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Thursday, January 28, 2010
Paranoid Farah Whines About LA Times Story on WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Is there a more thin-skinned and paranoid head of a supposedly major "news" organization right now than Joseph Farah? We don't think so.

A Los Angeles Times profile of Farah and WorldNetDaily revealed that Farah "believes his life is in danger because of his occupation," and that he "agreed to sit down at a Starbucks in northern Virginia" for an interview "as long as the name of the town wasn't given." It accurately points out that he "runs a must-read website for anyone who hates Barack Obama," and notes that Farah claims that "Revenue is on track to hit $10 million annually," adding that this "comes in no small part from the storehouse of 'birther' T-shirts, books, DVDs and postcards for sale in his virtual 'superstore.'" (Which confirms what we suspected.)

The Times piece is a generally balanced account of WND. But Farah doesn't agree -- he spent his Jan. 27 WND column ranting about it.

He asserts that the original version of this article was "fair and unbiased." How would he know? The only way he would is if the original author, Peter Wallsten (whom Farah described as an "honest reporter"), allowed Farah to see it and sign off on it -- which would be a serious violation of journalistic ethics on Wallsten's part. Reporters aren't supposed to submit their stories to their sources for approval. Wallsten presumably knows that -- and Farah, as a self-proclaimed journalist himself, should know too. He should also know better than to not put reporters in the position of showing him what they've written about him so he can sign off on it, since we can't imagine he would let, say, President Obama sign off on WND's anti-Obama screeds.

Farah goes on to claim that "the editors at the L.A. Times looked over the story and determined it made me look responsible, eclectic, maybe even, God forbid, likable. So they turned the story over to another reporter." Again, Farah offers no evidence of this.

Farah then asserts that the reporter who was added to the story after Wallsten left the Times introduced "errors" into the story "with an eye toward making me look like some kind of irresponsible, opportunistic monster." But Farah doth protest too much, as he's prone to do.

At the top of his list: a descripton of WND as "serving up a mix of reporting and wild speculation." Farah complains that no examples are offered. Let's see ... how about the fact-free speculation by Farah and others that Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" refers to the creation of a Nazi/Marxist police force.

Farah is also upset by the article's claim that "The topic it pursues with tireless zeal, though, is the claim that Obama was born not in Honolulu but in Africa, and is therefore ineligible to be president." Farah responds: "Of course, actual readers of WND know that no allegation of an Obama foreign birth has ever been made by me or any other reporter in WND. I'm not even sure if any commentator has ever made that claim." As we've detailed the last time he asserted this, Farah is lying.

Farah also engaged in his usual denigration of his critics, describing THe Next Right's Jon Henke -- who has advocated an advertiser boycott of WND -- as "a little blogger and 'Republican strategist' no one ever heard of until he started criticizing me and WND." Farah has previously denigrated Henke for criticizing WND.

Farah then asserts that the article claims that WND believes "Obama would support concentration-camp-style detention centers for his political opponents" and would "build his own personal authoritarian civilian security force." But those direct quotes aren't in the article, at least how it currently appears on the Times website; rather, it states: "It was WorldNetDaily writers who suggested that congressional Democrats sought to build disaster-relief centers that could be used as Nazi-style concentration camps for political dissidents, and that Obama aims to build his own personal totalitarian civilian security force." Which, as noted above, is absolutely true.

Farah closes by whining that the Times "assigned another reporter to give it the right slant – or should I say the left slant?" Like Farah would know a "fair and unbiased" story if he saw one -- they certainly don't exist in any significant number on his own website.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 AM EST

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