WaPo Rushes to Defend Ilhan Omar’s 9/11 Remarks, Fails Spectacularly
Omar is using Kessler’s absurd fact check to equate her remarks to Bush’s bullhorn address at Ground Zero after 9/11.
It’s like clockwork. When a prominent Democrat lands themselves in hot water, the Washington Post oftentimes publishes puff pieces or fact checks defending them.
They did it with Virginia House Delegate Kathy Tran over her infanticide bill and with Gov. Ralph Northam’s defense of it. Now they’re doing it with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5), who recently noted that 9/11 was perpetrated when “some people did something.”
A video surfaced this week of Omar speaking at a CAIR banquet in California in late March. During the speech, she said this about the 9/11 terrorist attacks (bolded emphasis added):
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
First things first: CAIR was not “founded after 9/11.” They were founded in 1994. Secondly, radical Islamists carrying out the horrific attacks that killed almost 3,000 innocent people are a lot more than just “some people [who] did something.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) was among the many public figures and politicians who blasted Omar’s comments:
First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as “some people who did something”.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 9, 2019
The New York Post responded, too, with a powerful Thursday front page:
Her defenders said she was taken out of context, but she wasn’t. Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of her speech:
Rep. Ilhan Omar: 'Raise Hell, Make People Uncomfortable', 'Tired' of US Muslims 'Being a Second-Class Citizen' by @JerylBier https://t.co/5dEmuQrYM0 pic.twitter.com/BVXNSvSgWj
— __TheScript__ (@__TheScript__) April 11, 2019
Several minutes before she made her comments about the 9/11 attacks being about “some people [who] did something”, she described the New Zealand mosque attacks as a “tragic, tragic nightmare.” So one was a tragic nightmare, while the other was just “some people” doing “something”?
Here’s the full video, which I’ve set to start where this portion of her speech started (around 3:07):
The Washington Post, in full white knight mode, rushed to Omar’s defense in publishing a piece in which they claimed context was needed.
After quoting several lines from her speech (which did not change what she said), “fact checker” Glenn Kessler wrote:
We will leave it to readers to determine whether Omar should have referred to “terrorists” or if the context for “some people” is clear from the speech.
When we listened to the whole speech, we were reminded of President George W. Bush’s phrasing in two famous moments after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” – Bullhorn address to Ground Zero rescue workers, Sept. 14, 2001
The other one was an Islamic Center speech in which President Bush defended Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11.
Kessler suggests that Bush’s bullhorn comments and the ones he made defending Muslims were no different than Omar’s speech.
In reality, the context surrounding Bush’s speeches meant everything after the terrorist attacks. He was by no means downplaying what happened. In the coming weeks and months, his administration would respond forcefully to the attacks.
On the other hand, the context the Post provided for Omar’s speech didn’t do her any justice. In fact, the context provided by the full video made her “some people did something” quote even worse.
Making things worse still is Omar’s widely-known reputation for repeating anti-Semitic tropes, which is a significant context for drawing conclusions about what Omar says all on its own.
No biggie, though. She’s just using Kessler’s fact check to equate her remarks to Bush’s bullhorn address at Ground Zero after 9/11.
“The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” President George W. Bush
Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?
What if he was a Muslim 🤔 https://t.co/XMazssoD49
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 12, 2019
Mission accomplished. Right, WaPo?
–Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–
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There’s a semantic difference between “the people” and “some people.” Islamic terrorists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, so “the people” referred to are “the terrorists.” Everyone understood Bush was referring to Islamic terrorists. But when the attackers are called “some people,” this suggests their identities are unknown or that an argument exists concerning who it was who committed the attacks. The word “some” implies vagueness. (As in “How much milk was spilled?” “Some.” Rather than replying “Eight ounces.”)
Rep. Omar asks an interesting question. GWB’s “Global War on Terror” did an enormous amount to advance Islamism. For any other purpose it was pathetically incompetent.
As Rep. Omar asks: “What if he was a Muslim?” Maybe he was.
Jeff Bezos, through his rag the Washington Post, is the modern Joseph Goebbels.
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