“False but true.”
So “prankster” (read: troll) Adam Saleh told a tale full of holes about how he was booted from a Delta flight for speaking Arabic. Frequent fliers know how questionable that claim is right from the start. But there is far more reason than that to doubt Saleh’s “persecution. Except the left doesn’t really care.
If you fly a lot, you’ve probably heard different languages spoken on a flight. You’ve seen people in all manner of dress, including traditional Middle Eastern and/or traditional Muslim garb. I have. With my own two ears and my own two eyes. The idea that an army of flight attendants would descend on someone merely for speaking a different language is not a “given” and it is not remotely commonplace. (No matter what Mic.com says … but we’ll get to that.)
When you add in that this story of alleged language discrimination was told by a serial hoaxer, who makes money from the YouTube views that pile up on his videos of faked incidents, and the utterly plausible explanation from Delta and other passengers, and what you have is a story that is HIGHLY suspect.
It doesn’t mean impossible. It doesn’t even mean he definitely made it up, although he probably did. Lots of people are racists. Lots of people are paranoid. Some people are both. Some of those might even work at an airline. It’s not impossible. But …
In the age of “Fake News” hysteria, you would think that such a thing would therefore be treated with some manner of skepticism. But oh how wrong you would be.
Allegation presented as fact. pic.twitter.com/yfEoquwwih
— I didn't vote for him, so think of a new retort (@jtLOL) December 21, 2016
Not only was the story repeated uncritically across media and social media, it was treated (predictably) as an indictment of .. well, everything. Western culture. Whiteness. Security measures. Airlines. The word was out: Islamaphobia.
Let me interrupt myself for a second. If you raise your voice (in any language) and pump your fist (in any clothes) and make a big scene with another passenger (of any nationality) on a plane, you’re probably not going to have a good day. You’re just not. I just thought I should point that out.
Anyway, when this particualar story started to fall apart, when Delta didn’t crumple in the face of Social Justice criticism as most companies these days do reflexively, we entered phase two, which is the “fake but true” phase.
Doesn't matter if Adam Saleh is totally full of shit or not.
The hatred & discrimination of Islamophobia is real.https://t.co/X4DTNQuJ92
— Sam White (@samwhiteout) December 21, 2016
Why it doesn't matter if Saleh is a YouTube star
⚡ 26 everyday things Muslims did that got them kicked off planes.https://t.co/wD6vUZOAPH
— abolish the police (@Just_JDreaming) December 21, 2016
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if he lied because it’s true that it happens. That’s the argument.
This is, in the first place, a ridiculous point of view. Yes, it does matter if it is fake. If he smeared an airline, and a particular flight crew, for some racist or discriminatory event that did not take place, that should matter. I wonder how the many moralizing liberals on Twitter would feel if someone deliberately framed them for a “hate crime” or for discrimination of some kind. I bet then it would matter a whole lot. Of course it would. And of course it does matter in this case.
In the second place, it’s counter-productive even if you do believe the greater problem is real and looming. How many other reported incidents are now less believable? And not just because he lied, but because the media swallowed and regurgitated it uncritically. If they report this lie as fact, why should anyone believe any other “outrage” they report is any more real?
It matters because of security. How many flight crews fearing mass public shaming won’t be vigilant in the future in the face of threats? In case you’ve forgotten, there have been actual threats on airplanes before. There are still scars in New York, Pennsylvania, and D.C.
It matters because the truth matters. Liberals love to use the phrase “inconvenient truth.” The idea that you have to face a fact even if the outcome of facing it may be uncomfortable or unpleasant. But that’s only what they say. What they mean is that they want you to face their facts, their beliefs, usually about the evil of the West. When a truth is inconvenient to them, they don’t face it. They just say the truth doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if he was discriminated against or not, discrimination on airplanes is real.
Well is it? I mentioned the Mic “moment” above. They claim to have 26 stories of similar incidents, including being booted from a plane for speaking Arabic. But despite the authorative and oh-so-dramatic tone they adopt, and the preachy retweeting of their “article” on Twitter, just a quick perusal shows how flimsy many of those stories are as well. Was the academic questioned because of “Arabic symbols”? Or because he looked like he was doing something highly technical and indecipherable? Was the lady complaining about water removed because she was Arabic? Or because, like in many, many other similar incidents, she was stuck on the tarmac and making a scene?
Not to mention some of the people on this supposed list of ways for Muslims to get kicked off a plane were not Muslims. And were not, in fact, kicked off a plane.
Go through them yourself if you don’t believe me. The article is still the top, hand-curated “moment” on Twitter. Like Saleh’s, many of these stories are full of holes, and involve that awful, very real, decidedly inconvenient truth that frequent fliers are far too familiar with: airlines are assholes to everybody.
They are the dictators of the sky. I have written and complained about this a thousand times. You don’t get a say. You can’t even complain. If you do, you can get kicked off the flight. Six hours on the runway boiling in the sun? Oh, well. Can’t blame the pilot for the weather in Tulsa.
The thousand petty outrages faced by passengers of every nationality every day are widely known, universally experienced, and even reported on by the same media who now wish to make it specific to Muslims for the sake of the narrative. Not to mention surpassingly easy to trigger. I could get booted off a flight in five minutes if I wanted to. Causing a scene is child’s play on a plane. And they have zero tolerance.
Is it impossible some backward hillbilly on a flight would complain about the Muslim sitting next to him? Of course not. But the media constructing a Big National Problem based on a pranking, trolling hoaxer is preposterous.
Like so many things lately, the only two voices you ever hear are the loudmouths at the opposite ends of the pendulum’s swing. Sometimes people stereotype others. Sometimes airlines are jerks. Sometimes a liar’s lie gets way bigger than he wanted it to. These can all be true.
But to pretend that it’s totally irrelevant if something is a hoax is itself a hoax. And it’s fake news. You can bet no one will pay for that alarmism.
And aren’t we supposed to be seeing a new, critical media anyway? Too busy retweeting that thin Mic.com hysteria list? Where is the “no fake news” reportage? They never hesitate to editorialize about the evils of Islamaphobia; where are their sermons on faked Islamaphobia? Where are the corrected headlines?
Yeah. Don’t hold you breath. Especially if you’re on a plane. You can get kicked off for that.