Pissing off its own readers by not doing so, however, has finally motivated WND to act. Sort of.
In the wake of WND editort Joseph Farah's endorsement of Cruz -- and his complete refusal to mention Cruz's eligibility issues in the process -- comes an unbylined March 8 article which admits there were "thousands" of comments sent WND's way over the endorsement, and "most, by far, focused on – Ted Cruz’s eligibility." (Curiously, eligibility didn't make the article's headline, which mentions only "Trump supporters" being critical of the endorsement.)
WND didn't explain why birther king Farah didn't mention Cruz's eligibility issues in his endorsement, but it did finally concede the existence of a 2013 column in which Farah doubted that Cruz was eligible. And then it let Farah spin away:
In fact, WND has carried numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz, Rubio and others. Farah, ever at the tip of the spear on a news issue, wrote more than two years ago that he wasn’t sure, but suspected Cruz was not eligible, “at least not by my understanding of what the founders had in mind when they ratified the Constitution.”
But he was pointing out the double standard of the legacy media, which steadfastly refused to raise any questions about Barack Obama when nearly 100 lawsuits were brought from 2007 until about 2010 over his eligibility.
“Never mind that the only law enforcement investigation into Obama’s birth certificate found that it was a fraud and forgery. It didn’t matter. The media, besides WND, have steadfastly refused to report the facts for fear of being labeled part of the ‘birther’ conspiracy,” he wrote.
Then along comes Cruz, he wrote, and, “Every media outlet in the country is questioning his constitutional eligibility.”
Fast forward more than two years, and the endorsement of Cruz brought out hundreds of Joseph Farah’s detractors to WND.
He explained: “I was inundated with more than 100 emails eviscerating me for my personal endorsement of Ted Cruz. On the other hand, I received about a half dozen atta-boys. Most of the protests claimed Cruz is constitutionally ineligible – even though, as the candidate has explained, his mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth.
“As I have explained before, ad nauseam, from my point of view, when the Congress and courts abdicated their responsibility with regard to the questions of Barack Obama’s eligibility, a precedent was set. If Obama was not going to be held accountable to any standard during eight years as president, how could we hold others accountable?” he wrote.
“I was the one who saw this coming during the last eight years. That’s why I kept calling for a national dialogue that no one wanted to have. But as far as Ted Cruz goes, there is no doubt in my mind that he doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada. It’s a non-issue. Ted Cruz is the most pro-American official I know. He was also very forthcoming with his birth certificate. He has made his case on eligibility in the media. I have suggested to the campaign that it offer even more in the way of constitutional justification for his candidacy. However I was surprised by the outpouring of concern among many that he could be elected president and challenged successfully by the Democrats.”
That's a lot of subject-changing going on there.
First, WND's "numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz" are actually not very many, and they are effectively zero compared with the literally hundreds of items WND published on Obama's eligibility. WND cannot plausibly suggest it has covered the two issues equally.
Second, the question is not what the "legacy media" did on eligibilty issues, no matter how much WND and Farah want you to think otherwise -- besides, the media didn't cover it until Trump pushed the issue, and most of the media agreed Cruz, like Obama, is eligible. It's about the disparity of coverage at WND between Obama eligibility and Cruz eligibility.
Third, Farah's claim that "a precedent was set" by "Congress and courts" not getting into Obama eligibility, therefore "how could we hold others accountable?" is nothing but a cop-out. When has stopped Farah or WND before?
Fourth, Farah is apparently adjusting his own "understanding" of what a "natural born citizen" is. As the WND article itself states, "From other, contemporaneous writings to the Constitution, it likely was understood then to have meant the offspring of two citizens of a country born in the country" (never mind that no court has endorsed it). But now he's suggesting that because Cruz's "mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth" and because Cruz "doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada," that's now sufficient for Farah to presume that Cruz is eligible.
Needless to say, that completely contradicts what Farah and WND have pushed when Obama's eligibility was in question. So, yeah, another cop-out.
Farah reiterates some of this, and spins some more, in his March 9 column:
Many have asked me, “What about the question of constitutional eligibility?”
My answer is direct: Obama and the establishment media have made a mockery of the Constitution in many ways, but none more than their attacks on the “natural born citizen” requirement. So much damage was done to that simple clause in the last eight years, I don’t believe there’s any going back.
You can’t even have a serious conversation about the eligibility issue any longer. So be it.
What I do know is that Ted Cruz loves America.
I could never say that about Obama.
The eligibility requirement of the Constitution was intended to protect the nation from foreign corruption, entanglements, intrigue, suspicion and conflicts of interest.
I don’t believe anyone in their right mind thinks Ted Cruz has any allegiance to either Canada or Cuba. This guy loves America with all of his heart, mind and soul.
And he’s demonstrated that fact with virtually everything he has said and done throughout his life.
When Ted Cruz tells you what he will do as president, you can take that promise to the bank. Why? Because he’s consistent. He’s committed. He’s passionate about America. He always has been. And he always will be.
That’s why he is my first choice for president.
No, "Obama and the establishment media" did not make a mockery of the "natural born citizen" clause -- Farah and WND did. And they are continuing to mock it by effectively declaring that their years of fulmination over the issue imeans nothing now that a conservative Republican, not a black Democrat, is the subject.
But in all this spinning, Farah and WND have yet to give a straightforward answer to a very simple question: Why are they giving Cruz a pass it refused to give to Obama when, according to the definition they applied to Obama, Cruz is even more ineligible?
The fact that they won't give that straightfowrward answer can be taken as an admission that their birther crusade was never about the Constitution and completely about the personal destruction of Obama.
Farah can't defend not going birther on Cruz, and he knows it -- and, more importantly, WND's readers know it.