I thought the left-wingers in the media had run out of ways to not talk honestly about this story but I was wrong. Brian Stelter has come up with such an astounding bit of left-wing hackery I’m actually a bit embarrassed for him. Rather than talk about what Omar said and why it offended some people, Stelter decides to pull back and tell us a meta-story about how this became news. By the end of this clip, no joke, he’s talking about the entire history of the nation and suggesting that’s really the best way to look at this.
“There’s something bigger going on with this story,” Stelter said. He continued, “It tells us something about the right-wing rage machine and about how news priorities are set. The history of the United States is a tug of war over who belongs and who is equal and who has power. It’s the biggest story of all. And yet, those of us in the press often-times cover this just in tiny discreet bits.”
Yes, Brian, those tiny discrete bits are called “news.” That’s how you’re supposed to be covering things because you’re not a historian. You’re supposed to tell us what happened right now and in this case, you’re just changing the subject.
So, a couple of points about this. First, I was one of the first people to write about this last Tuesday. My story about it included the history that Stelter is now pretending is some great mystery (an imam tweeted a clip, Rep. Crenshaw made a comment about it, Rep. Omar responded, and Crenshaw fired back at her). None of this was part of a rage machine. I saw Rep. Crenshaw’s tweet and Omar’s response and thought the back and forth between two congresspeople with very different perspectives was a) interesting and b) said something about the current differences between left and right. I also included the entire video of Rep. Omar’s remarks so people could see for themselves what the discussion was about. No conspiracy, no secrets, and no dishonest attempts to frame things unfairly. If you saw my story, you saw everything there was to see.
Was it the most important story in the world that day? Not at all. But it was a sharp disagreement with a Rep. who had recently been in trouble for anti-Semitic comments and it seemed to me that it was a fair hit, meaning she really did say what was claimed. And when Omar responded by claiming Rep. Crenshaw was trying to incite violence against her, I thought she sounded unhinged. Even if the story itself wasn’t a huge deal, her response to the criticism seemed bonkers.
All of that to say, this was a legitimate gaffe and coverage of it was also legitimate. The fact that CNN and other left-leaning news sites ignored it initially says more about them than it does about us.
Second point: Where is Stelter analyzing how stories become news when something pops up in the left-wing media and becomes a national story, which happens all the time. How about the Covington Catholic disaster? Who was promoting that outrage and why? Cui bono from hating on a silent 17-year-old? How did Michael Avenatti become a household name? CNN had a lot to do with it because they liked the story he was telling. How did the Parkland anti-gun kids become a feature on CNN? Who benefited from that? Did Stelter ever do a 10,000-foot analysis of why those kids were on CNN constantly after the attack, even as CNN knew they were getting help from anti-gun groups to promote an agenda?
How about the Trump collusion story? We’ve had two years of that nonsense in which CNN was heavily invested. Who benefited from that? As it turns out, CNN did. In fact, Ted Koppel pointed that out to Stelter and, surprisingly, he didn’t seem terribly open to the idea that there was a larger story worth discussing in that case.
Isn’t it odd that Stelter only wants to pull back and look at the big picture in certain cases? This clip below is just more proof of what has become a telltale sign in today’s media. If it’s bad for the right, the story is just the story. If it looks bad for the left then the story is the right’s reaction. That’s what Stelter is doing here. This is a 3-minute version of Republicans seized on Omar’s comments.