CNN host of “Reliable Sources” Brian Stelter is coming to the defense of Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar following a number of anti-Semitic comments and dismissive comments made about the terror attacks on 9/11.
Stelter justified Omar’s comments as “civic conversation” and said people other than her were stripping her “phrased remarks of context.” It’s not her fault she called the infamous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the loss of 3,000 Americans as “some people did something,” the CNN host argued.
“Civic conversation in America is dysfunctional in part because we have so many such outrage exhibitionists,” Stelter wrote in a post on Twitter, quoting an Atlantic article. “These folks strip inartfully phrased remarks of context, ignoring the speaker’s intentions and imputing the least charitable possible meaning…”
Some people quickly remarked the irony in Stelter (CNN, or mainstream media in general) speaking about making civic discourse dysfunctional and stripping words from their context.
The Atlantic piece mostly defends Omar’s comments and claims they were taken out of context. Staff writer Conor Friedersdorf wrote that “Omar’s meaning was clear” when offered within its context.
Check it out, via the Atlantic:
Last month, Representative Ilhan Omar attended a banquet hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, where she delivered remarks for roughly 20 minutes.
A major theme was prejudice against Muslims. “Here’s the truth,” she said. “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. 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.”
Omar’s meaning was clear: Many Muslims felt collectively blamed for something that was indisputably perpetrated by a tiny fraction of their co-religionists and marshaled new resources to protect their civil rights in response. (CAIR was actually founded in the 1990s, but expanded significantly after 9/11.)
Omar has yet to apologize for how her comments were widely perceived as offensive and insensitive.