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Monday, October 15, 2012
Even Birthers Aren't Buying WND's Obama Ring Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi has managed to write something that even birthers are skeptical about.

We've noted the craziness of Corsi's claim that blurry, blown-up photos prove that a ring Obama has worn reads "There is no god except Allah." Turns out we're not the only ones.

The Birther Report blog (aka Obama Release Your Records) cited a "prominent computer software and graphics expert" who says that the claim by Corsi, via Obama-hating filmmaker Joel Gilbert, is a "major hoax," that Gilbert's images were Photoshopped, and that a high-resolution image of Obama's ring shows that it has no Arabic symbols on it.

That prompted Corsi to pen a follow-up article responding to the Birther Report's then-unnamed expert having Gilbert insisting that he "made no alteration whatsoever" to the pattern on the ring. Corsi made no mention of the high-resolution image.

In response to that, the Birther Report named its "expert" -- turns out it's none other than Mara Zebest, a birther who made a supporting appearance alongside Corsi last year at WND's press conference announcing its defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine (recently booted out of court). In a June 2011 article, Corsi touted Zebest as "a nationally recognized computer expert who has served as contributing author and technical editor for more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software."

Corsi has not addressed the issue at WND since the Birther Report's "expert" was revealed to be Zebest. 

This isn't the only instance of right-wingers backing away from Corsi's ring claim:

  • A Free Republic thread on Corsi's article is filled with detractors, one of whom wrote, "there is a reason why WND is known (even here) as 'World Nut Daily.'" 
  • Richard Bartholomew notes that anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller, who initially blogged in support of Corsi's article, apparently deleted that post without explanation.

Meanwhile, Corsi's boss, WND editor Joseph Farah, was wondering (as he's prone to do) why nobody else was covering Corsi's big scoop:

Would you consider this to be a rather explosive story weeks before the presidential election?

I would, too.

But the abject lack of curiosity by the media – both establishment and alternative – is, shall we say, somewhat stunning.

That’s not to say the public isn’t fascinated. In fact, the story is off the charts in terms of readership. More people read the story and viewed the images and analysis in the first few hours of its release than watch CNN in the same time period.

Yet it is another of those stories about which we cannot speak – at least insofar as the self-appointed information cops have determined.


I don’t know about you, but I think this is an important story – maybe one of the biggest of the presidential election year. That it had to wait so long to be told reflects the inherent mystery still surrounding the man in the White House and a hapless press just too afraid to go certain places in the pursuit of the truth.

Farah appears not to have considered the possibility that nobody else is reporting the story becuase it isn't true.

When can we expect a correction and apology from Corsi and Farah about this? Our impression of that answer is here.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT

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