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Friday, October 19, 2007
WND Fails WND Columnist's Journalism Standards
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily column, Craige McMillan serves up " a consumer's 'Bill of Rights'" for journalists. McMillan said he was talking about "Big Media," but there's no reason not to apply his standards to his employer as well. How good a job does WND fulfill McMillan's precepts in his "Bill of Rights"?

"Any reporter, editor or broadcaster manipulating facts or obscuring evidence will be terminated immediately." -- WND's Aaron Klein manipulated facts to falsely smear an Islamic relief organization as being linked to terrorists and holding fraudulent fund-raisers. Last we checked, he was still drawing a WND paycheck.

"You have a right to corrections displayed with the same prominence as the original article." -- WND's retraction of the above false Aaron Klein story occurred six months after the story appeared.

"You have a right to know if reporters, editors or broadcasters are married to, dating, sleeping with, suing or otherwise involved with government, business, academia or other interests that we report on." -- WND did not tell its readers about its apparent collaboration with the Alliance Defense Fund in promoting allegations involving a book written by WND managing editor David Kupelian.

"You have a right to know how a story originated. Was it a special interest group press release? Or did we identify and develop the story on our own?" -- WND regularly turns press releases into news articles -- as they repeatedly did in promoting the so-called "war on Christmas" -- without disclosing that fact to its readers.

"'Fake but accurate' reporting has no place in our news room." -- In 2004, WND falsely claimed that "Some of the groups organizing protests at this summer's Republican National Convention in New York -- including one anarchist outfit planning disruptions -- get funding from a foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry." When it was pointed out that Heinz-linked donations to the Tides Foundation were specifically earmarked toward specific causes that did not include anarchists, WND tried to spin its lie by asserting that "it is accurate to say that donors to Tides are indeed supporting all of its causes" because Tides takes a 10 percent administration fee from donations.

"Plagiarism, also known as reporters too lazy to make up their own stories (see Fake but Accurate, above), has no place in our newsroom. Violators will be terminated." -- It's hard to fire plagiarists when they run the place; WND founder and editor Joseph Farah has engaged in his share of plagiarism.

Does McMillan have the courage to assess the news organization that prints his column by the standards he expects the "mainstream" media to live by? Time will tell, but we won't be surprised if he won't.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT

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