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Monday, March 3, 2008
Man Whose Words WND Distorted Fights Back
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We weren't the only ones who noticed that WorldNetDaily turned a newspaper's story on the conviction of street preacher Julian Raven into a misleading piece of pro-Christian propaganda: Robert Siglin, who prosecuted the case, is very unhappy. From WND's letters page (letters cycle out after a week):

Re:"Christians organized to pay big bucks – for praying!"

To refresh your recollection, you wrote on your website: "The prosecutor, Robert Siglin, said the city was concerned for public safety, and that's why the Christians were arrested. During closing arguments he said speech freedoms don't matter when 'public order' is an issue."

This was in regard to the Christians who disrupted an event in Elmira, N.Y.

In the spirit of truth and integrity, I thought I would clarify your blatantly uninformed and propaganda-filled comments about my theory of the case. You obviously have no idea what occurred and just took the Star-Gazette story and changed some words around of those who don't mirror the views of your group.

My argument was that we would not have any freedoms if we did not have a democracy! We would not have a democracy without public order. The first thing we lose when democracy turns into anarchy is our liberties.

Mr. Raven and his group were given every opportunity to spread their gospel and preach the word of God, but he and his followers took things too far and put innocent people at risk who would have been caught in the crossfire. Trouble did not find them; they went looking for it!

It is terribly ironic that the freedoms and rights you speak of are not respected, but used to fit some agenda. That group used the freedoms of speech and religion as a sword to disrupt the right of speech and assembly of others who they do not agree with, and now they want to use those rights as a shield to prevent them from facing the consequences of their actions. If roles were reversed, the people of the gay-pride event would have been arrested.

The bottom line is public safety and innocent people were placed in harm's way, and, as a result, the instigators were arrested. The laws of the State of New York frowns upon those who want to disrupt peaceful assemblies. This has nothing to do with content; it has to do with conduct. So, now that you have my actual stance – which is not what you quoted, I anticipate this error will not occur in the future.

Robert D. Siglin Esq., assistant Chemung County district attorney

It's unusual that WND would print such a letter since it typically doesn't acknowledge criticism of its reporting. Perhaps because it is on a streak of its reporting being repeatedly discredited that it decided to address the issue in some form. But the question is, will WND do anything about it? Will WND correct the article to remove the bias, and will it publicly acknowledge those changes? We'll be watching.

As we've noted, this episode demonstrates just how untrustworthy WND has become. Will Joseph Farah ever step up and apologize to his readers for such sloppy work? 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EST

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