What Happened The Last Time WND Tried To Sue Someone? Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's threat to take legal action against Esquire magazine over its satire of WND and Jerome Corsi's birther book got us to wondering: What happened with WND's last big lawsuit?
Last year, WND threw a fit because the White House Correspondents Association wouldn't sell it the number of tickets it demanded in order to promote Les Kinsolving's nepotistic bio, at first trying to intimidate the WHCA into giving it the tickets it wanted, and then filing a $10 million lawsuit against the WHCA claiming "arm to its business and other relationships" because of the refusal to accede to WND's demands.
One curious thing about the WND story announcing the lawsuit: It never reported in which court the suit was filed. We've since learned it was the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Another curious thing: That story was pretty much the last we heard about the lawsuit, aside from attorney and WND columnist Larry Klayman's threat to add the White House to it. That's because the suit was dismissed almost immediately.
According to DC Superior Court records (case No. 2010-CA-002364), Klayman filed the case on April 13, 2010. On May 3, 2010, the WHCA filed a motion for dismissal, which was granted on June 22. The case was slapped down just over two months after its filing.
Adding insult to injury, the copy of the order sent to Klayman's office was returned was returned to the court because it was "Not Deliverable as Addressed, Unable to Forward."
No wonder WND didn't want to talk about it anymore.
WND has had a horrible record in court of late; in addition to the swift dismissal of the WHCA case, it was forced to admit that its series of articles attacking Al Gore and his associates, particularly Clark Jones, prior to the 2000 presidential election contained claims that no witness or documentation could verify, prompting an abrupt out-of-court settlement just before a trial in the case was to begin after seven years of litigation.
With that record -- as well as the history of legal opinion that gives broad protection to satire -- WND might want to think twice before suing Esquire. But given that lawsuit-happy Klayman is apparent WND's attorney of choice, thinking before acting is not necessarily WND's strong suit.
(h/t reader L.C.)
UPDATE: Looks like WND editor Joseph Farah is all in on suing Esquire. From a May 19 article:
"I have concluded with attorneys who say we have an excellent chance of winning a lawsuit or lawsuits for the reckless disregard for the truth demonstrated by Mark Warren, Esquire and the Hearst Corporation in this matter," said Farah. "Personally, I think we should set our sights on taking ownership of Esquire. I think that would be a fair settlement. Obviously the magazine is in dire need of professional management."
So, will WND retain Klayman again, or will he bring in Gary Kreep of the right-wing U.S. Justice Foundation?
NEW ARTICLE: Anonymously Yours, Aaron Klein Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily reporter bases a surprising amount of his work on claims from people he won't name and can't be verified -- that is, when he's not busy obsessing over George Soros. Read more >>
WND, Corsi Play The Victim To Promote Birther Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is in full victimization mode over Jerome Corsi's birther book.
A May 18 article sets the stage by portraying itself as a target of the White House over the book: "Why is the White House in full defense mode against a book by a small publisher contending Barack Obama is not legally eligible to be president?"
The White House, of course, is not in defense mode at all; it's merely pointing out Corsi's documented lack of credibility by selling T-shirts with Obama's picture that say "Born in the USA."
WND takes weird offense to the Obama camp pointing out that Corsi claimed that Obama is a "secret Muslim," issuing a very specific denial:
For instance, not only did Corsi not state in "The Obama Nation" that the president is a secret Muslim, he said the opposite. In advice to John McCain's campaign, Corsi offered that it would be unwise to make that claim, because one can't "read another person's soul."
But Corsi's book cited as one of its sources a blog post with the headline "Barack Hussein Obama was Muslim for 31 Years." And just last fall at WND's "Taking America Back" conference, Corsi asserted, "That [Obama's] not a Muslim and that he was born in the United States are both lies." So Corsi clearly believes that Obama is a secret Muslim, no matter what WND says.
What WND has not seen fit to address yet, however, are the dubious sources Corsi cites in his book. One source is self-proclaimed "pro-white" radio host James Edwards, who claims that he "was happy to oblige and work behind-the-scenes with both Dr. Corsi and World Net Daily on this matter."
