domains, which means they can’t be verified.  Stricherz made the point, and he quoted Weinstein’s explanation without prejudice.

Finally, Stricherz did not state or infer how Weinstein’s salary is set. Stricherz cited and paraphrased another source, The Air Force Times, that said Weinstein voted on his own compensation, which the Air Force Times said was “in apparent violation of IRS rules.”  Given that the statement has stayed up at the AF Times site since last year, it is unlikely Weinstein has a legal standing to have it pulled.

It seems Mark Stricherz made an impression on the sensitive Weinstein, who ladles out vitriolic criticism on others but cannot stand even a whiff of criticism himself. Stricherz now joins US troops, American businesses, and Jewish soccer moms as recipients of Weinstein’s ominous legal threats.

If Weinstein wants to continue to promote his role in defending the Reagan White House during the Iran-Contra affair, he should provide proof of his role. Otherwise, people will (understandably) continue to question the veracity of the claim — and question whether he’s inflating an unprovable point to inflate his ego and the income to his charity (and pocketbook).

If he wants to end criticism about his pay, he should publicly explain and defend — or change — his actions. That’s something even his own donors asked him to do.

Weinstein’s ego is so connected to his hate mail that he’s even offended when someone wonders if its genuine (which many people do).  If he doesn’t want his hate mail questioned, he can simply stop publishing it.

This all boils down to one thing: Weinstein makes many (sometimes wild) claims that he should be able to substantiate…if he wanted to. He chooses not to provide information to support his claim.

What is a reasonable, logical response when a person makes a self-aggrandizing claim but doesn’t provide proof?

And why does Weinstein have his lawyers send ominous demands to people who have that reasonable, logical response?

Weinstein is a public figure open to public scrutiny. He was clearly given the opportunity to provide substantiating information to this reporter and declined to do so. Now that he’s seen how much attention the article is getting, he’s having the typical reaction of a playground bully: “shut up or I’ll hurt you.”

For some, this infantile reaction would be out of character.

But not for Mikey Weinstein.

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