WorldNetDaily goes all-in on defending Roy Moore without telling readers that, as the publisher of his autobiography, it has a vested financial interest in doing so.
By Terry Krepel Posted 12/18/2017
WorldNetDaily loves Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge who ran for a Senate seat -- so much, in fact, that it published his autobiography, "So Help Me God," in 2005, re-releasing it in paperback in 2009. So secure was WND in its belief that Moore would win the special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions after his appointment as attorney general that its website ads linking to the WND online store page for the book read, "Look Who's Coming to Washington!"
Moore and WND are so simpatico on their worldviews that WND in 2010 touted how Moore, "who battled the politically correct climate as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court," ran to the defense of Terry Lakin -- a military officer who ruined his career by parroting WND's bogus conspiracy theories and refusing to be deployed by President Obama because, he claimed, his eligibility to be president hadn't been proven -- declaring that "Lt. Col. Lakin has every right to question the lawfulness of the orders of the commander in chief" and that "The president has never produced [evidence] in the face of substantial evidence he was not born in our country."
So, obviously, it has a vested interest in countering reporting about Moore that he (and WND) don't like. Yet in all of its reporting and commentary on Moore during the election, WND never disclosed this conflict of interest.
An Oct. 20 WND article by Bob Unruh showed that WND would quickly come to Moore's defense as controversies started to swirl around him:
The Washington Post apparently has misfired in a political attack on former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, now the GOP candidate for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The newspaper accused Moore of not reporting or paying taxes on compensation to which he was entitled but did not receive.
The Foundation for Moral Law, which was paying Moore as its president for the years at issue, said in a statement that all transactions and arrangements were reported fully to the IRS. The foundation then charged the reporters essentially were working on a political hit.
“For the Washington Post to state that Judge Moore secretly ‘collected’ monies he never received or that the Foundation failed to properly report its indebtedness to the IRS is false,” a statement from foundation officials charged.
The Post article, published Friday morning, stated “the promised back pay ‘was not reported to IRS as income.'”
But the foundation’s tax filings for 2011 and 2012 did report the obligation owed to Moore.
But Unruh is simply in stenography mode; he didn't offer any documentation that would back up the foundation's claims. He also didn't link to the Post article in question, which, unlike Unruh, provided copies of the foundation's tax documents to back up its claims.
Far from disclosing WND's clear conflict of interest in reporting on Moore, embedded in Unruh's article were two exhortations to "Get Judge Roy Moore's autobiography!" that are linked to WND's online store. This tells us the extent to which Unruh was serving as Moore's PR shop, and WND is Moore's retail outlet.
When a Washington Post article documented several women who said that Moore, as a 30-something district attorney, dated them or had sexual contact with them while teenagers, WND quickly rushed to Moore's defense in the usual right-wing-media way: attacking the veracity of the accusers (something it never did for the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assault) and denouncing the Post for reporting the charges.
WND editor Joseph Farah's first column on the charges pleaded ignorance of the "nuances" of the Moore scandal because he had been "out of the country for the past two weeks." He claimed we "know very little" about Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, then contradicted himself by later asserting that "We know Doug Jones is pro-abortion, a defender of Planned Parenthood, a supporter of Obamacare, a politician who believes in man-made catastrophic climate change and wants to reorder our economic system to decrease levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, someone who thinks economic justice demands we raise the national minimum wage, a Democrats’ Democrat who opposes proof of eligibility to cast votes in national elections." Farah contradicted himself further by saying he somehow knew the claims against Moore are "unproved and unsubstantiated" and therefore should be ignored, adding, "To me the Alabama Senate race is a referendum on fake news and corruption."
Farah didn't mention that he published Moore's autobiography.
Jesse Lee Peterson -- known for his issues with women -- tried to smear one accuser of Moore by citing Newsmax columnist James Hirsen's unproven, slut-shaming claim that she had been "charged with multiple misdeameanors," then adding: "I remind you that if you support Democrats, you support evil. These women are evil."
Janet Porter -- the anti-Obama fabulist who later went on to be a wacky spokesperson for Moore's campaign -- declared that Moore was "a man of untarnished integrity" who "is so squeaky clean, there’s no mud to sling. Mud must be manufactured." She then manufactured a fictional scenario that she claimed was "a glimpse at how" the Post story came about, in which Post owner Jeffrey Bezos ordered reporters to "hop on the Weinstein wagon and accuse him of something sexual."
