HuffPo updates the L’Oreal hijabi model fracas, but in a ridiculous way

January 24, 2018 • 9:45 am

Yesterday I wrote about L’Oréals hair model Amena Khan, who wore a hijab and was therefore a role model and a brave woman and a hero—even though perhaps not a good advertiser for hair products, since you can’t see her hair. But of course many women, even those forced to veil in public, take off their hijabs at home, and would therefore be prospective customers for L’Oréal.

Sadly, it turned out that Khan had a Twitter history of not only criticizing Israel, but also calling for the elimination of the state, a stand I consider close to anti-Semitism. After all, Israel was established by the United Nations, and calling for its elimination doesn’t make sense unless you want to disenfranchise the world’s only Jewish state (are people calling for elimination of North Korea, or of Myanmar because of its abysmal treatment of Rohingyas?).

Regardless, on HuffPo’s original article I added a comment that their report needed a correction since Khan had resigned from L’Oreal’s campaign, and L’Oréal issued a statement saying, in effect, they weren’t sorry to see her go. HuffPo, of course, never corrects or updates a story, so that piece is still there sans correction (my comment is also there, though).

Well, now HuffPo has issued an update reflecting Khan’s parting of ways from L’Oréal (I suspect she was fired or asked to step down, but we don’t know for sure). Click on the screenshot below to see their ridiculous new piece:

The article then reproduces Khan’s “apology” but, of course, does not reproduce her tweets, or even mention what they said, save this:

Khan issued an apology Monday on Instagram concerning a series of her tweets from 2014 ― although she didn’t identify which tweets. But after the original L’Oréal announcement, people had quickly bashed certain critical remarks she made about Israel, which have since been deleted.

They of course blame L’Oréal for ditching Khan, even though Khan herself said she stepped down from the campaign. Since we don’t know what happened, it’s ridiculous to imply, as the article does, that this is L’Oréal’s fault. Even if she was fired, it’s not the company’s fault: it’s the fault of Khan for issuing hateful and anti-Semitic tweets (see my original post where I reproduce them). They also call out L’Oréal for this:

This is not the first time L’Oréal has hired and then almost immediately parted ways with a diverse model over previous social media posts. Five months ago, the company cut ties with Monroe Bergdorf, its first transgender model, over her remarks about white America’s systemic racism.

How can a model be “diverse”? And Bergdorf didn’t just remark about “white America’s systemic racism”; she said on Facebook that all white people are racistsThat itself is a racist comment. In fact, Bergdorf herself took down those posts. If there was nothing wrong with them, why did she remove them?

At any rate, the whole tenor of the new HuffPo piece is to blame L’Oréal for reducing diversity and supposedly ditching Khan (I suppose they’d say that L’Oréal should have begged Khan to stay). But it’s not good business, or even very conciliatory, to say that all white people are racists and that Israel should be wiped off the map (as Khan did). By supporting Khan, and neglecting to reproduce her tweets or even report what she said, HuffPo is implicitly supporting Khan’s anti-Israel narrative.

They even reproduce five tweets (all apparently from Sikhs or Muslims) “coming to Khan’s defense.” (Of course they post NO tweets criticizing Khan!)  Here’s one of them:

Well, Khan didn’t just criticize Israel, but said it was an “illegal state” and that “it was only a matter of time” before it was defeated.  And if it’s not racist to criticize countries, why was the Left (and HuffPo) up in arms when Trump reportedly criticized Haiti and some unspecified African nations as “shithole countries”. THAT was deemed racist, and I think it was! In fact, HuffPo itself said that Trump’s comments were racist.

As for advertising models to be allowed to say what they want and still be in ad campaigns, well, Hundal doesn’t understand where free speech applies. Would Sunny Hundal have defended Khan’s “free speech” if she said something in favor of Nazis? I doubt it. Khan is free to say what she wants in America, but L’Oréal doesn’t owe her a job no matter what kind of hatred she spews.

What happened here—and this is emblematic of the Regressive Left—is that the hatred espoused and then hidden by Khan (similar to Linda Sarsour’s support of convicted murderers and terrorists) didn’t suit their “victimhood narrative”, so they try to twist this incident into reflecting L’Oréal’s “racism” instead of Khan’s own anti-Semitism, which is swept under the rug. Apparently, to HuffPo, Evil Israel had it coming.