Edwards' show, if you'll recall, was the launching pad for Tim Adams' unsubstantiated claims about Obama's birth certificate; Edwards was broadcasting at the time from from the national conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "white supremacist" "hate group," and by the Anti-Defamation League as having a "white supremacy, white separatism" ideology. Corsi has previously appeared on Edwards' show.
Flashback: MRC Minimized Groping Allegations Against Schwarzenegger Topic: Media Research Center
This week's revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a secret love child caused us to wonder (h/t Romenesko): What did the Media Research Center do in 2003 when the Los Angeles Times reported on Schwarzenegger's boorish behavior with women prior to the special election in which he was elected California governor?
Exactly what you'd imagine the MRC would do: minimization and misdirection.
An Oct. 3, 2003, MRC CyberAlert item complained that no network news stories about the incidents "made any suggestion about anything being wrong with the timing of the story, dealing with claims going back 28 years, coming less than a week before the California gubernatorial recall vote." Responding to one report's statement that "Schwarzenegger may be battling yet another opponent: his past," Brent Baker huffed: "More like the media are his most dangerous opponent."
Another CyberAlert item the same day went for full minimization and misdirection, attacking NBC's Tom Brokaw for not reporting on the questionable rape allegations by Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton but he "jumped right on the Los Angeles Times story about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inappropriate sexual advances, going back to 1975, three years before the Broaddrick claim, and which fell far short of rape." Baker went on to be annoyed that an NBC reporter gave "credibility to another allegation she had no ability to verify" -- as if Baker wasn't doing the very same thing with Broaddrick.
Yet another CyberAlert item howled about "double standards and some hypocrisy in jumping on the allegations about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inappropriate sexual advances when those same journalists and outlets delayed or downplayed the more serious Juanita Broaddrick charge that Bill Clinton raped her and, in late 1993, the Arkansas troopers’ claims about procuring women for Bill Clinton -- stories which both broke no where near election time and, therefore, the media should have been less reticent to report than a charge raised days before balloting."
Of course, as we've detailed, the claims the troopers made fell apart under sworn testimony -- something Baker didn't tell his readers. By contrast the groping claims against Schwarzenegger have not been discredited, and even the MRC never attacked the particulars of the allegations.
That item went on to quote MRC's Tim Graham:
While the Los Angeles Times laid out its investigation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s alleged sexual harassment, the Times isn’t always interested in running last-minute exposes that have the potential to derail a political campaign. In 1999, the New York Times recalled allegations that Gov. Bill Clinton may have raped Juanita Broaddrick: “The allegation was passed on to reporters for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times in the waning days of the 1992 presidential campaign. Regarding it as the kind of toxic waste traditionally dumped just before Election Day, both newspapers passed on the story.”
Actually, according to "The Hunting of the President" by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason, Broaddrick refused to talk to a Los Angeles Times reporter in 1992, and she has a documented history of telling many contradictory claims over the years regarding the alleged incident. That's why the media stayed away from it. Graham, however, has no apparent problem with Broaddrick's inconsistencies.
This was all summed up in an Oct. 6, 2003, "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes, who asserted that "The same broadcast networks that flinched when faced with credible charges that Democratic darling Bill Clinton actually raped a woman during his 1978 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign are scrambling to give free airtime to women who charge Schwarzenegger with unwanted groping." Like Baker, Noyes doesn't challenge the credibility of Schwarzenegger's accusers and, in calling Broaddrick's accusation "credible," ignores her history of contradictory statements.
An Oct. 7, 2003, CyberAlert item by Baker complained that "NBC’s morning team kept repeating that '15 women' now accuse Schwarzenegger, as if the number of accusers were more important than the truth of the accusations." Baker added regarding an interview Schwarzenegger did with ABC: "What Arnold didn’t know before answering is that a Nexis search didn’t find the words 'serial groper' or 'serial abuser of women' in the archive of ABC News transcripts at any time during the Clinton years."
