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Monday, August 25, 2008
Shocker: WND Debunks False Obama Rumors -- And Aaron Klein
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily article by news editor Drew Zahn about a lawsuit by Hillary Clinton supporter Philip Berg attempting to stop Barack Obama's candidacy does something unthinkable for WND It not only debunks myths about Obama's citizenship, it debunks WND's own reporting furthering those myths.

Zahn writes that "the suit claims Obama was not born an American citizen; lost any hypothetical American citizenship he had as a child ... may not now be an American citizen and even if he is, may hold dual citizenships with other countries." Where we've stuck that ellipsis resides the statement, in italics no less: "Editor's note: This point is not supported by U.S. citizenship law."

That arguably discredits Aaron Klein's suggestion in an Aug. 17 WND article that Obama was, and may still be, a citizen of Indonesia. In that article, Klein also falsely impugned Obama's patriotism, claiming that Obama's alleged dual citizenship "could raise loyalty concerns." Zahn also wrote:

Berg explained in a radio interview with Roger Hedgecock of KOGO in San Diego that Internet reports had been persistent over the last several months that Obama's birth certificate was a forgery and that he may not be an eligible, natural-born citizen. After doing his own careful research, Berg explained, he came to the conclusion the reports were more fact than rumor and that he needed to act quickly, before the election process proceeded.

"I filed this action at this time," said Berg in a press release, "to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated."

However, says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic.

This also contradicts recent WND reporting, which -- after first reporting in June that National Review blogger Jim Geraghty declared himself satisfied that Obama was born in Hawaii as he has claimed -- claimed in an Aug. 8 article that the right-wing anti-Obama site Israel Insider "is reporting that analysts working separately have determined the birth certificate posted on the Daily Kos website and later on Sen. Barack Obama's 'Fight the Smears' campaign website is fraudulent."

We can't recall a previous situation in which WND has so definitively shot down its own previous reporting -- and especially on a subject like Obama, whom WND has sworn to attack regardless of the truth of its accusations. Given Zahn's allegiance to actually living up to WND's claim of reporting the truth without sacred cows -- which runs counter to WND's reality of denigrating liberals and fluffing conservatives -- we can't imagine much of a future for Zahn at WND.

So, will WND do the right thing and publicly apologize to Obama for forwarding those false claims about him in the first place? Don't count on it -- WND has its own anti-Obama screed to peddle, and it wouldn't want to reduce sales for that.

(UPDATE: While Klein eventually concluded that "If Obama indeed possessed Indonesian citizenship as a child, it is unlikely he retains such citizenship," he didn't bother to reveal that until the second-to-last paragraph of his 24-paragraph article, which was written to negatively highlight the citizenship question and unsubstantiated "loyalty" concerns.)

Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 25, 2008 7:48 PM EDT

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