Dana Bash, John King and Wolf Blitzer

Nate Bloom blogs on this week's Jews in the News.


Dana Bash/John King & Wolf Blitzer, More Bel Powley, and Fool's Paradise



On April 27, it was announced that CNN correspondent DANA BASH, 51, would take over as the anchor of “Inside Politics”, a daily CNN program. Bash wasn’t happy, however, when the Los Angeles Times headlined this news with this original headline:   “John King Exits CNN’s ‘Inside Politics’ for New Role. His Ex-Wife Dana Bash Will Succeed Him”.


She posted this Tweet: “yes John and I used to be married [2008-2011]. We are now friends and share a wonderful son together. In this context I am not an “ex wife,” I am a veteran journalist with decades of experience who worked hard for this role. Do better please.”

The Times changed the second sentence of the headline to, simply, “Dana Bash Will Succeed Him.”


As I have noted before, Bash’s mother was an author and educator, teaching Jewish studies. JOHN KING converted to Judaism before their marriage. I don’t believe that King, 59, has ever disclosed whether he continued to identify as Jewish after the divorce.


CNN has not fired King, who has been battling multiple sclerosis for years. He was given a new job as a travelling correspondent, focusing on reporting the presidential campaign in the battleground states.


On April 20, CNN streamed a 20-minute segment about Bash and CNN anchor WOLF BLITZER, 75. They were filmed as they visited Auschwitz.


On the grounds of Auschwitz, they first talked about their respective families. Blitzer’s parents survived Auschwitz. However, his grandparents (all four), two uncles, and two aunts on his father's side were all murdered there. Bash’s maternal grandparents managed to leave Hungary in 1941 and got to America. But her maternal great-grandparents were killed in Auschwitz in 1944.


Bash showed Blitzer a letter that her “great-grands” wrote to her “grands” in early 1944. Despite the war, this letter, mailed in Hungary, managed to reach her “grands” in America. In it, Bash’s great grands conveyed their dread that things were rapidly getting worse for Hungarian Jews.


The camera then followed as they visited Auschwitz facilities. Right after that, they met up with the people parading in the yearly ‘March of the Living’. They talked to a Holocaust survivor in the parade. They also talked to a historian about the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.


Bash said, at the end of the segment, that “the best revenge is to survive and thrive”.  (The whole segment is posted on Youtube. The Youtube title is: CNN Anchors Tour Nazi Death Camp Where Their Relatives Died)


I previously wrote about “A Small Light”, an 8-episode series (Disney+/Hulu) about ANNE FRANK and her family. It began streaming on May 1 and concludes this month. I noted that Mies Giap, the Dutch woman who helped hide the Frank family, is played by British actress BEL POWLEY, 31, and I mentioned that Powley’s mother is Jewish.  Well, Powley dropped a few “Jewish nuggets” in an April 30 Guardian newspaper interview.


She referred to herself as “Jewish” and she explained how her mother’s family settled in the U.K.  Her great-grandparents left Lithuania for America. Their ship stopped in Dublin, Ireland (then a city in the U.K.) and her “great-grands” got off, really thinking they were in America! Her grandmother was born in Dublin and, Powley says, “she spoke Yiddish, with a heavy Irish accent”.


Powley also stars in the British series “Everything I Know About Love”. This 7-episode series got very good reviews and it began streaming on the Peacock channel last August (still available). I only recently caught-up with this series and I just watched the first episode.  Until this week, I didn’t know that the lead character, Birdy, is supposed to be Jewish. 


In the Guardian interview, Powley, who plays Birdy, said:  “I got amazing responses from the [U.K.] Jewish community. People were so happy there was a Jewish character on the show, but it’s incidental. I was adamant she’d wear her Star of David, like I did when I was younger, but the show doesn’t focus on her Jewishness. It’s just a side point, which was kind of cool.”


“Fool’s Paradise”, a satirical comedy, opens in theaters on May 12. In “Fool’s”, a publicist (Ken Jeong) discovers a man, Lotta (Charlie Day), who was recently released from a mental hospital. Lotta looks just like a top actor who refuses to act anymore. With the help of a top producer (Ray Liotta), the publicist makes Lotta a huge star. Kate Beckinsale plays a beautiful actress who marries Lotta.


The publicist and Lotta meet a lot of Hollywood biggies. They are played by ADRIEN BRODY, 50, Jason Sudeikis, Edie Falco, and John Malkovich. 


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