In its quest to make Donald Trump not seem like such a hateful racist liar, the conservative media has descended into a level of beclownery that even they rarely reach. On Tuesday morning, Breitbart “News” published a piece declaring a huge cover-up of New Jersey Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center by citing this tweet from Mark Halperin:
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) December 1, 2015
For the uninitiated, “Not proof but contemporaneous citation” is something akin to saying “Not food, but definitely a variety of substances!” Halperin is citing a New York Postopinion column that contains the same sort of rumor that the Washington Postpublished, also without attribution:
Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington. But Mayor Giuliani (who has been tireless and magnificent in this crisis) rightly warned New York- ers that it would be wrong to take their anger out on the city’s Arab and Muslim residents. Attacks on Arab-Americans in Paterson or elsewhere are utterly indefensible.
Omar, a Muslim New Yorker and former student of mine at Cooper Union, e-mailed me to say he was “sickened to watch Middle Easterners celebrate our sorrow.” He is an American who has imbibed our values while maintaining his Muslim faith. He wants no truck with those who kill in the name of Islam.
But in their utter desperation to clear Trump (which this column in no way does), Breitbart dot com also includes this breathless “update” to their cover-up shattering work:
“New Day” co-anchor Chris Cuomo just admitted, “Were people celebrating on 9/11? Yes.”
Wow, that is huge, if true. Or not. Here’s what Chris Cuomo actually said:
“I don’t know why it continues to get attention. He’s wrong. There weren’t thousands of people celebrating. Were people celebrating after 9/11? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes. Should you say thousands were? No. Why? Because it’s inaccurate and it feeds a perception of Muslim-Americans that is just dangerous.”
So, Cuomo did say the words “Were people celebrating after 9/11? Yes,” but that’s not an admission of any kind, since lamestream media cover-uppers like me have spent a week playing footage of people celebrating the attacks on 9/11, but not in New Jersey:
What Cuomo did do rather nicely was to call bullshit on the goalpost-moving that the media has gone along with by continuing this “debate.” There is nothing to discuss here, Donald Trump is a dangerous liar.
Update: Now Trump is claiming vindication by tweeting video of Curtis Sliwa talking about callers to his radio show claiming there were celebrations in Paterson (from an MTV News special in November of 2001):
Were there any Muslims who were publicly celebrating here in New Jersey on 9/11?
If you put the question as a “yes-no,” it’s impossible to answer. The real answer to the question is there is no evidence of anything larger than a dozen or so kids doing something celebration-like on one block of Main Streeet in South Paterson. So, if you look at what Donald Trump says, it’s obviously false. There’s nothing more than a couple of kids making noise in the streets of Paterson. That’s the bottom line.
Where did that event happen in Paterson and could that be the origin of the stories that there were thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey?
The location that I have always heard is the 900 block of South Main Street. There is a public library in the vicinity.
The story that comes out is a dozen or so young men or teenagers gathered in front of the library and began to yell and act in a way that seemed like a celebration. And they were then reprimanded and they dispersed and that was the end of it.
What are you basing this on? Did you talk to people who saw it directly?
I did. It actually took quite a long time, but I walked up and down South Main Street and just talked to people on the street in stores and restaurants and so on. After a lot of looking around, I found one store owner who claimed to have been an eyewitness and I found another claimed eyewitness by following some leads that some reporters had given me.
Over the years, I asked anyone who was from Paterson what they knew about it. Over several years, I gathered witnesses of this event. And it was always the same story — this gathering in front of the public library on South Main Street.
Again, there is no way to have absolute certainty that every one of these people was an eyewitness as they said they were and that they saw exactly what they claimed to have seen.
My claim here is that this is the best evidence that I’ve ever gotten here of any kind. And that’s pretty sparse.
That MTV special also goes on to cast the incident in a minimal light, but any way you slice it, this is not anything like what Trump is saying. He is a liar.