The editors of the Star Tribune have spoken up to endorse challenger Antone Melton-Meaux over incumbent Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar in next Tuesday’s DFL primary. The Star Tribune’s endorsement comes in today’s editorial “Melton-Meaux, for integrity and progress.” Challenger’s desire to find common ground sets him apart from incumbent Omar.
Understand that the Star Tribune sits squarely in Omar’s district. As she has become an intergalactic superstar, the Star Tribune has served mostly as her media adjunct. The exception is the Star Tribune’s most read story of 2019, still worth reading in 2020.
Despite its tactful approach to her, Omar wouldn’t talk to the paper’s reporters for that story or for its most recent story on her campaign spending. Despite her imputation of racism to the Star Tribune in connection with the 2019 story, Omar nevertheless interviewed with the editors for their endorsement.
Note the twisted silence and count the dogs that don’t bark in this sentence of the endorsement editorial:
Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight as the first Muslim woman and first refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues.
This represents an utter failure of nerve consistent with the Star Tribune’s coverage of Omar over the past four years.
For the sake of completeness, here is the rest of the paragraph introduced by the quoted sentence:
Interestingly, the DFL Party has chosen to make an issue of Melton-Meaux’s finances, filing a late complaint that his campaign used “shadow” companies for his bid, a step the campaign told supporters was necessary because the Democratic Party blacklists companies that work for the challenger to an incumbent.
In my notes on the Fifth District race this past Sunday I criticized the Star Tribune for its silence in this race. Having criticized the editors for their silence I want to note today’s editorial endorsement.