What does it say about a news organization when its leader tells easily disproven lies?
WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah does exactly that in a June 21 WND article attacking Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The article is headlined "Anti-military zealot on Supreme Court?" and quotes Farah as saying that "Kagan is a radical anti-military and pro-abortion zealot."
That is demonstrably false. Kagan is on the record as repeatedly praising the military for its "courage," "dedication" and "great service," and she has called military service "the greatest service a person can give for their country." And if Kagan is such a "zealot," would she be receiving the support of solicitors general from across the political spectrum, such as Democratic appointees Walter Dellinger, Drew Days, and Seth Waxman and Republican appointees Charles Fried, Kenneth Starr, and Theodore Olson?
This isn't the only lie Farah tells. He's also quoted as saying: "This woman, as president of her university, banned the U.S. military from recruiting on campus. … Just contemplate rewarding that kind of vehemently anti-American action with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Elena Kagan must be stopped."
First, Kagan is not "president of her university"; she is dean of her university's law school. Second, she did not "ban the U.S. military from recruiting on campus"; law school students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean, and she prohibited military recruiters from using the school's career services office for only a single semester.
The short answer to why a journalist would tell so many lies to his readers is that Farah is not a journalist -- he is an activist. And his WorldNetDaily is not a news organization; it is, for all practical purposes, a for-profit activist group.
Speaking of profit, there is a reason Farah is telling you these lies -- he has something to sell you. Farah would like to join his "Stop Kagan Campaign," in which you send him $24.95 to deliver "personalized, individually addressed, anti-Kagan letters to all 100 U.S. senators by Fed Ex." Farah adds: "It's a phenomenal bargain. … It makes it easy for you to sound off on this historically bad nomination. It's a small investment. And I am convinced that if enough Americans take advantage of it, Kagan will be stopped -- even by this Senate."
Ultimately, this isn't a "news" article at all -- it's an ad. It seems that Farah wants to make money so bad he's willing to tell blatant lies. And that tells you all you need to know about WorldNetDaily.
As we noted last week, WorldNetDaily editor and Birther-King Joseph Farah is scheduled to speak at July's National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas.
The gathering is fast shaping up to be more of a "Birther-Palooza" than unity conference.
Farah will now be joined in Vegas by Birther conspiracy theory promoting radio host and former CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs. According to a press release posted on the convention's website, Dobbs will keynote the gathering (emphasis added):
The National Tea Party Convention, today, announced that award winning journalist, TV and radio personality, Lou Dobbs, will join the convention delegates and share his vast insights and perspectives as a keynote speaker. Bringing his political and financial knowledge and commentary to bear, Lou Dobbs will offer the delegates a direct and reasoned defense of American exceptionalism while dealing with issues of trade, jobs, politics and the challenges facing America in the 21st century.
Judson Philips, Founder and President of Tea Party Nation said, "Lou Dobbs is an electrifying personality who says what's on his mind and backs it up with his knowledge and experience throughout his journalistic career. He is hard hitting and will bring a unique perspective to the convention that will hold people's attention while also challenging their thinking."
Of course, this is not the first conference Dobbs has lent his "electrifying personality" to. Just last fall, he spoke at a gathering organized by a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate group." As I wrote last September:
On September 15 and 16, Dobbs is scheduled to appear at the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" rally and legislative advocacy event in the nation's capital being thrown by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). These anti-immigrant zealots must be pleased as heavily spiked punch to have Dobbs helping out again this year, just as they were with his participation last year when it bragged in a press release that the CNN host's "prominence will add to the visibility and stature of [the] event."
So what exactly is FAIR, other than a conveniently misleading acronym?
Well, for starters, the group was founded 30 years ago by John Tanton, who remains on its board to this day and happens to have a well-documented history of making racist statements and espousing racist beliefs.
In 2001, Tanton reportedly praised the work of a notorious Nazi sympathizer, saying his work should form "a guidepost to what we must follow again this time." Back in the mid-1980s, he authored memos, which the nonpartisan Southern Poverty Law Center said were meant for "colleagues who met at retreats to discuss immigration." According to news reports, the memos, in part, "raised questions about the 'reproductive powers' of the races, suggesting: 'perhaps this is the first instance in which those with the pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!' "
The memos are all the more chilling when coupled with the fact that according to FAIR's publicly available IRS disclosure forms, the organization has received at least $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that supports the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others who seek to prove that genetic differences exist between races.
FAIR also has a long history of producing racially charged television commercials that have attacked both Republicans and Democrats -- ads which have been described in newspaper editorials as "racially tinged" and "trash" that "incite hate," "play upon stereotypical racial fears," and "are full of half-truths and lies."