I’ve about had it with HuffPo. The reason I criticize it (to some readers’ dismay) is that it is one of the U.S.’s most widely read left-wing “news” site, and its flaws exactly mirror the flaws of the Regressive Left. Its treatment of Amena Khan is a prime example. HuffPo is the Breitbart of the Left.

39 thoughts on “HuffPo updates the L’Oreal hijabi model fracas, but in a ridiculous way

  1. I imagine thousands of Muslims already use L’Oreal products so why did anybody feel it necessary to advertise a hijab wearer, surely any Muslim model would do the job?
    Whatever next?

  2. “are people calling for elimination of North Korea,”

    I think that some people are, sure. If you would prefer the government of NK to be gone (as I am sure most people do, including their own citizens), then the “easiest” option for cleaning up the resulting mess is to reunify the peninsula under the SK government.

    My impression is that most Koreans (north and south) are for a unified Korea.

    1. Unfortunately, most North Koreans think their leader is wonderful. Those who escape to the West, and those in the prison camps, are not a majority. There are more and more North Koreans realizing the truth about their country all the time though of course.

      It’s like a religion and they’re taught to believe it from every source from earliest childhood. Further, there are virtually no other voices to break through, such as via the Internet. People may be unhappy with their lives, but most don’t know any different. They do know that showing unquestioning loyalty and service to Kim could get them a better life in Pyong Yang, and that is what they’re more likely to strive for than a life in the West.

      They universally hate USians, who they have been taught started the war, and are to blame for the poor economic conditions. They love Kim for standing up to the evil USians, and they see Trump as the only unstable one.

        1. Despite the fact he’s clearly far more downright evil than Trump, I also think Kim’s far less likely to use his nukes. I worry about what Trump will do in relation to North Korea far more than I worry about what Kim will do in relation to the US.

    2. There is a difference. Eliminating North Korea by joining it with South Korea would leave Koreans in place, as happened with East Germans when DDR ceased to exist. Eliminating Israel would make all of its Jews refugees or dead.

  3. It appears that what passes for journalism these days is the insertion in articles of tweets from random people, who have no special expertise in the topic, that support the views of the author. When authors do this they seem to be saying “see, my view is correct, look at these people who back me up.” In reality, these tweets mean nothing and to me signifies that the authors are insecure in their views and are desperately looking for outside help. The insertion of tweets is nothing more than the sloppy thinking of evidence (actually non-evidence) by anecdote.

    1. So are you suggesting L’Oreal should not have dumped Khan or Bergdorf? Their tweets can not count as evidence of their racism?

      I suspect you don’t mean this at all but are (rightly) calling out “journalists” who use tweets as primary source material. My niggling with you is just that that call-out works in other ways, such as to L’Oreal’s decisions.

      FTR, though I despise the attitudes of people like Khan and Bergdorf, I don’t care if L’Oreal kept them on or not. It’s their marketing strategy, their decision.

      1. My comment is simply a statement of my view regarding the use of tweets in articles as a symptom of declining journalistic standards. The article in question is an example. I was not opining on the substance of the article.

    2. I think not all tweets are created equal, and it depends how you use them. The statement from L’Oréal, for example, is a legitimate use of a tweet imo. I think the problem comes when they’re used, as in this article, to (as you point out) support the pov of the writer. Comments in opposition to the writer’s opinion are not even considered valid, let alone mentioned.

      Tweets are now a legitimate form of communication by government, business, etc. We have to learn to assess them the same way we should any other form of information, and use our best judgement how we use them. Even the best will get it wrong sometimes of course. HuffPo is likely, imo, to get it wrong quite a lot (as they have in this piece).

  4. “‘Khan issued an apology Monday on Instagram concerning a series of her tweets from 2014…'”

    I never understand this when I see these. How are people posting words without a picture?

  5. I’ve about had it with HuffPo.

    You gonna give it up for Lent again this year? Fat Tuesday is 2/13; Lent starts the next day, in case you were wondering. 🙂

  6. A few years ago Sunny Hundal was urging ‘brown people’ to vote Tory. He later switched to supporting the Greens, and then to Labour. I lost track of him after that, not having the owl-like neck needed to follow him round in circles.

    He also ran hit pieces on Gita Sahgal, denouncing her stand against Amnesty’s partnership with Cage, and calling her supported ‘hysterical’. The original post at Pickled Politics vanished after Amnesty itself belatedly disassociated itself from Cage. He’s totally unprincipled.

      1. Forgot about the Lib Dems, but yes, I’m pretty sure he supported them for a while, urging his readers to vote for them just before they came to share power in the coalition, at which point he switched to Labour. He has a need to support the losing side so he can never be accused of any responsibility for whatever they do in government.

