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Monday, September 2, 2019
WND's Gets Story Wrong On Drag Queen Story Hour Arrest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily once again displays its anti-LGBT bias with misreporting about an arrest of a pastor outside a library's "Drag Queen Story Hour" event.

In an anonymously written June 29 article, WND claimed that "A pastor in Washington state who wanted to observe a "drag queen" stunt being staged by his local public library was arrested, thrown in the back of a police van and held there for hours." It uncritically repeated a claim by the right-wing Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing the pastor, Afshin Yaghtin, that he "carried no signs, didn't preach and didn't even consider himself a protester, but officers ordered him off the public property," and that when Yaghtin "asserted his First Amendment rights," police arrested him.

That's simply a lie. An article from an actual news organization about the arrest reports that Yaghtin is "known for preaching that homosexuality is a choice and drag is a perversion" and tells what PJI and WND are hiding:

A pair of videos show Yaghtin antagonizing police before he was taken away in handcuffs. One video, which was taken by Yaghtin and uploaded to a YouTube account run by Christian News Network, shows him crossing the protest line hours before the event began and asking officers why they weren’t arresting “a grown man, dressed up as a woman, reading sex stories to children.”

“In my day, when I was a child growing up in the U.S.A … do you know what the police would be doing?” he says to Officer Ben Maplethorpe. “The police here would not be stopping me. They would be arresting them. They would be arresting perverts dressed up as women.”

The WND article also reported PJI's complaint that "the police presence was significant, with snipers even staged at strategic points." But as the non-stenographical news article reported, that was because police cited reports of "several members on both sides indicating they planned to bring guns to the event."

The news organization further reported on Yaghtin's vicious hatred of drag queens:

One of Yaghtin’s recent hourlong videos uploaded June 10 and titled “ ‘Drag Queen’ Perversion Hour” opens with a line from Deuteronomy 22:5 – the only verse in the Bible that explicitly mentions men wearing women’s clothing.

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment,” Yaghtin says. “For all that do so are abomination unto the Lord, thy God.”

“There’s no discussion to be had,” he continues. “We don’t care if it’s art or whatever expression.”

None of that is mentioned in the WND article -- presumably because PJI didn't want it reported. Indeed, WND quoted only PJI for details on the incident.

That bias and lazy stenography continued in an Aug. 18 WND article called the reading a "mind-boggling, perverse event." WND again uncritically repeated PJI's false claim that Yaghtin did nothing provocative: ""Yaghtin did not physically interfere with or touch police, nor did he make threatening movements toward the police or use threatening words at any time. ... He was arrested for questioning the police’s favorable treatment of supporters and unfavorable treatment of anyone they perceived to be non-supportive."

WND also quoted PJI claiming that "Some of the event supporters carried provocative signs depicting Jesus in a dress reading to children. Other supporters dressed like angels with oversized wings." But as the newspaper reported, the protesters on Yaghtin's side were yelling slurs in the presence of children, quoting the organizer of the event and the drag queen who read to children as saying, "I’m sure a lot of children are going home and asking what a sodomite is. ... That’s not common language for a 4- or 5-year-old."

Putting a right-wing legal group's biased, less-than-factual spin before the truth tells us that WND still hasn't shown that it deserves to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT

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