Sunday, July 03, 2011

Birther Week in Review 7/2/11 - WND vs Esquire Edition

the other three are being sued

In which our friends at World Net Daily lay their case for suing Esquire on the table, and we take a look at some of the players.
(h/t conwebwatch for the original photo)

Tis truly the age of the lawsuit at Whirled Nut Daily, er, excuse me, World Net Daily. First, we're told Jerome "Dr. Feelgood" Corsi is going to bring charges against Obama, via the FBI, for criminal fraud. (Then we find out someone else is going to do it for him.) Then WND, itself, is threatened with a lawsuit for dragging an anti-birther blogger's private life into the limelight and lying about him.

Now, a few weeks after actually announcing that it was on, WND held a press conference in which their lawsuit against Esquire over their satirical article was laid out for all three members of the press that bothered to attend.

WASHINGTON – WND is filing a lawsuit in the nation's capital today seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages for a faked "report" in Esquire magazine that falsely said a New York Times best-selling book, "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President," by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., had been pulled from store shelves by the publisher.

The claim has been filed by attorney Larry Klayman for Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, on behalf of the company, WND Books, himself and author Corsi.

Defendants named include Esquire Magazine Inc., parent company the Hearst Corp., and Mark Warren, the author of the false article.

"You can't just make up words and put them in people's mouths, deliberately misleading the public, deliberately defaming others and deliberately lying to inhibit commerce,"* Farah said. "Media institutions such as Esquire magazine and its parent, the Hearst Corporation, for which I was employed for nearly a decade, should know better. And they will as a result of this lawsuit."

To the tune of $285 million dollars, apparently. I hope they know you can sue people for SLAPP lawsuits in Washington D.C., where the suit is being filed?

You can watch the entire press conference at WND, starting with this page, if you'd care to. It may be an hour of your life you won't get back, but it's worth it if only for the slow realization that the speakers outnumbered the press, and the testy exchange between Joseph "Mr Mustache" Farah and Terry of Conwebwatch at the very end.

Finally, I tried to ask Farah if he could confirm Tim Adams' assertion that the affidavit he signed claiming that he had been told that no copy of Obama's birth certificate existed in state files was created by WND-affiliated lawyers. Here's how that exchange went:

FARAH: I really don't -- Terry, If you want to obsess about stuff like that, I invite you to do so. I would really like to focus on why the president of the United States and the White House are issuing bogus birth certificates rather than why somebody at WorldNetDaily, which lawyer they consulted to --

ME: But if you're creating news to forward the story --

FARAH: Terry, we all know your work.

ME: You're creating news and not reporting it.

FARAH: We appreciate all of the attention that you devote to Thanks very much.

And with that the press conference came to an abrupt end.

Whether this is a legitimate beef on behalf of WND, or just another attempt to elicit sympathy (read: money) from its readership, and publicity for its latest minimum opus, Where's the Birth Certifiate? (still sinking like a brick) is debatable.

What isn't debatable, however, is that this legal sideshow was rather revealing.

We know all about Doctor Feelgood, and the fact that he's a frakking bigot who thinks facts are for lesser people.

We know all about Mr. Mustache, too. But what's interesting is that he's no longer hiding behind journalistic dodges to disguise his actual views on an issue. As of right now, he is happy to declare the President's Birth Certificate a F R A U D.

The lawyer is of interest. That is The Larry Klayman up there at the podium. The same Larry Klayman who founded Judicial Watch, which went after the Clinton Administration 18 times over matters large and small (and, yes, Dick Cheney. Once.)

Also the same guy who left Judicial Watch to run for the Senate, lost, and then sued Judicial Watch for "financial and other mismanagement issues which damaged Judicial Watch, the donors and Klayman." He then founded Freedomwatch, which is, at this moment, suing the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" for $350 million, claiming "the controversial project pose(s) a "terror risk" and amount(s) to "an assault" on Americans."


