PJ Media New York City editor David Steinberg devoted four investigative posts to newly elected Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar. In chronological order, for the record, here they are: “Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Perjury Evidence Blacked Out by Minnesota Media” (August 8); “Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Perjury Evidence Blacked Out by Minnesota Media” (August 12); ‘Official School Records Support Claims That Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Married Her Brother” (October 23); “Address Records Show Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Still Lived With Her First Husband Throughout Marriage To Her Apparent Brother” (October 30).
Conducting his investigation from New York on what must be a low, low budget, Steinberg has performed a public service with a high degree of difficulty. He has put the Star Tribune to shame. He has contributed to our understanding of “The curious case of Ilhan Omar,” as I’ve been calling it for the past two years. Steinberg shows the case to be curiouser and curiouser.
For me the biggest takeaway from Tuesday’s elections in Minnesota is the nonfeasance of the press in general and the Star Tribune in particular. In lieu of anything substantive, to take one example, we get Andy Sullivan’s October 31 Reuters profile of Omar (with bonus Trump bashing): “Once a refugee, Somali-American appears headed to U.S. Congress.” We get Erin Golden’s festive Star Tribune post-election story “Ilhan Omar again makes history, becoming 1st Somali-American elected to U.S. House.” We get, in other words, glorified public relations serving Democrats.
For purposes of contrast, try to find a story celebrating the election of Young Kim in California’s 39th Congressional District (parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties) on Tuesday. Kim will succeed Ed Royce. Kim is a South Korean immigrant who is the first Korean woman elected to Congress. The Examiner’s Tiana Lowe has drawn the contrast with the press celebrating Omar.
In the immediate aftermath of Omar’s election on Tuesday, Steinberg now looks back in “105 Articles Cover Ilhan Omar’s Win. Zero Cover Her Anti-Semitism, Finance Investigations, or Perjury Evidence.” Steinberg compiles a list of stories celebrating Omar in one way or another and reflects: “The media has made the following decision: Presenting Ilhan Omar as a symbol is more valuable information for the public than presenting Ilhan Omar as an individual with a remarkably troubling background. Transparently, the media has decided this is a hill to die on. Their reputations, their readers’ trust, the rule of law, and America’s struggle against anti-Semitism are secondary to pleasurable, if false, symbolism.”