Other WND writers piled on the praise for Moore and the attacks on his accusers:
Barry Farber argued that "Judge Moore and his right-wing, pro-God and pro-Ten Commandments beliefs are simply the wrong fit for far too many Americans."
Mason Weaver put Moore in the pantheon of biblical heroes who supposedly wouldn't do well in today's society: "King David the murderer could not be king today. Moses and Saint Paul would have no place in our government. The people called Jesus a drunkard."
Jane Chastain had no problem with Moore perving on teen girls because "Moore was considered 'good husband material' by their mothers."
Larry Klayman didn't mention Moore, but he did highlight the alleged "multitudes of false claims conjured up by women to strike back at men" and adding that "I urge you not to prejudge men as guilty before they have been given the chance to be proven innocent."
Carl Jackson pretty much summed up his take with the headline of his column, "If you're not an Alabamian, shut up about Roy Moore!"
Mychal Massie deflected in a column whose headline similarly summed up his take: "Members of Congress are the predators, not Roy Moore."
Scott Lively invoked the Bible and "To Kill A Mockingbird" to suggest the women making accusations against Moore were lying, then denied he was doing so, huffing that "Opinion and unproved accusations cannot be a substitute for facts in public policy!" That's a pretty funny statement from a guy who's best known for substituting opinion and unproved accusations for facts in public policy.
Farah returned to wonder if the victims of unwanted sexual advances are maybe a little too sensitive about it: "And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if victims don’t understand what 'unwelcome advances' mean, are they really unwelcome? How is anyone to know if the target of the advances doesn’t know? If the target isn’t certain about whether they are unwelcome, how can anyone else make sense of such 'offenses'?
Alan Keyes kicked off his Moore-defending column with a rhetorical flourish bordering on the ridiculous, beginning with his statement that "Because I am standing with Judge Roy Moore I find myself within the circle of malice now focused on him by the forces of evil that are moving inexorably to procure the complete destruction of the Constitution and identity of the people of the United States."
Jason and David Benham claimed to offer "5 observations on Roy Moore from [a] Christian perspective," none of which were "Perving on teen girls is kinda gross." instead, they declare that "Jesus teaches His followers the proper way to expose sin, which has a specific order found in Matthew 18," and that it's not being followed. Then they moved to slut-shaming, claiming that Moore's "first accuser lacks credibility with her three divorces, three bankruptcies and three charges against pastors for the very thing of which she accused Moore."
Pat Boone also followed the pattern of attacking Moore's accusers while denying he was doing so: "I’m not excusing Moore’s alleged action or accusing the women, if the claims can possibly be proven at this late date, but it’s undeniable that if any of the accusing women had told their parents or any authority after it happened, it would have been dealt with, and we wouldn’t have to be sorting it all out, after Moore has been investigated and elected so many times since then!" He then defended Moore by saying that "God didn’t make perfect people."
Farah returned once more to effectively declare, "Pictures or it didn't happen": "Not one of the charges against Moore offers any real proof. There are no photographs. They’re all ancient allegations made 40 or more years ago. There were no charges made at the time. In fact, not only is there no proof, there’s no real evidence."
Scott Morefield served up another headline summary: "I'd vote for alleged ax murderer over a bloody Dem."
Chastain came back to declare that Moore has led a "moral life" and tried to slut-shame an accuser: "Is it possible that this troubled teen had a crush on Moore who was a respected young man in a very small town and made up the story to impress them? Is it possible that this woman, who continued to have problems, actually began to believe it?"
Keyes served up more purple prose in defense of Moore: "With the example of the passion and crucifixion of the innocent Christ continually refreshed by their observant remembrance of His suffering, I marvel at the ease with which some Christians abandon their trust in those whom they have, by their good fruits, adjudged to be fellow members of the living body of Christ. I’m thinking of Judge Roy Moore, of course."
Even dubious WND doc Jane Orient, of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, felt the need to defend Moore, because hitting on teen girls used to be a good thing: "Women used to marry much younger; my great-great grandmother was about 13, and she had a happy, long and fruitful life."
