I came home last night to see my Newsfeed filled with the story of Khizr Khan’s moving speech; which was also hard-hitting against the Don:
Donald Trump was speaking at an event in Iowa, complaining that America was not allowed to waterboard terrorists, when Khizr Khan and his wife walked up to the microphone at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
Khan’s son, Humayun, was a captain in the U.S. Army. When a vehicle packed with explosives approached his compound in Iraq in 2004, he instructed his men to seek cover as he ran toward it. The car exploded, killing Khan instantly. He was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously.
In 2005, The Washington Post interviewed Khizr Khan. “They did not call him Captain Khan,” he said of the men his son led. “They called him ‘our captain.’ ”
“We are honored to stand here as the parents of Captain Humayun Khan,” the elder Khan said at the Democratic convention, “and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” He spoke of his son’s dreams of becoming a military lawyer and how Hillary Clinton had referred to his son as “the best of America.”
Then he focused his attention on Trump.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America,” Khan said. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” Khan asked. “Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
“You have sacrificed nothing. And no one.”
Apparently, if you were watching FOX News coverage of the DNC, you might have missed this:
The crowd inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center gave Khan a standing ovation and his speech was instantly lauded by those watching at home. His name skyrocketed to Twitter’s trending list almost immediately. But, Fox News viewers noticed that the network cut away from the speech switching back to commentary.
Networks cut in and out of the (numerous) speeches that come before the heavy hitters all the time. MSNBC, startlingly, went to commercial instead of airing the speech of young actress Chloe Moretz. But for many, the irony of the conservative network skipping out on a moving—and difficult to spin—speech from the father of a war hero was not lost. Andrew Sullivan, writing for New York Magazine, summed it up like this: “Just an FYI: Fox News cut away from the father of the fallen Muslim soldier. Of course they did.”
Was it an intentional omission by FOX, knowing how impactful Khan’s speech might be? Or just a case of bad judgment and not knowing that this segment might have been the speech of the night? Networks, after all, make judgments like this all the time; and it may or may not have to do with political bias.
As far as Khan’s speech, it was good. It was effective. And I wish he had delivered it on behalf of Republicans at the RNC. After all, a number of anti-Americans on the left and OIF-critics perceive Humayun Khan’s sacrifice as anything but noble, having served in an “illegal” war against “people who did not attack us” instead of being a “conscientious objector” (paraphrasing/summing up some lefty comments I’ve been reading).