Saturday, April 16, 2011

Birther Week in Review 4 16 11 - Special WND Edition

not long enough to sell a crisis cooker...

In which our friends at World Net Daily make such a poor showing for themselves that it's a wonder they haven't died of shame. Oh wait, they don't have any. Also, Orly Tatiz notices our humble efforts, and Arizona's birther bill passes, but may not matter

Longtime readers of the rANT Farm will be well-versed in our long-running march of shame against World Net Daily -- home of some of the sloppiest drive-by journalism you'll see online. Published by Joseph "Mr. Mustache" Farah, the site has become the clearing house for Birther misinformation, and the primary cheerleader for their frivolous lawsuits and judicial shenanigans.

In that regard, this has been something of a banner week for Whirled Nut Daily.

Still reeling from Dr. Fukino's one-two bodyblow regarding the existence of our President's vital records (without which there would be no Certificate of Live Birth for Farah to decry), our intrepid publisher decided to move the goalposts. Hawaii birth or no, Obama's not a NBC because... wait for it...

If, indeed, (The COLB) is a true and accurate representation of Obama's actual birth, it should be considered prima facie evidence that he is not constitutionally eligible to be president.


Because Obama's parents were in no position to confer "natural born citizenship" upon him regardless of where he may have been born.

Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Kenyan visiting student in the U.S. in August 1961. Stanley Ann Dunham was a citizen of the U.S. but too young under the law to confer even ordinary citizenship upon her offspring in August 1961.

Of course, neither of those things matter, unless you want to tell me that every 16 year old girl who gives birth without knowing who the father is just cranked out a non-President.

However, the best lines in Farah's articles are the following two: I don't trust Obama to tell the truth about anything. His autobiography is full of falsehoods.

Remember the proverb about the pot, the kettle, and the color black? Well, less than a week before Farah stuck his chest out for the cause, one of his favorite smear merchants really screwed the pooch.

Meet Jack Cashill. You might know him as the author of Deconstructing Obama -- a book that claims, amongst other things, that Barack Obama did not write either of his books, based on some "analysis" Mr. Cashill apparently did.

Well here's a sign of how careful Mr. Cashill is with his research. In a piece called Barack Obama's Missing Year, our investigator showed photographic proof that the manufacturers of Obama's background did a poor photoshop job of inserting a young Barry onto a park bench between his loving grandparents.

Except there's just one problem. It quickly became obvious to anyone who looked at the "before" and "after" pictures that the "before" was the cheesy photoshop, and the "after" was the real photo all along.

Media Matters pointed out the oopsie. The article's two lead paragraphs were struck without explanation. Business as usual for WND!

But then entered Salon reporter Justin Elliot. The day before Farah decided it was time to move the goalposts, Mr. Elliot wrote an article connecting the dots between Donald Trump and Sarah Palin's false claims that the President had spent two million dollars hiding his birth certificate, and World Net Daily's reporting on the subject -- specifically articles by WND writer Chelsea Schilling.

Elliot made the mistake of emailing Farah to ask for his input on the matter.

After my piece came out, Farah angrily emailed me to take issue with my characterization of WND as "a discredited birther website." ... The exchange started with Farah calling me a "smear merchant" and writing: "I notice you don’t bother to cite how WND has been discredited. That’s certainly excellent reporting on your part."

In any case, I wrote back to Farah with just one example, the latest, of WND's credibility problem. That would be this column by WND's Jack Cashill on "Barack Obama's missing year." The lead of the column aimed to debunk a famous photo of a young Obama flanked by his grandparents on a bench in New York City. As proof, Cashill embedded a YouTube video that purported to show that Obama had been photoshopped into the picture, and that the real image included only Obama's grandparents.

Unfortunately for Cashill the supposed "genuine" image -- the one without Obama -- was itself a sloppy photoshop job that still included part of Obama's knee between his grandparents. This was pointed out by Media Matters about eight hours after Cashill's column was published on WND.

At that point WND simply scrubbed the first two paragraphs of the story, without so much as an update, let alone a correction.

Note to Justin - never tell Farah the truth, it just makes him angry. However, when Farah gets angry, the truth comes out. (There's probably some Zen thing, there...)

When I pointed this out, Farah fired back (emphasis added):

"Jack Cashill is an OPINION columnist. Admittedly, we publish some misinformation by columnists, as does your publication and every other journal that contains opinion. Bill Press seldom gets anything right in his column, but because we believe in providing the broadest spectrum of OPINION anywhere in the news business, we tolerate that kind of thing. Yes, Cashill’s column contained an egregious error, which we corrected almost immediately, which is far more than I expect you to do in what I assume is a NEWS piece you wrote."

This is interesting, when you take this into account. (emphasis added)

On September 13, 2001, WND published a commentary by Anthony C. LoBaido regarding the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., two days earlier. In his column, LoBaido outlined what he regarded as the moral depravity of America in general and New York in particular, asking whether, "God (has) raised up Shiite Islam as a sword against America." Commentators Virginia Postrel of Reason magazine and James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal criticized LoBaido and Joseph Farah for the piece and called for columnists Hugh Hewitt and Bill O'Reilly to sever their ties with WND, prompting Farah to respond with a column of his own explaining that the article did not reflect the viewpoint of WND, and that it, like most other commentary pieces, had not been reviewed before being published.


