For most of the day on July 30, WorldNetDaily carried on its front page the headline "WND labeled racist by AFP":
But the AFP article to which WND links does no such thing:
WASHINGTON — A small group of fringe conservatives, many fundamentally opposed to the notion of an African-American as president, are challenging President Barack Obama's eligibility for the US presidency.
On blogs and even before US courts, the so-called "Birthers" are using the Constitution, with its stipulation that presidents be US natural born citizens, to argue Obama should not be in the White House.
Despite proof that Obama was born in the US state of Hawaii, including a birth certificate affirming that fact, rumors continue to spread, fueled by a group that critics say includes right-wing militants, racists and Holocaust deniers.
"These are people who are fundamentally either racist or extreme right-wingers. That's where the whole movement is coming from," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which studies extremist groups.
The movement is composed of "people who very much do not want Barack Obama to be president, largely because he is black, certainly because he is liberal," he added.
On sites like WorldNetDaily.com, where a petition questioning Obama's place of birth has attracted more than 400,000 electronic "signatories," the so-called Birthers are daily raising "new doubts about the story of Obama's birth."
While AFP correctly points out that there are those in the birther movement who are opposed to a black man in the White House, at no point does the article specifically assert that WND has a racist intent, let alone "label" WND as "racist," as the WND headline asserts.
To the contrary, WND has generally avoided any overtly racist implications in its birther crusade, to the point of refusing to acknowledge that some of its fellow compatriots are racists. But as the leader in the birther movement, WND's silence and apparent ends-justify-the-means attitude runs the risk of effectively condoning racism as a legitimate argument against Obama's presidency.
Instead of playing the victim by hurling false accusations, WND should confront the issue in a direct and honest manner by explicitly denouncing the racists in the birther ranks.