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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
WND Wants You (And the U.N.) To Think It's Not An Advocacy Organization
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Round two of WorldNetDaily's press credential battle with the United Nations is highlighted in a Nov. 30 article, which states that the U.N. has turned down WND application to cover the climate-change convention in Copenhagen. Of course, WND fudges facts along the way.

In response to the U.N.'s statement that "advocacy publications of nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations do not qualify for media accreditation," WND chief Joseph Farah starts off by being petulant (big surprise there), with the article paraphrasing him as saying that "the U.N. is grasping at straws for grounds to deny the news organization admittance to the convention – including completely bogus information about WND's structure":

In a personal response to Wuestenhagen, Farah wrote: "Time is short, so I am responding directly as the founder and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily to your complete misrepresentations as to WorldNetDaily's structure and independence as a news organization.

"WorldNetDaily is NOT, as you mistakenly assert, a for-profit subsidiary of the Western Journalism Center. Neither is it an advocacy organization, though, like all news organizations, it does publish a broad spectrum of opinion – we believe, in fact, the broadest ideological spectrum of any news organization in the world," he continued. "Neither has WorldNetDaily ever been a subsidiary of Western Journalism Center or any other organization."

Farah continued: "The website began as a project of the Western Journalism Center in 1997. In 1999, the website was spun off as a completely independent for-profit corporation with no legal connection to its former parent. That was 10 years ago. I speak authoritatively on this subject as the founder of BOTH organizations, though I, like my company, WorldNetDaily, have no connection to the Western Journalism Center today."

It's unclear to us how something that started as "a project of the Western Journalism Center" could not be considered a "subsidiary" of it. And since Farah is so secretive about WND's finances and ownership structure, it's impossible to know how much to trust Farah when he says the WJC and WND are no longer connected. Back in 2002, we did manage to badger Farah into admitting that the WJC did own part of WND at the time of the spinoff, though he refuses to name the other investors in WND (we figured out a few of them).

Farah's claim that WND is not an "advocacy organization," however, is just laughable. Just because WND is a for-profit operation doesn't mean it doesn't advocate -- it does. More to the point, WND advocates against the very organization from which it demands press credentials. Death to the U.N., anyone?

At no point does Farah explain why he wants press credentials from a organization whose legitimacy he questions and which he wants to see destroyed. Instead, he descends into smears and crazy talk:

"I vow that we will pursue all legal options to ensure that the free press is respected by these unaccountable global institutions," said Farah.

Farah said WND is the largest independent English-language Internet news organization in the world.

"If WND is not permitted to cover a global event of this magnitude, the rights of all news organizations are threatened in the New World Order organizers hope to establish in Copenhagen," Farah said.

Apparently, Farah doesn't want the U.N. to die just yet -- at least not until he can browbeat and threaten them into giving him a press credential.

UPDATE: Farah repeats many of the same claims in his Dec. 2 column, but he again fails to explain why he's demanding press credentials from an organization he wants to destroy. He also laughably suggests that WND is an "impartial witness" to the U.N.'s "shenannigans."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:55 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 12:04 PM EST

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