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Friday, September 16, 2011
WND's Farah Still Can't Take Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You'd think that after all these years working in the media, Joseph Farah wouldn't be so thin-skinned about criticism. But he is, with all the petulance we've come to expect from him.

In a Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column even he admits he's "probably better off not writing," Farah takes radio host Michael Medved to task for criticizing WND on his show ... in May. Farah only caught it last week, when the show was rebroadcast. Farah takes his usual potshots, noting that Medved once "toiled for the site as a weekly columnist – a position from which he was terminated for lack of interest by the public" and that "years after, Medved called both me and my wife, Elizabeth, to tell us, in his words, that I was the most ethical businessman he had ever worked with in his life."

Conspicuously missing from Farah's column is any direct quote of anything Medved said -- it's all paraphrase except for a single word, Medved's use of "WorldNutDaily." That evasion gives Farah license to set up straw men of Medved that he can easily knock down.

Farah then writes, "Everybody in show business or promoting a book needs a gimmick – even if it means ad hominem attacks and name-calling." You know, just like Farah.

But Farah wasn't done bashing his critics. He demonstrated he can hold a grudge for a needlessly long period of time on his Sept. 14 column, in which takes glee in how a the life of former critic has turned out more than a decade after said criticism was made.

In a 1999 column about right-wing attempts -- led by Farah -- to downplay the death of Matthew Shepard by bringing up Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old boy who died as a result of sexual abuse at the hands of two homosexuals, Then-Washington Post columnist E.R. Shipp pointed out that the Post gave more coverage to Shepard's death because it "parked public expressions of outrage that themselves became news. That Jesse Dirkhising’s death has not done so is hardly the fault of The Washington Post," adding that "those who are inclined to believe the David Dukes, Joseph Farahs and Tim Grahams of the world – who have asserted that the story has been suppressed so that homosexuals won't be portrayed negatively – will not be satisfied."

Farah is still raging over that comparison:

To this day, I still don't know who Tim Graham is, but I do know who David Duke is. I didn't like the implication that association made then, and I don't like it any better today. Shipp, whose claim to fame is winning a Pulitzer Prize for commentary while with the New York Times, knows that association with David Duke is the coward's way of calling someone a bigot, a racist, a Ku Klux Klansman.

(Really? Farah is completely unfamiliar with one of the leading figures in right-wing media criticism? Or does Farah have a petty grudge against too?)

Needless to say, this all leads up to mean-spirited potshots against Shipp and what she has done since leaving the Post:

For a few years, Shipp served as a professor of journalism at Hofstra University.

You can see just how popular she was among her students.

Here are a few of the more polite and printable adjectives students used to describe her classroom demeanor: rude, condescending, belittling, unprofessional, unhappy, nasty, awful, horrible, terrible, arrogant.

Some also described her as the "worst teacher ever." One said he was "shocked that anyone would hire her." Another said she "learned nothing" in the class, while another student described the experience of taking her class as a "waste of money." There was not a single favorable comment on this faculty rating site. Not one – not even a neutral characterization.

She left Hofstra in 2008 for whereabouts unknown.

Farah also dips his toe into the Shepard revisionism pool, claiming he was killed "apparently by monsters who knew nothing about his sexual proclivities." That's the story one of the killers wants you believe now, in contradiction of all the evidence indicating otherwise, like his gay-panic defense during his murder trial.

Farah doesn't explain how Shipp's purported fate is somehow worse than his own -- doomed to fleece his readers by running a truth-challenged, conspiracy-obsessed website.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 AM EDT

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