Here's a recent example from the State, a daily in Columbia, S.C.: "The so-called 'birther movement' has questioned the president's citizenship, claiming Obama's birth certificate, issued by the state of Hawaii is a fake."
The paper uses the derisive term "birther movement," the appellation of choice by those who ridicule the curious constitutionalists. The paper suggests the focus of this movement representing 58 percent of the American people, according to the latest CNN poll, is "citizenship," when it is actually "natural born citizenship." The paper suggests a birth certificate has been produced by the state of Hawaii when it hasn't been. And the paper suggests the primary dispute is over whether this unseen document is a fake.
This is but one of hundreds of examples of this kind of distorted press coverage by news agencies big and small all making assertions that are untrue and contemptuous.
This pattern raises two questions in my mind:
- Why don't any of these news sources – newspapers, wire services and television networks – bother to talk to anyone from this "movement"?
- From where do they get their information, their impressions, their "facts"?
I have practiced the profession of journalism for 35 years. I've never done anything else since becoming an adult. I have literally done everything you can do in the world of daily journalism, from reporting to running major market newspapers. It was always my impression that we were supposed to interview the people we wrote about. But, in the case of the so-called "birthers," or, as I like to put it, the "curious constitutionalists," it seems to be fair game to stereotype their beliefs with broad brush treatment and, most importantly, never to talk to them.
Farah, as always, is being disingenuous. He knows darn well that one significant component of the birther movement is citizenship; it's only been in recent months that he has changed the focus of his jihad from citizenship to "eligibility."Even Farah isn't so stupid to claim WND has never questioned Obama's citizenship and the authenticity of the birth certificate the Obama campaign released, because it has.
Farah's complaint that birthers like him are never contacted for media interviews is also disingenuous. It's not like anyone is barred from reading WND's articles on the issue -- it even conveniently puts them into one place. Plus, telling both sides of the story is not exactly a journalistic virtue WND is known for.
Nevertheless, Farah trudges on:
One mischaracterization leads to another. One factual error leads to another. One derisive term leads to another.
This is actually counterfeit journalism – with each new story on a subject deriving its assertions of "fact" from another.
Farah and WND know all about publishing factual errors, don't they?