WNYC Shreds A Daily Caller Editor Over “Opposition Research” Attacks On Khizr Khan

On The Media’s Bob Garfield: “Why Are You Trying To Question The Motives And Discredit The Father Of This Lost Soldier?”

From the August 5 edition of WNYC’s On the Media:

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BOB GARFIELD (HOST): Of course, there’s one segment of the media that absolutely does understand the dynamic: the right-wing media echo chamber, which has dutifully spun the straw of Trumpian outrage into the gold of incitement. The Khzir Khan blowout is the latest example. Within 48 hours of his speech at the Democratic National Convention, conservative media outlets were busy turning the grieving victim into an enemy of the Republic.


GARFIELD: On the subject of subtext, what are we to make of this story in The Daily Caller, “Father of Muslim U.S. soldier is attorney specializing in selling U.S. citizenship”?

SCOTT GREER (DAILY CALLER DEPUTY EDITOR): Yes, as a lawyer in his practice he has specialized in giving out visas that could be threatened by Trump’s immigration policies and thus that creates a possible incentive for why Mr. Khan would give a speech and be very opposed to Trump. It's a story that is of interest to the American public, we put it out there, it’s something that they can interpret, and it is a possibility that if Trump’s –

GARFIELD: Khan’s an immigration lawyer, serving client who wish to get legal status here, using the applicable law to help them. Neither in your story nor anywhere else is there any evidence or any accusation whatsoever of him being implicated in any scandal or abuse of visa statues, and by the way, if it becomes harder for a visa candidate to get a visa, then a lawyer’s services become more, not less, in demand. Selling U.S. citizenship? That’s essentially accusing him of committing a crime. I ask you the relevance.

GREER: We did not accuse him of engaging in any corruption or scandalous behavior, we merely point out what he did in his line of work and we let the readers decide. We did not put out a declaration, “This is definitely why he’s opposed to Trump." We’re just saying that yes, it is a possibility that somebody specializes in immigration law and is dependent on easier access to these visas --

GARFIELD: Oh, and also his son was blown to pieces while serving his army unit in Iraq.

GREER: Well how does that deal with Trump? Is Trump responsible for his death?

GARFIELD: These open-ended notions that invite readers to draw the most sinister conclusions, it sounds like the work of an opposition research team.


GARFIELD: Why are you trying to question the motives and discredit the father of this lost soldier? Why?

GREER: This is a public figure. He is going on issues that are not relating to his son’s death, this is him attacking Trump. He specializes in immigration law, he makes money off it, and it is nothing wrong with reporting that. That is serious news. I think that’s much more newsworthy than us worshiping Tim Kaine like most of these mainstream media outlets are, or how he’s America’s stepdad. And I do think that this is serious news that we should look into. This is his background. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reporting on a public figure’s background, who is a top news story of the week.


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