Block this

Readers may recall that (state) Rep. Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) as Minnesota’s first Somali legislator whom I wrote about in “The curious case of Ilhan Omar” and “Ilhan Omar’s many firsts.”

Star Tribune education reporter Faiza Mahamud (@faiza_mahamud) seems to have done something that irritated Omar. Rep. Omar has exacted punishment by blocking her on Twitter (below).

It’s a small world. Mahamud refers to MPR reporter Mukhtar Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare). I had admired Mukhtar’s work and got to know him a little during the trial of the “Minnesota men” as we sat cheek by jowl in the press row for three weeks. We followed each other on Twitter and exchanged contact information.

I chatted enough with Mukhtar during the trial to learn that he was leaving town to pursue a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School. When he returned to work at MPR, I checked his Twitter feed to see what he was up to. I discovered he had blocked me. I have to say that hurt. I followed up by email asking what I had said or done that prompted him to block me. He never responded.

Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) doesn’t like what I have written about him over the years. He really got upset when the Star Tribune published my op-ed column “Ellison remembers to forget.” Ellison blocked me from following him on Twitter. With respect to Ellison I am in the same boat as Faiza Mahumad is with Omar.

I think that Ms. Mahamud raises an excellent point. Omar shouldn’t block her. Ellison shouldn’t block me. This is an issue that raises a question of public policy that the Star Tribune could usefully take up.

On a personal note, I also think Mukhtar should give me the courtesy of letting me know why he blocked me from following him. I don’t need the Star Tribune’s help on this point. It’s a question of good manners that I’ll confine to Power Line. If I said or did something wrong, I would like the opportunity to make amends.


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