It's taken more than a week, but Joseph Farah has finally responded in his July 11 column to the New York Times article about how he advised Donald Trump during his birther phase in 2011 -- in his usual thin-skinned way, of course. First, he takes exception to being described as being "on the fringes of political life, publishing a six-part series claiming that soybeans caused homosexuality and fretting that ‘cultural Marxists’ were plotting to destroy the country":
For the record, I have never been in “political life” – either on the fringes or laboring. The “six-part series” was not a series at all, but the personal obsession of one of WND’s 45 weekly columnists. That columnist died a number of years ago, so that will give you an idea of how far back the Times had to look for embarrassing stuff to write. (By the way, unlike the Times or practically any other significant newspaper or news site, these days, WND actually publishes the opinions of columnists from across the political spectrum. What a concept!)
So working in the 1990s trying to destroy the Clintons and for the past eight years trying to destroy Obama had no political motivation whatsoever? Please. And as we point out every time Farah makes this claim, only two of those 45 columnists on WND's "spectrum," Bill Press and Ellen Ratner, are actually liberal, while almost every single one of the rest are on the conservative/libertarian end. That's not much of a "spectrum."
Farah continues complaining:
The story goes on to say that I spoke to Trump on the phone a few times because he wanted to take one of my theories “mainstream.”
“That developer, Donald J. Trump, told Mr. Farah that he shared his suspicion that President Obama might have been born outside the United States and that he was looking for a way to prove it,” the article said.
There are just three problems with that statement:
- I never believed, said or wrote that Obama was born outside the U.S.;
- I explained that to the one and only reporter who interviewed me several times – giving her my full cooperation;
- Trump didn’t say he believed Obama was born outside the U.S. either, nor did he say he was looking for a way to prove it.
From there the article descends into ideological insults – from “the birther idea – long debunked, and until then confined to right-wing conspiracy theorists” to playing the old race card against Trump.
In fact, Farah has on at least two occasions repeated the (completely false) claim that Obama's grandmother has said that Obama was born in Kenya. And if Farah wasn't questioning whether Obama is a citizen, he wouldn't have published a supposed "Kenyan birth certificate" without first trying to verify if it was authentic (it wasn't).
Then, Farahr writes this:
Through the entire eligibility issue that lasted from 2008 until late 2011, the New York Times apparently never thought it was strange that Obama wouldn’t release his birth certificate – or practically any other information about his life, from academic records to Harvard Law School writings to passport records to health reports. Apparently, it still has not occurred to the Old York Times that it was unusual. Of course, it could only be racism that would cause anyone to ask for such things.
For me, this was always an issue of transparency.
Oh, bull. It was never about transparency for Farah; otherwise, he would have accepted the birth certificate Obama released during the 2008 campaign. The only thing Farah cared about was turning the birth certificate into Obama's Vince Foster. If Farah really cared about transparency, he would have told his readers that all of WND's birther conspiracy theories have been discredited (oh, and that he worked with Trump on the birther stuff in 2011, which he has never admitted at WND until now).
Also: The "eligibility issue" ended in "late 2011"? Really? According to who? Farah has apparently forgotten that late 2011 was when WND's Jerome Corsi was working with Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to sleaze the incompetent and dishonest "cold case posse" into existence.
Is Farah so desperate to distance WND from its extensive involvement in the cold case posse that he's now trying to erase it from the birther timeline? Does this mean that he now accepts Obama's long-form birth certificate as legitimate after spending years trying to discredit it? If so, wow.
Then again, this is not the first time Farah has tried to rewrite the birther timeline.
Farah then writes something we shockingly agree with:
And, as for me, I can honestly say that all of the garbage they wrote about me was simply drudged up from old reports in Media Matters. You’d think with five reporters on the story, they could have come up with something really embarrassing from 20 years of publishing WND and 20 years of personally written daily columns!
He's right -- he and WND have done much more embarrassing things. Like libelously smearing a man as a drug dealer, for instance. Or those fraudulent documents Corsi flew to Kenya to get. Or portraying Obama as the Antichrist, not to mention a Nazi. Or that Farah- and Corsi-endorsed super PAC that didn't help any candidate as it claimed it would. Or its dangerous anti-vaccine crusade. We could go on.
We're disappointed that the Times didn't check out ConWebWatch for background on WND's lack of credibility. Farah's continued telling of falsehoods and trying to rewrite history, however, isn't helping the whole credibility thing.