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Saturday, July 21, 2012
Conspiracist Farah Hates Being Exposed As A Conspiracist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there's anything Joseph Farah likes less than legitimate criticism of him and his website -- about which he's notoriously thin-skinned -- it's being exposed for the conspracist he is.

That explains Farah's July 18 WorldNetDaily column, in which he has a fit over an Arizona TV station highlighting the manipulation WND engaged in to get Arizona officials involved in his birther crusade. As we've seen him do before, Farah nit-picks minor errors, issues narrowly crafted and less-than-true denials, and personally attacks the reporter making the charges, all in an attempt to distract from the larger questions regarding his and WND's behavior that Farah has steadfastly refused to answer.

The gist of the TV station's report is that both WND and Tom Ballantyne, whom the station described as "a wealthy conspiracy theory peddler," made presentations before the Surprise Tea Party, an Arizona group,  after which members of thegroup sent "a barrage of emails" to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett -- who also happens to be Mitt Romney's campaign co-chairman in Arizona -- that prompted him to investigate President Obama's birth certificate.

Farah seized upon a minor error by reporter Morgan Loew to attack the reporter and make a less-than-factual denial:

For instance, Loew demands to know if Bennett “knew Ballantyne and Corsi were employees and/or contributors to publications owned by Joseph Farrah (sic).” Since I have had nothing to do with the Western Journalism Center since 1999, when I left to found WND as a for-profit entity, the premise of the question is not even true. I never owned Western Journalism Center, as it has always been a tax-exempt, nonprofit charity.

Farah is misleading. While technically correct about the nonprofit status of the WJC and the fact he doesn't currently run it, so far as we know (Loew did accurately state elsewhere in the article that Farah founded both WJC and WND), Farah is being disingenuous about his relationship with the group. WND was founded in 1997 as a division of the WJC, and as he previously admitted, the WJC continued to own part of WND as recently as 2002 (and likely later), three years after he said he had "nothing to do" with the WJC. It's unclear how much, if any, of WND the WJC currently owns -- Farah is notoriously tight-lipped about the money that backs him (though we've tried to figure it out).

Further, WND continues to have a relationship with WJC. It publishes columns by the group's current leader, Floyd Brown, and it collaborated with the WJC on a falsehood-ridden anti-Obama book in 2010.

While Farah may not personally be currently involved in running the WJC, there is indisputably a relationship between these two organizations he founded, and Farah really should stop playing games in obscuring the nature of that relationship.

Farah also complains:

He demands to know whether Bennett “thinks he was manipulated by Farrah (sic) and his followers to take state action on the issue.” Since I have never met Bennett, written to him, phoned him or spoken to him, I would suggest the answer to that loaded question is “no.”

That's a suspicioiusly specific denial. Farah doesn't answer the question of whether any of his WND employees, such as Jerome Corsi, contacted Bennett, or whether he directed Corsi or others to do so.

Farah makes a strange complaint about Loew's description of Ballantyne as "a wealthy conspiracy theory peddler," retorting that "the story never explains how wealthy he is or how he may have accumulated his wealth." That sounds like Farah knows exactly how wealthy Ballantyne is and how he may have accumulated his wealth, and has decided to be a jerk about it. WND, after all, has promoted Ballantyne's birther activism, so it's unlikely that Farah doesn't know who he is.

Finally, Farah tries to belittle Loew in a way that makes it seem he's talking about himself:

Here’s a guy painting broad conspiracies to explain what turns out to be an inconsequential event without even knowing how to spell some of the participants’ names, while labeling others he has never met nor talked to as “conspiracy peddlers.”

Hasn't WND's entire birther crusade been all about blowing up inconsequential events into broad conspiracies? Yeah, pretty much.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT

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