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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 26: Meanwhile, Back on the 'Crippling Sanctions' Beat ...

WorldNetDaily is still hyping the purported peril a right-wing law firm faces for filing frivolous lawsuits.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 2/25/2004

Let us return once again to WorldNetDaily's "crippling sanctions" beat.

Yes, WND has provided its readers with yet another update on Richard Ackerman, the California attorney found guilty by a judge of filing "frivolous" charges against Planned Parenthood affiliates. WND's Art Moore has regaled his readers in previous stories with alarmist tones that call the monetary damages Ackerman and the organization he was working for, the United States Justice Foundation -- as much as $75,000 in fines and attorney's fees -- "crippling" and "devastating" and that it could "destroy" them.

An unbylined Jan. 27 story (doesn't Moore want to take credit for slanted work like this anymore?) apparently written to generate donations to the USJF -- a link to the group's contributions page is at the end of the article, though it currently returns a 404 error -- actually tones down the overheated rhetoric, merely saying that the fines "could shut down" the USJF.

Ackerman, meanwhile, has left the USJF to be a part of another law firm calling itself "a partnership of Christian attorneys." It's currently in the think of the battle over same-sex marriages in California, which we know because WND stories have linked to the firm's Web site. Does that sound "crippled" or "devastated" to you?

Ackerman's Web site claims that his firm provides "aggressive, effective and ethical representation of our clients at a reasonable cost." Yet it contains no reference to his sanctions for filing frivolous lawsuits. Isn't that unethical?

In a Feb. 24 opinion piece for WND, Ackerman writes that "those who would redefine marriage ought to be viewed as enemies of our positive culture," but "we are losing the battle" to "preserve marriage" because America isn't religious enough. (He also says that "Bush ought to be sending in the National Guard to San Francisco to immediately restore the order of law ...") Ackerman briefly mentions that he's involved in the California battles, but the tagline says only that he's "an attorney in southern California" and nothing at all about his history of filing frivolous lawsuits or WND's role in boosting his cause.

And in return for all the uncritical coverage WND has given Ackerman, his Web site returns the favor, commending WND for it "fair, equal and balanced reporting on this hugely important issue of our times. is one of the few media resources that can be relied upon to provide you with truthful, accurate and timely information concerning this struggle for the identity of our families."

WND is "truthful" and "accurate"? Ackerman might want to have a chat with John Kerry about that. And the makers of "South Park." And Al Gore. And....

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