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Thursday, December 22, 2011
WND's Corsi Busted for Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily article purports to depict how "A school named for Barack Obama in Kenya has abandoned hope that the U.S. president will honor a pledge he made as senator to finance it." Corsi attributes the reporting to "a report in Kenya commissioned by WND," compiled by "a former Kenyan Parliament member with whom WND has worked confidentially since 2008." Corsi added, "The research was assigned to trusted Kenyan professionals who conducted the field work and reported their findings in writing."

As so frequently happens at WND, Corsi's "researchers" are anonymous, meaning that there is no way to independently verify what they report. As it turns out, though, these supposedly "trusted Kenyan professionals" can't be trusted at all.

Loren Collins at Barackryphal looked into Corsi's story and found that large parts of it are taken directly -- and, in many cases, nearly word-for-word -- from two previous articles, a 2008 article in the London Evening Standard and a May 2011 AFP article. Collins concludes: "In short, every single quote or finding specifically attributed to Corsi's unnamed 'researchers' was lifted from an earlier publication by another news agency."

Collins has documented line by line how Corsi's article directly lifted from those two articles.

On top of that, Collins writes, at least one of the photos that accompanies Corsi's article is a copyrighted image used without attribution -- and, presumably, permission.

As of this writing, Corsi's article is still live at WND. We've made a PDF copy, though, and will post it if/when WND deletes its version without explanation.

So, will Joseph Farah fire Corsi over this blatant plagiarism? Well, he didn't fire Aaron Klein when he falsely accused an Islamic charity of funding terrorism and raising money for nonexistent orphans, so we doubt Farah has the integrity to do the right thing here.

UPDATE: This anonymity-laden method is the way Corsi has always operated when reporting anti-Obama dirt from Kenya -- with much the same fraudulent results. In 2008, Corsi claimed that "an insider in Kenya" gave him a copy of an email purporting to document that Obama "designated a personal aide as his direct contact for the 2007 Kenyan presidential campaign of Raila Odinga." In fact, as we documented, that document was obviously fraudulent as it was clearly written by someone for whom English was a second language.

Corsi peddled another document from Kenya purporting to document that Obama donated $1 million to Odinga's campaign, claiming that "several highly credible ex-ODM sources WND interviewed in Kenya" verified it. In fact, that document is most likely a fraud as well -- PolitiFact had debunked it six months earlier. (The discredited nature of that allegation, though, hasn't kept Corsi from repeatedly asserting it.)

UPDATE 2: WND has added an editor's note to Corsi's article:

Editor's note: The following article is based on a paid, 8,000-word report by Kenyan researchers commissioned by WND. Unknown to WND, the report included unattributed references to a July 25, 2008, story by the Evening Standard of London. WND included a link to the 2008 story to back up the claims of the report, which WND believed was original. WND regrets the error.

This doesn't address the main issue here: If this report from "Kenyan researchers" is so heavily plagiarized, why should anyone trust it?
And given Corsi's history of obtaining fraudulent documents from Kenya, why should anyone trust anything Corsi reports that involves Kenya?

The editor's note also fails to address the other issues Collins identified with Corsi's article -- the AFP article that was also apparently plagiarized and the copyrighted photo that was presented without attribution.

WND has much more it needs to express "regret" for.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011 4:50 PM EST

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