ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

WorldNetDaily's Birth Certificate Fraud

WND is still raising questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate, even though it determined months ago that the certificate is "authentic" -- a report it has refused to acknowledge (or retract) since.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/4/2008
Updated 12/8/2008

Even though WorldNetDaily reported in August that the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign is "authentic" as determined by its own investigation, and that a lawsuit by Philip J. Berg, an attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter, claiming that Obama is a non-citizen of the U.S. and thus ineligible to run for president "relies on discredited claims," WND has fully embraced assertions that the certificate is a forgery or otherwise insufficient proof that Obama is a U.S. citizen.

Further, no original WND article published on the subject of Obama's birth certificate since that article first appeared has referenced its claims, according to a search of WND's archives.

While WND has not acknowledged the article, it has also not publicly retracted it or otherwise deleted it from its website -- which indicates that it stands by the claims made in it. This further suggests that it is knowingly printing questionable or false claims about Obama's birth certificate, and thus perpetrating a fraud on its readers.

ConWebWatch has detailed WND's refusal to acknowledge its previous reporting during its attempts before the Nov. 4 election to raise questions about Obama's birth. WND's efforts to promote questions about the birth certificate have escalated dramatically since the election -- but there's still no acknowledgment of of its own reporting contradicting those concerns.

In the run-up to the election, WND reporter Jerome Corsi's visit to Hawaii resulted in an Oct. 30 article claiming that Obama and Frank Marshall Davis -- whom Corsi describes as a "Marxist activist" and "also the author of an autobiographical novel boasting of "swinging" and sex with minors" -- sold drugs together in Hawaii in the 1970s. Corsi cites a "credible source, a well-known resident of Honolulu who spoke at length with WND on condition he not be named" as the source of his claim; Corsi offers no evidence that he corroborated it with anyone who isn't an Obama-hater like him eager to publicize any smear. Nor does Corsi explain why his anonymous source is "credible."

Corsi's traipsing around Hawaii drew the attention of none other than Andy Martin -- noted anti-Semite and fabulist, as well as the filer of a frivolous lawsuit against ConWebWatch -- accusing Corsi of following in his footsteps:

Jerome Corsi began his book with a citation to my original work on Barack Obama. Now Corsi has filed a copycat request for Barack Obama's original birth certificate, after I filed a lawsuit in Honolulu seeking the same document. Why didn’t Corsi seek Obama's birth certificate before he wrote his book, not months afterwards?

It looks like I started something.


A couple of weeks ago Corsi was in Kenya saying Obama was born there. Now he is in Hawai'i accepting my theory that Obama was born in Hawai'i. Corsi can't seem to make up his mind between Kenya and Hawai'i. Maybe he is waiting for me to tell him the facts. Perhaps he knows better than to believe his own b.s. Corsi knows whom to believe: me. He might even buy my book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask.


Mr. Corsi's breathless disclosure of newspaper announcements from 1961 is also old news. We have had those for months. Why is Corsi undercutting his "Kenya" theory? Or is it "We all believe Andy, because Andy is the only real investigator in this parade?"

WND has previously portrayed Martin as a credible source -- in a Sept. 29 article, Aaron Klein affirmatively cited Martin to attack Obama, apparently deciding that because Martin's claims were "referenced on multiple other blogs," they must, therefore be true. Meanwhile, even Fox News has apologized for booking Martin onto Sean Hannity's weekly program to hurl more Obama smears, even if Hannity himself has not.

(Martin, by the way, thinks Davis is Obama's father. Surprisingly, Martin is out-crazied on this subject by far-right blogger Pamela Geller, who believes Obama is the illegitimate son of Malcolm X.)

Getting caught following in Martin's footsteps was no deterrent to Corsi: He penned a Nov. 2 article in which he claimed "there is considerable evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, not in Hawaii as the candidate and his campaign have maintained."

Corsi's so-called "considerable evidence"? An interview he did with "Sayid Obama, brother of Barack Obama senior and the uncle of Sen. Barack Obama," who said he didn't know "whether Barack Obama junior was born in Kenya or in Hawaii."

