Declaring that he "has had enough" of "national news programs" that mislead American voters, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said he will now aim to tell viewers "every time I see craziness in the national media during the campaign." However, the examples of "craziness" O'Reilly cited, including the myth that "Obama was not born in America," have all been promoted on Fox News -- something he did not mention.
From the January 31 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Joseph Farah is annoyed. The editor of WorldNetDaily and prominent birther has discovered that questioning the eligibility of a presidential candidate can be a distraction.
Here's how Farah begins his January 13 WND column:
How do these things get started?
No wonder people are so confused about the issues of the day.
I am literally deluged with emails from Americans insisting that Mitt Romney is not constitutionally eligible to be president.
It's not true.
Really? The man whose website is so obsessed with the eligibility of Barack Obama to be president that it ignores facts and descends into the realm of absurdity is wondering how such things "get started"?
Furthermore, while I remain a strong advocate of the position that Obama is not eligible for a variety of reasons, I have never made this assertion based on the fact that I detest everything for which he stands. That assertion is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth.
Given his willingness to overlook overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it's difficult to believe that Farah would be such a "strong advocate" of Obama's purported ineligibility if he did not "detest everything for which he stands." As for Farah's claim that his assertion "is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth," this ignores reality as well. For example, a new book debunks many birther claims, and one prominent birther, Philip Berg, has shot down the WND-promoted idea that Obama is using a fake Social Security number. Curiously, WND has yet to report on either of these things, and WND's Jerome Corsi has refused to debate the book's author about his conclusions.
Farah then complains again that questions about Romney's eligibility is becoming a distraction to "my team at WND":
So can you please stop writing to me and to my team at WND with suggestions that Mitt Romney fails the constitutional eligibility test? It's not true.
I don't think he gets a passing grade on understanding and interpreting the Constitution, but - unfortunately, from my perspective - he passes the litmus test for serving as president.
Can we move on to more substantive issues in this campaign?
Presumably, Farah and his WND team don't think eligibility questions about Obama are a distraction from "more substantive issues," even though no factual basis for them exists.
While there's plenty of well-deserved blame to go around for Penn State's handling of the horrific abuse scandal at their school, some conservatives have determined that there's a larger villain that deserves the lion's share of responsibility for what happened.
Opponents of equal rights for gays and lesbians often resort to the canard that tolerance of homosexuality damages the very fabric of our nation and does nebulous (though grave) harm to families and society as a whole.
Because their predictions of things like "anarchy" in New York in the event of the legalization of gay marriage never pan out, anti-gay activists are forced to make absurd leaps of logic in order to blame acceptance of homosexuality for a whole host of society's ills.
Enter Joseph Farah, editor of conservative website WorldNetDaily, who holds the impressive distinction of managing to stand out as a crackpot even among the fever swamps of far-right conservative online media.
In a WND column titled, "Penn State: A comfortable place for child rape," Farah says, "There are new rules in effect regarding what types of sexual behavior is appropriate and lawful." Farah posits that these "new rules" have moved "the lines between right and wrong sexual behavior" and that these "sudden moral changes ... may explain why our system failed the victimized children in the sex scandal at Penn State."
The "new rules" Farah refers to are, predictably, the fact that homosexuality is no longer viewed as a "disorder" and a "perversion," but is accepted (or, as Farah puts it, "considered a virtue").
Sean Hannity hosted WorldNetDaily (WND) founder Joseph Farah on his Fox News show to discuss whether the allegations against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain are valid "from a journalistic perspective." Yet Farah has a long history of outrageous statements, smears, and conspiracy theories.
The right-wing media have spent much of this month sniping at President Obama for taking a vacation. Now, some are taking the criticism up a notch, venturing into racially charged territory in the process.
In an August 22 column, WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah wrote that "You won't hear me complain that Obama is taking his 17th vacation in the last two-and-half years," adding: "We should be grateful the man has no work ethic. Just imagine the damage he would have done to the country if he did." Farah also asserted that Obama "vacations more than any of his predecessors," which is simply false.
Then, in his August 23 column, WND's Burt Prelutsky took a break from hurling epithets like "loathsome" and "Chicago cockroach" at Obama to declare: "I wouldn't care if Obama was a Muslim if he weren't such an arrogant, lazy, snotty, lying socialist."
That's twice this week that WND columnists have portrayed Obama as lazy. The idea of the lazy black man is among the hoariest bits of stereotypical racial imagery out there, as we noted when Fox News' Eric Bolling described Obama as "chugging 40s" and having "hoodlums in the hizzouse."
It's not the first time that the birther-obsessed WND branch of anti-Obama activism has ventured into this territory. Last year, the WND-affiliated Western Journalism Center published an article with the headline "Is Obama Stupid and Lazy?"
It never ends.
In a new article filed last night at WorldNetDaily, reporter Bob Unruh explains that Donald Trump "reached out to WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi, author of 'Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President,' with a long list of questions about where the issue is, and where it seems to be going."
