March 12, 2017:- Last week, Attorney Khizr Khan stated that he was unable to go to Canada because his “travel privileges” were “being reviewed.” On social media the predictable Two Minutes Hate ensued. Over at the Daily Kos the equally predictable conclusion was “we’re way down the road to fascism.” And that was after noting that Attorney Khan is a U.S. citizen and U.S. citizens have rights, not “travel privileges.”
But sensible journalists were leery from the outset because–as the Daily Kos noted–American citizens have no travel privileges to review. Real journalists know this, and they know that any attorney knows this, especially an attorney with a law degree from Harvard and an office on Madison Avenue, the sort of attorney who has been “responsible for numerous large electronic discovery projects in complex litigation, mergers and acquisitions, US Dept. of Justice and Federal and State regulatory agencies’ investigations, on behalf of the global business enterprise clients.”
Attorney Khan’s refusal to answer questions as to what he meant by “travel privileges” and who was supposedly reviewing them, prompted even the Washington Post to note, with unctuous delicacy, that the claim “may be unraveling.” Under the headline “The Curious case of Khizr Khan’s ‘travel privileges,'” the Atlantic stated that “until Khan himself chooses to clarify the claims made in his name, it may be impossible to tell what actually led to the cancellation of the Toronto event.”
Curiosity was in short supply in Iowa, where Attorney Khan gave two speeches yesterday, first in Des Moines the second in Cedar Rapids. The Des Moines Register coverage makes no mention of Khan’s “travel privileges” claim or of his repeated failure to back it up. ABC‘s interviewer does not raise the matter either.
Here is how the edit to the Daily Kos story put it, without rescinding the statement that Khan’s transparently false claim is evidence that “we’re way down the road to fascism.”
On Edit: As commenters have pointed out, this story is thinly sourced at this point. But I think RawStory and TheWeek are both generally reliable. Mr. Khan is certainly no shrinking violet, so if he doesn’t confirm this, at some point the allegation will need to be discounted. But I don’t think this qualifies as “fake news.”
Thinly sourced? If you are going back to the pot to stir it a little, how about tossing in a smidgen of that scarce commodity known as accuracy and describe the claim as unsourced? Or , better still, how about treating the claim as if the claimant were a conservative? Instead, the Daily Kos writers are engaging in what the 11th edition of Orwell’s Dictionary of Newspeak called “reality control,” treating a palpably false statement as if it might be true.
In an apparent concession to reason, the Daily Kos announced that “at some point the allegation will need to be discounted.” Are you at that point yet?