WASHINGTON (Mar. 1)
Sen. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) accused campaign rival David Duke of making an anti-Semitic remark recently about Jews owning the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Speaking here on Wednesday to the Hudson Valley Political Action Committee, a pro-Israel PAC, Johnston said that Duke, at a rally in Baton Rouge, insinuated that the reason why the New Orleans Times-Picayune has been sharply critical of him is because it is owned by Jews.
Johnston quoted Duke, a Republican state legislatore and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, as telling the crowd, “You know, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is down on me. But you know who owns the Times Picayune, don’t you?”
“And those in the front rows were saying, ‘Yea, Jews, Jews, Jews,’” Johnston told a gathering of predominantly Orthodox Jews, who were attending the New York-based PAC’s annual meeting in Washington.
But Duke denied Johnston’s account in a telephone interview Wednesday with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“That’s totally incorrect,” he said. While not denying that his comments were essentially those quoted by Johnston, he said his comments were aimed at the “liberal media establishment” based in New York, and not at Jews per sc.
Duke said the rally took place in Shreveport, not in Baton Rouge, and that “one person” in the audience had that reaction out of 1,500 people in attendance.
“I don’t endorse that kind of reaction whatsoever,” Duke added.