In short: the MRC was much more interested in pushing its right-wing "liberal bias" agenda and protecting a Republican candidate's chances of victory than it was about the truth. Things don't change much, do they?
UPDATE: It appears the MRC is sticking to its whitewashing. A May 19 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen calls the 2003 stories on Schwarzenegger "smears."
WND Not Finding Humor in Equire Satire Piece Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is absolutely livid about a Esquire parody blog post claiming that WND is pulling Jerome Corsi's anti-Obama birther book "Where's the Birth Certificate?" out of stores.
A May 18 WND article assailed the blog post as "a completely fabricated news story" that is prompting editor Joseph Farah to descend even further into conspiracy mode by blaming the Obama White House for it:
WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah confirmed he never spoke to Esquire. "Never uttered these words or anything remotely resembling them to anyone. It is a complete fabrication."
He said, "The book is selling briskly. I am 100 percent behind it. This has all the earmarkings of a White House dirty trick – but, of course, only the Nixon administration was capable of dirty tricks like that, according to our watchdog media."
Farah said the Esquire attack is "a prima facie example of libel and attempt at restraint of trade."
"This is an astonishingly reckless report by a company that has demonstrated its total disregard for the truth," said Farah. "I don't know who Esquire's anonymous sources are, but I can only guess that their address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Farah surmised Esquire will claim the article is parody, but he points out that news organizations around the world were contacting him within minutes of its posting on the Internet, with some of them in doubt as to the veracity of the report.
The article includes fictional quotes from Farah and Corsi – neither of whom ever spoke to Esquire or were asked for comment.
"We are exploring our legal options right now," said Farah. "There is no question of damages from this irresponsible attack. This book was released yesterday. Our author is in day two of a media tour. This report is playing havoc with a bestselling book – and there is little question that is the intent."
Of course, WND doesn't really have many legal options here. The Esquire post was tagged as "humor," and it clearly went beyond the bounds of absurdity by claiming Corsi also wrote a book on "the Great 'Moon Landing' Cover-Up" and its so-called undercover "source at WND" as a foul-mouthed lout. (We assume that the only WND employee permitted to engaged in foul-mouthed tirades is Farah himself.)
Esquire has since appended an editor's note to the blog post:
We committed satire this morning to point out the problems with selling and marketing a book that has had its core premise and reason to exist gutted by the news cycle, several weeks in advance of publication. Are its author and publisher chastened? Well, no. They double down, and accuse the President of the United States of perpetrating a fraud on the world by having released a forged birth certificate. Not because this claim is in any way based on reality, but to hold their terribly gullible audience captive to their lies, and to sell books. This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That's why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book. Hell, even the president has a sense of humor about it all.
WND has suffered from a longtime inability to distinguish satire from reality. In 2005, it treated as fact an April Fool's Day post on a Hollywood gossip site that CBS "was rushing into production a TV movie about the Terri Schiavo case," and then-columnist Doug Powers even rushed into print his outrage in a WND column. WND issued a vague mea culpa a few days later, and Powers' column disappeared without a trace.
Corsi Pesters Elderly Woman About Her Dead Daughter Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've noted, WorldNetDaily is going all in on the idea that the long-form birth certificate President Obama released is a fake. To that end, Jerome Corsi is now pestering elderly women.
Corsi peddles his latest conspiracy theory in a May 17 WND article: that the birth certificate number Obama currently holds was originally assigned to an infant named Virginia Sunahara, who was born the same day as Obama but died a day later. As Corsi writes, "Is it possible that if Obama's birth records were forged, the perpetrator used Virginia Sunahara's birth certificate number, knowing the girl was long dead and the family was unlikely to know or complain?"
Corsi even pestered the infant's now-elderly mother for a copy of the birth certificate:
WND contacted Virginia's mother Clara, 83, who is living in Wahiawa on Oahu.
Clara told WND by telephone she did not have Virginia's birth certificate and she was not interested in applying to the Hawaii Department of Health to see what birth records might be on file regarding her daughter.