During all that time, though, only one WND columnist offered a dissenting voice; a column by Larry Elder asserted that "By supporting Roy Moore, Republicans, on the issue of sexual misconduct, risk turning into the my-guy-wrong-or-wrong hypocrites from across the aisle."
More attacks on Moore's accusers
WND's "news" side also took Moore's side in attacking his accusers. Take. for instance, a Nov. 21 article by Art Moore, who allowed Moore attorney Ben DuPre to hurl sleaze at accuser Leigh Corfman, who was 14 when she says Moore tried to make sexual advances on her. DuPre denounced her as a liar who was troubled teen:
Noting Corfman alleges she was with her mother at a court hearing in 1979, DuPré pointed out that the Etowah County document signed by Corfman’s parents asked for custody to be changed from the mother to the father.
While Corfman claims her life spiraled out of control after the alleged contact with Moore, DuPré said the parents indicated in a joint petition to modify custody that they were already concerned about behavioral problems by the child. The father was better equipped to deal with the already existing disciplinary problems, according to the petition, he said.
Further, Corfman claims she had telephone conversations with Moore using a phone in her bedroom at her mother’s home. But Breitbart reported, DuPré noted, that the mother said there was no phone in her bedroom.
The lawyer also disputed the claim that Moore picked up Corfman around the corner from her mother’s house. The supposed pickup place, he said, was actually about a mile away and across a major thoroughfare.
By contrast, a Nov. 29 WND article by Paul Bremmer touted a press conference featuring women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assault. Bremmer told only one side of the story; he did not mention that, for instance, Juanita Broaddrick -- who has accused Clinton of sexually assaulting her -- signed a sworn affidavit saying that the claim is "untrue." Bremmer uncritically quoted Clinton accuser Kathleen Willey hyperbolically claiming that "Bill Clinton is a rapist and Hillary Clinton is his enabler." He also quoted press conference organizer and right-wing activist Melanie Morgan huffing, "Today I want to challenge former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all other feminist leaders to look these women in the eyes Juanita, Kathleen, Leslie, who have joined us today we challenge Nancy Pelosi to tell them that they don’t believe their stories after all these years." Bremmer did not note if Morgan has ever demanded the same of conservatives credibly accused of sexual harassment, such as Roy Moore and Donald Trump.
A Dec. 7 article by Art Moore eagerly embraced the pro-Moore narrative that a woman who says she wrote an annotation of the date and place Moore wrote in her high school yearbook -- but still stands by her claim that Moore wrote that note -- is a liar who is telling a "different story."
That too contrasts with WND's previous uncritical treatment of Clinton's accusers. A January 2016 WND article reprinting a chapter from a WND-published book about women of have accused Clinton of misdeeds -- a book WND will never give Moore's accusers the opportunity to write -- author Candace Jackson complained that Clinton's lawyers "smugly pointed journalists" to the affidavit uncritically repeated a quote from Broaddrick that she signed the affidavit because "I didn’t want to be forced to testify about one of the most horrific events in my life." Jackson continued to portray Broaddrick getting caught in a lie as somehow normal, declaring that "Juanita Broaddrick had to live in a country where her rapist’s face, voice, and image surrounded her all through the ’90s. That kind of constant reminder might have pushed me over the edge to full disclosure, too." Being triggered by her attacker's rise to political prominence is a defense WND will never grant to Moore's accusers.
The loss and the aftermath
As for the answer to WND's question "Look Who's Coming to Washington!" it turns out the answer was: not Roy Moore. Doug Jones defeated him in the Dec. 12 election. As expected, WND did not take the loss well. Joseph Farah went on a huge conspiratorial rant (as if he goes on any other kind) over Moore's loss:
Let’s face it. That the race was in ever in doubt is attributable to one thing and one thing alone weak, unsubstantiated, politically motivated allegations that go back four decades.
I don’t know about you, but I was a different person 40 years ago than I am today a difference as stark as day and night.
Roy Moore has run for statewide office in Alabama a number of times in the last 20 years. Does it strike anyone else as strange that none of these allegations were made during that long political career? Could it be there is absolutely nothing to them zip, zilch, nada?
