February 14th, 2017, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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More Fake News
The finest purveyors of fake news strike again. Delectable!
More mainstream media mess-ups: The Muslim Olympian 'detained because of President Trump's travel ban' was detained under Obama | Washington Examiner
The latest media misfire on the Trump administration involves Ibtihaj Muhammad, a New Jersey native who made headlines last year when she became the first female Muslim-American to win an Olympic medal for the United States.
Muhammad, a lifelong American citizen, claimed in an interview last week that she was detained "just a few weeks ago" by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. She said she was held for two hours without explanation.
Her remarks on Feb. 7 earned her an entire news cycle, as several journalists ran with reports suggesting, and alleging outright, that the American Olympian had been ensnared in the president's executive order temporarily barring immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries.
But Muhammad has since clarified crucial parts of her story, including the date on which she was detained. A Customs official with direct knowledge of the incident has also disputed much of how she characterized what happened.
"She comes and goes many times. She travels quite extensively. She has never been stopped before," the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Monday in an interview with the Washington Examiner, confirming that she was indeed detained. "She wasn't targeted. The checks are totally random; random checks that we all might be subject to."
Muhammad was also not held for two hours, he said, adding that the entire ordeal wrapped up in under an hour.
It's important to recognize from the get-go that in her Feb. 7 interview, Muhammad didn't put a hard date on when she was detained by Customs. It's also probably worth noting that she is an outspoken Trump critic, and that she is extremely displeased with his immigration order.
Many journalists skipped over the "when" of Muhammad's story, and rushed to publish reports tying her story to the president's immigration order.
"Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad was detained because of President Trump's travel ban," read a headline published by Time magazine's Motto.
The U.K.'s Independent went with a story titled, "US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad says she was detained by Customs after Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban.'
The Daily Mail said of the incident that it, "comes after Donald Trump signed an executive order – currently suspended – banning travel from seven largely Muslim countries causing chaos in US airports."
"U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad being detained illustrates why Trump's Muslim ban is not who we are as Americans," read the headline to an article published by the New York Daily News.
The Hill published an article whose opening paragraph read, "A Muslim-American Olympic medalist says she was detained by Customs for nearly two hours without explanation after President Trump's travel ban was instituted a few weeks ago."
Sports Illustrated and ESPN published stories whose entire purpose was to tie Muhammad's Customs tale to Trump's immigration order, though the reports don't come right out and say it.
Journalists reacted to the story on social media with the usual mixture of despair and outrage.
The problem with this particular news cycle is that Muhammad was detained in 2016, weeks before Trump had even been sworn in as America's 45th president.
"This all happened in December, which was well before any executive order," the Customs official told the Examiner, "which is a totally separate incident."
Muhammad herself noted several days after her Feb. 7 interview that she meant last December 2016 when she said "just a few weeks ago."
Last edited by excalibur; February 14th, 2017 at 11:21 AM.