Remember, Corsi is reopening old wounds by pestering this elderly woman about her long-dead daughter for the sole purpose of a political hit job on the president. Given Corsi's and WND's demonstratedhatred of the president, there's no need to pretend this is about anything else.
NewsBusters Attacks CNN Anchor For Declaring He's Gay Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters is reacting to CNN anchor Don Lemon admission that he's gay pretty much the way you'd expect -- portraying it as a bad thing that merely confirms bashing him as biased.
A May 16 post by Matt Hadro howls that "Lemon has a history of pro-gay bias at CNN, featuring soft interviews of pro-gay figures and hinting that Christian churches preach the same hateful message against homosexuality that the fringe Westboro Baptist Church promotes – 'God hates fags.'" Hadro's main issue, it seems, is that Lemon treated gays with respect, not scorn; among the examples of so-called "pro-gay bias" he offers is that Lemon asked former Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was expelled from the military after his homosexuality became public, "Was it worth the prize [sic] for speaking out?"
The next day, Hadro took umbrage at Lemon for committing the henious crime of asking that people treat gays with respect:
CNN anchor Don Lemon grabbed headlines over the weekend with his Twitter announcement that he is gay. On Monday his co-workers provided plenty of time for him on two separate shows to share his story and his own views on the gay-rights issue, and showered him with support. As if that wasn't enough, he asked them in turn to do the same for others "who choose to come out."
"I really appreciate all the support, and I hope you continue to support not only me, but other people who choose to come out," Lemon told afternoon Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin.
Again, Hadro complained that "Lemon has himself provided a podium for gay rights activists to makes themselves heard, though he claims objectivity on the issue."
CNS Hides Oil Ties of 'Expert' Who Opposes Repealing Oil Tax Break Topic: CNSNews.com
A May 17 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover carries the headline "Democratic Leaders Mislead on Gas Prices, Oil Taxes, Says Energy Expert." The "expert" in question is Institute for Energy Research senior vice president Dan Kish, who told Cover that "eliminating tax write-offs for oil companies will not have any effect on gas prices."
Unmentioned by Cover: Kish's organization is aa conservative think tank funded by the oil and energy industries.
Cover began his article with the flat assertion that "Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate continue to make misleading statements about the effect their plans to raise taxes on oil companies would have on gas prices." At no point does Cover describe the political ideology of Kish or his group.
Kinsolving Stoops to Lazily Insulting White House Press Secretary Topic: WorldNetDaily
If you're presenting yourself as a reporter in the White House briefing room and have routinely complained that the White House press secretary won't call on you, it seems that one of the last things you would do is devote a column to making him look bad.
But that's what Les Kinsolving does in his May 17 WorldNetDaily column. As an attack piece on Jay Carney, though, it's an exceptionally lazy one; all Kinsolving does is quote at length other attacks on Carney, and the only original writing Kinsolving contributes is introducing them. He can't even be bothered to attack Carney in his own words.
Kinsolving is also too lazy to explain why he's serving as a conduit for attacking Carney. Aswe'vedetailed, Carney rarely calls on Kinsolving during White House press briefings, which results in WND repeatedly complaining that Carney didn't answer questions that Kinsolving didn't ask.
Is such whining and lazy attacking the behavior of a reporter who should be taken seriously as a journalist? We're pretty sure it's not.
WND's Massie: Obama's Parents Were Venomous Snakes Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie spews more Obama-hate in his May 17 WorldNetDaily column:
I don't blame Obama for being a corrupt, dishonest, congenital liar – looking at his gene pool and the associations he gravitated toward, it can be argued that little more can be expected of him. He is the spawn of elapids, so what else could he be? I blame the people who voted for him. They believed his poorly told lies and his vacuous promises have resulted in the epitome of the Feast of Barmecide.
NewsBusters Dubiously Defends Ron Paul Topic: NewsBusters
Ron Paul has gained some unusual defenders in the form of NewsBusters, which typically sticks more toward doctrinaire conservatism than Paul's libertarian leanings. And, being NewsBusters, their defense of Paul is not quite honest.
