Looks like we've gotten someone's attention.
Phil Elmore's April 22 WorldNetDaily column was set off by our examination last week of Elmore's WND work. That's not to say it's a response, because Elmore doesn't really respond to anything in the article -- he doesn't link to the ConWebWatch article he's highlighting, nor to any other work of ours he highlights, which is a sign of the dishonesty to come.
(Funny thing is, WND has a history of this. In 2008, when we submitted a response to WND editor Joseph Farah's criticism of us, WND stripped out all the links to ConWebWatch articles that had been embedded in the original.)
Mainly, he plays the attack-the-messenger card, calling me a "troll" solely because I had the temerity to criticize his writing, offering no evidence of how that consists of "trolling" behavior. Elmore also falsely claims that I think "any opinion with which [I] disagree is automatically a 'lie.' and that I'm constantly "screaming that everyone [I don't] like is lying." In fact, I highlight actual lies as lies; Elmore offers no evidence I've ever portrayed a conservative opinion as a de facto falsehood.
Then, for some reason, Elmore goes back to a 2009 blog post I wrote for a lengthy attack regarding the use of sexual metaphors:
In a blog post entitled, “Erik Rush Discovers Gay Sex,” Krepel quotes WND columnist Erik Rush, who wrote, “Apparently, shouting at the president is objectionable, but his collectively sodomizing the American people in perpetuity is acceptable as long as it is done with a sense of decorum.” Krepel then cites a column in which Rush says, “Indeed – like the proverbial cellblock rapist, our president is ‘ramming’ as much of his Marxist agenda down our collective throats as quickly as he can.”
This, according to Krepel, is very, very mean (and homophobic). According to Krepel, this means Erik Rush is obsessed with gay sex acts. It could not possibly be, to Krepel, that the idea of your government “screwing you” is a common turn of phrase in popular culture; it could not ever be the case that Erik Rush thinks we are being force-fed Marxism by the president and that Rush is using colorful language to make that point. No, in Terry Krepel’s outraged eyes, it must be that Erik Rush has only just “discovered” gay sex.
Yet Krepel himself is obsessed with gay oral sex by his own logic. In objecting to a positive commentary on radio personality Michael Savage, Krepel refers on his blog to “fluffing,” an industry term used on pornography film shoots. Krepel also repeatedly refers to “literary fellatio” in this regard. Exactly how is this different than using the metaphorical language Erik Rush did in the column Krepel found so horribly, horribly objectionable? The answer is … that it isn’t. It isn’t different at all. Mr. Krepel is simply a hypocrite. In the world of Terry Krepel, you see, all pornographic metaphors are equal, but some pornographic metaphors are more equal than others.
Elmore seems to have missed the fact that I was pointing out that Erik Rush's use of violent sexual metaphors was of a piece with Rush Limbaugh's weird fixation on anal sex. By contrasts, my references to "fluffing" and "literary fellatio" -- to which Elmore has to go back to another 2009 ConWebWatch article -- were an apt metaphor for the situation I was describing. In it, I describe how former WND columnist Ellis Washington was using his then-position as the "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual Dr. Michael Savage" to take his Savage sycophancy to a laughable extent, likening the extreme-right radio host to Jesus Christ and Prometheus.
And therein lies the difference that Elmore fails to see: Erik Rush's sexual metaphors portray forcible acts and imply the perpetrators, like President Obama, are violent thugs; mine point out how Washington is so determined to give pleasure to his subject that it might as well be sexual.
Having exhausted his questioning of things I wrote six years ago, Elmore returns to current matters, finally offering a direct response (sort of) to something I wrote: a post in a Twitter conversation I had with Elmore in which I note that because WND is so discredited, he is discredited by extension because of his association with it. He responds not by acknowledging WND's credibility problems but, rather, by repeating WND's own PR:
Fully 18 years after its founding, certain facts remain facts no matter how many times liberal trolls like Ross and Krepel dismiss them. This site was the first Internet-only news organization. It was also the first Internet-only news site to secure credentials to cover both the White House and Capitol Hill. Among Internet content providers, it was the first to see one of its books made into a feature film, the first to launch a movie production house and the first to start a book-publishing enterprise. As for the opinions liberals hate so much, founder Joseph Farah gives the libs plenty to gnash their teeth over, grinding out an unprecedented six opinion columns per week. WND has repeatedly broken major stories that achieved mainstream attention only later. Regardless of your opinion of its articles concerning theology, alternative-science and arguable conspiracy theories, this is a news organization that has left an indelible mark on the American news landscape.
Like much of the ConWebWatch work he's belatedly criticizing, WND's "firsts" are years in the past, and as any good investor knows, past performance doesn't indicate future results. Heck, we'll even agree with Elmore that WND made some stabs at actual journalism way back when. But it's been a long time since WND was driven by anything resembling journalistic principles, so desperate has it become to destroy Obama by any means necessary.
Elmore makes sure not to mention any of that more recent and relevant WND reportage, such as its failed jihad against President Obama and the whole birther debacle. WND's "indelible mark on the American news landscape" has become that of a bad joke.
If Elmore is proud to be associated with WND, far be it from us to further try to dissuade him. But he shouldn't complain when he sees how that plays outside the WND bubble.