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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fake News at Time Magazine et al

Hat tip Minutemen News


"Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad was detained because of President Trump's travel ban," a headline from Time Magazine‘s Motto website claimed


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Ibtihaj Muhammad, a female American Olympian who is also a Muslim, was reportedly hassled at Customs recently when she arrived from overseas wearing a hijab. Time Magazine and other news outlets quickly pounced on her complaints of Islamophobia and implied reference to the Trump travel ban against 7 majority Muslim countries as possibly being the reason.



"I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn’t change how you look and how people perceive you. Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I’m included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab."

There was just one problem; the incident happened in December before Trump took office and issued the ban. Below are three reports on the discrepancy in Muhammad's statements in a February 7 interview with Popsugar.


http://minutemennews.com/time-magazine-caught-fake-news-story-muslim-olympian-caught-travel-ban/

"I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn’t change how you look and how people perceive you. Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I’m included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab."

http://freebeacon.com/issues/media-trump-travel-ban-blame-muslim-olympian-detained-under-obama/

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/more-mainstream-media-mess-ups-the-muslim-olympian-detained-because-of-president-trumps-travel-ban-was-detained-under-obama/article/2614645#

Here is the Popsugar report on the original February 7 interview, which was updated on February 12 to reflect her February 11 tweet which stated that the incident happened in December.

http://www.popsugar.com/news/Olympian-Ibtihaj-Muhammad-Interview-Trump-Travel-Ban-43133411


POPSUGAR: Do you know anyone who was directly impacted by Trump's travel ban?

Ibtihaj Muhammad: Well, I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don't know why. I can't tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I'm Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn't change how you look and how people perceive you. Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I'm included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab.
Update:
In a heartfelt tweet on Feb. 11, Muhammad thanked those who had reached out to lend their support after she shared her experience being detained. She also offered more detail on the incident, which she said occurred in December, and promised she will "continue to be a voice for all those impacted by profiling & bigotry."

This morning I checked Time (online), the original source. The original article (February 9) by Lena Grossman was updated (February 13)  and the headline changed.
http://motto.time.com/4665737/ibtihaj-muhammad-travel-ban-detained/

"Updated: Feb. 13, 2017."

There is no acknowledgement of the error.

Here is how USA Today reported it on February 8:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2017/02/08/olympic-fencer-ibtihaj-muhammad-held-us-customs-trump-travel-ban/97676170/

"Muhammad, who is a native of Maplewood, N.J., said she didn’t know if she was held as a result of the Trump administration’s travel ban but is sure the move was a result of her ethnicity."

Here is their updated version the next day.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/02/ibtihaj-muhammad-detained-airport

"Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misstated details about the timing of when Muhammad was detained."

Yet it does not say when she was actually detained (in December).  The reader is still left with an inference that this occurred during the Trump administration 

Here is how the Washington Post reported it on February 9:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/02/09/muslim-american-olympian-ibtihaj-muhammad-says-she-was-detained-by-u-s-customs/?utm_term=.72c0ab8fec33

"A native of Maplewood, N.J., and a Duke graduate, Muhammad did not say where she had been traveling, stating only that she was held “just a few weeks ago.” Nor did she specifically link the holdup to President Trump’s travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries."

“I can’t tell you why it happened to me,” she said in an interview with the website Popsugar during the Makers Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., “but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn’t change how you look and how people perceive you.”

Did the Post delete these words below? Why did the Post make a point to say that Muhammad did not specifically say the holdup was linked to Trump's travel ban? This was two days before Muhammad's clarifying tweet. Was the Post aware of the discrepancy and tried to clean up the statements made by Muhammad? 

 "Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I’m included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab."


We don't know if Muhammad intentionally tried to mislead people as to when the incident happened in order to link it to Trump and his travel ban. Perhaps, giving her the benefit of the doubt, it was unintentional. It appears, however, that certain media sites like Time, USA Today and the Washington Post wrongfully reported it before learning that Muhammad's "run-in" with Customs occurred while President Obama was still in office. If that is the case, they should acknowledge their error rather than try to clean it up. They should explain the reason for the updates.

I also note that Customs is disputing Muhammad's version of the incident. It should be noted that plenty of people get secondaried by Customs and Immigration when arriving from overseas not just Muslims. I was pulled into secondary by Customs once while returning from Germany as a young man in 1970. I observed my then-80-year-old father-in-law, a Mexican, made to get out of his wheel chair at LA International Airport and remove his shoes and belt by TSA before boarding a flight to London. It is because of Islamic terrorism that we have extra security. Does Ms Muhammad think that only non-Muslims should be subjected to occasional extra security because of our security concerns over terrorism? How ironic that would be.

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