Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hometown newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, just endorsed her Democratic primary challenger, Antone Melton-Meaux. That’s not really surprising: they didn’t endorse her in her previous primary or election, either; even a paper that liberal has some standards. And Melton-Meaux is just about as far left as Omar in most regards. Besides, newspaper endorsements don’t really mean much these days. So why even link to this story?
Just because it’s instructive to see how gingerly the editors handled Omar’s outrageously inappropriate behavior. Imagine that President Trump, or any Republican at all, had spouted anti-Semitic hate speech so vile that her Party had to pass an anti-bigotry resolution just to paper over it. Would the Star-Tribune diplomatically describe that as her having made “remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic…”? Or how about if a Republican official had engaged in anti-American rhetoric, been accused of bigamy and immigration fraud, and shoveled more than $1.6 million of campaign funds to her current husband’s (?) consulting firm? What are the odds that the paper would sum all that up by saying that the Republican’s term had been “marred by missteps” and “campaign finance issues”?
I haven’t seen such soft-pedaling since the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a mink bicycle.