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Saturday, November 21, 2009
Joseph Farah Thin Skin Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah continues to demonstrate his inability to handle criticism in a Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column, in which he lashes out at liberal writer Max Blumenthal.

Blumenthal had written in a blog item at Huffington Post noting that Sarah Palin, in a speech earlier this month, "cited an urban legend as a 'disturbing trend,' claiming the Treasury Department had moved the phrase 'In God We Trust' from presidential dollar coins. (The rumor most likely originated with a 2006 story on the far-right website WorldNetDaily.)" Farah promptly took umbrage:

Actually, it wasn't "a rumor." It was, what we call in the news business, a fact.

A year later, Congress, alerted to the plan by the original WND story, stopped the plan dead in its tracks, as WND also reported.

That doesn't constitute an "urban legend." That constitutes reporting that led to a policy change.

But Farah appears to be deliberately misinterpreting the claim. It's clear from the context of Blumenthal's blog post (and the Politico article he cites in support of the claim) that Palin portrayed the moving of "In God We Trust" on the presidential series of dollar coins from the face or tail of the coin to the edge as something that is happening right now, rather than something that was proposed and later rejected. That false portrayal is the "urban legend" Blumenthal is referencing. Further, Blumenthal points that out: "In fact, a suggested alteration in its position on the coin was shot down in 2007 after pressure from Democratic Senator Robert Byrd."

Farah fails to mention Blumenthal's additional reporting, nor does he offer any evidence that WND played any significant role in the policy change.

But never mind that -- Farah's in a mood to trash anyone who doesn't praise WND, with all the maturity we've come to expect from him. He repeatedly calls the Huffington Post "the Huffington Puffington Post," smears it as a "pseudo-news organization," and takes a gratuitious swipe at "Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann at MSLSD." He further sneers that this is a "case of political activists posing as journalists calling real journalists political activists."

Really? Is Farah really claiming that the writers in his employ who have peddled lies and hate are "real journalists"? 

Farah wasn't done peddling his delusions. He went on to insist:

WND can truthfully boast it carries the widest ideological spectrum of political commentary anywhere on the Internet or in any newspaper or, for that matter, in any news-opinion forum.

It's true that WND carries noted conservative columnists such as Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan and David Limbaugh. But, unlike the Huffington Puffington Post or any other online or offline publication, it also carries noted liberals such as Bill Press and Nat Hentoff and Ellen Ratner.

Is that "far right"? Or is that "fair and balanced"?

What Farah won't admit in public: This balance he claims is mere window dressing. Bill Press and Ellen Rather are the only liberals appearing among the 50 or so weekly columnists WND currently claims. They are permitted solely so Farah can make this claim. All the rest are conservative, libertarian (Nat Hentoff is a civil libertarian who is anti-abortion, not a liberal) or conservative Christian.

On any given day, liberal opinions by WND columnists are outnumbered at least 7-to-1 by conservative ones. That's not "fair and balanced."

Yet Farah goes on to claim, "I'm not afraid of other viewpoints." Oh, please.

WND is a joke, and Farah's refusal to concede the obvious makes it even more of a joke.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 23, 2009 8:38 PM EST

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