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Saturday, March 10, 2012
WND Desperately Trying to Prop Up Arpaio Birther Posse Probe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As questions mount about the veracity and credibilty of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" -- with its financial and personnel links to WorldNetDaily and the principal investigators, including WND's Jerome Corsi, are trying to profit off the "investigation" by publishing an e-book about it -- WND is feverishly trying to salvage whatever credibility it might have, albeit in the contradictory fashion of making increasingly outlandish claims.

A March 7 article by Bob Unruh features a claim by Mike Zullo, lead posse investigator and Corsi's fellow cashing-in partner, that "he was told by sources members of the media were threatened with federal investigations should they continue to report on the birth certificate issue." Unruh quotes Zullo as saying, "During our investigation, we actually were told [that media] had been threatened with FTC investigations. Commentators [had been] threatened with their jobs." Unruh and Zullo, of course, offer no actual evidence to back up this claim.

That's not surprising, because it appears bogus on its face. Why would the Federal Trade Commission investigate journalists? Not only does that agency have nothing to do with regulating journalism, nobody does.

Unruh also gives Zullo to defend co-writing a book, including paraphrasing Corsi -- oddly, Unruh never quotes Corsi directly, despite being a fellow WND employee -- as having "confirmed that Zullo was very reluctant to do the book," adding that "Corsi also said he was acutely aware of the financial sacrifice Zullo made over the last six months, having to devote much of his time to the investigation."

Unruh doesn't mention that reviewers have pointed out that large chunks of the book are simply copied-and-pasted from other sources, including Corsi's own birther book of last year. That raises the question of just how much actual investigating went on.

The next day, WND published an article focusing on one of the claims made in the press conference announcing the results of the posse "investigation," that "missing records" mean that it can't be confirmed that Barack Obama wasn't born in Kenya. The posse allegedly looked at Immigration and Naturalization Service records from August 1961 for flights landing in Honolulu because "if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, or any other location outside the United States, there should be a passenger record of the airline flight on which she, a new mother, returned to Hawaii with her newly born infant son."

WND didn't mention that, as the Fogbow reported, examining only Honolulu arrivals was a useless exercise even if the records had been there:

Imigration control forms are filled out at the first USA airport where an overseas flight lands.

In 1961, the only foreign destinations reachable non-stop from east of Honolulu were Vancouver, Canada and a few small places in northern Mexico that would not have had air service to Hawaii. West of Honolulu, Pan-Am was flying non-stop from Tokyo to Honolulu; Quantas and Canadian Pacific were flying in from Sydney with a refueling stop in Fiji.

Flying from Kenya to Honolulu via Tokyo was possible but not practical as it required a number of Asian stops. A more typical trip from Kenya would be Nairobi to Cairo to London to NY or another East Coast city, then LA or San Francisco to Hawaii. It was a grueling multi-day trip. 

Then, in a March 9 article, Chelsea Schilling touts a column in, of all places, the Russian newspaper Pravda claiming that American media is “tame,” afraid to publish news and is “deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about [Obama's] defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States.”

That's right -- WND is promoting work in a publication best known as the official voice of Soviet-era propaganda to back up its birther conspiracies.

That, perhaps more than anything, demonstrates the depths of intellectual dishonesty WND must descend to keep the birther story alive. It apparently doesn't matter to WND that it instantly discredits itself by doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 12:09 AM EST

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