But wait, it gets better!

I asked Farah if it is standard practice at WND to remove major sections of stories without any correction. To which he responded:

"How long have you been in this business, punk? My guess is you were in diapers when I was running major metropolitan newspapers. You call what you wrote a news story? You aren’t fit to carry Chelsea Schilling’s laptop.


And then it gets even better. Not content to merely call a critic a member of Lumbricus terrestris, Farah went on a tear to defend his dear friend.

I'd like you to compare and contrast and form your own opinions about the level of professionalism and journalistic integrity demonstrated by the two starkly different reporters, with starkly different approaches to journalism.

I'd like you to look at the two reporters and make any judgments you think are appropriate about them: Which one would you rather have dinner with? Which one would you most trust to babysit your kids? Which one would you most likely hire if you had the choice? Which one seems more trustworthy?


As I said, I'll take principled, professional reporters like Chelsea Schilling any day over sissified, left-wing bloggers pretending to do journalism.

Journalism, roughly defined as discovering that the Obama campaign paid out close to $2 million to a legal firm that handles all its legal matters, and then assumed that all or most of that money is going to "hiding" the Birth Certificate. Genius, that.

Salon has circled the wagons a bit, with reporter Alex Pareene laying down some well-deserved smack.

WorldNetDaily is a magnet for the dumbest, dullest wingnuts in America. Even its lawyer is a buffoon. Last year, WND sued the White House Correspondents' Association because WND's disreputable conspiracy website was only given one table at the Correspondents Dinner. (They do have a White House correspondent, actually. It's Les Kinsolving, a tragicomedy of a man who is invited to briefings solely to be called on when the press secretary wants to answer a stupid question about who wrote the president's memoir instead of a serious question about reality.) Anyway, their lawyer was Larry Klayman, who is not allowed to appear before courts in much of the United States because of his "total disregard for the judicial process."

Well now we see why they like Orly Taitz... except when they don't.

(N.B. It seems that article was scrubbed by the invisible hand of Farah, too, as the word "Gadfly" was used to describe Taitz when Badfiction quoted it. Seems they don't just adjust columns!)

But it's not all embarrassment for Farah this week. Word has it that Donald Trump and he have been confabbing quite a bit.

Kendra Marr of Politico reports that Farah says he and Trump talked every day this week, and he has been advising Trump on the basics of birtherism. "We've have been speaking quite a bit," Farah said.


According to Marr, Farah said he offered to give Trump a tutorial in birtherism once Trump started publicly asking questions about President Obama's birth certificate. "His people were very quick to respond," Farah said.


Farah and WND have been rejected by the broader conservative movement. They were barred from holding a panel on birther issues at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009, and haven't been welcomed back since.

This year WND ran an article theorizing that CPAC had been infiltrated by Muslims

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Stay classy, my friends.

Let it be resolved, all anti-Birther activists should do their best to rile Mr. Farah up at least once a week, in order for more nuggets of truth to come out. The term is called "gaslighting." Watch the movie.


Speaking of gaslighting, Orly Taitz apparently noticed one of our previous weeks in review. She isn't flattered.

More attacks from Obama operatives: they are altering my photographs, painting my eyes red, calling me a “terminator” and other names. And all of these thugs are working hard to provide a cover of the occupant of the White House

Sorry, Orly. Next time I'll pick a movie reference you might actually get. Still, I guess I'm no longer heading the "por-Obama Media"

Also, check out Orly in action on CNN. Good for a laugh, but I wish they'd let the other guest have more time to smack her facts out of the park.

And finally, we have bad and good(?) news from Arizona. The bad news is that the Birther Bill is headed to the Governor's desk for signing. The good news is that the state's Attorney General says that Obama's COLB is sufficient proof to pass muster under that law.

Bennett stated the hospital, physician and witness signatures mentioned in the bill are not absolute requirements, but only required “if applicable”. Bennett stated that as important as the birth certificate itself is, the accompanying certification of the copy is equally important. [The copy Bennett was shown lacked a visible seal and the stamp on the back was not reproduced.]

But you did notice the ? up there, right?

Bennett expressed concern, however, over lawsuits. Under the Arizona bill, any citizen could bring a suit over the Secretary of State’s decision. No matter what Bennett does, it is virtually certain that some citizen (or many of them) would file a lawsuit trying to overturn his decision. Given the tight time frame in the preparation of the ballot after candidate filing deadlines, Bennett could see a problem if there were lengthy legal battles.

Which means that, given the Birthers' pattern of judicial tyranny, it's almost certain that, should he say the COLB is kosher, someone's going to fly to AZ and want to sue, sue, sue.

Happy happy? Joy joy?

Until next time, remember "Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."


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