Media Malpractice: 'Columbus Dispatch' Botches Hit on Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel Over 'Radical Islam'
"No good deed goes unpunished."
That's what I said to myself last Friday when I got off the phone with Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson.
He had called me about a spun-up controversy regarding Ohio Treasurer and current U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who is now coming under fire for raising alarm about the growth of "radical Islam" in the state of Ohio -- and in particular, the corrosive influence of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
It's not that Johnson was combative. Quite the opposite. We spoke on background for about 20 minutes, and on the record for about five minutes, and it was all very cordial.
But the article that came out on Monday in the Columbus Dispatch is yet another example of the widespread establishment media practice of burying the lede, intentionally missing critical evidence, and accepting uncritically statements from CAIR. In short, it's shooting the messenger.
Let me say upfront, I'm not affiliated in any way with the Mandel campaign, and have only met him once for less than a half hour at his request to provide information on past terror arrests and plots in Ohio, as I would any elected official of any political party who would ask.
I have to take several issues with Johnson's article, "Josh Mandel ramps up criticism of 'radical Islam,' sanctuary cities."
One issue is the past attacks on Mandel in 2010 when he was first running for state treasurer:
Mandel first showed his reaction to Muslims in his 2010 campaign for treasurer vs. Democratic incumbent Kevin Boyce. Mandel accused Boyce of cronyism with employees in his office, including top assistant Amer Ahmad.
The Republican’s blog accused Ahmad of awarding contracts to “Islamic extremist friends,” adding, “Ohio state jobs openings only announced at a terror-tied mosque? Not quite sure how that is legal.”
After reading Mandel’s blog post, Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Muslim civil-rights and advocacy organization Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that, at the least, it included “some type of religious bias.”
What is never stated in the article is that Mandel was 100 percent correct regarding past Deputy Treasurer Amer Ahmad, who currently sits in federal prison serving a 15 years sentence for bribery, receiving kickbacks, and running a money laundering scheme while serving in the Ohio Treasurer's office.
And, in fact, the issue of job openings announced only at the mosque had previously been reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mandel had been relying on "real news."
The conclusion to the Ahmad matter was no secret to the Columbus Dispatch as they reported on the Amer Ahmad scandal at the time: