Mr. Milbank’s Muddled Misfire

When conservatives taunt Muslims in the room, they apparently thank them for their questions and say, “Well, I’m glad to see you’re representing Muslims in this company.” This is then translated by the press into the “ugly taunting” of an innocent American University law student who just wanted to ask a question that was, by the way, off the topic of the panel at hand.

Chris Plante, on his Washington-based WMAL radio show, remarked the next day that he and the panel should have said that her question regarding Muslims wasn’t on topic and moved on. Then, Plante asserted, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank would have had to come up with a different smear. (Plante was the moderator of the panel held by the Benghazi Accountability Coalition {BAC} at The Heritage Foundation on June 16th.)

Indeed, Milbank takes delight in smearing conservatives and prefers to target their character instead of addressing the substance of their message. When Accuracy in Media and the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi held a conference on the Benghazi attacks last September, Milbank impugned the group as a bunch of conspiracy theorists. Apparently, he must shoot the messenger if he can’t address the message. But that is a strategy best reserved for the leftist Media Matters, not The Washington Post. As I remarked then, “Milbank is the reporter the Post usually sends out to cover events where conservatives gather so he can offer his sarcastic little commentaries to belittle the people involved.”

Thus, Milbank starts his latest column with “Representatives of prominent conservative groups converged on the Heritage Foundation on Monday afternoon for the umpteenth in a series of gatherings to draw attention to the Benghazi controversy.” Clearly, Milbank is already bored with what he views as a phony scandal and is looking for something to spice up his column.

Saba Ahmed, a questioner in the audience, provided him with the perfect opportunity, presenting herself as an American University law student—a position that Milbank parroted in his column. But this was a lie by omission—or sheer lack of journalism. Milbank fails to note that Ahmed ran for Congress in Oregon, is a leftist activist, runs her own lobbying firm, and was close to the Christmas bomber terrorist, facts all recounted in an AIM-exclusive column by James Simpson.

In a blatant misrepresentation of the facts, Milbank writes that “One questioner said he had heard that Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of U.S. Africa Command, had been ‘placed under house arrest’ at the time of the Benghazi attack.”

“‘I’ve heard the same story,’ Plante seconded,” continues Milbank. He then fails to point out that Plante turned to Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi Member Clare Lopez, a retired CIA officer, to dispel this rumor and clear the air regarding General Ham. Readers are instead left with the impression that the panelists believe this rumor.

Instead, he impugns Lopez for saying that “perpetrators of the attack are ‘sipping frappes with journalists in juice bars.’” This was a reference to CNN’s infamous interview of Ahmed Abu Khatalla, perpetrator of the Benghazi attacks, at a public coffee shop in that city. This demonstrates Milbank’s lack of knowledge of basic facts about the Benghazi case at the time, which is probably why he steered clear of the subject.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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