This one is sure to send Joseph Farah -- World Net Daily editor and Birther-King -- into hysterics. Writing on WashingtonPost.com's Right Now blog, David Weigel reports on legislation signed into law by the Republican Governor of Hawaii in response to incessant Birther requests for President Obama's birth certificate:
After grappling with the legality of the legislation-- making sure that it did not hurt the public's access to any other government records -- Gov. Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii) has signed into law a bill that protects state employees from having to answer harassing requests about President Barack Obama's citizenship.
The new law, Act 100, allows state agencies a limited exemption from Freedom of Information requirements when duplicative requests for information are made by the same person. Although the law covers all agencies, the measure targets people who repeatedly request a copy of Obama's Hawai'i birth certificate.
In a press release today, the National Tea Party Unity Convention announced that Joseph Farah -- prominent Birther and editor of the right-wing WorldNetDaily -- will address attendees at the convention this July in Las Vegas.
This is the same gathering that recently boasted Andrew Breitbart as the convention's "first major speaker." Remember, Breitbart got in a bit of an argument with Farah at CPAC this year over Farah's incessant Birther promotion calling it, "self-indulgent", "narcissistic," and "a losing issue" for Republicans. Of course those views haven't kept Breitbart from giving a shout-out to a Birther website, writing a blurb for a book that promotes the Birther issue, and guest-hosting a prominent Birther radio program. Perhaps Breitbart has had a change of heart.
From a press release announcing Farah's participation:
The National Tea Party Unity Convention is honored to announce Joseph Farah, chairman, CEO and editor-in-chief of WorldNetDaily, will be a headlining speaker at the July event in Las Vegas.
Farah, a nationally syndicated columnist and noted author of several books, including "Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality, and Justice," will emphasize the importance of unity within the Tea Party movement. Farah brings a spirited, insightful, and sometimes controversial viewpoint to the political dialogue of the day.
"I have known Joseph Farah for some time and have always enjoyed our repartee," said Judson Phillips, Founder and President of Tea Party Nation. "His message of unity within the Tea Party movement will be well-received. I am grateful that he chose to participate in this convention."
Farah's fearless perspective stems from his role as a government watchdog with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. He spoke at the February convention and is looking to reprise his role by challenging delegates to band together and overcome the challenges of the left, and in particular, the Obama administration.
What message are they hoping Farah will "reprise" from the last Tea Party convention? Have a look:
Does that sound like "challenging delegates to band together and overcome the challenges of the left" to you? Perhaps they should have just said, "challenging delegates to pursue outlandish conspiracy theories and overcome issues that make them less and less relevant."
The annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, otherwise known as "nerd prom," is quite possibly the hottest ticket in town for media personalities, political staffers and even a few celebrities -- picture Wolf Blitzer, Ari Fleischer and the 8th runner-up from American Idol sharing a laugh over some wine.
Well, it looks like WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farrah is none too pleased after receiving only two seats -- only two! -- to the insidery beltway media festivities.
Simon Owens of Blogasm writes:
Today, several websites, including WND, reported that he is suing the association for $10 million.
I spoke to Farah on the phone about the incident and he explained that they had requested three tables to coincide with the publication of a biography of Lester Kinsolving, WND's longtime White House correspondent. Unsurprisingly, given WND's right-leaning status and Kinsolving's affiliation with it, Farah is claiming ideological foul play on the association.
"There's no question about it," he said. "I think it's a slight to both Les and WND. He's treated like a pariah in the association. He's treated like a pariah by his colleagues at every briefing. Half the time he's standing there with his hand up, and the guy from the AP will just close down the briefing. He's treated with disrespect by journalists. It's really sad because it's not uniform, or universal, that they disrespect elder statesmen of the press corp, because Helen Thomas is treated like a queen. She asks questions that are just as bizarre as Les, but because her ideological leaning is to the port side, she's treated like a queen. And Les Kinsolving, who is not much of an ideologue, to be honest with you, but his association with World Net Daily pigeon holes him, and he's treated with disrespect."
Pardon me while I tune the world's tiniest violin.
I'm less inclined to buy the argument that WorldNetDaily is being treated poorly because of its conservative ideology than I am to assume that such treatment is a result of the right-wing, birther conspiracy pushing outlet's lack of any journalistic standards whatsoever. Here are just a few examples of the complete and utter failure that is WorldNetDaily:
Oh, and by the way, I can hardly wait for the "biography of Lester Kinsolving." To honor Kinsolving, I plan on waiting at the back of a line at Borders, book in hand, as I shout questions at the check-out clerk:
"Aren't books part of the New World Order?"
"Does the CEO of Borders love Socialism?"
You get the picture.
In anticipation of the upcoming immigration marches, Media Matters for America has compiled a review of the hateful and outrageous right-wing rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate in 2006.
CPAC is dead to WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah -- and he spends his entire March 8 column explaining why.
