Chicago Tribune Puts New Spin on Bridge Collapse as Anti-immigrant, Anti-Muslim

Update (14:15): Welcome to Rush Limbaugh listeners. You can find more on media bias about the Minnesota bridge collapse on our site here.

By now it's been so widely adopted by the media that it's easy to be numb to it, but Chicago Tribune's E.A. Torriero breathed new life into the Bush-caused-it meme in the I-35W bridge collapse story by adding a new twist. The bridge collapse, suggested Torriero, is insult added to injury for mostly Muslim Somali immigrants already angered by American foreign policy.

In a story filed the evening of August 7, Torriero portrayed the collapse as insult added to injury for Somali immigrants, weaving in suggestions that America under President Bush is becoming akin to a third world country, unable or unwilling to build and maintain safe infrastructure:

To the Somalis who live near the bridge, the picture remains unfathomable. After all, they said, bridges collapse in underdeveloped African nations not in metropolitan Minneapolis.


Still, the collapse was something Somalis never expected to witness in their new homeland. And it has some wondering if the American government has misplaced its priorities by ignoring a decaying national infrastructure in favor of its costly foreign policy.

"Instead of building bridges, they spent more on invading countries," said Abbi Osman, a young Somali who came to Minnesota four years ago and was watching buddies play dominoes Tuesday in a Somali coffee shop. "They are investing in the wrong places."

As icing on the cake, Torriero suggested that the Minnesota bridge collapse is just another way which America under President Bush has victimized Muslims:

The collapse too adds to uneasy feelings among Somalis who say they have felt a federal backlash since Sept. 11, 2001 not only because of their Muslim faith but also because Somalia has been accused of harboring terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden. The bridge collapse has added jitters for Somalis who in recent years regrouped and rallied around one another.

"This all adds up to be very painful," said Omar Jamal, a Somali who directs the Somali Justice Advocacy Center that fights for Somali rights.

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