Corsi discussed the supposed phone conversation during an extended interview on Alex Jones' radio show yesterday (audio below). Though Sean Hannity (by canceling a scheduled radio interview), and Fox Business Network (by grilling Corsi and calling his theories "debunked"), have seemingly distanced themselves from Corsi, Jones represents the ideal audience for Corsi's increasingly-deranged conspiracies about the birth certificate.
As we've documented, Jones is perhaps the most prominent conspiracy theorist in the country, and describes himself as the founding father of the 9-11 "inside job" movement.
According to the write-up of the interview at Jones' website, Corsi alleged that Trump was "working with Obama" on the birth certificate issue and that Trump's incessant promotion of the issue was "subterfuge":
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show, Corsi said that he now completely discounted the apparent efforts of Donald Trump to force the release of Obama's birth certificate, stating, "I'm completely convinced at this point Donald Trump was subterfuge, that he.... was working with Obama."
Corsi explained how he was contacted directly by Trump, because Trump wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes, and that he requested several copies of Corsi's book before it was released.
Trump's role according to Corsi was to "beat the drums big" and craft a false resolution to the controversy in order to make the press "go to sleep" and get his $60 million dollar television contract with NBC, owned by General Electric, which is closely allied with the Obama administration.
In their article, WND explains that Corsi afforded Trump the opportunity to shake off allegations that he was working with Obama by recommitting himself to hyping the issue. Corsi also indicates that he was regularly in touch with Trump while the latter was making the media rounds and peddling the conspiracy theory:
"I told him he needs to publicly say that the document in the vault, the original long-form birth certificate, needs to be exposed and examined independently," Corsi said. "The doctor's records, the Kapiolani records of Ann Dunham to corroborate she was in that hospital."
"I told him if you don't press these issues you can't be surprised if there are those who think you're working with Barack Obama [on the dispute]," Corsi added.
During much of April Trump made regular appearances on talk shows and news broadcasts, and almost every time either he or the interviewer raised questions about Obama's eligibility. At the same time, he regularly was in conversation with Corsi and others who helped Corsi investigate the Obama eligibility dispute about the evidence that exists.
Enumerating the various evidence Corsi offered on Jones' show to prove that the long-form was "clearly forged," Jones' website lists "an obvious misspelling on the stamp and a 'smiley face' that appears in the signature of the doctor once the document is blown up to 800 per cent."
Yesterday marked the release of WorldNetDaily writer Jerome Corsi's latest book, Where's the Birth Certificate? A few short weeks ago, the book rode a wave of publicity from unscrupulous conservative websites like the Drudge Report and Fox Nation to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list. Led by Fox News, right-wing media outlets were embracing the birther canard at an ever-increasing pace.
Then it all fell apart.
In the intervening weeks, the birther "issue" has very publicly - and quite embarrassingly for prominent birthers like Corsi and former pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump - collapsed. Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, demolishing the supposed impetus for Corsi's book and rendering it an amusing cultural artifact. In its published form, the book provides a glimpse into the fevered imaginations of some of the most prominent conspiracy theorists of the Obama era.
Corsi announces in his preface that he was writing the book "in the conviction that Obama has usurped the office of the presidency by waging a skillful public relations campaign to suppress his actual birth circumstances." Unfortunately for Corsi, that "conviction" turned out to be utterly, laughably false.
So, first things first: Where's The Birth Certificate?, Corsi asks in his book title. In the Foreword, WND CEO Joseph Farah repeats the question, saying that it has "dogged Obama throughout his term of office" and "may well cost him any chance for re-election in 2012."
Well, here it is:
WND's attempts to discredit Obama's long form birth certificate -- in the desperate hope that it will make Jerome Corsi's upcoming book, Where's the Birth Certificate?, somehow relevant -- have crossed the line from pathetic to hilarious.
Earlier this week, WND CEO Joseph Farah announced that he is persuaded that "the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's White House is fake, phony, a fraudulent forgery." Yesterday, he wrote: "It's about to get much worse for Obama. We are just days away from several more shoes dropping." He added that "we may be witnessing the final days of the Barack Obama regime."
If the most recent report by Corsi is any indication, Obama probably doesn't need to pack up his desk any time soon.
Last night, Corsi published an article about how the supposed "growing list of apparent anomalies" in Obama's long-form certificate "continues to fuel suspicion that the document is a crude, computer-generated forgery."
The latest "anomaly" is a supposed "typographical error" used in the Hawaii Department of Health stamp on Obama's long-form. Take us away, Jerome [note: some of WND's images have been resized to fit Media Matters' site -- originals here]:
Surprise! Ten days after President Obama released his long-form birth certificate, WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah declared last night that his crackpot website will "be presenting what I believe is compelling new evidence that Obama is not only ineligible to be president, but that the document released by the White House is fraudulent." Oh, good. This should prove to be a scholarly exercise.
