The Two Sides of Phil Elmore
The WorldNetDaily columnist will debunk some of WND's most cherished conspiracy theories, but he'll also write screeds attacking liberals, feminists and (of course) President Obama.
By Terry Krepel
In 2010, Elmore did his best to shut down WND's longtime promotion of a link between vaccines and autism, even taking a jab at WND for publishing a rebuttal to an earlier column he wrote on the subject. He lamented that discredited scientist Andrew Wakefield, who promoted the link, is still being believed despite the medical journal that first published his claim retracting it: "This latest nail in the coffin of 'vaccine-caused autism' will be ignored, as has every other study disproving this connection."
Elmore concluded: 'The irresponsible parents who harm their own children and their neighbors’ kids through this negligence [of not vaccinating them] will continue to do so regardless of the truth. We must conclude they care more about their opinions than they do about facts."
In 2011, WND published a "news" article touting a Chinese study purporting to claim that city where water is fluoridated "had children with IQ scores 5-10 points lower" than a nearby town where water is not fluoridated, Elmore dedicated a column to rebutting it, highlighting the study's numerous flaws and adding, "If water fluoridation truly does have long-term health benefits, no one is served by making the case using 'evidence' as poor as this."
But debunking WND's work is not why WND publishes Elmore. He can also be as rabidly reactionary and kneejerk right-wing as any given WND columnist. Indeed, he has WND-friendly berserk buttons: liberalism and feminism.
Elmore's Nov. 26 column was devoted to how liberals are lying to you on the Internet:
Very few people stop to understand the social media culture war that is raging around them. Culture wars are nothing new. Totalitarian, statist Democrats, the would-be fascists of the modern era, have long conspired to subjugate the American people. Barack Hussein Obama’s quest to “fundamentally transform” the United States is just the latest iteration of this long-fought battle, which has seen Democrats perverting everything from the meaning of the word “liberal” to every other traditional moral value and social norm.
In a September 2011 column, Elmore went on a rampage against Labor Day speech the Labor Day speech made by union official James P. Hoffa (whom he misidentifies as "Jimmy Hoffa Jr." -- in fact, James has a different middle name than his father), taking out of context the statement "Let's take these son of a bitches out," declaring: "He was saying, clearly and publicly, that his political opponents in the tea party must be intimidated, assaulted and killed. That is what it means to 'take out' someone whom you characterize in such profane terms. There is no other plausible explanation." Elmore didn't mention that Hoffa had prefaced his statement by saying, "Everybody here's got to vote."
When readers called out Elmore's out-of-context take on Hoffa, Elmore didn't appreciate that, apparently, so he used his next column to double down. He complained about the "small army of leftist trolls and self-proclaimed "independents'" who criticized his out-of-context plucking of Hoffa's remark, dismissing them as "simply persistent contrarians trolling WND's pages." Elmore asserted that "Neither the alleged perfidy of Fox News nor the casual inclusion of a reference to voting excuse, rationalize, justify, or even sufficiently modify Hoffa's comments," declaring, 'When Jimmy Hoffa speaks, by contrast, he must be taken at his literal word, because he is a Democrat who supports Democrats."
Elmore ranted in an April 2014 column:
In a “free” country, your government can force you to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, but Muslim cashiers don’t have to check out pork or alcohol. These conclusions are inconsistent because liberals in power believe wholeheartedly in a double standard. If you are a liberal, you have rights. If you are a conservative, you don’t. You are, in fact, an evil, hateful person if you believe in traditional morality or, God help you, Christianity. You must therefore be denigrated, punished and silenced and that’s only because the libs haven’t worked up the courage to murder you.
Of course, as a loyal WND columnist, Elmore has contracted a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. In a 2009 column, he howled about "Glorious Leader Obama" purportedly endeavoring "to place his Orwellian visage on the telescreens of the nation's media outlets" so that "citizens are inundated with the inevitability of Obama's increasingly statist rule," linking to WND's oft-repeated lie that Obama wants to create an army of, in Elmore's words, "fascist brownshirts." Elmore goes on to assert that Obama "Twitters his daily enemies list through his Blackberry while waiting for his latest firearms prohibitions to be uploaded to iTunes as podcasts."
Elmore also complained that Obama "appointed a chief information officer (a post that sounds disturbingly similar to some form of propaganda ministry, in title if not in fact)." Elmore seems not to be aware of the fact that nearly every organization of any significant size employs a chief information officer. That little nugget of information just may make Elmore's head explode.
