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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
WND Paints Parents As Victim, Glosses Over Abuse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh claims that an hours-old baby "was snatched from her parents by authorities in Concord, N.H., after social services workers alleged the father is a member of Oath Keepers." Unruh continues:

The father, Johnathon Irish, told WND that the affidavit signed by Child Protective Service worker Dana Bicford seeking government custody of newborn Cheyenne said the agency "became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the 'Oath Keepers.'"

Irish, in an interview with WND, said officers and other social services workers ordered him to stand with his hands behind his back, frisked him and then took his daughter from him and his fiancé at Concord Hospital where the baby had been born.

The facts show, however, that this isn't exactly the case. The Manchester Union Leader reports that there's much more to this story:

In court paperwork, the state alleges the health and safety of the infant, named Cheyenne, was in "imminent danger" if she was left with her parents because of "a lengthy history of domestic violence" between them.


DCYF asked for the case to be moved from family court in Concord to the family court in Dover, citing that court's familiarity with the family involved.
Their battle with DCYF dates back to January of last year, Taylor said, when the state welfare agency took her other two children, boys who are now 2 and 3, for alleged abuse and neglect.

The boys currently live with a foster family, and Irish said he was told baby Cheyenne will go to live with the same family for now.

DCYF is legally prohibited from discussing child welfare cases. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said it can't even confirm a child was taken into custody at Concord Hospital.

But Concord police Lt. Keith Mitchell confirmed officers from his department were asked by both DCYF and Concord Hospital security to "stand by" during a "custody issue" on Thursday and again yesterday.

"We were there just to keep the peace, to make sure there were no issues between the parties involved," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said there are no criminal charges pending in the case from his department.

[Mother Stephanie] Taylor said she is seeking a divorce from her sons' father, who lives in Seabrook. But because she is still married to him, DCYF considers her husband to be the "legal father" of baby Cheyenne, according to the affidavit.


In its affidavit, DCYF cites "significant mental health and safety concerns" involving "all parents" that remain unaddressed. It also states that a termination of parental rights hearing was held on Sept. 14 in Rochester Family Court involving Taylor's other two children; a decision is pending.

DCYF says Taylor "has failed to recognize the impact of domestic violence in her life and the potential danger it poses to a newborn baby."

And it states that Irish "has not acknowledged any responsibility to date and remains a significant safety risk to an infant in his care."

The agency concluded that "the infant's health and safety is in imminent danger if left in the care of" either Taylor or Irish.

The Union Leader also notes that the DCYF also noted Irish's purchase of "several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and Taser."

Unruh doesn't mention Irish's cache of weapons, let alone explain why he feels the need to have a Taser. Unruh also doesn't mention the name of the infant's mother.

Most disturbingly, Unruh plays down the abuse allegations, uncritically repeating Irish's claim that it presumably "pertained to an incident weeks earlier in which one of his fiance's older sons allegedly was struck by a babysitter."

WND has a sad history of burying the background of abusive parents who serve as symbols of WND's far-right agenda. As we've detailed, WND -- based on reporting by Unruh -- promoted a family as role models for homeschooling while burying the family's history of a controlling and abusive father (who wouldn't even allow his children to have birth certificates), a meek and acquiescent mother, sexual abuse by a family friend, deplorable living conditions, and a substandard homeschool education.

A follow-up Oct. 11 article by Unruh concedes in the first paragraph that this is an "abuse case" -- but then never mentions it again, trying to change the subject by making the Oath Keepers mention the issue, not the abuse. Unruh does note Irish's weapons cache this time but offers no explanation of why Irish needs a Taser.

Unruh also quotes the local Oath Keepers guy as calling for a "peaceful gathering in support of both the due process rights of the parents," but he doesn't mention that the day after the baby was taken, the FBI reported threats against the hospital where the baby was born.

Face it: Condoning child abuse is just something WorldNetDaily does. Is that because many of its staffers, Unruh included, homeschool their children?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 AM EDT

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