Last week, WorldNetDaily went all in on promoting discredited conspiracy theories about the 2016 death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Now, it's in a bit of a cleanup made, though it still won't admit the story is bogus.
On May 16, WND reporter Alicia Powe touted how "private investigator" Rod Wheeler complained that the DNC allegedly contacted Washington, D.C. police regarding his investigation into Rich's death, which he portrayed as being related to the obtaining of DNC emails by WikiLeaks, suggesting that Rich himself made the emails available to WikiLeaks prior to his death.
Two days later, after Wheeler's claims were discredited -- he has no evidence Rich ever contacted WikiLeaks and that he has never seen Rich's computer, let alone any emails he might have sent, and he has never talked to the "federal investigator" he cited as evidence for his claims -- Powe decided to do a little narrative-massaging. This time around, Powe leads with Rich family representative Brad Bauman, whose name Powe misspells early on and whom she makes sure to identify as a "professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant, denying Wheeler's claims.
Powe insisted that "Wheeler has emphasized in interviews with WND and Fox New [sic] that he is not a spokesman for the Rich family," despite the fact that at least one WND article specificially portrayed Wheeler as a family spokesman and Powe's own earlier article definitely hinted that Wheeler was working on the family's behalf while failing to explicitly state he is not a family spokesman.
Powe also failed in both articles to mention who actually is paying Wheeler: Texas money manager and regular Fox News guest Ed Butowsky.Powe also doesn't tell readers that the original story Wheeler (and, thus, WND) peddled has been discredited.
WND followed that up with a May 21 article by Liz Crokin -- a right-wing columnist who has pushed the Pizzagate fake-news conspiracy -- claiming to have talked to a manager (anonymous, of course) of a bar where Rich "was last spotted hours before he was shot and killed last summer" irrelevantly complaining that police never talked to any bar employee regarding Rich's death.
Crokin also claimed that Wheeler was "hired to independently investigate Rich's murder" while omitting the crucial information that the Rich family did not hire him.
Is it coincidence that WND fully embraced Seth Rich conspiracy theories as Donald Trump's presidency free-falls into turmoil? We don't put it past 'em.