Should the character and morality of any man or woman be judged on the basis of conduct that may or may not have happened 40 years ago?
I don’t think that would be a fair standard, even if the most egregious allegations against Roy Moore turned out to be 100 percent true.
Who stole this election?
The cartel of the Big Media and the Democrats.
It’s still powerful, even though more Americans are realizing they’re not get real news from the Big Media. But when that unholy cartel can steal a big and meaningful election in Alabama, then you know we’re in for a helluva political ride over the next three years.
Needless to say, Farah didn't mention the fact that, as the publisher of Moore's autobiography, he had a vested financial interest in Moore's victory. Ethical journalists -- which history does not show Farah to be -- are supposed to disclose conflicts of interest.
Scott Lively declared that Moore was the victim of a "borking":
First, the takedown of Judge Moore was decidedly not about vindicating newly minted and highly suspect accusations of decades-old alleged sexual misconduct; it was about keeping a genuinely independent, Bible-believing Christian conservative from joining President Donald Trump in the essential mission of draining the swamp in Washington, D.C. Judge Roy Moore would have been to the U.S. Senate and to President Trump what Judge Robert Bork would have been to the U.S. Supreme Court and to President Ronald Reagan a clear and present danger to every political skunk, rat and RINO in D.C.. The real target of this is Trump, just as the “borking” of Judge Bork was about targeting Reagan.
Second, Alabama’s political chaos and the tsunami of sex scandals that preceded it was not the result of some spontaneous social revolt against male predation, but a calculated and diabolical political strategy of the Purple Revolution.
The Purple Revolution is America’s version of the George Soros “color revolutions” that have perfected the art of social crisis as a political weapon of mass destruction for the purpose of “regime change” at the national level. These orchestrated sex scandals (with no end in sight) are intended to energize the feminist base of the Democratic Party and draw large numbers of Republican women into their orbit for a 2018-through-2020 campaign demanding female leadership to save the nation from male debauchery.
Being the shameless type, a note at the end of Lively's column added that "Lively is a Republican candidate for governor in the deep purple state of Massachusetts in the 2018 election." Given that Lively is as much of a right-wing extremist as Moore, that election likely won't go well for him.
Jack Cashill's spin on things was to try and prove Moore's innocence by recounting the case of Clarence Thomas:
In October 1991, no one believed Clarence Thomas any more than they believe Roy Moore today.
Like Thomas, Moore was hit with a last-minute charge of sexual impropriety that was nothing short of a political assassination.
Whether Moore was falsely accused or not I do not know, probably never will, but in Clarence Thomas’s case, I have no doubt he was telling the truth.
Cashill's main evidence was a claim in an Anita Hill-bashing book by then-conservative David Brock that the author has since renounced.
And Patrick Brady ranted that women who falsely accuse men of sexual harassment -- not that he can prove any of Moore's accusers have done so -- have a special place in hell:
Slander and calumny are covered at No. 8 in the Big 10 under bearing false witness. Less well covered are detractors, traducers, vile creatures who deliberately, and without other motive, seek to destroy the reputation of another even by telling the truth or what the detractor believes to be true.
There can be no doubt that unwanted physical contact can be evil, but verbal comments, verbal sexual harassments, are often left to the ear of the accuser. Feminists have removed this allegation from sound rules of justice intent, motive (of both sides), due process and presumption of innocence once bulwarks of our legal system. The accused is guilty because the accuser said so, period. And we often see cowardly males piling on the accused and ignoring due process because they’re fearful that females, or female voters, will find in them a lack of sensitivity or accuse them of not caring or hiding similar behavior.
Does anyone believe events that occurred many years ago and only surface on the eve of an election are honorably motivated by anything other than an evil intent to destroy the reputation of a fellow human being, or for a monetary payoff?
Sadly, there is no downside to false accusations in many sexual harassment cases. These people are a special kind of coward.
God help anyone who suggests that some women seek to take advantage of the weaker sex sexually that is males, through deliberate and provocative dress and manner and by objectifying themselves. And God help anyone who suggests some women act dishonestly after being scorned or found incompetent.
Again, Brady does not prove that any Moore accuser did any of these things. But then, lack of evidence has never stopped WND from engaging in tirades before -- especially when book sales are at peril.