Print Column: Sen. Oley Larsen and Our Race to the Bottom


MINOT, N.D. — On Sunday night, I was in my kitchen cooking my kids some tacos when I saw that state Sen. Oley Larsen, a Republican from Minot, had posted a picture on Facebook.

The caption of the picture claimed it shows Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, in an al Qaeda training camp.

The picture showed no such thing. It is an Associated Press photo of a Somali woman getting some military training in Mogadishu. It was taken in 1978, years before Rep. Omar was born in 1982, and even more years before al Qaeda formed in Pakistan in 1988.

I attempted to get in touch with Larsen for comment about why he would post such a stupid and embarrassing thing. He hasn’t responded to me, nor anyone else in the news media based on reports I had seen. I then wrote my post about it, noting Larsen’s other posts in which he referred to Omar as a “terrorist.”

Larsen’s Facebook escapades are now a national news story.

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