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The Tide Is Biased

WorldNetDaily still can't tell the truth about Teresa Heinz Kerry's philanthropy. Plus: WND obscures the full story on Heinz Kerry's comment to a "reporter"; and it criticizes Rev. Moon but won't publicly break its business relationship with his publications.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/28/2004
Updated 7/29/2004

Why can't WorldNetDaily get its facts straight about the beneficiaries of endowments linked to Teresa Heinz Kerry?

A July 19 story -- credited to WND chief Joseph Farah's pay site G2 Bulletin -- claims that "Some of the groups organizing protests at this summer's Republican National Convention in New York -- including one anarchist outfit planning disruptions -- get funding from a foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry."

The article complains that groups "strongly critical of the war in Iraq" receive grants from the Tides Foundation, which has in the past received funds from endowments controlled by the Heinz family. The article adds that "Mrs. Kerry, working through the Howard Heinz Endowment, oversaw the donation of more than $4 million to the Tides Foundation between 1995 and 2001."

As in a previous WND story written by Joseph Farah himself with a similar theme on Heinz Kerry’s philanthropy, no evidence is offered to back the $4 million claim, though it comes from a conservative group called the Capital Research Center.

And again, as in Farah’s previous story and an April rant by Farah inaccurately criticizing "Teresa Heinz Kerry's nonprofit Tides Center,” no evidence is provided that Heinz money goes directly toward funding those anti-war groups. In fact, the head of the Heinz endowments have pointed out that Heinz money given to Tides is earmarked for specific purposes -- and WND has never reported that to its readers, either. They hate to ruin a good story, y'know.

Why are WND and the Capital Research Center playing the guilt-by-association card on the Heinz philanthropy issue? Because it's all they have. The CRC's Tom Randall admitted as much in a July 20 appearance on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," a transcript of which the CRC helpfully posted on its Web site.

The fact that there's no direct link between Heinz money and controversial groups funded by Tides is merely "plausible deniability," Randall said, adding that "just the association is bad enough."

Besides, Randall told O'Reilly, with the Heinz endowments funding projects, "you're freeing up Tides money to do these other more political things." Wonderfully circular reasoning there -- the fact that Heinz isn't giving those groups money means that it is.

(Update: Farah used his July 28 column to lie once more about the Heinz endowment contributions. He again states that “Teresa Heinz Kerry was behind the funding of radical causes including Act-Up, Islamist jihadists, anarchists who disrupted the Seattle World Trade Organization meeting and communist front groups” and “some of those same non-profit groups, funded by Heinz money, were at the forefront of planned demonstrations and disruptions at the Republican National Convention later this summer.” And again, no mention of the little fact that no Heinz money actually went to those groups.)

At least WND readers don't have to pay actual money for this kind of lousy reporting, unlike those poor G2 Bulletin subscribers. Imagine paying $199 a year for news and still having it be biased and incomplete.

* * *

Speaking of Teresa Heinz Kerry and incomplete reporting, a July 26 story on Heinz Kerry telling a "reporter" from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to “shove it” leaves out a little context and obscures the "reporter's" real job.

The headline calls the Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle a "reporter," and the third paragraph calls him a "journalist." Not until paragraph seven do we find out McNickle’s job title -- editorial page editor, important since the newspaper is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, the conservative George Soros. The Tribune-Review has published a lot of Kerry-bashing -- including an article by Tom Randall of the Capital Research Center which, like WND’s reportage, tries to play guilt by association with the Heinz donations to the Tides Center. Like WND, no direct link is made by Randall between Heinz money and the more radical groups he cites. There’s also a March Tribune-Review editorial that criticizes the Heinz endowments for daring to defend themselves against the paper’s accusations.

The WND article started out: "Can Teresa Heinz Kerry take the heat?" Funny, we don’t recall WND asking that of Dick Cheney when he used the F-word at a senator on the floor of the Senate.

* * *

Speaking of associations being bad enough, we still haven't heard a peep from WorldNetDaily about the status of its business relationship with Moon-controlled News World Communications.

WND has been sporadically critical of the "crowning" of Moon as a “messiah” in a March ceremony in a Senate office building. The latest on that front came in a July 13 Joseph Farah column in which he calls Moon a "billionaire pseudo-messiah."

Farah's syndicated column has been published in the weekly edition of the Washington Times, and WND has had a content-sharing agreement with the News World-published Insight magazine. The Insight connection seems to have pretty much taken care of itself as the magazine has been on hiatus since May in a cost-cutting move, though lead writer Kenneth Timmerman is hoping for a revival. (The magazine's Web site seems to be updated regularly, however.) We don’t have access to the weekly edition of the Times, so we can't confirm whether Farah’s column still appears there.

But given the fact that WND believes in guilt by association – as its coverage of the Heinz endowments clearly demonstrates – why hasn't Farah publicly broken WND's business association with Moon? Surely he doesn't want to be associated with a "pseudo-messiah" by allowing his work to appear in the pseudo-messiah's publications.

After all, "just the association is bad enough," right?

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