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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
WND Flails to Keep Seth Rich Conspiracies Alive
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's efforts to keep cynically exploiting Seth Rich's death in order to keep its malicious conspiracy theories alive have been waning -- as have the quality of the stories it has been publishing to push them. The latest batch of articles is no exception.

A June 11 article by Alicia Powe featured what was originally in the headline as a "haunting video" of Rich shot a year before his death, in which he discusses ballot integrity issues. Powe also rehashed never-proven claims about Rich from Kim Dotcom; for the first time, Powe concedes that Dotcom is a fugitive from justice who "faces extradition to the U.S. on a litany of unrelated charges, including copyright infringement and money laundering."

A June 15 article by Powe begged readers to sign a White House petition asking for a special prosecutor to investigate Rich's death (created by "J.F.," who may or may not be WND editor Joseph Farah) before the window to collect signatures and force a White House response ended on June 18. The deadline passed with only two-thirds of the needed 100,000 signatures gathered; WND has not yet reported on that failure.

Powe hit the streets for a June 18 article, in which she talked to "Americans living in and around the area where DNC staffer Seth Rich was brutally murdered" (did she asked the immigration status of potential interviewees to make sure she was talking only to "Americans"?) about Rich's death. She led off with a guy who was absolutely sure that Rich leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, while also insisting that "I am not a conspiracy theorist," and also interviewed another man who said God intervened in the election to keep Hillary Clinton from winning. 

So, not exactly a representative sample of Americans.

Powe also stated that she tried to talk to the manager of the bar where Rich was seen several hours before his death, but "the WND reporting team was escorted out of the building" by the manager after accusing WND of "obstruction" and "disrespecting" the Rich family. Powe didn't dispute the accuracy of the manager's claims.

And a June 20 article by Powe touts a "months-long investigation" into Rich's death that offers only speculation. She waits until much further in the article to mention that the investigation was led by Jack Burkman, who's a lobbyist by trade.

By contrast to Powe's pushing of conspiracy theories, the Washingtonian accurately points out that Burkman's report "backs up its conclusions on a series of hunches, rather than actual evidence," contains "no new evidence," and is "more likely to stoke the conspiracies rather than put them to bed" -- which, of course, is what Burkman and WND want.

Unlike WND, the Washingtonian sought comment from Rich familiy spokesman Brad Bauman, who highlights that Burkman's report, conducted by college students, provided "valuable experience in research collection and report writing for students at George Washington University" but nothing in the way of new or useful information.

But WND's too desperate to keep the conspiracy alive to conduct actual journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:45 PM EDT

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