The Washington Post. The Forward. Peter Beinart in The Atlantic. All of them are giving the same message: Trump’s pick for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is, in the words of Jane Eisner, “an anti-Muslim bigot.”
Actual evidence is scarce. The major smoking gun that the critics point to is that Pompeo is “associated” with Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, in the sense that he has spoken on Gaffney’s radio show and at conferences that they also spoke at. Then the articles go on and describe how awful Gaffney and Gabriel supposedly are, which is an easier task than saying Pompeo is a bigot.
Because he isn’t.
The same amount of effort to uncover Pompeo’s supposed bigotry clearly bypassed any contrary evidence. Like this 2015 article in the Wichita Eagle:
Just back from a fact-finding trip to the Middle East, Rep. Mike Pompeo cautioned Friday against equating Islam with terrorism.
In a speech to the Republican Pachyderm Club, Pompeo drew a bright line between the religion of Islam and Islamic-toned extremism practiced by terrorist groups such as ISIS, which was behind the recent deadly attacks in Paris and Beirut.
“You don’t find many Thomas Jeffersons over there,” Pompeo said. “Once you accept that … the line needs to be drawn between those who are on the side of extremism and those who are fighting against them, of whatever faith we may find them.”
“There are many Muslims of good will and despise this extremism as much as anyone of any other faith,” Pompeo said after the Pachyderm luncheon meeting.
Pompeo said 11 days ago, he was in the Bekaa Valley in east Lebanon, near the border of war-torn Syria.
He said he met with refugees who fled the fighting and leaders of Muslim and Christian factions fighting against ISIS.
Pompeo said he’s not opposed to settling Muslim refugees in the United States. But he has deep security concerns over the quality of information that can be found to separate legitimate refugees from ISIS agents who might pose as displaced persons to get into the United States and carry out terrorist attacks.
This is a nuanced, reasonable position.
Exactly the opposite of how the media is representing him.
It is irresponsible to paint Pompeo as a bigot without bothering to quote his statements about Muslims that are anything but bigoted. It shows that the media is not telling the truth but obscuring it.
These articles aren’t disagreeing with Pompeo. They are demonizing him deliberately so that there isn’t any debate. It is the opposite of what the media is supposed to be doing. And it is sickening.
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