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Sunday, October 25, 2009
WND Scaremongers About Swine Flu Emergency Order
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As expected given its previous freak-outs on the subject, WorldNetDaily's first instinct after President Obama's declaration of a national emergency over the H1N1 flu virus was to fearmonger.

The subhead of WND's Oct. 24 article by Drew Zahn reads, "Is president's proclamation formality, or institution of Obama martial law?" Zahn then offered the possibility that "the Obama administration might use the declared emergency to suddenly expand government power," citing a writer for InfoWars -- not explaining that InfoWars is affiliated with conspiracy-monger extrordinare Alex Jones. Zahn also cited "a WND reader in an e-mail" who allegedly wrote, "Here we go with martial law" (remember, WND loves anonymous sources). Zahn framed these as "rumors" that were "quick to flame" because the news media offered "little explanation" about what the emergency declaration meant.

Zahn curiously doesn't completely dismiss the InfoWars assertion that "we may witness a move toward martial law, forced vaccination and internment of those who refuse," and indeed suggests that it's a realistic possiblity. It's not until the seventh paragraph that Zahn finally breaks away from the fearmongering:

But even if there really is a plot to manipulate the H1N1 virus scare into enforcing a sweeping expansion of federal power, today's "national emergency" falls far short of martial law.

In fact, the laws enacted by the president's proclamation do little more than clear administrative hurdles for quicker processing of Medicare payments, and the very provisions of the National Emergencies Act that the president cited in his proclamation actually limit the power his administration can take.

Why didn't Zahn lead with that instead of indulging in fearmongering and media-bashing accusations? Because fearmongering is what WND has historically done on the swine flu.

WND has embraced the views of muckraking writer Wayne Madsen on the subject, even though has a historty of making wild, discredited claims. WND has also accused Obama of "trying to cause a panic over a possible H1N1 virus" in order to "create enough fear that the American public will acquiesce to the passage of Obamacare."

That little conspiracy theory went unmentioned in Zahn's article, but don't doubt that it will resurface with Obama's emergency declaration. After all, WND readers eat that stuff up -- WND's poll of the day on the declaration features 25 percent of respondents saying, "I don't care what anyone says, I'm concerned this is the beginning of martial law."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:18 AM EDT

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