Top Star Tribune story of 2019

Late last week the Star Tribune posted its top 10 most-read Minnesota news stories of 2019. Coming in at number 1 is “New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history,” by Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor.

The 3,000-word story takes a serious look at the question we first raised three years ago: did Ilhan Omar marry her brother in 2009? The story was linked by Drudge and RealClearPolitics. The story that came in number 2 must have been far behind it in readership. Let us take one more look as we close out the year.

Ilhan Omar “married” Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009. In 2016, when Omar was still “married” to Elmi and Omar was running for the state legislature, the Star Tribune took note of the ruckus we had raised in this story by Coolican dated August 16, 2016.

The story of Omar’s possible marriage to her brother had blown up into a crisis. The Omar campaign formed a crisis committee and brought in political consultant Ben Goldfarb to help Omar weather the crisis.

Coolican called me for a comment on the farcical statement that Goldfarb crafted for Omar on her then-secret marriage. I asked Patrick: “Who do they say he is?” He responded: “They won’t tell me.” By this time, however, to the great relief of the Omar campaign crisis committee, Coolican had assured Goldfarb that the Star Tribune would not be pursuing “the brother angle” (as Goldfarb put it in an email to the crisis committee).

Thanks to the investigation conducted by Minnesota’s campaign finance board over the past year, we now have a window into the Omar campaign’s treatment of the “crisis” we created in 2016 and the media treatment of it. I have drawn on the investigative file in my summary above, as I did earlier this year in numerous posts on Power Line that included the board’s file documents themselves.

Thanks to the investigation we learned that Omar filed joint tax returns with her Ahmed Hirsi, even though she wasn’t actually married to him, while she was actually “married” to Elmi. Omar has offered no explanation for this, but I can explain it easily. Omar never treated her “marriage” to Elmi as anything but a sham.

The Star Tribune took its first serious look at the story behind the “crisis” in its most-read story of 2019. It drew on the campaign finance board investigative file to treat the story in some depth. Coolican and Montemayor all but begged Omar and her real husband and her father for an interview.

Omar not only declined, she issued yet another farcical statement, this one through spokesman Jeremy Slevin. Coolican and Montemayor quote it verbatim in their story. This most voluble politician would prefer not to — would prefer not to talk if the subject bears on her tangled marital history. She would prefer to lob accusations of bigotry to silence reporters and others.

When the Star Tribune finally got around to a serious exploration of the possible Omar frauds in its June 23 page-one story, it failed to find a single fact supporting Omar’s denials. This year the scandal evolved into a more conventional story of married partners and an illicit affair, but the Star Tribune’s most-read story of 2019 provides the backdrop to it.

Omar has become an intergalactic intersectional superstar. Public interest in the story is great. The underlying scandal is unlike anything we have ever seen in American politics.

The Star Tribune is Omar’s hometown newspaper. It has failed to follow up on its most-read story of 2019. It has failed to note that Omar’s 2009 “marriage” was performed by a Christian minister — yet one more sign of its fraudulence. Doing the work that the Star Tribune should have done, the Daily Mail contacted the minister this year. The minister isn’t talking either.

The Star Tribune has failed to report on the fallout from the news of Omar’s affair within the Somali community. It has failed to advance the “brother angle” of the story in any respect since June 23.

The story is still out there for the asking in Minneapolis’s Somali community. The fear of Omar is great, yet I was able to interview several knowledgeable sources in the Somali community over the past six months. These sources all confirmed that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is Omar’s brother. Wouldn’t a real newspaper want to stay on this story long enough to bring it to a conclusion one way or the other?

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