Because CBS attributed that to CNN. Because Jeremy Diamond, the CNN reporter, interviewed Hamid, and of course, they ran the video wall-to-wall.
Diamond, who covers Trump as his beat, spoke with Hamid before the rally began. He tweeted that she was there because “most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim.” Talk about hauling a trunk full of presuppositions with you, but that’s a different story.
This is about the media and their agenda, where covering up facts and outright misinformation isn’t out of bounds.
I was going to write a straight news story about this woman, whose “silent protest” has been reported all over and will likely consume the media for days as they hand-wring over it, giving Trump oodles of free media at the same time. But something was off to me. It just didn’t make sense.
The first thing that was off was the fact that Diamond spoke with Hamid before the rally. Diamond appears to be Jewish, at least by his bio on CNN’s website. It says he spent a semester studying in Tel Aviv and speaks conversational Hebrew. When I was Diamond’s age, I spoke conversational Hebrew, and the way I learned is by growing up Jewish—seven years of Hebrew school and full time parochial education. I can get by in Tel Aviv.
Some Jews are fairly hard on Israel and believe that bringing Muslims together with Jews can solve problems. You know, the ones with “coexist” bumper stickers. Many Jews are also as liberal as hell, especially international affairs majors from Washington D.C. schools who intern at CNN. (I’ve just described Diamond, in case you missed it.)
So I asked Diamond what attracted him to Hamid, out of some 8,000 souls in the arena. This isn’t Diamond’s first rally, either. I’m sure it’s possible that a hijab-wearing woman sitting behind the podium might draw attention, but why only from CNN, and not other media?
I followed up, asking if he believed her when she said said she didn’t intend to cause a disruption, and received no answer so far. Then I looked up Hamid. I didn’t have to look far. Her Facebook page is full of references to trips to Kuwait, and—doesn’t this beat all—her column in the Charlotte Observer.
That’s right, Rose Hamid is a journalist.
Let me say that again: Rose Hamid is a journalist. Maybe she’s a flight attendant, but she writes a regular column in a major metropolitan newspaper, and that makes her a journalist. That fact that (a) she didn’t disclose this to CNN, and/or (b) CNN didn’t research it before plastering the airwaves with her face in an interview with Don Lemon, and/or (c) CBS just took it on faith that CNN had it right is puzzling, to say the least.
This is either a case of the laziest producers on Earth, who can’t be bothered to use Google or Facebook to vet an interviewee, or an effort to suppress the truth. Missing something so obvious as this at the level of national networks is nothing short of gross incompetence.
I found a few other tidbits about Muslims going to Trump rallies, also. At the Jan. 4 rally in Lowell, Mass., a group called Community Advocates for Justice and Equality (CAJE), along with the usual suspects Black Lives Matter and the ANSWER Coalition, sponsored a Trump “blackout” event on Facebook. They wrote, “We are here in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters; who deserve to safely abide in this country without having to wear identification badges.”
A man named Shahjehan Khan attended the rally and his story was published in far-far-far-left Colorlines. It doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out that Muslims were organizing to create some kind of disruption—silent or not—at a Trump event to gain media attention.
All this, and the facts that CNN’s Diamond found Hamid before the event, the cameras were right on her face, with lines of sight almost perfectly worked out to capture the moment live, and the interviews afterward were so polished makes one wonder if they hadn’t been planned in advance.
But nobody in the media is going to ask that question, because everything was simply coincidence, and Hamid is just a flight attendant. Right?