The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who has an increasing reputation as a shill for the left wing, viciously attacked the Heritage Foundation in a column on Monday evening. The column, “Heritage’s ugly Benghazi panel” characterized the event as though it were a full-throated, Muslim-bashing hate-crime cleverly disguised as a public forum to discuss the Benghazi attack.
What began as a session purportedly about “unanswered questions” surrounding the September 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya deteriorated into the ugly taunting of a woman in the room who wore an Islamic head covering.
[…] Then Saba Ahmed, an American University law student, stood in the back of the room and asked a question in a soft voice. “We portray Islam and all Muslims as bad, but there’s 1.8 billion followers of Islam,” she told them. “We have 8 million-plus Muslim Americans in this country and I don’t see them represented here.”
Panelist Brigitte Gabriel of a group called ACT! for America pounced. She said “180 million to 300 million” Muslims are “dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization.” She told Ahmed that the “peaceful majority were irrelevant” in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and she drew a Hitler comparison: “Most Germans were peaceful, yet the Nazis drove the agenda and as a result, 60 million died.”
“Are you an American?” Gabriel demanded of Ahmed, after accusing her of taking “the limelight” and before informing her that her “political correctness” belongs “in the garbage.”
“Where are the others speaking out?” Ahmed was asked. This drew an extended standing ovation from the nearly 150 people in the room, complete with cheers.
The panel’s moderator, conservative radio host Chris Plante, grinned and joined in the assault. “Can you tell me who the head of the Muslim peace movement is?” he demanded of Ahmed.
“Yeah,” audience members taunted, “yeah.”
Ahmed answered quietly, as before. “I guess it’s me right now,” she said.
Milbank’s account seemed to suggest an anti-Muslim witch hunt with one lone innocent standing at the back braving the torrent of hate.
Except it wasn’t true.
Milbank’s story was immediately challenged by those who know him best — fellow political reporters in Washington, DC.
Mollie Hemingway dissects Milbank’s account versus the video excerpts first released by, ironically, Media Matters for America — the famed leftist attack “media watchdog” group.
Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post who serially exaggerates or distorts what he writes about. It’s just what he does. This has been established so many times by so many people that it’s disappointing to see he is still given prominent perch in his paper and that people who made it past their sophomore year in high school take him seriously. My contribution to the cataloguing of his hackery is “Dana Milbank Is Incoherent On Marriage,” which shows how he just made stuff up when covering a panel of women at the Heritage Foundation.
[…] This, my friends, is why people loathe journalists. They twist and turn and play gotcha games. Also, they make stuff up. A good editor in my past told me that he was always suspicious of reporters who rely on breaking up a quote multiple times and adding in their own words in between. It means they’re trying to force the speaker to say something. We can now call this the Milbank Rule. I mean, was everything quoted in his piece accurate? Absolutely. Were his words or description of what transpired accurate? Hell no.
[…] If you listen to the panelist [Brigitte Gabriel], you can tell that this American woman has a thick accent. She’s from Lebanon. In Milbank’s world, she’s just described as “of a group called ACT! for America” before this section is introduced. She’s not described as an immigrant who assumes the Muslim woman is also American and who is asking for the purpose of making sure her use of the first person plural is correct.
Also, her point is completely covered up by Milbank, who has a history of treating non-liberal women he covers with disdain. (Seriously, it’s a problem. It should be condemned by his colleagues.) Her point is that the four dead Americans in Benghazi are more important than politically correct speech that coddles and infantilizes citizens. It’s not a bad point. It would be a good one for Milbank and his ilk to heed. In fact, the Muslim woman concedes the point in her follow-up.
Here is the key exchange that Milbank characterized as the anti-Muslim attack. Maybe he was at a different forum than the camera which recorded it.
An audience member’s question sparked passionate discussion among Benghazi panel. Watch the exchange: http://t.co/uIVYXDUc5k
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) June 17, 2014
Dylan Byers from POLITICO methodically destroyed what he called “Milbank’s Heritage disaster.”
And by mid-afternoon Tuesday, Milbank’s entire story was given last rites as none other than BuzzFeed called him out using their typically photo-filled reporting style.
The Washington Post’s report that a Heritage Foundation panel reacted in an ugly way to a question about peaceful Muslims failed to pan out after video of the event surfaced.
When you’ve lost BuzzFeed, you’ve lost the narrative.
The full video of the entire Heritage event, which includes the panel in question (there were multiple sessions), can be seen below.DONATE
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