        He ran Pickled Politics and Liberal Conspiracy. I remember Laurie Penny posting at LC, attacking some councillors for having no right to speak on behalf of the unemployed because they had been to Cambridge so couldn’t understand. And she knew they’d been to Cambridge because she’d been in the same class. Self-awareness wasn’t big with her.

        There was also some weirdo who claimed to be a councillor who who was invited to schools to ‘cure’ homophobia by making boys touch each other but who always resorted to sexual threats whenever anyone questioned him (akin to the rusty porcupine up the arse stuff most of us are familiar with from Freethought Blogs).

  7. Meh, she is free to express her self on twitter, and L’oreal is free to decide her past is toxic to their inclusive branding.

    I think with people committed to digging up dirt on everyone and everything, and social networking making it easy, this is sadly the new normal.

    I’m actually glad I ignored that invitation to facebook back in 2008, though not being on facebook brings its own weird kinds of exclusion.

  8. I pay as much attention to Huff as I do to Fox. That is equality, fair and balanced.

    Just a note – watching the sentencing of the USA Gymnastics Doctor – up to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct.

  9. Jerry, you write

    Sadly, it turned out that Khan had a Twitter history of not only criticizing Israel, but also calling for the elimination of the state, a stand I consider close to anti-Semitism. After all, Israel was established by the United Nations, and calling for its elimination doesn’t make sense unless you want to disenfranchise the world’s only Jewish state

    Point taken but it is also worth noting the actions taken by the United Nations (and prior to that, by the League of Nations) were hardly fair to the Palestinians and that they (and Muslims in general) have a right to be very upset over the way the whole matter was handled.

    All of the quotes below are taken from the a UN document on the history of Palestine.

    1. Zionist leaders pressured the British government into establish a homeland for the Jews. This resulted in an official statement made at the World Zionist Organization in 1917 which stated that

    His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object

    This statement is known as the Balfour Declaration and essentially hands over a large section of this Arab territory to European Jews.

    2. At the end of the first World War, a League of Nations mandate gave the victors control over former German and Ottoman territories

    Following the victory of Britain and her allies in the First World War, the Mandate system of the League of Nations placed many of the former subject peoples of the Ottoman, German and Austro-Hungarian empires under the tutelage of certain victorious Powers.

    The mandate did not allow for any self-determination on the part of the Palestinian people.

    By being made part of the Palestine Mandate, the Balfour Declaration was given an international dimension. The Mandate concept itself was a compromise between the prevailing colonial system and the principle of self-determination of people under foreign rule

    The idea was that eventually the lands would be given independence but until then the colonial powers had the right to do what they liked.

    3. Britain got control of Palestine and started allowing the immigration of a large number of European Jews into Palestine. It should be noted that at the time Britain gained control, Palestine was around 10 percent Jewish.

    At the time of the British occupation in 1917, Jews formed less than a tenth of the population of Palestine. Nine-tenths were Arab, both Moslem (80 per cent) and Christian (10 per cent).

    By the end of the second World War, so many Jews had been allowed in that the demographics of the region shifted markedly.

    The Jewish population had swelled from 56,000 in 1918 to 608,000 by 1946. The total population had reached 1,850,000

    We have gone from a less than 10 percent Jewish population in 1917 to nearly one third in 1946.

    Needless to say, the local Muslim population was not consulted before implementing these policies.

    4. The large number of Jews in Palestine have the UN the necessary justification to partition the country into a Jewish and an Arab state. However, the original UN proposal had Jerusalem as a neutral city, a Jewish state with almost the same population of Jews as Arabs and an Arab State that had a less than 10 percent Jewish population. See Figure 4 in the linked document.

    All of this led to a considerable amount of violence on both sides. In Jewish controlled areas, extremist groups turned to terrorism against the Arab population and ended up driving a considerable number out

    By 1947, however, Zionist para-military organizations such as the Haganah and the Irgun became active. They were later joined by the Stern gang. These groups turned to terrorism in Palestine ……. Arab refugees (later estimated at 726,000) had “fled or were expelled from the area under Jewish occupation”

    While the Arabs that remained in Israel have been given full Israeli citizenship, the ones that fled or were chased out, were never allowed to return.

