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Sunday, November 1, 2009
Joseph Farah's Petulance
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's Oct. 31 WorldNetDaily column is another whine-fest about how the rest of the media is being mean to WND over the birther issue, and this time he's issuing threats:

I believe I have been far too kind to my colleagues in the rest of the media.

I have been playing Mr. Nice Guy.

Well, Mr. Nice Guy has been around this business for 30 years and knows where a lot of bodies are buried.

And if I have to redirect some of my attention toward reporting on the media, I will do it.

Consider that a warning.

Consider this a shot across the bow.

Uh, when has Farah ever been nice?

Well, to people who hold his same far-right views, sure -- see WND's Orly Taitz protection racket. But this is a man who condones the murder of adulterers and advocates censorship through the return of the Hollywood blacklist. As we've detailed, Farah in 2004 described John Kerry as "a privileged rich boy," "traitorous," "rotten to the core," and, of course, "truly dangerous ... truly contemptuous ... truly egomaniacal ... truly without character ... truly transparent as a political huckster and charlatan." Oh, and he called an Obama White House adviser "toga head."

This is "Mr. Nice Guy"?

What set Farah off this time was Bill O'Reilly talking about birthers:

There was pompous old Bill O'Reilly again this week attacking one of his favorite targets – "birthers."

He had two guests on with him – neither one cognizant of the facts surrounding the Barack Obama eligibility questions. Both of them happily nodded in agreement to most of the tripe emanating from O'Reilly's big, ill-informed mouth.

Night after night, show after show, network after network this goes on.

This is journalism?

Whatever happened to "fair and balanced"?

Whatever happened to getting other points of view?

Whatever happened to the idea of interviewing those with whom you disagree?

Whatever happened to the notion of representing honestly the opinions of others?

I'm getting flat-out sick of it.

Really? If so, Farah might want to keep his reporters and columnists (and himself) from engaging in those very same behaviors. As we've detailed, WND's articles are not "fair and balanced," and its reporters frequently do not gather other points of view. Nor does it honestly represent the opinions of others, as, John Holdren and Chai Feldblum, among others, know all too well.

Needless to say,  a few paragraphs after he whines about "representing honestly the opinions of others," Farah misrepresents facts, complaining that "Not one of these cable networks, let alone the Associated Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times or the major networks, has reported the significance of the fact that Michelle Obama admitted her mother-in-law gave birth out of wedlock." But that's not what she did -- An Oct. 27 WND article by Aaron Klein dug up a quote of Michelle Obama saying "during a July 2008 round table at the University of Missouri" that Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, "was very young and very single when she had him." That's not the admission Obama was born "out of wedlock" Farah portrays it as or even "contradicted previous claims President Obama made about the circumstances of his birth,": as Klein writes, since it could also describe that Dunham was estranged from her husband at the time. Farah and Klein have simply chosen to interpret it that way. 

Farah seems to be oblivious to the fact that petulant screeds like this and sloppy, biased reporting -- on top of Farah's inability to handle criticism -- are precisely the reason why WND isn't treated with respect, nor does he seem to realize that there are other reasons as well, such as repeatedly reporting lies as fact.

Then again, maybe Farah does know this, and refuses to acknowledge it publicly for fear of becoming even more discredited. Either way, it's not a way to earn the respect he so desperately craves.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 1, 2009 10:57 AM EDT

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