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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
WND On Philip Haney Death: Less Conspiracy, More Conflict of Interest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last year, WorldNetDaily reacted to the death of anti-Muslim activist Philip Haney -- initially described by authorities as a suicide but later walked back pending a full autopsy report -- by peddling conspiracy theories suggesting that Haney was murdered;  according to far-right then-congressman (and racist) Steve King, this was "because of all he knew of Islamic terrorist cover-ups. He insured his life by archiving data that incriminated the highest levels of the Obama administration." Well, it's been more than a year since Haney's death, and no autopsy has been released. But WND marked the anniversary of his death with a Feb. 19 article by Art Moore rehashing much of its earlier reporting on him.

Surprisingly, Moore stayed away from invoking WND's usual enthusiasm for conspiracy theorires, repeating that "Family members and friends who were with him and spoke to him in the last week of his life said Haney was happy and looking forward to getting married" but also that a county sheriff's official pointed out that "Everything we saw on-scene is consistent with somebody putting a gun to themselves and pulling the trigger." Moore also included links to purchase Haney's WND-published book "See Something, Say Nothing" in paperback and e-book formats -- but at Amazon, not the WND online store.

Moore didn't disclose that WND published Haney's book. And he barely disclosed another conflict of interest: that he co-wrote that book. It occurred only in a passing reference noting that Haney "published a bestselling book with this writer, 'See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government's Submission to Jihad.'"

Journalistic ethics frown upon reporters writing "news" stories about someone with whom they have had such a close relationship with, even if it is disclosed. That's not the sort of thing WND should be doing if it's trying to build credibility for its WND News Center nonprofit.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT

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