    5. Israel was admitted to the UN with the implicit condition that UN resolutions 181 and 194 be complied with.

    In May 1949, Israel was admitted into the United Nations. Its membership was implicitly linked to its compliance with the two basic United Nations resolutions on Palestine – the partition resolution 181 and resolution 194 of December 1948

    The former refers to creation of an Arab state and administering Jerusalem as an international city. The latter refers to allowing refugees the right of return to their homes. To date, Israel has complied with neither.

    Given all the above, is it any wonder that some people consider Israel an illegal state. I would not go that far and certainly do not believe in the elimination of the state of Israel. However, I do hold that the a great injustice was done to the Palestinian people during the creation of Israel – and this injustice needs to be rectified.

    – RM

    1. Does it really need to be pointed out that by very similar sort of revisionism one could say that the U.S. is an “illegal” country. Same for Canada. Mexico. Hell, pretty much the entire American continents. Then, when we’re done parsing why we over here are illegal, we can start in on all the countries in the Olde World, Africa and Asia that fit your idea of “illegal”.

      1. Yes there is a very good example of this:-the hiving off of bits of India to create predominantly Muslim countries.
        I haven’t seen many marches and UN protests about this bit of chicanery and there are so many more.

        1. @Tom

          In the case of India, the British did not bring in people from outside over a 20-30 year period and then proceed to hand over half the country to them. The inhabitants of what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh are natives of the region – not recent immigrants. There aren’t a huge number of former inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent who are now stateless.

          None of this is to say that the Palestinians and other Arab states are blameless in any of this. However, if you put yourself in the shoes of the Palestinians, you can better understand how they feel about the matter.

          – RM

          1. You need to review your history. Non-Muslims were expelled from what is today Bangladesh and Pakistan. Violently expelled in some cases. And vice-versa. The partition of India was not peaceful and generated million of refugees.

            1. @mikeyc

              The treatment of non-Muslims by Pakistan and Bangladesh is shameful but remember a couple of things. First of all, a lot of Muslims were killed by Hindus and pushed out of their homes to Pakistan. It isn’t as if the bloodletting was one-sided during partition. Secondly, the displaced people are not stateless. All the Hindus who came to India are now Indian citizens and all the Muslims who went to Pakistan are Pakistani citizens.
              I am not trying to justify any of this – just trying to point out that the situation that the Palestinians find themselves in is quite different from anyone else.

              It isn’t as if I find the Palestinians blameless. The actions of Hamas and other terrorist groups have made peace impossible – even with Israeli governments that were more sympathetic to the peace process than the current one. It is just that try and put myself in their shoes and see things from their point of view as well.

              – RM

              1. “It is just that try and put myself in their shoes and see things from their point of view as well.”

                This is most definitely a good idea and not just in seeing those conflicts through clearer eyes. It works in all parts of life.

      2. @mikeyc

        Does it really need to be pointed out that by very similar sort of revisionism one could say that the U.S. is an “illegal” country. Does it really need to be pointed out that by very similar sort of revisionism one could say that the U.S. is an “illegal” country.

        That is why I said I would not go so far as to call Israel an illegal state. Nonetheless, an injustice was done and it should be set right. The Palestinians deserve a state of their own. Those driven out deserve to come back to their homes. Remember, some of the people who were driven out of Israel in the early days are still alive as are some of the perpetrators. This is not some injustice that happened centuries ago.

        – RM

        1. Right. You didn’t say that. You defend those who do, but you’re right you didn’t say it. I apologize for the mis-attribution

          I’ll only add one more thing before others who know more about the history of Israel takes your assessment apart. Your assessment of the conflict that sprung up in 1947, initiated by an Arab attack on a bus that killed about a dozen Jewish civilians (sound familiar?), completely elides the contributions to the peace and stability of Israel by the Arabs, including those by the Arab Liberation Army and the Egyptian Army of the Holy War, among others who instigated a series of attacks both with conventional warfare tactics (including armored troops) and terrorist tactics both internally within Israel and from attacks across her border.

          The point, Raghu, is that you’ve given a very one-sided account that ignores far too much.

          1. @mikeyc

            The account of the creation of Israel is straight from the UN history of Palestine. This is the body that voted to create the state of Israel. You can hardly call them one-sided. I have linked to the document. Please read it for yourself.

            I am not calling the Palestinians blameless. Far from it. There’s enough blame to go around. However I try and put myself in their shoes and understand things from their side. I still support Israel’s right to exist and do not call it an illegal state.

            It would seem to me that I am trying to be fair. If anyone is being one-sided, it’s you.

            – RM

Leave a Reply