Joseph Farah's April 10 WorldNetDaily column is largely a regurgitation of discredited filmmaker Joel Gilbert's cries of persecution -- as told to WND's Jerome Corsi -- for making a lie-filled anti-Obama documentary, despite winning his case before the Federal Election Commission. Needless to say, Farah doesn't admit Gilbert's "Dreams From My Real Father" is filled with lies; he merely calls it "controversial," then includes a link in his column to buy it from the WND online store.
Farah then takes it one step further:
[Gilbert] predicted a “dire future” for conservatives if a Democrat wins the White House this fall.
I don’t think he is exaggerating one bit. I’ve been making my living as a practitioner of the First Amendment for 40 years. Our free-expression rights are hanging in the balance in 2016. It’s a question of simply how much Americans value free speech and freedom of religion.
“If the make-up of the Federal Election Commission is changed because a Democrat wins the presidency and appoints one more Democrat than Republican to the commission, we face a dire future in which only political speech favorable to far-left agenda will be tolerated in America,” Gilbert said. “All conservative opinion, whether expressed in documentary films, shown on television or the Internet, or broadcast over radio may be subject to criminal penalties.”
Again, I don’t think this is hyperbole. It’s reality.
There’s a complete double-standard in the minds of Democrats and “progressives.” They believe in First Amendment protections for their ideas and viewpoints – just not for those with whom they disagree.
Farah cites no actual, concrete example of how Democrats are actually planning to do this. And he's silent about an actual, concrete example of a threat to the First Amendment from a Republican presidential candidate.
In February, Donald Trump promised that, if elected, he would change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations: "One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected."
Oddly, WND has largely ignored this statement from Trump -- the only reference to it we could find was an article from The Hill that WND stole a few paragraphs of.
You'd think Farah would be concerned about Trump's proposed change to libel laws because the type of "hit pieces" Trump is denouncing are exactly WND's stock in trade. For instance, if the Trump standard was in effect when WND published a series in 2000 attacking Al Gore by linking him to alleged drug dealers, the guy whom WND falsely identified as a drug dealer (with whom WND settled out of court after fighting his libel and defamation lawsuit for seven years) wouldn't be the only one who could have sued WND over it; Gore could have as well -- and could have won big.
And every WND article that falsely accused Barack Obama of hiding something regarding his birth certificate, being born in Kenya, being the Antichrist, being a Nazi, etc., could be actionable by the president.
Ironically for Farah's defense of Gilbert, Obama might also have standing under Trump's proposed libel standard to sue Gilbert for his false claims that Frank Marshall Davis is his father and that is mother posed for nude photos.
It seems that Farah and WND have a lot more to fear from Trump's proposed reworking of the First Amendment than from anything he imagines Democrats could do.