Such wild attacks didn't deter voters, but Obama's decisive election victory was a bitter pill for WND writers to swallow:

  • "The sense of betrayal I feel at this time from my fellow citizens is beyond comprehension, let alone description. I had assumed not more than 35 percent of our fellow citizens would vote for an eloquent socialist gasbag with an empty resume, a carefully sanitized past and a massive wealth redistribution plan." -- Craige McMillan, Nov. 6 column.
  • "It was the Sunday after the election, and everywhere I looked I could only see impending doom. There is no way God would have allowed Barack Obama to become president were He not finally turning America over to judgment, to whatever great or lesser extent that will be. I sat in my mother's church and was surprised to feel anger when the worship leader smiled and sang the same songs as ever, as if life hadn't drastically changed the week before, as if the Church itself wasn't indicted by Obama's election." -- Jill Stanek, Nov. 12 column.
  • "Why do you think young people overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama? Could it be because they have been taught by government schoolteachers that socialism is good and capitalism is bad? Could it be because they have been indoctrinated to believe it is discriminatory to uphold marriage as an institution between one man and one woman? Could it be because parents have given over their kids for most of their waking hours to the state, forsaking their own godly duty to train up their children in the ways of the Lord? You bet it could." -- Joseph Farah, Nov. 8 column.

Such bitterness apparently prompted WND to double down on the claim that Obama's birth certificate is fraudulent -- again, ignoring its own previous reporting to the contrary.

Chelsea Schilling -- who previously wrote an Oct. 16 article on "a second lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's 'natural born' citizenship" -- wrote a Nov. 13 article stating that "More than a half-dozen legal challenges have been filed in federal and state courts demanding President-elect Barack Obama's decertification from ballots or seeking to halt elector meetings, claiming he has failed to prove his U.S. citizenship status." Both reference Berg's lawsuit, but not WND's previous statement that Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims."

Joseph Farah, meanwhile, was demonstrating that WND's feigned ignorance of its own previous reporting on the birth certificate comes straight from the top. In his Nov. 17 column, Farah claimed that "Obama's record of non-cooperation and secrecy" in the matter of his birth certificate "has now resulted in conspiracy theories that will plague him throughout his administration if he doesn't address them now with utter transparence. ... Count me among those who really want to see that birth certificate now." He too failed to note the previous reporting on the website he operates. Further to the contrary, an Oct. 22 article at rival ConWeb component Newsmax otherwise attacking Obama for being the "most secretive Democratic presidential candidate ever" also cited examples in which "the Obama campaign has offered to provide additional information to reporters if they have specific questions or issues," one of them being ... the birth certificate.

Farah followed up with a Nov. 19 column:

Next time you move to another state and need a new driver's license, try this: Refuse to produce the birth certificate or any other personal information required by the department of motor vehicles. Just explain that a facsimile of the required document is posted on your website and give the clerk the domain name.

Tell them: "I'm following the example of President-elect Barack Obama. If he didn't need to produce a birth certificate to establish his eligibility to be president of the United States, why would you require me to produce one to get a lousy driver's license?"

See if it flies.

Again, no mention that Farah's own employees have found the birth certificate to be authentic.

In a Nov. 19 teleseminar WND conducted by Corsi, Farah and WND managing editor David Kupelian, Corsi upped the conspiratorial ante:

And I was dispatched twice to Hawaii. We've hired some very, very top private investigators. And again, these birth certificate documents are sealed. So you simply cannot get the original documents.

In Kenya, I was regularly told by people who knew, even as they witnessed Obama's birth in Kenya. They've given testimony and affidavits to that effect, but I wasn't permitted to see any. And the original documents the Kenyan government is not releasing.


My conclusion is the documents are being hidden. They are not being released. And I think that's something the American people ought to be dramatically concerned ... before the inauguration.

That sentiment was echoed by Farah:

It is amazing to me -- think about this, folks -- that the biggest scoop any news organization could have had during this campaign and after this campaign prior to this inauguration would be to get a legitimate copy of Obama's real birth certificate. This is a man who pledged to come into the presidency and bring a new openness to government, and the biggest state secret in the United States today is where was this guy born.

You guessed it -- no mention of WND's own previous reporting.

