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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Will WND Report On Censorship By College Farah's Child Attends?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Farris, near as we can tell, is a close friend of WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah. Farris is a homeschooling activist  Farris was a columnist for WND at one time, when Farah called him "one of the top legal minds in the nation and a hero to the homeschooling community." Farris was a speaker at WND's "Taking Back America" conference in 2010.

Farris is also founder of Patrick Henry College, a Christian school that specializes in teaching homeschooled students. At least one of Farah's children attends the school, and she wrote a fluffy profile of Farris for WND and another one about the school itself.

What do you think the chances are that WND will report on Farris' attempt to censor news content at the school.

The local newspaper in the suburban Washington community where Patrick Henry College is located reports on Farris' disapproval of a blog called Queer at Patrick Henry College, written pseudonymously by current or former students there. The problem is that homosexuality is officially frowned upon at PHC -- it violates the school's "honor code" -- and Farris has worked to censor or shut down the blog.

First, Farris threatened the blog's writers, claiming "violation of our copyright of the name Patrick Henry College" and declaring he would take "the legal steps to seek removal from Facebook and from the courts if necessary. In the process of this matter we can seek discovery from Facebook to learn your identity and seek damages from you as permitted by law. The best thing for all concerned is for you to simply remove this page."

Given that Farris is supposed to be a constitutional lawyer -- or, in Farah's estimation, "one of the top legal minds in the nation" -- he should have known better than to issue such a clearly unenforceable and intimidating threat. As Public Citizen noted, Farris is confusing copyright with trademark, which allows bloggers to use the name of the target of their criticism to identify the pages where the criticism appears. After being contacted Farris to inquire whether he was represented by counsel, Farris quickly retracted his threat, stating, "After further consultation, I withdraw my note from yesterday. While we believe in the inappropriate nature of the use of our trademarked name, we believe that litigation is not appropriate."

However, according to the local paper, the school has blocked access to the Queer at PHC website from campus computers and from the school's wi-fi network.

You'd think WND would be interested in the fact that a college was actively trying to keep its students from accessing the website, given its own battles against web filters. But given WND's longstanding support for Farris and hatred of gays, this is one act of censorship Joseph Farah can wholeheartedly support.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 AM EST

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