Elmore did pretty much the same thing in a January 2013 column, declaring Obama to be "our technology dictator" whose second inaugural address "was laced with communist memes and appeals to collectivist, socialist philosophies." Elmore added, "Obama’s delusional, contradictory declarations of Marxist talking points were missing only three more sentences: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
In the midst of a fit of hyperbolic Obama derangement in which he declared that "the story of Hugo Chavez is one that parallels Barack Hussein Obama’s disastrous but popular rule over the American people," Phil Elmore delivered the following whopper in a March 2013 column:
Remember, too, that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security which has classified anyone who might vote against Obama as a potential domestic terrorist has just purchased 2,700 armored vehicles and is stockpiling more than a billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition. Make no mistake: These vehicles and this ammo have no military application. They exist solely for domestic pacification.
In fact, the 2,700 armored vehicles are being purchased by the Marine Corps, not DHS. And while DHS is buying more than a million rounds of ammunition, much of that purchase is spread out over five years and will be used for training purposes for agents under its purview, including ICE. More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department's training center last year.
Elmore's Nov. 26 column also went after the New York City catcalling video, which Elmore dismissed as "deceptively edited and dishonestly presented" and shows the woman, in fact, "rudely refusing to respond to any greeting." And then, it moved to a defense of caddish men:
Modern women are apparently so incapable of coping with diversity of thought and opinion that even an unsolicited “hello” is “harassment.” These are people so weak-minded that they must have controversial ideas prefaced with absurd phrases like “trigger warning.” They trade in a manufactured argot of victimhood that includes terms like “patriarchy,” “hetero-normative” and “cis-gender.” They hate men and maleness, they hate heterosexuality, they hate families, and they hate traditional norms. They lie, blatantly and constantly, to attack these facets of our culture.
Elmore used his March 2012 column to regurgitate Rush Limbaugh's misogynist slurs of Sandra Fluke:
Never mind that Sandra Fluke who appeared at a press conference crafted by Democrats to resemble a congressional hearing is a left-wing activist whose whining about the inordinate sum she pays for birth control has made her name a prurient punch line. Never mind that Fluke was originally misrepresented as a doe-eyed 20-something coed, when in fact the law student is a 30-year-old woman who ought to be able to buy her (presumably) many lovers’ cases of condoms. Never mind that libtalkers like Ed Schultz and Bill Maher have called prominent conservative women like Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin names like “slut” (and worse). No, when Rush Limbaugh called this apparent slut a slut, his crime was immediately judged so heinous that sponsors started jumping ship without regard to the damage they might be doing themselves.
Elmore, of course, offers up no evidence whatsoever that discussing birth control in public, which is what Fluke did, automatically makes you an "apparent slut."
Elmore also defended the honor of the male-centric, occasionally misogynist videogame culture in a Feb. 18 column that sneered at efforts to make the culture more friendly to women:
“Gamergate,” as a movement, came about online in social media (such as at micro-blogging site Twitter) as a response to what gamers saw as unethical journalistic practices. It seems that a woman named Zoe Quinn, a typical feminist, progressive, and SJW, released a terrible game called “Depression Quest.” The game was evidently promoted by certain industry figures in a way that was disproportionate to its appeal, and when rumors began to circulate that Quinn was somehow exerting influence on industry figures to promote the game and that her fellow SJW Anita Sarkeesian allegedly manufactured death threats to help swing support to their mutual cause a movement decrying these practices was born. To hear the progressives tell the story, “gamergate” is a sordid tale in which well-meaning feminists critical of misogyny in the gaming industry have been subjected to terrible harassment for daring to be strong, empowered women.
Elmore's assertion that Quinn's game was "terrible" apparently has to do with the fact that its subject -- an introduction to the feelings of a person suffering from depression -- is heavily text-based and doesn't involve blowing people up.
Elmore's claim that Sarkeesian "manufactured death threats" is similarly unsubstantiated -- and more than a little irrelevant given the fact that real live people are on record issuing death threats against her.
Elmore similarly sneers at Brianna Wu, a game developer who spoke out against the harassment against Quinn and others. To Elmore, Wu is nothing but "a feminist who hates gamers" -- funny, since her company develops games -- and insists the explicit death threat the received after speaking out, which included personal information about her and declared that "your mutilated corpse will be on the front page of Jezebel tomorrow," was no big deal because "death threats happen all the time online" and most are never carried out.
Elmore seems to suggest that these women actually deserve the harassment they've received; he dismisses them all as "social justice activists" who "hate the fact that gamers enjoy entertainment progressive women do not." He offers no evidence that these female game developers have ever demanded that their works replace traditional games.
The following week, Elmore further attacked Wu, a transgendered person who suffers from "irrational grandiosity and self-importance." He makes a big deal out of the fact that someone posting online videos making threats against Wu turned out to be a member of a "provocative cult comedy group," claiming that this somehow means all Gamergate death threats aren't real, that Wu and her ilk have "no sense of humor" and "The dangers were figments of her overactive imagination and her inflated ego, two qualities that are never lacking in social justice whiners."
That's the sort of reasoning -- not the WND debunkings -- that demonstrates why WND keeps Elmore around.