(He also writes a weekly column for World Net Daily, and Freedomwatch has an ad for the site on its front page. Are you surprised? Really?)

So they've got their own in-house legal eagle to make this lawsuit appear to be something other than a gigantic publicity stunt. (maybe) But who's the sleepy dame with the bad haircut?

That would be Maria Zebest, the latest rent-an-expert WND has rolled out to show that they aren't just noselessly barking up the wrong tree. A Democrat, no less, as Farah took pains to tell us.

A nationally recognized computer expert who has served as contributing author and technical editor for more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software says the Obama long-form birth-certificate image released by the White House is a fraudulent document created with Adobe software.

"The PDF file released by the White House contains evidence of manipulation suggesting that one or more forgers utilized existing Hawaiian birth certificates to assemble fraudulently for Barack Obama a document the president presented to the world as authentic," Mara Zebest told WND.


She believes whoever created the forgery had insufficient expertise and did not realize that "flattening" the document in Photoshop Illustrator – a process that melds the layers – would still allow professionals to determine the layers required to manipulate the data in the process of forging the document.

"Overall, it's an amateur job," Zebest said. "The forgers obviously over-estimated their level of expertise in undertaking to forge a document that is destined to play a pivotal role in U.S. history."

How could any forger working for the White House be so sloppy?

"As president of the United States, you can't exactly put out a Request for Proposal asking the forger to submit credentials and pricing to the White House chief of staff," she answered. "A small group around you may be loyal, and someone within that group may have computer graphic arts experience, but forging a document that will sustain expert forensic analysis is a skill-set not required of most commercial designers and artists who use Adobe software on an everyday basis."

Because, you know, when it comes to committing high crimes and misdemeanors, the White House always scrounges around for the lowest bidder. ;) Nice try, there, sleepy.

Doc Conspiracy was, as always, kind enough to shoot this "expert analysis" out of the duck pond with a well-placed observation. But the gold medal for investigative reporting on this fresh, new face has to go to our friends at Badfiction, who have discovered that Ms. Zebest is not only a Democrat, but apparently a PUMA.

Remember them? The ones who were, and still are, so very unhappy about Hilary Clinton not being President that they're very happy to roll around in their kitty litter and believe any old lie about the President they can get their hands on. Like, oh, say... the Birth Certificate non-issue?

I posted this downstairs and want to get it off my chest upstairs too. I have to comment since I feel a need to set the record straight. I’m getting a little tired of Obama being defined as a “progressive” or even as a “liberal.” He is not a progressive (for whatever the h*ll that is supposed to imply)… nor is he a conservative… nor is he a liberal. Obama is a radical and more specifically a marxist. A Black Liberation Theologist Marxist which is even more radical than a regular marxist (if there is such a thing as a more radical marxist). LOL!"

(Emphasis mine)

HMMMMMMMMMM... A case of birds of a feather flocking together?

Does WND have a case? Generally speaking, no. The original article was always tagged as "Humor," and if certain people didn't read all the way through to the bottom to see that, or couldn't judge from the subtext of the article (Farah calling Corsi a piece of "S---"? Really?)

There was, however, one rather ominous note during the proceedings. When asked about Doc Conspiracy's findings, Corsi commented:

'I'll be writing about Dr. Conspiracy in the next few days. I'll be exposing his background, his entire credentials, his involvement with his company. I've got a detailed -- I just haven't had time to write it up."

That should be a rather interesting read. Goodness only knows what horrors lurk in the past of the Doc. Maybe he's worn a different hat!

That's about all the news we have this time. Birther Week in Review will be on break for the next two weeks. Try not to melt down without me, but if you want excellent reporting on the movements of the brave country of Birtherstan, I highly recommend Badfiction, Conwebwatch, and Obama Conspiracy Theories (Oh For Goodness Sake is also on vacation)

* Just out of curiosity, did anyone's irony meter explode, reading that? I know mine did. Scared my poor kitties out of their skin, too.