WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian uses a March 23 column to attempt to justify a story that increasingly appears to have no journalistic justification.
Kupelian began by asserting that "Earlier this month, WND broke the sensational story in which Art Robinson – the noted scientist who challenged Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio for Oregon's 4th District congressional seat in November – alleged some extraordinarily nasty post-election political retribution was underway against his children." If by "broke the sensational story" Kupelian actually means "published a column by Robinson filled with unsubstantiated accusations," then sure.
Kupelian proceeds to slobber all over Robinson and his family, even rehashing his previous praise of Robinson's self-created homeschool curriculum -- which, as we've detailed, is heavily dependent upon public-domain works, in particular the racist, imperialist adventure novels of 19th century author G.A. Henty. Needless to say, Kupelian doesn't touch that issue.
Then, surprisingly, Kupelian concedes there's no real substance to the story:
You may understandably be thinking: I'm sympathetic to the Robinsons – IF all this stuff is true. But how do I know it's true? So far the story is a big "he said-he said" with no definitive proof. Fair enough.
Of course, Kupelian would never publicly admit such a thing if he didn't have a plan to weasel out of it, and he does try to do exactly that, mostly with more he-said, she-said accusations. He does, however, add this:
Why would a university claim it can't answer questions from the press about a student due to laws protecting that student's privacy, but then when the press obtains the required waiver, continue to stonewall?
That's right. In its March 7 "Statement Regarding Internet Postings By Art Robinson," OSU's public relations department declared: "Federal law prohibits institutions of higher education from discussing matters concerning our students with anyone other than the student himself or herself without the express consent of the student involved."
Fine. The next day WND obtained "express consent of the student involved" in the form of a formal waiver from Joshua Robinson, explicitly permitting the university to talk to us about him and share documents related to his case.
But when presented with Joshua's release permitting OSU to talk to us, university spokesman Todd Simmons replied to WND editor Art Moore saying the release was "ridiculous" and refused to provide any more information than before we obtained and presented the release.
The problem is that Kupelian wants you to think WND is acting as some kind of neutral arbitrator or an actual news operation in this case. It's not -- it's a partisan political operation and, in this particular case, the press agent for Art Robinson who cares only about his story, not what the university has to say.
As we detailed, WND published Robinson's unsubstantiated column, then waited almost an entire day before working up the energy to publish Oregon State's response. Kupelian doesn't care about the truth -- he only cares about helping Art Robinson grind his ax.
A news operation that actually cared about journalism would not be taking sides the way WND has with Art Robinson. Kupelian is lying when he pretends otherwise.