Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, has been downright pious in his condemnation of Donald Trump. He has likened Trump to George Wallace, “a hideous racist who appealed to racists, but also crystallized a deeper anger and discontent,” and even used an entire issue of his magazine to try to insulate the conservative movement from any responsibility for Trump’s rise.
However, Lowry goes and gives the game away by publishing virulent anti-Muslim garbage like this, by Michelle Malkin, about an alleged case of child sexual abuse in Twin Falls, Idaho.
The case has become a cause celebre among conservative media, with the headline at Drudge — “Report: Syrian ‘refugees’ rape little girl at knifepoint in Idaho” — offering an accurate flavor of the coverage. In the original version that so inflamed conservatives, the families of the Syrian perpetrators of the gang rape even celebrated their act while local officials conspired to conceal it from the public.
Almost none of that is true. According to local law enforcement, prosecutors and elected officials, no gang rape occurred, no knife was involved, the suspects were immigrant boys ages 7, 10 and 14, they weren’t Syrian but Iraqi and Somali, no adults celebrated the act and the case is being handled routinely through the juvenile court system like any other such case would be handled, in secret.
Yet in National Review, Malkin casually dismisses all that as “a few early factual errors,” claiming that anti-immigration “watchdogs got more right than wrong.” She goes on to describe the case as the natural consequence of “an increasing influx of refugees, many from jihad-coddling countries, over the past several years,” with Twin Falls and other communities increasingly under siege from Islamic refugees.
Once the smoke and deceptions are cleared away, what are we left with? A case of three young boys allegedly abusing a mentally disabled child. Yes, it’s disturbing and tragic, but the hard truth is that more egregious cases occur daily in communities all across this country, perpetrated by “native-born Americans.” The allegations involve policemen, teachers, ministers, football players, coaches, Catholic priests and in a recent local case, a former Cobb County GOP chairman charged with child sexual abuse in three states. Just this week, a former Republican speaker of the House reported to federal prison to serve time on charges stemming from child sexual abuse that was committed decades ago.
Yet somehow, Malkin and others want to turn this isolated case in far-off Twin Falls into a platform from which to smear all Muslims. Go read the hateful comments inspired by her column. By publishing such trash, Lowry validates, legitimizes and mainstreams the very sentiments that he claims to find abhorrent.
The blatant calls upon bigotry, the blithe rejection of a fact-based reality — these are the source of the Trump phenomenon. The nut hasn’t fallen far from the tree.