Stand by your sham: Fact-check edition

This past July Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher took a look at the media fact-check component of Ilhan Omar’s persistent stand by her sham in “Ilhan Omar Marriage Flummoxes Media Fact-Checkers” Subhead: “The ‘baseless smear’ that can’t be debunked” I posted Brent’s column on Power Line with a brief preface in “Rep. Omar would prefer not to.”

The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer appeared with a pathetic specimen “How the Ilhan Omar Marriage Smear Went From Fever Swamp to Trump.” I evaluated Sommer’s specimen in “Daily Mail versus Daily Beast.”

Although this was the least of it, Sommer was unable even to get the year of Rathergate right; he located it in 2000 rather than 2004. Sommer obviously started with the conclusion that the question whether Omar married her brother is a “smear” that crawled out of the “fever swamp” and wrote a story to fit.

When Omar deleted the 2013 tweet thanking Allah for her father “Nur Said” last week Brent recanvassed the fact-checkers in “Fact-Checkers Decline to Revisit Ilhan Omar Marriage Question.” The talkative Sommer isn’t giving up. He responded to Brent. Here is Brent’s account:

The 2013 post by Omar wishing a Happy Father’s Day to a man named “Nur Said” resurfaced late Monday night when Imam Mohamad Tawhidi pointed to it as further evidence that Omar’s previous husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, was her brother. In Somali culture, a man’s middle name is typically the name of his father. Omar deleted the tweet revealing her father’s name on Tuesday at 5:23 a.m., according to ProPublica’s tracker of deleted tweets.

The accusation that Omar married her brother has plagued her since she first ran for public office in 2016, and she has provided little to no information to refute it aside from suggesting the accusations themselves are evidence of anti-Muslim bigotry. Media outlets such as CNN and the Daily Beast, neither of which received any cooperation from Omar, have nonetheless stepped in to label the accusation a “disgusting lie” and “baseless smear.”

But neither appears ready to reevaluate their conclusions in light of Omar’s recently resurfaced—and deleted—tweet.

Asked about the new information, the Daily Beast‘s Will Sommer, who labeled the accusation a “baseless smear” earlier this summer, questioned whether the deleted post actually contained new information.

“So this claim that Omar’s father is named Nur Said Elmi Mohamed has been around since at least Oct 2018,” Sommer wrote in an email, pointing to a report from PJ Media’s David Steinberg, who used old Minnesota public school records to determine Omar’s father’s name. “I haven’t seen any official government documents or anything, so I don’t know if that’s actually his full name, but this has circulated on the right for at least a year.”

Omar’s post, however, confirmed Steinberg’s findings. Sommer himself had previously rejected Steinberg’s report, complaining that it was based on anonymous sources.

“A Steinberg story scrutinizing Elmi’s high school record has been much praised on the right,” he wrote in his July piece in which Steinberg is portrayed as a conspiracy theorist. “But his claim that Elmi and Omar have the same father rests entirely on unnamed people.”

Sommer also said he doesn’t view Omar’s decision to delete the tweet as incriminatory.

“Obviously, if they actually thought this deleted tweet proved Elmi is Omar’s brother, they’d write something saying exactly that—rather than just keeping up the usual insinuations that the entire Omar smear has come to rely on,” Sommer said. “Instead, I think the explanation for why Omar deleted the tweet is likely simpler: she’s repeatedly subjected to death threats, and a Father’s Day tweet to her father had become the object of fevered, undeserved speculation.”

Sommer regurgitates Omar’s nonsensical statement and deems it a “likely simpler explanation” than the obvious one that comports with previous purges of social media evidence by Omar and her family. Sommer sticks with the conclusion that has governed his comments from the outset and led him to discard evidence that belies it as “confusing” (see “Daily Mirror versus Daily Beast”).

It would be charitable to say that Sommer is confused. The evidence itself is nevertheless far from “confusing.”

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