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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Farah Can't Handle Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we found out, Joseph Farah is desperate to disparage and discredit any and all criticism of WorldNetDaily.

Farah's latest target, as detailed in his Nov. 25 column: Kevin Hulten, a blogger for a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin. Writing about someone who forwarded a Nov. 11 WND article by Bob Unruh about how "members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization" interrupted a church service in Michigan, Hulten stated: "The mere fact that you reference a 'story' from a site that purports to be 'A free press for a free people' and then in the next breath complains that no news outlets have covered the purported attack should tell you that upon deeper examination that even you know that the old WorldNetDaily is not an acceptable source of information."

Of course, as we've repeatedly detailed, Hulten's basic premise is correct. But that didn't stop Farah from going off the handle. Farah called Hulten's paper (as he did with the Huffington Post, where our article on WND that incured Farah's wrath appeared) "insignificant," a "pathetic journalistic institution" and "that rag," and denigrated Hulten (as he did with us) by calling him a "simpleton" and someone "who pontificates on things he doesn't understand in between blogging about high school football games." He engaged in his usual manhood-measuring game (as he did with us), complaining that the paper's website "provides no place on its website where readers can evaluate the relative experience of its top management and staff." And he engages in his usual disingenuous defense of WND.

Farah wrote that "WND based its Nov. 11 story, written by a 30-year veteran of the Associated Press, by the way, on five separate sources and has yet to be questioned by anyone with any knowledge of the report." In fact, Unruh's account of the church protest is based solely on one person, a right-wing blogger, Nick DeLeeuw. The other sources Unruh cites -- a press release from the church, and right-wing activsts Randy Thomasson, Gary Glenn, and the Catholic League's Bill Donohue (the church in question is not Catholic) -- are commenting on the incident, not corroborating DeLeeuw's acount. Further, as we've detailed, Unruh's work for WND has produced articles so deficient in journalistic balance and ethics that they would never pass muster at his old employer, the AP.

Nowhere, however, did Farah respond to this statement by Hulten: 

This is another important sign to note when evaluating your potential media gathering sites: if investigative articles are followed by attempts to propagandize the conclusions reached in said article with the profits headed directly towards the authors, then this is not a good sign. Not good at all.

The beauty of today’s electronic age is that we all have the ability to evaluate the worth of any given form of media, and to discard it if it doesn’t live up to certain standards.

It has become extremely popular in some circles to blame the media for all the ills that society faces, especially in the political realm. I often wonder if this media spite is a backlash from partisans who are just a little pissed that certain media members uncovered a little too much dirt about their party favorites.

That said, in today’s media world, if you don’t like the point of view provided by the source you’re evaluating, then you are free to navigate your way to a provider that lines up with the way that you see the world.

But therein lies the rub: if we all surrender the middle ground in attempt to find “media” sources that line up with a certain ideology, how will we ever know what is true anymore?

That, dear reader, is why you get the Lake Stevens Journal in your mailbox every Wednesday. 

Further, contrary to Farah's claim that "I still care about truth – and fighting for it everywhere," WND has a long history of lying to and misleading its readers.

We, by the way, are linked to in Farah's column as an example of the "medium-size venues" that have criticized WND. Though WND graciously published our response to Farah at WND, he has yet to comment further on it or actually substantively rebut any specific claim we've made about WND.

Instead, Farah has apparently decided that all criticism of him and WND is not legitimate; he laments in this column that "it seems like everyone wants to take a shot at me and my news agency." Of course, Farah is not shy about passing judgment on other news organizations -- usually for daring to express an opinion about WND that is insufficiently praiseworthy.

If you dish it out, shouldn't you be able to take it? Farah demonstrates that he can't.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EST

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