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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Return of the WJC?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last time we saw Andrea Shea King, WorldNetDaily was pretending she was a reporter. WND has brought her back in a more honest role as a commentator in an Obama-bashing, Jerome Corsi-defending Aug. 19 WND column. She's particularly impressed by Corsi's "nearly 700 footnotes."

But look at the tag line at the end: "This column was commissioned by the Western Journalism Center."

The WJC, if you'll recall, was co-founded by WND chief Joseph Farah in the early 1990s (with a hefty chunk of Scaife money) with the purpose of attacking the Clinton administration; when Bill Clinton left office, the WJC went dormant. Farah created WND as a project of the WJC, and we can presume that the WJC still possesses a piece of WND.

We presume that the WJC is currently run by James H. Smith, co-founder along with Farah and publisher of the Sacramento Union when Farah served as editor (and did his part to help kill it). When several staffers were laid off from a revival of the Union in 2005 (shortly before Smith himself was ousted), it was noted that "at least one laid-off staffer has gone next door to a job at the Western Journalism Center." So it has seemingly been doing something, even if its website is empty is useless.

It is rather curious that after eight years of effective dormancy, the WJC is springing to life just as a Democrat is mounting a serious claim to the presidency -- which would seem to put the lie to Farah's claim that "[t]he center's mission was not ideological." 

WND needs to explain its current relationship with the WJC -- specifically, how much of WND the WJC still owns. And the WJC needs to admit the truth about itself. With websites like Talking Points Memo and ProPublica demonstrating how freelance investigative reporting really operates, will the WJC abandon its shaky pretense of being an "investigative reporting" organization and finally admit to being a right-wing pressure group like all the others?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT

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