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Sunday, September 13, 2009
WND Fails to Fully Retract Another False Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted how, in April 2008, WorldNetDaily published an article about a 13-year-old Texas girl who claimed she was beaten over a sign she made for a history class calling for an end to illegal immigration remains on its website uncorrected, despite the fact that WND published another article the next day pointing out that the girl fabricated the story.

Well, the WND brand of incomplete retraction of false claims has reared its ugly head again.

On Aug. 29, WND published an article about Heather Lawrence, a "16-year-old Junior ROTC member" who "saw a teachable moment and took it" when, she claimed, she saw a fellow student wearing a hijab "refusing to participate" in the Pledge of Allegiance. "Take that thing off your head and act like you're proud to be an American," Lawrence said she told her.Lawrence then claimed she was "suspended for five days" from school over the incident.

The problem? It's mostly not true. As the St. Petersburg Times reported on Aug. 31, Lawrence did indeed mouth off to the Muslim girl, but she fabricated that part of the story that she claimed to have seen the girl not take part in the Pledge of Allegiance. An investigation turned out that Larence never left her homeroom and, according to the school principal, "could not have seen what she said she saw."

WND was a little slow to pick up on this. It was not until late on Sept. 1 that WND ran an article relating the St. Petersburg paper's account -- taking care not to mention the Muslilm girl's status as an innocent victim but making sure to relate Lawrence's father's assertion that he still believes his daughter.

But WND's original Aug. 29 article has not been updated to indicate that Lawrence's story is bogus. Thus, anyone who reads that article has no idea that Lawrence's claim has been completely discredited.

Such insufficient effort to correct a false claim is, sadly, emblematic of WND's cavalier indifference to the truth. It apparently sees nothing wrong with publishing false claims that it makes no effort to correct -- and it typically won't do so unless threatened with a libel suit. Just ask Clark Jones.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EDT

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