Is WorldNetDaily columnist Janet Folger Porter misusing the resources of her Faith2Action organization for her own personal anti-Obama crusade?
By Terry Krepel
Faith2Action president Janet Porter (nee Folger; she married earlier this year) is not known for her research skills, which has led her to do things like uncritically quote a neo-Nazi racist in order to advance her anti-gay agenda.
So it's no surprise that Porter has become one of the shrillest voices attacking Barack Obama through her weekly WorldNetDaily column, unsurprisingly signing onto the bogus idea that Barack Obama is somehow not an American citizen.
During the presidential election, Porter penned an Oct. 21 column (with video) purporting to depict a newscast from two days after Obama's inauguration. It's wall-to-wall scare tactics: Porter claimed that "Obama campaign supporters from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah, to Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood, continue to dance in the streets," that "President Obama thanked campaign contributor William Ayers by appointing him as director of Homeland Security," that "The only thing left of the abortion agenda not yet accomplished is the forced abortion policy of China," and that "successful small businesses and job-providing corporations are closing their doors and moving overseas to escape the enormous tax hikes the Obama administration has imposed."
(Scare-tactic reports from the "future" under Obama were big at WND; it also published an Oct. 22 article promoting a hypothetical letter from a "Christian from 2012" released today by evangelical leader James Dobson's political activist group Focus on the Family Action. One blogger noted that Dobson's letter carried the overall structure and tone of "The Turner Diaries," the far-right novel best known these days as the inspiration for Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.)
Porter's scare tactics didn't work. The day of the election, Porter penned a bitter Nov. 4 column imagining something that wasn't there:
For those who are angry about "negative campaigning," watch Barack Obama as he gave an acceptance speech yesterday "congratulating" Senator John McCain for his effort. Notice Obama "scratch his face" with a single finger. I'll let you watch for yourself to see which one he used.
That didn't work either -- and Porter reacted to Obama's decisive win by throwing herself into the right-wing conspiracy theory over Obama's birth certificate.
Her Nov. 18 column insisted that "there are many reasons to doubt whether Barack Obama meets the requirements for the office of president" and demanded "immediate congressional hearings to investigate and ensure the basic constitutional requirements for the office of president have been met." Among the usual reasons, like the discredited claim that the "certificate of live birth posted on Obama's website is a fraud, Porter referenced "that pesky tape from Sarah Obama, Barack's grandmother, where she says, 'I was in the delivery room in (Mombosa) Kenya when he was born Aug. 4, 1961.'" In fact, a Dec. 4 Slate article points out that the tape is an edited conversation that conveniently omits evidence to the contrary:
On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect's 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was "present" when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says "yes." McRae contacted [Philip] Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly-"Was he born in Mombassa?"-and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.
In a Nov. 25 column, Porter called the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign "Rathergate all over again with more amiss than a 1970s Selectric typewriter," asserting that the "Certificate of Live Birth documents posted on Mr. Obama's website www.fightthesmears.com, Daily Kos (a pro-Obama blog) and factcheck.org, (a pro-Obama political research group), were found to be altered and forged."
Porter tells a falsehood. FactCheck.org is not "a pro-Obama political research group"; in fact, it has criticized the Obama campaign for straying from the facts on numerous occasions during the presidential campaign. And if Porter is in need of a real Rathergate-like scandal, how about checking into Jerome Corsi's use of bogus documents to falsely smear Obama?
A Dec. 9 column cited a brief YouTube clip of a TV announcer on an French TV channel translating a interview New Mexico Gov. (and current Commerce Secretary-designate) Bill Richardson gave in Spanish while campaigning for Obama, in which the announcer says that Richardson said "Barack Obama is an immigrant." Porter howled: "You don't need a translator to understand what Richardson admitted: Barack Obama is NOT a natural born citizen. That means we have a guy who's planning to take over the White House who is in direct violation of the Constitution. And his own Cabinet member says so." Of course, it's clear from the context of even that brief video clip that Richardson was not talking about Obama's citizenship status; he was speaking about Obama's appeal to Hispanics. Nevertheless, Porter insisted that this was the "story of the century."
Finally, Porter asked in her Dec. 17 column: "Where are the journalists with courage? Where are the investigative reporters who care about the truth? Do they still exist beyond WorldNetDaily?"
The tagline on Porter's WND column has recently been tweaked, apparently in response to Porter's recent rantings. The statement that Porter is "president of Faith2Action" is now followed by an asterisk, which leads to a note at the end stating, "*Title and affiliation for identification purposes only."
That's misleading and meaningless, since Porter is clearly using Faith2Action resources for her Obama-hate crusade.
In early December, as documented on ConWebBlog, there were links on the Faith2Action front page to Porter's column (with the headline "Obama Is an Immigrant") as well as links to other politically related items that are presumably outside Faith2Action's stated mission of "help[ing] provide an overview of what the different branches of the cultural war are doing before you choose to enlist":
(Note: As of this writing, the Faith2Action website has been non-functional for several days.)
Further, a Dec. 9 "Hot Battle Action Steps" item states the following:
We should start praying for President-elect Barack Obama. God's Word instructs us to pray for those in authority even if we strongly disagree with them.
Also of note: the Yes to Democracy blog notes that in November, Faith2Action issued a press release about a planned ad on the birth certificate issue in the Washington Times, but that the ad itself does not carry Faith2Action's logo or contact information. Rather, the address is the law firm of Philip Berg, whose lawsuit over the birth certificate has garnered much right-wing attention. Further, Yes to Democracy adds, "on 17 November, Berg's website takes responsibility for the ad - with no mention of Faith2Action."
It's unclear exactly what tax status Faith2Action holds -- none is listed on the Faith2Action website, and the its donation page states that donations made via that particular link "not tax-deductible and will be used to win the cultural war through lobbying and legislative efforts," adding: "To make a donation that is tax deductible, make your check payable to 'Faith2Action 4 Education' and send it to P.O. Box 633, Dania Beach, FL 33004."
The "Hot Battle Action Steps" prominently begins by begging for money: "For several months, Faith2Action has been operating on very low funds. If you can help us in any way, it would be greatly appreciated."
The fact that Porter and WND felt the need to go the asterisk route to suggest that Porter's columns don't represent Faith2Action tells us that there is some tax-exempt status that is threatened by Porter's Obama-hate, and that a line needed to be drawn between the two.
But Porter's status as president of Faith2Action is not for "identification purposes only" if Porter is using Faith2Action resources to further her Obama-hate crusade, possibly in violation of any tax-exempt status F2A holds.
Porter needs to discuss with her readers and F2A donors how exactly Faith2Action donations are being spent and how her anti-Obama activism -- and her use of F2A resources in pursuing it -- fulfills F2A's mission and operates within legal bounds.