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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Another Christian Activist Joins WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 14 WorldNetDaily article announces that ex-Associated Press staffer Robert Unruh, "a veteran reporter with almost three decades' experience working for the world's largest news organization," has joined WND.

Given that WND editor Joseph Farah hates the AP -- as we've noted, Farah has attacked the AP for not giving WND the credit Farah thinks it deserves for stories AP has run, even though WND regularly lifts AP copy to put under its own byline without paying for that use, or sometimes without giving the proper credit that WND has demanded of AP -- Unruh's journalistic bona fides were not all that important to Farah. What likely got Unruh the gig was his conservative Christianity.

The article downplays that, noting only that Unruh and his wife have "two homeschooled children" -- another point in his favor since Farah's children are homschooled as well -- and adding "They work with the startup branch of Christ the King Community Church in Gilpin County [Colorado], a casino haven where fewer than 4 percent of the people attend a church."

But WND doesn't note Unruh's history of religious activism, which you'd think Farah would be proud of. From an April 4, 2005, AP article:

A school district has agreed to let a Gilpin County fifth-grader hand out materials at her school promoting a religious club.

The agreement reached last week in U.S. District Court resolved a lawsuit the girl’s parents had filed against Gilpin County RE-1 School District.

The district also agreed to pay $1 in damages and $10,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the family of Patricia and Robert Unruh, who is a newsman for the Associated Press in Denver.

Lawyers for both sides said they were pleased with the agreement.

Robert and Patricia Unruh said in their lawsuit that their daughter tried to pass out invitations to her Bible club during non-class hours at Gilpin County Elementary School but was stopped after Principal Deb Benitez said she had received complaints from other parents.

Benitez tried to resolve the dispute by distributing the materials to families who did not object. The Unruhs sued, saying other groups such as the Girl Scouts could advertise by handing out literature to students.

The school has agreed to let the girl’s mother advertise her Vacation Bible School in designated areas.

“The solution provides for relief for students, not just Mrs. Unruh, but all students and recognizes the First Amendment rights for all students,” said the family’s attorney, Michael J. Norton.

The AP article seems to contradict WND's assertion that Unruh homeschools his children, unless Unruh was so aggrieved by the school's efforts to thwart his family's efforts to prostelytize in public schools that he pulled them out.

And, like NewsMax's Ronald Kessler before him, Unruh shows that he has certain delusions about his new employer's journalistic standards:

"While I've enjoyed many experiences in wire service work, I'm more than excited to be able to work with the next level of journalists reporting the world through the unfiltered lens of WorldNetDaily," Unruh said. "While WND already has the best report on the Internet, there are many additional stories that, I believe, should be told and I hope to be working on some of those."

Of course, WND is anything but "unfiltered," as its copiously slanted -- and occasionally false -- "journalism" has been exposed time and time again.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2006 6:15 PM EDT

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