The usual caveats to MPR always apply: taxpayer funded promulgator of liberal narratives, comfort zone of the intellectually incurious and cheerfully dishonest disseminator of falsehoods whenever circumstances warrant, which this election cycle was essentially 24/7.
Still, I was appalled when I learned that one of it's better known reporters, Tom Weber, agreed to serve as Master of Ceremonies for CAIR's 9th Annual Banquet. I realize people in media function in a variety of roles outside their platform but in doing so Weber, and explicitly MPR, gave its imprimatur to a group long considered beyond the pale. He did so on top of his employer having given its listeners and readers no real understanding of what the group is or how reasonable people and organizations have a very different understanding of it.
A good summary of CAIR's terrorist links, and it's retribution against critics, "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment," can be found by clicking here.
Members of the Minnesota media would do well to read that piece if they care at all for informed reporting.
MPR made a big deal when it recently hired Mukhtar Ibrahim. When he tweeted something that specifically mentioned CAIR, I responded that the group was terrorist linked. He blocked me faster than Keith Ellison. No agenda here with this reporter.
Nothing objectionable to the CAIR perspective can be found in MPR's coverage of Islam and muslims in America. I've concluded reporters on this beat themselves don't know much. Which non-muslim Twin Cities reporters could tell you, off the top of their heads, the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam? None, I venture to say.
I'm hardly an Islamic scholar or historian but you don't need to be in order to be decently informed; you just won't become so relying on Minnesota media. Instead you'll get a warped version of what's actually happening in Minnesota and in that big scary world outside this xenophobic state's borders.
The CAIR contagion has spread to the Star Tribune, apparently in an effort to keep up with politically correct virtue signaling. Again, the same intellectual impoverishment exists there and the most anodyne stories devoid of anything approaching substance are routinely churned out. The embarrassing saturation coverage over a young muslim woman competing in a beauty pageant, burkini-clad, is but the latest example.
By contrast, anything that reflects badly on the favored group is reported once, if at all, and never again. Somali, how shall we say, overrepresentation in day care fraud is the best example. Why new immigrants incredibly fortunate to be in this country would seek to take criminal advantage of it is something not to be explored further because CAIR narrative.
One local television reporter had a bit about Somali elders which featured all men. Really? Where's the backstory on this episode of misogyny? All people deserve respect and equality; all cultures manifestly do not. It's possible, indeed a moral imperative, to separate the two but this is a synapse that hasn't yet fired in the brains of Minnesota media.
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The default local media position seems to be that coverage of these important issues is best served by using the stale civil rights struggle in which it's always Selma 1965. As a matter of their legendary laziness, I understand this approach but then they ought to congratulate themselves less on Twitter in so being. Real reporting can be done here but they collectively not only lack the will but seem to be positively terrified at the prospect. As a result, their audience is impoverished or, worse, reinforced in their ignorance. Remember, media think themselves truth tellers.
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Scott Johnson, of Powerline, and Preya Samsundar, of Alpha News, have done real and serious reporting that local media refuse to touch, or do so only if forced by events. Liberals and the usual republican Twitter suck-ups-to-reporters routinely disparage both but never, of course, on the merits of their reporting. That's an honesty bridge too far.
The case of Rep. Keith Ellison is both instructive and typical.
The Morning Hot Dish newsletter, the Star Tribune's attempt to encroach on the far superior Morning Take, provides a recent example. Full disclosure: I'm friends with the purveyor of the latter but that wouldn't stop me from critiquing it should I find it appropriate. As a friend of mine once said, the only real downside in being my friend is to find yourself called out by name from time to time in this space. So it goes: Minnesota nice is poison.
Hot Dish, in keeping with local media's attempt to first ignore, then downplay, the odious Keith Ellison and his anti-semitism, his Islamist links and his Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam membership, recently asked about the accumulated evidence: "The point is, what else is out there?" The point is that isn't the point.
Imagine if the links to such groups, and such conduct and words, were on the far right. The "take" would be rather different. But as Johnson long ago pointed out, Minnesota media willingly carried Ellison's water and one supposes there's no reason to think they'd change now. It's all in keeping with a media both ignorant, and afraid to report on, what's actually going on within the muslim community in America. Keith Ellison's tight connection to CAIR can be read about by clicking here.
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Ask yourself if you've ever read any local coverage of Irshad Manji, Tarek Fatah, Maajid Nawaz or even the world famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali (herself a Somali, talk about a local angle)? You haven't but the real question is why?
It's because these muslim reformers have no place in the CAIR narrative. To cover them is to explode the construct that CAIR speaks for all muslims and is somehow a leading voice. It is not the former but if it has become somehow the latter, it is because of a supine, not particularly knowledgeable and intimidated, virtue signaling media. Truth to power and all that J-school rubbish.
Manji recently married her girlfriend, something you'd think the local professional homosexual lobby (in and out of media) would applaud. But no. So great is the Islamist myopia in this town advanced by the Servants of CAIR™ that not even this is sufficient to garner her attention, let alone praise. Fatah is a tour de force in discussing honestly the problems of religion-based terrorist Pakistan and Nawaz himself left militant Islam for a better path. All of them are on Twitter. All of them can be learned about by using the magical powers of Google.
Keith Ellison's Minneapolis based imam recently said things that would bring the press here down on him in an instant had they been said by a white, straight, male, evangelical Christian. But he isn't and so they don't.
This is the real tragedy of the Islamization of Minnesota media: through it's CAIR centered coverage it advances the most extreme advocates of a certain idea of Islam, while abandoning altogether those brave muslim men and women who seek to reconcile the seventh century with modernity while retaining the best of their faith.
You might call it true Islamophobia.
Image credit: CAIR Minnesota, click to enlarge.