Jacob Wohl’s Laughable Ilhan Omar Documentary Shows Contempt For Its Audience [Opinion]

Chip SomodevillaGetty Images

Importing Ilhan, the short documentary chronicling the recent visit to Minneapolis by professional Trump Twitter reply guy Jacob Wohl and his fellow bottom-feeder Laura Loomer, has gotten attention for one big reason.

It shows Wohl, per The Inquisitr, filing a police report about a death threat that he received, one which appears to have been almost certainly fabricated.

Yes, committing such a crime — and including evidence that you did so in your own self-serving documentary — is a pretty crushingly stupid thing to do, especially since Jussie Smollett’s arrest for filing a false police report had been all over the news just a couple of days earlier. But somehow, that’s not the dumbest thing about the documentary.

Importing Ilhan, a 25-minute film directed by longtime conservative blogger Ali Alexander, was released this week to YouTube, Vimeo, and other social media platforms. It focuses on Wohl and Loomer’s February trip to Minneapolis, where they were purportedly “investigating” Rep. Ilhan Omar. Center to the film’s proceedings are their shared belief in the bogus, long-ago-debunked conspiracy theory that she had married her own brother in order to commit immigration fraud. The last few minutes of the film depict a press conference Wohl hosted at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the principals chronicled their Minneapolis trip on Periscope, as Wohl and Loomer have both been permanently banished from Twitter. The Periscope streams were geared towards spreading the false notion that areas of Minneapolis, if not the greater Twin Cities area, is under jihadist control, and that Wohl and Loomer’s lives were in danger due to their reporting. They also came along with a “security detail” that always seemed to be just off camera, and spent much of their trip fundraising for themselves.

I grew up in the Minneapolis area, I visit often, and I assure you: It’s nothing like walking through Kandahar. Though I can always tell if someone is a Fox News viewer if, when I mention I’m from Minnesota, their first question is some variation on “what’s going on with those damn Somali people?”

In the Minnesota portion of the documentary, a few things are made clear. One, Wohl and Loomer don’t seem to be doing much investigating. That may be because they came to Minnesota on a weekend, one when Omar was not in town. She spoke at a dinner in Florida on February 23, per WMNF.

One sequence — in which Loomer walks up to the doorway of what she says is Omar’s home, rings the doorbell, and no one answers — drags on for over a minute. This takes place despite no one answering, and the entire affair is accompanied by laughably dramatic music.

Aside from the subpar, Tommy Wiseau-like filmmaking — and a musical score that seems to consist of a single drum and a ticking clock — look at all of the things wrong with that clip.

Omar’s not home, and they know she’s not home. It was reported in advance that the congresswoman was going to be in Florida at the time. Loomer says “the lights are on,” when they’re clearly not. It’s not customary for hostile journalists to show up at subject’s homes with a “sworn affidavit… under penalty of perjury.” And even if she were home, if Laura Loomer came to my house, I probably wouldn’t answer the door either.

Then they go to Omar’s district office, which is locked, and they treat it as scandalous. Even though it’s, you know, a weekend. Then, Wohl calls the number of Omar’s office, it goes to voicemail — we hear the outgoing voicemail message — and then Wohl says “it’s been disconnected.” But even if it had been, what’s the implication? That Omar is only pretending to have a district office?

Even without a face-to-face confrontation with Omar, it’s shocking how little Wohl and Loomer actually discover about their subject. No one they talk to has a whole lot of light to shed on Omar, and they seem to spend much of their time in town sitting around their Airbnb, live-streaming, or attending a Somali restaurant.

The use of the restaurant footage is a study in the amateur-hour filmmaking technique that’s present throughout. Footage of Wohl and the others in the restaurant is interspersed with him out reporting, lending everything a strange continuity — as if Wohl is in two places at once. I wonder if the owners of that establishment had any idea of the ugly, bad faith agenda of the people they were serving.

And that’s before the part where Wohl filed a police report claiming that he had received a death threat on Twitter — from an account that Wohl has already admitted was a fake one that he created — from a Minneapolis area “diversity coordinator.” NBC News‘ Ben Collins tracked down the Minneapolis realtor whose picture Wohl used for the bogus account.

Aside from the false police report business, I’d say the biggest miscalculation of Importing Ilhan is its misplaced focus. The documentary was filmed while Omar was in the middle of the news for a huge controversy over comments she made about Israel that many have called anti-Semitic, per The Inquisitr. There are things about Ilhan Omar that are perfectly in-bounds when it comes to good-faith criticism. But the filmmakers didn’t choose to focus on those things.

Instead, Wohl and Loomer are committed to “proving” the fringe conspiracy theory that Omar married her brother, even though the notion grew out of a dodgy message board post three years ago, and has never been close to proven — even though numerous media outlets have been dedicated to destroying Omar for the better part of the last year.

Snopes has a useful history of the rumor, a history which points out that there’s absolutely no evidence that Omar’s former husband is her brother, and that any brother of Omar’s would likely have the same citizenship status as her, meaning no fraudulent marriage would be necessary.

The part of the film which takes place in the nation’s capital is depicted as “the investigation moving” to Washington, but it’s really just shots of Wohl walking around near the White House. This footage is followed by an interview with Alexander, and then the CPAC “press conference,” which seemingly was attended entirely by liberal journalists there to mock Wohl. His first mistake, perhaps, was labeling a press release “Privileged and Strictly Confidential,” per Mediaite. The film ends with a seemingly never-ending series of on-screen titles aimed at sussing out Ilhan Omar’s marriage history.

It’s not especially shocking that the guy who was caught red-handed trying to fake a sexual assault allegation against special counsel Robert Mueller last November, per NBC News, is now faking police reports. But it’s still mind-boggling that he actually put footage of him doing so in his own documentary.

What’s incredibly brazen here is just how stupid these people think their audience is. They’re lying to their own viewers about the circumstances of what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. The contempt Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer have for their own audience is likely much greater than whatever it is they feel for Ilhan Omar.

Importing Ilhan is a ridiculous documentary about ridiculous people on a ridiculous mission. And the saddest thing of all is that the mission completely failed.