Most of the reason is that CPAC wouldn't let Farah speak about President Obama's birth certificate, which he blames on conservative blogger Jon Henke, who raised the idea last year of getting conservatives to not advertise on WND because of its embrace of conspiracy theories (like birtherism). Farah even gives a shout-out to Media Matters for noting Henke's boycott idea:
It began when Republican blogger Jon Henke declared an ill-fated boycott of WND. I say ill-fated because WND had a banner year for revenues and traffic. That should tell you something about his level of influence in the world of politics and news. Henke did his best to get the Republican Party to withhold advertising from WND, never thinking, of course, to suggest the same to the Democrats, who outspent Republicans nationally and in WND in the election year 2008.
Nevertheless, Henke was rewarded with multiple appearances on MSNBC and became a darling of the George Soros-backed slime machine Media Matters as a result of his attack on WND.
His next step was calling CPAC to ensure that I would be banned from speaking there in 2010.
Meanwhile, Henke tells the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel that he appeared on MSNBC only once. Further, regarding Farah's claim about Democrats advertising at WND, it's misleading at best. What Farah has usually offered to back up this claim is contextual advertising through Google AdWords -- in which the ads that appear in the Google ad space are driven by the content of the page they appear on -- which is not the same as directly purchasing ad space from WND. (It's ironic that Farah would defend hosting Google-generated ads on WND, given that he devoted an entire chapter of his 2007 book Stop the Presses! to bashing Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong.")
Farah goes on to trash CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale for blocking his birtherism, calling her an "arrogant, know-it-all wannabe" who exhibits "ill manners, unprofessionalism and condescension."
But being denied a forum to spread his birtherism is not the only reason Farah is shunning CPAC. He's also annoyed that CPAC "made the conscious decision to include in its sponsors for 2010 a group promoting same-sex marriage. How stupid is that?"
There's a third reason as well: WND is creating its own activism conference. The first Taking America Back National Convention (named after Farah's 2003 manifesto) gathers in September in Miami. The list of speakers is mostly the usual WND suspects -- Farah, Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes -- as well as one CPAC holdover, WND columnist Tom Tancredo, whose CPAC appearance was notable for his insulting the intelligence of Obama voters and calling for a "civics literacy test" as a requirement for voting.
Farah makes clear how his shindig will be different from CPAC:
This one is about the ultimate issues of God, the Constitution, the tea-party uprising, freedom and justice.
There will be no two-headed monkeys.
There will be no same-sex marriage sponsors.
But there will be free and open discussion of issues like the constitutional eligibility of the man occupying the White House.
Of course, when you're paying for the venue, you can talk about any goofy thing you want.
From Joseph Farah's February 10 WorldNetDaily column:
I'm accused of being a "conspiracy theorist" because I want to see Barack Obama fulfill his constitutional requirement to prove he is a "natural born citizen."
You know who throws those insults around?
People like Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.
But get the two of them together on Fox News Channel and you find out who the real conspiracy nuts are.
They think Barack Obama is leading a conspiracy to promote questions about his eligibility status.
"I think the reason they didn't ever produce the birth certificate is because they wanted these loons out there," said O'Reilly in a conversation with Beck.
Apparently O'Reilly forgot, in a moment of rare candor, that he's been peddling the idea that Obama has released his birth certificate.
Beck dutifully jumped in to ensure O'Reilly was sticking to the script: "Hang on. I think he has produced the birth certificate."
"We have a facsimile," O'Reilly asserted. "But I want him to send (the original) directly to me."
But look at the conspiracy tale the O'Reilly-Beck crowd develop around the birth-certificate issue. They believe Obama is directing a master conspiracy - leading suspicious and curious people like me who insist on seeing the Constitution observed, to serve Obama's political interests.
By the way, I would like to point out that Beck and O'Reilly (along with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and others) are every bit as obsessed about the birth certificate as I am. They talk about it week after week, without, by the way, introducing any new information. The only difference is that their obsession is providing cover for Obama to keep his personal history secret from the American people, while my obsession is seeing the secrets revealed.
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe in the Constitution and to observe that it is being cheapened by Obama, the Washington political establishment and the media every day when they insist that a fundamental, easy-to-understand requirement of the document be simply overlooked.
For those like me who are snowed-in on the Atlantic coast, I present some Wednesday mid-morning fun:
From CSPAN's coverage of WorldNetDaily Founder and CEO Joseph Farah's February 5 appearance at the National Tea Party Convention:
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From CSPAN's coverage of WorldNetDaily Founder and CEO Joseph Farah's February 5 appearance at the National Tea Party Convention:
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From Joseph Farah's February 5 WorldNetDaily column:
Here's a sneak peak at what I will be talking about in my keynote address to the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville tonight. I wish you could all be there, but it's a sellout:
I have a dream.
