Fake news: A case study

You may have read about the former Obama White House staffer who resigned from the Trump White House after only eight days. Rumana Ahmed thought she should “try to stay on the NSC staff during the Trump Administration” she wrote at the Atlantic last week, “in order to give the new president and his aides a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America’s Muslim citizens.”

But then, according to Ahmed, the executive order suspending visa issuance for Syrian refugees and suspending it temporarily for nationals of seven Muslim majority countries forced her hand. She quit. She “had to leave because it was an insult walking into this country’s most historic building every day under an administration that is working against and vilifying everything I stand for as an American and as a Muslim.”

Ahmed’s story triggered Lee Smith’s crap detector. In “Fake news, exposed” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story:

When I emailed the editor of the Atlantic to ask for clarification regarding Ahmed’s employment status in the White House, Atlantic magazine senior director for communications Anna Bross replied: “Rumana Ahmed was a direct hire by the NSC and not a political appointee. She was staff and planned to stay on.”

That’s wrong. Ahmed was a political appointee in the Obama White House. According to Trump White House officials, it was very late in her tenure in the Obama administration when she applied for a civil service position with administrative duties. “Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status. She was granted her new status at the end of January, just as the Trump team was moving into the White House. That is, Ahmed took the highly unusual step for a White House staffer of choosing a considerably less ambitious career path in government, as she went from a junior policy position to a secretarial post.

Why? Because as a political appointee from the Obama administration she was inevitably going to be replaced by a Trump appointee and she wanted to stay on. And yet in only four days—not eight, because, say sources, she took several days off—she came to the conclusion that she had failed in her attempt to influence the Trump team, which in fact “was attacking the basic tenets of democracy.”

Right, it was a set-up. The article is part of an information operation.

Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.

Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

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