It's no secret that WorldNetDaily opposes Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. In fact, WND is so anti-Obama it could be classified an Obama hate site.
During the Democratic primary season, WND sold a bumper sticker that reads, "Defeat Obama, Osama and Chelsea's Mama." After Obama clinched the nomination, WND added a new bumper sticker reading, "NObama," selling it this way:
Do you love America?
We hope the answer is yes.
Do you think Barack Obama is the right man to lead this great nation for the next four years?
If the answer is no, then just say "NObama!"
WND is now offering a new, magnetic bumper sticker that's sure to become an instant classic, bearing the message, "NObama '08."
Draped in the patriotic colors of the American flag, this portable placard lets everyone know you won't be casting your ballot for the Democratic senator from Illinois.
Say yes to America's security.
Say yes to a prosperous future.
Say "NObama '08."
One would be hard-pressed to come up with a recent example of any news organization that so hates a candidate that it markets bumper stickers attacking said candidate -- not even in the so-called "liberal media" -- yet WND wants to be considered a serious "news" organization while acting like a political organization.
Such advocacy and antipathy is a clear sign that WND can't be considered a fair, objective or accurate source for political matters in general or about Obama in particular -- and indeed, WND's news coverage has borne that out, as ConWebWatch has documented:
- WND repeated never-proven claims by career criminal Larry Sinclair that he and Obama did drugs and had sex without making any apparent effort to verify those claims. When Sinclair held a press conference in which he discredited himself even further, WND failed to tell its readers about it, let alone apologize to Obama and its readers for being a conduit for such specious charges.
- WND reporter Aaron Klein has been the lead reporter for WND's anti-Obama frenzy. He wrote a dozen articles trying to portray Obama as a sympathizer of the terrorist group Hamas without telling readers that Obama opposes negotiation with Hamas. Klein, along with right-wing radio host John Batchelor, also engaged in a highly suspicious interview in which a Hamas official appeared to endorse Obama. By ConWebWatch's count as of this writing, Klein has written 38 anti-Obama articles since the start of the year, compared with just one critical of Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain.
Even though WND has been virulently -- even viciously -- anti-Obama, WND editor Joseph Farah claims he's not doing so for the benefit of the other side.
In a May 1 column, Farah asserted, "John McCain won't get any help from me. He won't get my vote." Farah added in a May 19 column that "It's really difficult for me to see any substantive difference between McCain and Obama," adding: "McCain could well beat Obama or [Hillary] Clinton. They are deeply flawed candidates. But he will get no help from me."
That claim is, to be perfectly frank, a lie. By relentlessly attacking Obama, Farah's WND is helping McCain -- and, in fact, serving as a de facto supporter of his campaign -- by not subjecting McCain to the same attacks as it heaps upon Obama.
Before McCain clinched the Republican nomination in mid-February, WND did issue criticism of him in its news articles, mainly for not being conservative enough. For instance:
- A Jan. 7 article pointed out McCain's inconsistency on immigration policy.
- A Jan. 20 article quoted columnist and action star Chuck Norris (at the time a supporter of Mike Huckabee) calling McCain too old for the job.
- A Jan. 31 article cited a report that McCain "privately suggested Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative."
- A Feb. 5 article featured James Dobson's assertion that "he would sit out the general election if Sen. John McCain becomes the GOP winner."
- A Feb. 7 article played up how McCain's address at the Conservative Political Action Conference was made to "a skeptical party base who question his conservative credentials."
On the opinion side, WND most notoriously ran a Feb. 4 column by Jack Wheeler calling McCain "psychologically unstable" and a "nutcase wack job," then -- echoing the "Manchurian candidate" smear -- uses anonymous sources to claim that McCain "collaborat[ed] with his Communist captors" while a POW in the Vietnam War. (ConWebWatch previously noted WND's ethical-boundary-blurring advertising-disguised-as-news on Wheeler's behalf.)
After McCain became the presumptive nominee, such critical examinations of McCain -- dwarfed by its anti-Obama activism -- mostly disappeared from WND's news pages (though they continued on WND's opinion page). Among the very few recent examples to be found in WND's archive:
- A Feb. 27 article by Jerome Corsi claimed that "John McCain's personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona, through his father-in-law." In fact, La Raza has never supported the so-called reconquista.
