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Thursday, 13 June 2019

Emails suggest Ilhan Omar’s crisis management team responds to unfavorable coverage by trying to ‘shut it down’ [screenshots]

The Minnesota Star Tribune recently published an editorial on Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s, um, “tax return irregularities,” aka her falsely filing joint tax returns with a man who wasn’t her husband while being legally married to another man.
The Star Tribune’s editorial was pretty brutal. Wonder how Ilhan Omar’s team will feel about that today, in light of this:
My God. Props to @bloisolson for sharing.

From @IlhanMN’s crisis manager Ben Goldfarb:

“Does anyone in the team have a relationship with Blois? Someone should probably reach out to talk off the record and shut it down with him AS WE DO WITH THE STRIB” [emphasis added]

THREAD pic.twitter.com/cFx49KxZCm

View image on Twitter

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There are A NUMBER of concerning things here.

1. @IlhanMN's team attempting to shut down a legitimate inquiry into tax fraud by a local journalist.

2. Admitting verbatim that they have employed such tactics before for Minnesota's largest paper (@StarTribune)

217 people are talking about this
3. @IlhanMN's campaign staff is SO unwilling to go on the record with reputable journalists (Can't speak more highly of @bloisolson) that they resort to finding a fixer who has a "relationship" with Blois to "shut down" the story.

There's got to be something nefarious here.

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4. I, for one, would like to hear comment from the @StarTribunePR on what stories have been "shut down" by @IlhanMN's crisis manager through personal relationships, off-the-record interviews, and intimidation tactics.

Any journalists care to comment?

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I traditionally have considered the @StarTribune to be a reputable outlet (aside from the awful editorial board)

If @IlhanMN's fixer was able to shut down stories from the Star Tribune, imagine how many stories do you think they shut down from @MinnPost, @citypages, and others?

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Now, for what it’s worth, Fluence Media principal Blois Olson, whose 2016 item about Omar prompted her team’s response, said nothing came of Omar’s team’s talk:
NOTE: No one ever reached out.  We weren’t “shut down”.
But that’s little comfort considering they were even discussing it in the first place. They may have left Olson alone, but what about others? If Ilhan Omar’s team was indeed looking at ways to “shut down”negative coverage by the Star Tribune, how will they deal with the editorial board publishing such a damning piece on Omar this week?

You can read more of the emails here.

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