WorldNetDaily has commendably stayed away from buying into the "Pizzagate" hoax -- on the news side, anyway. WND's columnists, however, are a different story. We've documented how WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson promoted the story as if it was credible.
In his Dec. 8 WND column, Jeff Roorda admits Pizzagate is fake news, but he labors heavily to distance national security adviser-designate Michael Flynn and his son from accusations they promoted the story:
Most recently, media outlets have been atwitter with reports about the firing of Michael G. Flynn from the Trump transition team for his role in the “pizzagate” fake news story.
The only problem is that Flynn appears to have had nothing to do with debuting or spreading the “pizzagate” story. In fact, the tweet that has everyone lathered-up attributed to Flynn (this is the younger Flynn, by the way, not to be confused with his father, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who President-elect Trump has tapped to serve as his national security adviser) innocently pointed out, “Until #Pizzagate (is) proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.”
What, exactly, is wrong with that statement?
Isn’t it more social commentary or an observation about the nature of the Twittersphere than it is scandal-mongering of some fraudulent, unfounded narrative?
Even though so-called mainstream media outlets – including the New York Times – reported that Flynn was fired from the Trump transition team for “using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington,” the plain facts seem to tell us that Flynn did not spread the story but rather commented on it’s miasmal nature and that his actions did not lead to the armed confrontation and that he was NOT fired from the Trump transition team because he was never on the Trump transition team.
Talk about your fake news!
The actual facts of the case, according to the Washington Post: The elder Flynn did tweet about "New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!" but did not specifically reference Pizzagate -- there are other sex crime-related conspiracy theories about the Clintons that Flynn sorta gets a pass on, but only sorta because his Twitter feed is filled with fake news.
Roorda also leaves out the last part of the younger Flynn's tweet, which reads in whole: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it." Flynn's evidence that Pizzagate might be true are the purported "coincidences" in the emails stolen from John Podesta, which nobody has proven true. That's much more than a comment on its "miasmal nature."
If Pizzagate hasn't been proven true, it should presume to be false. Flynn should know that, and Roorda should not give him the benefit of the doubt.
It's unclear whether or not the younger Flynn was officially on the payroll of the Trump transition team -- he was assisting his father with administrative and scheduling duties-- but the statement from the transition team that he was "no longer involved" with the transition after the tweet went viral indicates some sort of official role from which he was removed. And he apparently he resigned before he was fired, possibly seconds before.
The rest of Roorda's column is dedicated to telling us that "no matter where you get your news, it’s filtered, spun, or embellished," and that "it’s incumbent on you to decide what is and isn’t fake."
We've just done that.