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Friday, April 15, 2011
Smackdown! Salon vs. WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah got all pissy with Salon's Justin Elliott for 1) pointing out that WND has supplied no evidence to support its claim that the entirety of the $2 million or so the Obama campaign has spent on lawyers since the 2008 election has gone toward fighting birther lawsuits, and 2) making a reasonable request that WND issue a formal correction to Jack Cashill's false claim that Obama was Photoshopped into a picture of his grandparents. The war of words between WND and Salon has dramatically escalated in the past 24 hours.

WND sent smearmongers Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott to go spelunking into Justin Elliott's past to try and dig up some dirt. All they could come up with was that he "has been a contributor to a think tank deeply tied to the White House that is funded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros." Read: He once wrote for the Center for American Progress' Campus Progress blog. They even perused Elliott's college newspaper work for evidence of ... something, apparently shocked to discover that he once argued that there are too many "white" editors on the staffs of college newspapers.

Salon responded to the invasion of privacy in kind by letting Alex Pareene take a whack at WND's petulant behavior:

WND was, I guess, not happy with my colleague's coverage of its unhappiness, because today it attempted to smear him in two separate but equally amusing articles. The first, by Farah himself, is just a lot of words calling Elliott a punk while never once actually acknowledging that WND's "$2 million" figure is false. No, WND is right because its "investigation" into the matter is a three-part series, and no one can possibly be wrong at such great length.

The best part of Farah's commentary is when he argues that Elliott is wrong and WND's reporter is right because of their respective bios. While Elliott has merely written for various places, WND's reporter was in the Army and is "one of the most remarkable young women I have ever met." Take that, Justin: Joseph Farah doesn't think you're remarkable!

The real meat of WND's response, though, is in this post that "reveals" Justin Elliott's ties to ...  George Soros. See, Elliott contributed to CampusProgress.org, which is published by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank founded with money from George Soros. So ... Soros! Ooga booga!

This investigation was written by Aaron Klein, who is WND's Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Oh, and: "With research by Brenda J. Elliott." It took two people, one of them a foreign correspondent, to Google Justin. Just like how it took two people to edit Barack Obama's Wikipedia page to include birther conspiracy theories and then write a story accusing Wikipedia of bias after people removed those edits, which is something Mr. Klein and a "researcher" did in 2009.

Pareene then dismantled WND's history of self-discrediting behavior:

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."

Here is a story from WorldNetDaily: "Soy is making kids 'gay.'" It is in six parts. The original headline was "A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals." WorldNetDaily demands your respect! It is a serious news organization!

[...]

There is no end to the idiotic things printed at WorldNetDaily. Here's Obama's Kenyan birth certificate. Here's a piece on how al-Qaida is sneaking nukes into the U.S. through the unsecured Mexican border in tandem with street gangs. Here's white supremacist Vox Day asking why the media refuses to report that a mentally ill person claims to have had gay sex with Barack Obama.

WorldNetDaily knows its (large!) audience of halfwits will eat up any garbage it's served, and, better yet, the rubes will buy any trash that's for sale. (Tea-stained flags, anyone?)

Thanks to that substantial audience of the nation's stupidest and most fearful elderly people, WND is actually an influential member in good standing of the conservative movement; the RNC rents its massive email list. Because of that usefulness to the party, Farah and his buddies are allowed to persist in the delusion that they are sane and perhaps even respectable. But everyone knows they're frauds and crackpots. It takes five minutes of reading that bottomless repository of feverish bullshit to figure that out.

How will Farah react to someone who reflects his own behavior back at him? We can hardly wait to see.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT

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