Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Perjury Evidence Blacked Out by Minnesota Media
According to CNN, 100 or more newspapers will publish editorials attacking President Trump on August 16.
Meanwhile, Minnesota's largest newspapers -- along with every other mainstream outlet in the country -- just whiffed on covering this: Signed, notarized court documents and time-stamped photos showing the Democratic frontrunner for Minnesota's highest-profile House seat appearing to commit perjury.
The common newsroom explanation, often valid, for having passed on a particular story -- "we couldn't independently verify it" -- simply does not apply here. The evidence, reposted below, against Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-60B) consists of nothing but certified court filings and archived social media posts.
These court records are publicly available: Anyone can enter the Hennepin County District Court Records Center, sit at a self-service terminal, and retrieve them. The social media posts (which have since been deleted from Ilhan Omar's and her ex-husband's Instagram accounts) are easily verifiable by a novice, let alone a modern digital news outlet.
These court records do not describe decades-old college misdemeanors. They are from 2017.
This story was never obscure; the 2016 coverage of Rep. Omar's marriage -- which presumably motivated her filing for default divorce just a few months later -- was global. Frankly, these court records may depict the most (only?) high-profile default divorce in U.S. political history.
If forced to provide an excuse, I expect most mainstream outlets will claim to have avoided the story because of its related salacious aspect: That Omar married her own brother to assist him in committing immigration fraud or some other crime. Yet even without regard for the (objectively convincing) evidence of that allegation, that excuse would be the most easily dismissed. We've seen how the nation's mainstream newsrooms responded to an unverified "pee tape."
Most importantly, however, the perjury evidence is entirely separate from the more sensational charge.
And perjury is yet another topic about which these outlets do not have a track record of extreme caution.
Phyllis Kahn is the 22-term incumbent whom Ilhan Omar defeated in 2016. Kahn, perhaps the only Democrat with no reason to fear speaking candidly on Omar, did so last week during an interview with The Intercept:
[Kahn] said without prompt that Omar was “anti-Semitic,” and that “the story about the two husbands is completely true,” referring to a 2016 controversy in which Omar was accused of being a bigamist who married her brother to commit immigration fraud. At the time, Omar said in a statement that the rumors about her personal life were “absolutely false and ridiculous.” Kahn, apparently, is not convinced. She said, “This kind of Minnesota niceness, or whatever, of not wanting to appear racist -- it’s something no one’s willing to go after her for.”
Kahn mentions only part of the story. Party identification and Omar's frontrunner status should be considered the primary reasons for the media silence. Nonetheless, Kahn's comments will be valuable should Omar win on Tuesday and the pressure intensify for media to explain the blackout.