A May 14 post by Noel Sheppard cheers Paul for making MSNBC's Chris Matthews "look rather silly" for asking about the public accomodation provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sheppard twice asserts that Paul's son, Rand Paul, gave an "honest libertarian answer" to the question last fall, after which "the media pounced on him as a racist," but he never describes what that "honest libertarian answer" actually was -- which is that Rand Paul said he opposed forcing any business to serve anyone they don't want to serve.
Rather than explicitly explain the position of both Pauls, Sheppard rants that "MSNBC's goal is to make every Republican presidential candidate look racist" and attacked Matthews as an "Obama-loving sycophant."
The next day, Sheppard again came to Paul's defense, claiming that "the George Soros-funded organization Think Progress falsely accused Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tx.) of comparing Social Security and Medicare to slavery." In fact, Think Progress stated that Paul "claimed that letting Social Security and similar programs to move forward is just like permitting slavery" -- which, as the transcript of Paul's appearance shows, is exactly what Paul did by noting that courts have upheld the constitutionality of Social Security as they did slavery. But Sheppard was too invested in his straw man to change course now:
Anyone with even a room temperature intelligence quotient would understand that Paul's point was a court in 1937 finding Social Security constitutional doesn't necessarily mean that's the case.
There have been many laws that were upheld by one set of Supreme Court justices only to be overturned by another years later. Slavery of course was one of them.
With this in mind, Paul was by no means equating Social Security and Medicare to slavery. He was instead saying that in his view, the Supreme Court finding in 1937 was wrong, and used slavery as an example of when the Court was similarly so.
Sheppard isn't the only Paul defender at NewsBusters. Matt Hadro complained that CNN aired a clip of Conan O'Brien "mocking Paul's presidential bid." Hadro huffed:
Perhaps if CNN thought Paul to be such a "fringe" candidate as to merit mockery, they could have provided some comic relief before the 2008 election at the expense of left-wing "fringe" candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Instead, they granted Kucinich plenty of air-time to express his proposal to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.
Hadro might want to look into the comedy segments that end Fox News' "Special Report," many of which tilt pro-conservative or anti-liberal. And we don't recall Hadro complaining when Kucinich was all over Fox News suggesting that President Obama's approval of military action in Libya was an impeachable offense.
Victoria Jackson Swallows Ex-Terrorist's Dubious Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
Victoria Jackson devotes her May 12 WorldNetDaily column to regurgitating the story of self-proclaimed ex-terrorist-turn-Christian activist Kamal Saleem, a confederate of self-proclaimed ex-terrorist-turn-Christian activist Walid Shoebat. Like Shoebat, Saleem's story has had questions raised that Jackson shows no interest in checking out.
Jackson bizarrely writes of Saleem, "He is underground because Muslims that leave Islam are killed." Unless you count visits to colleges and even the Air Force Academy to rail against Islam on behalf of right-wing Christian organizations as operating "underground," not so much.
As the New York Times points out, Saleem’s account of how, as a child, he infiltrated Israel to plant bombs via a network of tunnels underneath the Golan Heights has never been verified by experts. Saleem has also claimed to be descended from the grand wazir of Islam, which one expert described as a "nonsensical term."
Even more nonsensical is Jackson's suggestion that she transcribed her column's lengthy excerpt of Saleem's testimony by hand on a notepad while "sitting in my hot Florida driveway, in my car with the engine idling, the air conditioner on and my cell phone plugged into the cigarette lighter hole." That's highly unlikely, even if Jackson was known more these days for taking notes than doing handstands.
Trump Not Running For President; Newsmax Hardest Hit Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen's heart is breaking.
In a May 16 Newsmax post, Hirsen mulls over Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, as he is prone to do along with the rest of Newsmax. After quoting an NBC executive saying that the "Celebrity Apprentice" franchise could carry on without Trump, Hirsen added, "Based on the current crop of potential GOP candidates, let’s hope so."
A few hours after Hirsen wrote that, however, Trump announced that he would not seek the presidential nomination, and in a way that contradicts the way Newsmax's Ronald Kessler claimed he would.