WND literally cannot accept that Obama was definitively born in the U.S. and is eligible to be president for a simple reason: money. They've built much of their Obama-era business model around questioning Obama's birth certificate and eligibility. (You can still prove to your neighbors you are incapable of critical thinking with your very own "Where's the Birth Certificate?" lawn sign, t-shirt, or bumper sticker.)
Jerome Corsi's WND-published new book, Where's the Birth Certificate?, is set for release next week. Obama releasing his long-form a few short weeks before the book's release put WND in a somewhat awkward position, but they are undeterred. In an attempt to make the release of this book less outwardly hilarious -- and in lieu of adding the subtitle "Oh, There It Is" -- the crew at WND is going all in and declaring that Obama's long-form is a forgery.
Farah's latest column, headlined "The birth certificate debate -- it's not over," essentially gives the Cliff's Notes version of Corsi's two latest stories. Farah concludes that the supposed birther cover-up "could make Watergate pale by comparison."
According to Farah, the pencil marks on Obama's long-form birth certificate are "the very same tell-tale scribblings found in a clearly fraudulent document posted on the Internet about a year ago -- a document that alleged he was born in Kenya." This proves... something? Even Farah's not entirely sure, but he is asking for "some viable explanation other than the two documents were created by the same forger." That must be it, Joseph.
It would be tedious and probably pointless to assess their latest "evidence" in detail, but just to get an idea of how far past the bottom of the barrel the birthers have now scraped, here's a small sample:
Right-wing media responded to the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate by attacking the president and claiming that certain questions surrounding the document remain unanswered. Below is a sampling of the early attacks by conservative media following the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate.
WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah reportedly wrote in a recent email exchange with Salon's Justin Elliott, "Admittedly, we publish some misinformation by columnists." Indeed, Farah is right: WorldNetDaily columnists -- and reporters -- have published numerous falsehoods and smears as well as some of the most absurd anti-Obama conspiracy theories and falsehoods.
This month, right-wing media figures are arguing that President Obama should be impeached for actions he has taken with respect to Libya. Undermining the possibility that they really care about the constitutional issues involved, this argument is just the latest in the right-wing media's neverending quest to see Obama impeached.
WorldNetDaily offers readers "10 easy steps" to become an "eligibility activist":
It probably won't surprise you to learn that nine of the ten steps require you to send WND a check.
Step one offers readers "the most in-depth primer on the subject ever compiled," for the low, low price of $7.95. Step two asks for a "donation of $2 or more." Step three is a sales pitch for a $17.99 DVD. Step four instructs readers to buy a yard sign for $19.95. Next step: Purchase a $19.99 t-shirt. Step six requires the purchase of a $4.00 pack of postcards. Step 7: Purchase bumper stickers at a minimum of $2 each ($5.95 if you prefer a magnetic bumper sticker for easy removal.) Step 8 is easy: Sign a petition. Finally, a reprieve from the financial shakedown! But it doesn't last long: WND readers who want to become "eligibility activists" are next asked for another donation. Finally, completion of the 10 steps requires the purchase of a $22.95 book from WND.
WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah explains: "It's time to step up the pressure … If you want to encourage me to keep up the fight, please follow this 'how to become an eligibility activist 10-point program.'"
Total Cost: At least $96.83 (not counting those two donations.)
Gee, you don't think WND's relentless birtherism is just a shameless attempt to con gullible readers out of their hard-earned cash, do you?
The corruption of the Conservative Political Action Conference, an important American political institution, is widespread.
Thanks to WND's reporting, we now see that it transcends the participation of the homosexual activist organization GOProud
Let me try to frame what is happening inside the conservative movement in a way that might sharpen our focus.
Let's pretend that some free-market-loving adulterers got together and formed an organization called "Swing Right." This group says it supports a strong U.S. defense, but that the military should have no rules against promiscuous sex inside the ranks. The group says it supports free enterprise, but that tax policy should be revamped to create equity for those in the "swinging" lifestyle. The group says it supports limited government, but it approves of the intervention of federal judges in state referenda in which citizens approve of marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. The group also calls for special protections of the "swinging" community that will ensure adulterers will not be fired by their bosses because of their behavior and applauds hate-crimes laws to punish those who don't approve of their lifestyle.
Would it be appropriate for conservatives, who are supposed to be about conserving the vital institutions of self-government, to validate such a group's claims being part of the movement?
Immediately, some will suggest my analogy here is outrageous and ridiculous. Yet it is a near-perfect parallel to what CPAC and others in the conservative movement have done in their eagerness to build a bigger tent, to show how open-minded they are, to bring in more money and, perhaps, to make them more comfortable in their own spiritual void.
Equating gays and adulterers is a longstanding conservative slur. But considering the source, it could be mistaken for a sign of progress: Just last week, the folks at WND were equating gays and Nazis.