- A March 2 article by Corsi noted that McCain "has enjoyed strong support from a lobbyist group that backs the Kosovo Liberation Army despite allegations the KLA is a Muslim terrorist group with ties to criminal drug networks and al-Qaida." Aaron Klein never mentioned this when he reported on Hamas' purported endorsement of Obama.
- A May 5 article noted that McCain would attend the national convention of the National Council of La Raza, which WND misleadingly attacked as "a radical Hispanic lobby tied to the movement to reconquer the Southwestern U.S."
- Aaron Klein's lone article critical of McCain, a May 18 piece noting that McCain "being accused of 'hypocrisy' for repeatedly criticizing Sen. Barack Obama over his stated policy of dialogue with America's foes when the Republican presidential candidate himself previously stated the U.S. may have to "deal" with Hamas terrorists."
- A June 16 article noting that former Republican congressman J.C. Watts "is not even certain he will vote for John McCain this year."
- A June 24 article touting an "open letter" to McCain by immigration critic (and WND darling) Rep. Tom Tancredo "challenging the candidate to stand firm on border security."
That's six anti-McCain news articles across the whole of WND over a span of four months, as opposed to the dozens of anti-Obama missives by Klein alone and the cluster in the first month of 2008. Further, in addition to promoting Klein's interview of the Obama-endorsing Hamas supporter, WND has twice touted McCain's efforts to raise money from it.
Related articles on ConWebWatch:
The bias extends to WND's magazine, Whistleblower, which devoted separate issues to Obama, Clinton and McCain. The Whistleblower issues on Obama
(THE SECRET LIFE OF BARACK OBAMA, which suggested that Obama is a "Manchurian candidate harboring an ominous secret agenda few understand, a man destined to wreak havoc on America should he become president") and Clinton
(QUEEN OF DARKNESS, which likened Clinton to the "malevolent cyborg" in "The Terminator") were entirely comprised of attack pieces -- and, in Clinton's case, repeating long-discredited hatchet jobs
involving Peter Paul and the so-called "Clinton body count" -- Whistleblower's issue on McCain, neutrally titled "THE REAL MCCAIN
," included articles titled "The conservative case for McCain," "How McCain can woo conservatives and independents," "Leading pro-life group supports McCain," "Making the case for McCain," and "Why conservatives should support McCain."
Even though Farah claimed that "It's really difficult for me to see any substantive difference between McCain and Obama," WND's news pages have regularly failed to criticize McCain for engaging in questionable behavior, even after it has criticized Obama for engaging in the same behavior:
- A June 22 article by Klein attempted to paint as negatively as possible Barack Obama's statement that America is "no longer just a Christian nation," while offering no evidence that there's anything incorrect or offensive about the statement. The article's headline falsely claimed that Obama said that "America is 'no longer Christian,' " omitting the key word "just." Nowhere did Klein mention that McCain has called certain right-wing evangelical preachers "agents of intolerance."
- WND has repeatedly highlighted controversial statements by former Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright -- a search of " barack obama jeremiah wright" in WND's archive returns 148 articles as of this writing -- but no WND news article has ever mentioned McCain's association with Rev. John Hagee, who has called the Catholic Church the "great whore" and a "false cult." That may be because Farah has previously called Hagee "my friend" and briefly published a column by Hagee; WND's online store also sells two Hagee-penned books. (In a May 27 column, Farah finally criticized Hagee's claim that Hitler was doing God's will to get Jews to move to Palestine, though he defended another McCain-endorsing pastor, Rod Parsley, and didn't address the anti-Catholic statements.)
- A June 16 article claimed that "An American citizen who returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become minister of electricity has called for support of the terrorist insurgency and claims to have contributed the maximum amount under the law to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama." But WND has provided no original coverage of Clayton Williams, a fundraiser for John McCain's campaign -- he says he has already raised more than $300,000 for McCain -- who once compared rape to the weather: "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." (Williams' latest fundraiser for McCain was canceled after word of this statement got out.)
