The media has dubbed him “Clock Boy,” but critics have pointed out that he’s really just Crock Boy. This hasn’t prevented Ahmed Mohamed (shown), the 14-year-old Texas student arrested for bringing to school a device that could be taken for a bomb, from making the rounds as a celebrity and meeting world leaders. This included an encounter Barack Obama at the White House’s Astronomy Night last evening, even though the meeting was left in doubt after Mohamed met last Wednesday with an African president wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
The boy’s dubious meeting with Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir — accused of orchestrating genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur — put the White House in an uncomfortable position. Obama had already committed to the now-discredited narrative that Mohamed was a fertile-minded inventor victimized by “Islamophobia,” and revoking his Astronomy Night invitation would have been a blow against that victim narrative. Ultimately, the administration decided to walk a fine line. Press Secretary Josh Earnest played down Mohamed’s visit at a press briefing yesterday, saying he didn’t believe Obama would “have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with Ahmed” as “several hundred people” would participate in the event. And so it transpired: Obama met with the high-school student while mingling with the attendees, but didn’t showcase his visit.
Unfortunately, Mohamed’s tale is an example of how, as Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710, “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…” And a tall tale Mohamed’s is.
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