Remember, it took three tries for Kessler to nail down his "exclusive" that Trump would announce on the May 22 season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" a date that would announce his decision on running, and that "sources close to the real estate titan tell me that at that press conference Trump will be announcing his candidacy for the presidency." The first part of that went bust the other day, when an NBC executive pointed out the "Celebrity Apprentice" finale was taped months ago.
The actual Trump announcement got only a "Newsmax Wires" article -- surprising given the great lengths Newsmax has gone to promote Trump's presidential ambitions, led by the fawning coverage of Kessler.
Hirsen, meanwhile, speculating that continuing "Celebrity Apprentice" was more important to Trump than the presidency and weirdly blaming NBC for it: "It looks like NBC played hardball with the Donald. The mogul must have been acutely aware of the Ashton Kutcher hire by CBS to neatly slip into the Charlie Sheen role in the “Two and a Half Men” sitcom. penned a post after Trump's big announcement. Could it be that becoming the new Sheen would have been too much for the Donald to bear?"
Having their Trump dreams dashed, it seems, was too much for Hirsen and Newsmax to bear.
MRC's Double Standard on Media Types Advising Presidents Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's grumblings over CNN's Fareed Zakaria apparently advising President Obama on foreign policy has escalated into a full-fledged freakout.
MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a statement asserting that Zakaria "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States," claiming that "must recuse himself immediately from covering foreign policy that affects the United States." Bozell added:
For decades, the liberal media have repeatedly condemned conservatives in the media who communicated privately with Republican presidents. They furiously attacked George Will in 1980 when he advised candidate Ronald Reagan, and trounced on Roger Ailes when he sent President Bush a note about the new war on terror in the wake of September 11th. Neither of them was a reporter.
But neither is Zakaria. He is a host on CNN and a columnist, not a reporter. And Ailes is more than "not a reporter"; he's the head of a news network.
The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, penned a NewsBusters post headlined, "CNN's Double Standard: Okay When One of Ours Advises the President, Bad When Fox Does It!"He cited a 2002 MRC CyberAlert whining about how CNN supposedly "throughout an entire broadcast day expressed outrage at Ailes' action."
Dickens is ignoring his employer's double standard: At no point in that 2002 CyberAlert did the MRC criticize Ailes' actions. In fact, it defended what Ailes wrote as "pretty conventional advice at a time when all Americans were 'standing shoulder-to-shoulder' with the President, as Nancy Pelosi might say."
If the MRC couldn't be moved to criticize Ailes, it has no credibility to criticize Zakaria.
WND's Klayman: Liberal Jews 'Insensitive To Their Heritage,' Forget Holocaust Topic: WorldNetDaily
At the recent White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., which is the equivalent of D.C.'s Academy Awards celebration – only for "less beautiful" people – President Barack Hussein Obama celebrated his roughly two years in office. The crowd of 3,000-plus, filled mostly with leftist journalists and TV and radio commentators, as well as Hollywood types, fawned over Obama, encouraging him to pursue a heightened push for his promised leftist-socialist agenda. In this regard, Seth Meyers, the primo star of "Saturday Night Live" and the master of ceremonies of the event, tried to humorously tweak the president by saying he would be even more electable in 2012 if he stood fast to the "change vision" as enunciated during Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign.
Seth Meyers is a liberal Jew. But his call for Obama to pursue an even stronger "change agenda" had to also mean by definition that Obama should pursue even stronger anti-Israel, pro-Muslim policies – which have been a centerpiece of the Obama presidency. While it is regrettable if not tragic that many liberal Jews are insensitive to their heritage and all to easily forget the lessons of the Holocaust, Meyers' advice to Obama was in the process of taking on even greater significance, if not irony, since plans were then in operation to kill the world's leading anti-Jew hater, Osama bin Laden. But our "fearless leader" saw the death of OBL as less of an effort to mete out justice for the thousands killed on 9/11 and elsewhere by al-Qaida than a milestone in his push to further Muslim interests worldwide, as well as advance has own prospects for re-election in 2012.