- An April 15 WND article repeated claims by the conservative-leaning legal group Judicial Watch that a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's campaign at which singer Elton John appeared was illegal because John is a foreign national and prohibited from contributing to a U.S. presidential campaign. But when Judicial Watch claimed that McCain may have accepted an in-kind contribution from foreign nationals during a fundraiser in London, WND didn't think that was worth original coverage.
As demonstrated in its uncritical coverage of Larry Sinclair, it doesn't matter whether a story is actually true before WND decides to write about it. Indeed, mere speculation will suffice -- as long it can be twisted negatively against Obama, that's good enough.
A June 10 article rehashed speculation by National Review blogger Jim Geraghty regarding purported questions about Obama's status of a legal resident of the United States that can only be answered by Obama releasing a copy of his birth certificate. WND did report Geraghty's statement that it's "unlikely" the rumors are true.
A June 7 article by Alyssa Farah (Joseph Farah's daughter), meanwhile, speculated about whether a "secretive meeting" between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took place at "the secretive Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, Va." Farah attributes this speculation to no one, as one would expect a "news" article to do; instead, she lamely plays a game of guilt by association in claiming that "Hillary Clinton is no stranger to Bilderberg" because her husband has attended previous meetings and she "may have attended the 2006 meeting."
It would seem that Alyssa Farah is just channeling the conspiratorial leanings of her father. WND has a longtime obsession with organizations like the Bilderberg Group -- it even sells a book claiming that it, along with other groups like the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, have a goal "to erase the sovereignty of all nation-states and supplant them with global corporate control of their economies under the surveillance of 'an electronic global police state'" -- but this obsession is particularly ironic and hypocritical given that Joseph Farah belongs to a secret organization of his own, the right-wing Council for National Policy. Last October, Farah attended a CNP meeting in Salt Lake City, which regular media were barred from covering, as ConWebBlog noted at the time. Coincidentially, the one major bit of news to come out from the conference -- that evangelicals are threatening to bolt the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani is the presidential nominee -- first surfaced at WND; presumably, Farah had to obtain permission from CNP officials to report it. Even more coincidentally, this came at the same time that Farah was railing against a "secret confab" in which "plots are hatched to sell off pieces of America's infrastructure to foreigners" that WND was barred from covering.
If, as Farah insisted in his May 19 column, "McCain must lose," why isn't Farah treating McCain as an Obama-like loser on his WND news pages? Why isn't WND selling a "No McCain" bumper sticker alongside its "NObama" badge?
That's just the usual WND hypocrisy at work. And, unsurprisingly, the hypocrisy gets worse.
WND is selling yet another bumper sticker that reads, "None of the Above," promoted thusly:
With one of five Hillary Clinton supporters saying they are unlikely to vote for Barack Obama and deep dissatisfaction in Republican ranks for the nominee of their party, third party candidates have the best chance in years of scoring significant vote tallies.
But is it a "waste of a vote" to cast a protest ballot for someone other than a Republican or Democratic presidential candidate?
No, says Joseph Farah, editor of WND, who is leading a budding movement to encourage support for third party candidates or write-ins for the top slot on the ballot.
"I don't deny that either Barack Obama or John McCain will become president in January 2009," he says. "It's just that I can't be a part of supporting either one not even as the lesser of two evils."
Farah believes whoever wins among the two major-party candidates will lead America in the wrong direction.
"How can any of us be a part of knowingly sending America on the wrong course?" he asks. "I believe there is a better way."
Farah's better way is joining the "none of the above" movement and making a major political statement in 2008 that will reverberate for years to come helping Americans who believe in the Constitution, limited government, personal responsibility, individual rights and self-government to recapture the White House and the Congress in future elections.
Thus, one would think that WND would be promoting those third-party candidates that most closely align with Farah's right-wing views, like the Libertarians or the Constitution Party?
Not so much.
No WND news article to date has mentioned the fact that former congressman Bob Barr is the Libertarian Party candidate for president. WND did a pair of news articles on Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin back in April, but nothing in the two months since then.
So, to sum up: Joseph Farah claims he's not helping John McCain get elected. But by refusing to use WND to subject McCain to the same (hysterically biased) level of scrutiny as Obama, that's exactly what he's doing.
It's just one more reason not to rely on Farah or WND seriously as a source of unbiased information -- or, really, of any information at all.