Uncovering Omar

Michael Isikoff titled his excellent 1999 memoir Uncovering Clinton. As I recall — I am writing from memory because I gave my copy of the book to a departed friend — the title punned on a striking theme of the book. Isikoff uncovered the Lewsinsky story while everyone in the press knew about Bill Clinton’s frolics and detours — everyone including Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry — but the press chose not to cover the story. As to the Lewinsky story, Matt Drudge forced their hand.

When it comes to Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar, there is no pun intended. The Star Tribune is uncovering — i.e., not covering — Omar. That is the theme of my “Open letter to Scott Gillespie.”

In today’s installment of not covering Omar, Star Tribune Washington bureau chief Patrick Condon gives us “Rep. Ilhan Omar wants child care reimbursed for federal employees working without pay.” Condon’s version of the story I documented in “Ilhan Omar carries on” is relegated to the concluding paragraphs and rendered incomprehensible:

Omar’s public focus this week has been the federal shutdown; she also held a news conference to talk about it earlier this week in Minnesota. But for the second week in a row, she also found herself responding to controversy generated by her social media posts.

That was after she deleted several tweets related to a confrontation last week near the Lincoln Memorial between an American Indian activist and a group of Catholic high school students from Kentucky.

“I feel sorry there has been blame and hurt,” Omar said. She said she was motivated by concern for Nathan Phillips, the Indian activist.

“I wanted to hold him in a space in my heart and have a conversation about what hate and discrimination look like in our country,” she said.

Omar’s Twitter flaps have made her a frequent target of Republicans. “Rep. Omar is now in a position of power and should realize her words and tweets have consequences,” Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said in a statement released Wednesday — one of numerous Republican hits against her in recent days.

In her first month in office, Ilhan Omar has become a major national embarrassment to Minnesota. Condon’s story is glorified public relations on her behalf, and not very subtle at that. It covers up rather than covers the story here and constitutes yet another exhibit illustrating the reason many of us have a strong antipathy to the Star Tribune.

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