Greg Jaffe and Souad Mekhennet profile Ilhan Omar in the long if distasteful Washington Post story “Ilhan Omar’s American story: It’s complicated.” The headline is ironic in some sense. According to the Post, it’s actually not complicated.
In the hands of the Post, what I have been referring to as Omar’s curious case is especially uncomplicated. The Post disposes of it in two sentences with a statement of facts that is highly dubious, to say the least, an implied chronology that is mistaken, and an avoidance of wrinkles in the story: “Conservative blogs dug into her complicated marital history. She and the father of her three children split temporarily in the 2000s but still filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was legally married to someone else.” What’s complicated about that?
The Post represents the best that American journalism has to offer. With unlimited resources, gifted reporters, and talented editors, the Post demonstrates no interest in a most interesting story that has yet to play itself out and that may represent a problem Omar can’t talk her way out of. She has in any event so far essentially refused to try. Even the Star Tribune got to the story last month — a few years late, but nevertheless in a serious journalistic effort. The Post won’t even acknowledge the existence of the rock, let alone turn it over. How utterly pathetic.