Stand by your sham: Conspiracy theory (4)

I had intended to finish this particular series on Ilhan Omar’s 2009 marriage to her brother with a summary of the case supporting it. This is more of a closing comment for the series than a recapitulation of the evidence, which I will leave at present to my post “Stand by your sham: Datapoints.” Later this week I will move on to update the Omar story with notes on the current status of my work on it.

Repugnant pseudojournalists such as the New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells, the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, and public television’s Yamiche Alcindor have propagated the thesis that Omar’s marriage to her brother is a “conspiracy theory.” This is where I came in. As I wrote in the linked part 1 of this series, the propagation of the “conspiracy theory” line among like-minded members of the mainstream media looks like a real conspiracy. It is nevertheless just the herd of independent minds at work.

These fake news reporters have never set foot in Minneapolis to investigate the saga of Ilhan Omar, yet they characterize my account of it as a “conspiracy theory.” They prefer to write about Omar in the spirit of fanboys stricken with girl fever or the Beach Boys singing “don’t hurt my little sister.” It’s pathetic.

The New York Times’s Sheryl Stolberg handled Omar’s husbro fraud in a different fashion. Stolberg skirted the substance of the story in her December 30, 2018 profile of Omar. Stolberg briefly noted: “[A]t home in Minnesota, Ms. Omar has been dogged by claims that she briefly married her brother for immigration purposes — which she called ‘absurd and offensive[.]’”

Linking to my first City Journal column on Omar, Stolberg dealt with the story summarily: “Running for office meant upending gender norms in the Somali community, where politics is typically the province of men. It also forced Ms. Omar to make public details about her complicated private life, which became fodder for conservative bloggers, who seized on her brief marriage [sic] to a British citizen. They have since divorced; earlier this year, she married her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children.”

Fodder for conservative bloggers. That’s as far as Stolberg went with the most unusual of Omar’s many frauds.

Stolberg had called me to talk about my work on Omar before her story was published. She claimed familiarity with all of it and expressed interest in it. After her profile of Omar was published, I called her to ask why she hadn’t lifted a finger to examine the husband/brother story herself. She told me that voters were familiar with the issue based on local coverage and that it was essentially mooted by Omar’s election. What a complete and utter farce.

Any serious reporter who comes to Minneapolis and invests a minimum amount of effort in developing trust with knowledgeable Somali sources will find the story. I’ve been working on it for over three years, but it’s not that hard. By any reasonable standard, it is a most newsworthy story involving an unprecedented scandal.

I will take the liberty of repeating one final point. When the Star Tribune finally got around to a serious exploration of the possible Omar frauds in its June 23 page-one story by Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor, it failed to find a single fact or knowledgeable source supporting Omar’s denials.

While we are at it, let me ask readers to compare the statement Omar gave me in August 2016 (quoted verbatim in the City Journal column linked above) with the statement she gave the Star Tribune for its June 23 story this year (quoted verbatim in the linked Star Tribune article). After three years and reams of positive news coverage of her, the Star Tribune received the same treatment from Omar that Omar had previously accorded Power Line — nonresponse responses and accusations of bigotry. Audacity is Omar’s strong point, but she is notable for her ingratitude as well. Fortunately for Omar, the Star Tribune doesn’t hold it against her.