Friday, May 24, 2024

HuffPost Story About Muslim American Candidates Avoids GOP’s Dr. Oz

Question: When is a news story not a news story?

Answer: When the story comes from HuffPost  — previously known as the Huffington Post — and, either through a mindless oversight or intentional omission, fails to even mention Dr. Mehmet Oz, the man who looks to become the first-ever Muslim United States Senator — in a story about Muslim Americans who have made great political strides in the current election cycle.

The piece, tiled “American Muslims In The Midterms Aren’t Long-Shot Candidates Anymore,” noted American Muslims seem more motivated than ever to run in offices across the country, in spite of the supposed “hateful rhetoric and policies” of former President Donald Trump.

“A record 181 candidates who identify as Muslim were on 2020 ballots, across 28 states and Washington, D.C., according to a report by Jetpac, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Mpower Change, a social justice organization,” HuffPost, reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz wrote. “The report, released Wednesday, analyzes the 2020 campaigns of Muslim American candidates, 80 of whom were ultimately elected to office. By contrast, 49 Muslim candidates were elected to public office in 2019, and 57 were elected in 2018.”

Abdelaziz focused on the political prospects of Abdelnasser Rashid, a Democrat running for Illinois state representative in this year’s midterms after falling in two previous bids for other elected positions.

The HuffPost story also mentioned Nabilah Islam, a progressive activist-turned-Democratic candidate running in Georgia for a seat on thee state Senate.

“We definitely need more Muslim candidates to run for office up and down the ballot, especially when it comes to local governments, because so many of these issues affect our everyday lives,” Islam further wrote in HuffPost. “It’s also about building a bench. Building that infrastructure is key.”

But, glaringly  not mentioned at all in the piece was GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Oz — perhaps more commonly known as Dr. Oz — who looks to make history next Tuesday as the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Senate.

Critics on social media called out the stark omission.

“This story about Muslim candidates in 2022 misses the candidate who could become the highest ranking Muslim elected in American history: Mehmet Oz,” journalist Zaid Jilani tweeted.

“SO STRANGE,” conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham sarcastically said.

“Weird huh,” Stephen L. Miller of Versus Media Podcast similarly wrote.

HuffPost declined to comment on its story.

Oz has increasingly tightened polls against his Democratic rival, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Fetterman only has a 1.5-point edge over Oz. In the  Insider Advantage poll of 750 likely voters taken after the only debate scheduled between Oz and Fetterman, Oz captured 47.5 percent, while Fetterman earned 44.8 percent of support.

One of the most-watched midterm contests in the country, the Pennsylvania Senate race became the center of a political firestorm following Fetterman’s debate performance, which left Democrats concerned that his stroke recovery — or, lack thereof — will leave will encourage undecided voters to the lever for Oz.