February 5, 2023

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Some consumers have responded to Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israel with a boycott of their own. (Photo by Ken Kurson for The Media Globe)

Ben & Jerry’s is back in the news again, carrying on a long campaign in favor of progressive social issues and a tactic of withholding or withdrawing its ice cream from a market as a form of protest against what founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield see as injustice in the country, province, or territory in question. Last month, in what it meant to be a bold statement against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, the company announced that it would cease selling its products in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, though not in Israel as a whole.

One of the last places one would expect to find criticism of Ben & Jerry’s is in the pages of the almost monochromatically liberal New York Times. But one of the paper’s very few idiosyncratic voices, Bret Stephens, wrote a column on August 11 that questions how much of a sacrifice Ben & Jerry’s is really making, from a business standpoint, given the relatively minuscule market for its ice cream in the places in question or indeed in Israel as a whole.

Has Andrew Cuomo’s career really come to an end? The New York governor has announced his resignation, after numerous allegations of sexual harassment came to light for which he faces likely prosecution and a ban against running for state office. As might be expected, the loss of a pillar of New York State’s powerful and entrenched Democratic establishment produced a spate of reactions, often depending on people’s political affiliations, but it is notable that liberals and progressives did not rush to defend the disgraced governor and many of them praised his resignation as the right thing to do.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mingles with attendees at a breakfast for ABNY in Manhattan, April 24, 2015. (Photo by Ken Kurson for The Media Globe)

In an editorial entitled “End of the road,” the liberal New York Daily News says that Cuomo has made the right move, while calling this a sad moment and sternly warning people not to rejoice over the derailment of a political enemy’s career, given the vast amount of difficult work that lies ahead for his successors. The points are well taken, but one cannot help wondering whether the News’s editorial might have a slightly different tone if the career of a prominent conservative politician had just come to such a dramatic and disgraceful end. But an article by Michael Gartland in the same edition of the Daily News, “’22 race wide open after Andy shocker,” examines the huge field of potential candidates in next year’s gubernatorial election, and does not discount the possibility, however remote, that a chastened Cuomo may try for a comeback.

Is the pressure getting to Gov. Newsom? With a recall vote looming about a month away, the Democratic governor of California sat for a video interview with reporters. The usually unflappable gov appeared uncharacteristically agitated throughout the video. Katy Grimes of the California Globe tabulated 9 deployments of the kind-of curse word “damn” and 59 instances in which the governor emphasized a point by pounding the table. Larry Elder, the black conservative radio host who appears to be Newsom’s most formidable foe, got in a decent Twitter burn, saying “Gavin Newsom Unhinged During Interview with Journalist — morphs into Captain Queeg.” It’s must-see tv.