Declaring that he's "raising the stakes" in the manufactured controversy over Barack Obama's birth certificate, Farah claimed in his Nov. 21 column that he is "personally sponsoring a petition campaign right here at this Internet news source, to all controlling legal authorities to determine Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency under Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution and to use all of their persuasive powers to make this information freely available to the rulers of this country – we the people." Farah writes:

I tell you all this because despite the shroud of secrecy over the birth certificate issue, there are some organizations out there insisting it is all a tempest in a teapot – that the issue is settled, that the birth certificate has been released, that Obama has been determined to be eligible by some mystery authority.

One such organization,, characterizes any who question its assertion that this matter is settled as conspiracy mongers. But, as for me, when it comes to matters as important as the Constitution of the United States, I do not accept the opinion of armchair researchers.

No mention of course, that one of the "mystery authorities" that has previously determined [Obama] to be eligible" is ... WorldNetDaily.

And so on. WND columnist Janet Folger Porter joined the fun, using her Nov. 25 column to call the issue "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, Daily Kos (a pro-Obama blog) and, (a pro-Obama political research group), were found to be altered and forged."

If Porter really wants a Rathergate-like scandal to investigate, she should check into a much closer parallel: Corsi's use of bogus documents to smear Obama by falsely linking him to Keyan prime minister Raila Odinga.

Porter's claim that is "a pro-Obama political research group" is false; in fact, it has criticized the Obama campaign for straying from the facts on numerous occasions. Not a surprising smear, given that Porter is best known for uncritically quoting a neo-Nazi racist to advance her anti-gay agenda.

As December rolled around, WND ratcheted up the attacks:

  • A Dec. 1 article by Bob Unruh quoting so-called "imaging guru" Ron Polarik's claims that the certificate Obama released is "forged" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 1 article urging readers to FedEx a letter (through WND, of course) urging the Supreme Court to "review a case Friday challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which stipulates the position can only be filled by 'a natural born citizen'" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic." (UPDATE 12/8/2008: WND claimed in a Dec. 5 article that it sent "6,682 FedEx packages of nine letters each" to the Supreme Court. WND charged each letter-writer $9.95 for the privilege. Somehow we suspect FedEx charged WND a lot less than $89.45 each to overnight those envelopes to Washington -- meaning that WND has turned its hatred of Obama into a profit center. So WND's going to that well again -- according to a Dec. 8 article, it's launching "a similar FedEx letter drive directed at individual Electoral College members" to harrass them into not voting for Obama. WND has jacked up the price -- it's now $10.95 for the privilege of badgering "470 members of the 538-member Electoral College with a pre-written letter raising questions about Barack Obama's eligibility to be the next president.")
  • A Dec. 1 article by Schilling on Berg's lawsuit fails to reference the August WND article stating that it "relies on discredited claims."
  • A Dec. 1 column by Farah repeating claims that the certificate is a "forgery" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 2 WND column by Janet Folger Porter once again promoting claims that the certificate is fake fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 2 article by Schilling on alleged "concerned citizens" placing newspaper ads aiming to "compel Barack Obama to release documentation proving he is a natural-born citizen" fail to mention the WND article proving he already has.
  • A Dec. 3 column by Farah claiming WND is "the only news organization covering something as momentous as whether the man presumed to be the next president is actually legally eligible to hold the office" fails to note that it has already demonstrated that Obama is.
  • A Dec. 4 column by Alan Keyes -- who has joined Berg and Martin in filing his own lawsuit suggesting Obama isn't a citizen -- claimed that "Evidence has emerged ... that raise doubts as to whether Barack Obama is in fact a natural born U.S. citizen, eligible to be president," without acknowledging WND's evidence to the contrary.

With each article WND publishes on Obama's birth certificate that fails to acknowledge that August article declaring the certificate "authentic," it perpetrates a journalistic fraud on its readers. Certainly WND's employees are not so stupid as to be unaware the article exists; thus, the only logical conclusion is that WND is deliberately ignoring, which constitutes the basis for this fraud.

If WND no longer stands by the article, it should say so. If it does stand by the article, it should stop promoting the fiction that Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

Those are the only two choices available to an ethical journalist. But WND's journalists have proven they have no interest in behaving in an ethical manner.

Until Joseph Farah and WND come clean and tell the truth, they cannot be trusted as a credible news source. If it can't reconcile its own reporting, why trust anything else it publishes?

Send this page to:
Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-08 Terry Krepel