The Omar omertà

A huge Somali audience booed Ilhan Omar when she took the stage at Suldaan Seeraar’s Target Center concert in downtown Minneapolis this past Saturday evening. She was unable to get in a word edgewise. What gives? Surely there is an interesting story there.

We posted the video here first thing Sunday morning. The video went viral on Twitter. We followed up here in the post reporting that Omar left town for London on Sunday evening. When it comes to Omar, the theme should be Scorn on the Fourth of July.

The story of Omar’s humiliating treatment by the Somali crowd at Target Center was covered by the New York Post, by FOX News, by Newsweek, by Sky News Australia, by the Washington Times, and by the Daily Mail, among other outlets.

The news has traveled around the world without making its way into the Star Tribune, Omar’s hometown newspaper and the dominant media player in the state. The Star Tribune seems to take its cue from Omar’s enforcer — the thug whose thumbnail photo is the avatar for our coverage of Omar. His name is Guhaad Hashi. Lifted from a photo on his old Facebook page, Hashi’s s image instructs Somalis to keep quiet about Omar. Indeed, that’s how I first heard about him in the course of my initial reporting on Omar’s marriage to her brother nearly six years ago.

Hashi even turned up in David Farenthold’s New York Times story on the Twin Cities massive free lunch fraud. Fahrenthold didn’t know anything about his background, but he found Hashi’s place in the free lunch fraud. With a little help from one of my Somali friends, we posted Hashi’s mug shot here in 2019. By contrast, the Star Tribune has yet to get around to Hashi.

My point, and I do have one, is this. The Star Tribune sits in the heart of the district represented by Omar in Congress, yet readers who get their news about Omar from the Star Tribune are among the most poorly informed in the country. The Star Tribune’s last story on Omar is dated June 30. It reports that “At north Minneapolis town hall, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar praises new gun safety law, decries Roe’s demise.” There you have it. That’s what I’m saying.

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