My dream is that IF Barack Obama even seeks re-election as president in 2012, he won't be able to go to any city, any town, any hamlet in America without seeing signs that ask, "Where's the birth certificate?"
It's a simple question.
The rest of the media think it's ridiculous, which makes me certain it's one of the most important questions we can be asking. It really hits the target. Polls now show 33 percent of Californians either believe Obama was born outside the country or have doubts about his alleged Hawaiian birth. Nationwide it's closer to 50 percent. Even significant numbers of Democrats have doubts.
But the media and the politicians keep pretending it's all been settled.
I say if it's been settled, show us the birth certificate.
It's an old trick really. It was actually codified by a Marxist Columbia University professor and his research assistant in an article in The Nation May 2, 1966 -- when Barack Obama was only 4 years old. (Or at least we think he was about 4 years old. Without that birth certificate, we just don't really know.) The professor of social work was Richard A. Cloward, and his research assistant was Frances Fox Piven. What they authored became known as "the Cloward-Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis."
Today, Obama is still employing the Cloward-Piven strategy, but not as a community organizer. Today he is the Community Organizer in Chief.
He's still creating crises as a means of empowerment.
Think about it: With Obama, everything is a crisis -- carbon dioxide levels, the banking industry, the automobile industry, the health-care system and especially the economy.
He's going to fix them all, he promises.
By turning make-believe crises into real crises.
The goal remains the same as when it was first outlined in 1966. It is, as the Marxists of the 1960s and early 1970s explained, to "heighten the contradictions of capitalism," bring the system to its knees and, ultimately, collapse.
Do I exaggerate?
I don't think so.
It's the only paradigm that makes sense given the policies of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. They are following a deliberate course to destroy the American free-enterprise system, your freedom and the American way of life.
After all, the God of the Christians and Jews says: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
That's His first commandment. And His second doesn't make Him any easier to swallow: Don't worship idols.
That's pretty much what the U.S. government has become for many Americans.
And God says: "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
You see, it's kind of a mutual aversion situation.
From a January 5 WorldNetDaily article:
In anti-gay attack on Feldblum, Farah says Obama appointees found at "Perverts.gov," gov't should be "fumigated" when "these deviants and degenerates" are gone
Continuing anti-gay attacks, WND CEO Farah warns that "America is being judged by God" for "homosexual ... sin"
WND's Farah: Rosenthal "spread[s]" anti-Semitism, Obama "publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews"
Birther activist Farah thanks Palin for mainstreaming questions about "Obama's eligibility"
Sometimes a headline says it all:
Pretty good distillation of WND's worldview, isn't it? The word gays in scare-quotes, the premise that "cooperating" with gay people is fundamentally inconsistent with being a conservative.
The article begins:
A viral alarm spreading among conservatives that the American Conservative Union is accepting homosexual sponsorship for its annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington is not the first indication that the organization is stepping away from its conservative foundations, based on an invitation from CPAC to WND a few months ago.
Oh, no! Not "homosexual sponsorship"! (WND describes the sponsor in question as "GOProud, which calls itself 'the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies.'")
Interestingly, while WND is up in arms about a group of gay conservatives co-sponsoring CPAC, the article doesn't raise any concerns about another event co-sponsor: The John Birch Society.
Which isn't to say CPAC's "cooperation with 'gays'" is WND's only complaint. They're also miffed that CPAC doesn't seem to have much interest in allowing WND's Joseph Farah to peddle his Birther conspiracy theories at the event:
Joseph Farah, WND's chief executive officer and founder, said he received an invitation from CPAC's Lisa DePasquale for WND to be a cosponsor for the 2010 event, scheduled Feb. 18-20, and he responded with a brief private e-mail suggesting an interest in discussing the issue of President Obama's eligibility to hold office at the event.
"Never heard back from her - not even a polite acknowledgement of receipt of my e-mail," he said. "But months later she offered to an interviewer from the L.A. Times, among others, that CPAC 'turned me down.'"
So to sum up: WorldNetDaily thinks CPAC should exclude gays but include Birchers and Birthers.
From a December 7 column, headlined, "Eligibility issue goes 'mainstream,'" by WorldNetDaily CEO and founder Joseph Farah:
Sarah Palin, last year's vice presidential candidate and the best-selling author in the world right now, affirms that questions about Barack Obama's eligibility for office are legitimate.
This is no longer the "fringe" issue as most of the media would like to portray it.
One of the things people love about Sarah Palin is her shoot-from-the-hip frankness. They admire her courage. They like the fact that she doesn't just offer TelePrompTer answers in interviews. She demonstrated that candor once again in her interview with Rusty Humphreys.
And since she must be regarded as one of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, that puts this eligibility issue right where it belongs - at the forefront of the national debate.