MRC Lets GOP Activist's False Birther Claim Stand Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's history on Obama birtherism is an ambivalent one -- it would alternate tepid endorsements with tepid denials. It's only when Ted Cruz faced birther-style claims that it got aggressive on the subject -- and even then it wouldn't target close personal friends of the MRC for going birther on Cruz.
That particular Trump-induced birther storm has passed ... which apparently has made it OK for the MRC to promote Obama birther attacks again.
Brad Wilmouth uses a March 13 MRC NewsBusters post to promote how a CNN anchor Poppy Harlow was "confused" by how "her guest, Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, turned the tables by implicating Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign in dabbling in similar mischief against her then-opponent Senator Obama." Wilmouth uncritically repeated Borges' assertion that Obama birtherism was "created by Hillary Clinton in 2008," noting only that Harlow pointed out that "Hillary Clinton never asked for the President's, you know, then-Senator Barack Obama's birth certificate."
In fact, numerous fact-checkers have found no link between Hillary Clinton and birther attacks on Obama.
USA Today: "While it's true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it."
PolitiFact: "It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction."
Washington Post: "This is simply not true. Clinton's campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president's citizenship. The idea that it did is based largely on a series of disconnected actions by supporters of Clinton, mostly in the months between Obama's reaction to the Jeremiah Wright story and the Democratic National Convention. ... the Clinton campaign never pursued the idea that Obama was literally not American, and therefore ineligible for the presidency."
It would have been nice if Wilmouth was honest and told the truth. But telling the truth about Obama is simply not in the MRC's best political interest.
WND's Cashill Fires Up The Conspiracies for Supreme Court Nomination Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, WorldNetDaily renounced birtherism to support Ted Cruz, so it was in the market for a new conspiracy theory. So it's returning to an old one, thanks to Merrick Garland.
On March 16, President Obama named Garland as his Supreme Court nominee. A short time later, conspiracy-monger extraordinaire Jack Cashill was up with a WND column claiming to tie Garland to not one but two conspiracies, the Oklahoma City bombing and the TWA 800 disaster -- then immediately backtracks on one of them:
Whatever his merits, Garland served as Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick’s “principal deputy” during the two most corrupt years in American political history – the years leading up to Bill Clinton’s reelection in 1996 – and that service alone should kill his candidacy.
Although Garland has no known connection with the TWA 800 investigation, it happened during his watch, and his boss oversaw its unprecedented misdirection.
nevertheless, Csshill insists that "Senators need to ask Garland what he knew about TWA 800 and when he knew it."
After some factuallyinaccurate ranting about Gorelick and her purported "wall," Cashill finally moves on to more relevant stuff: Garland's serving as chief prosecutor of Oklahoma City bombing perpetrators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. "What someone needs to ask Garland is what happened to John Doe No. 2," Cashill asserts, referring to the idea that a mysterious Middle Eastern man played some unspecified role in the bombing; as we've reported, the FBI said the person thought to have been said swarthy foreigner was "thoroughly investigated" and found to have no connection to the bombing.
But Cashill cites no role, real or imagined, Garland had in this conspiracy; he simply rehashes the never-proven John Doe No. 2 story, then jumps to a completely separate conspiracy: that "Garland was also involved with the Olympic Park bombing" and, apparently, the framing of Richard Jewell for it.
Bu we remember when Cashill was suggesting that the guy who actually committed the bombing, Eric Rudolph, was as innocent as Jewell.That was before Rudolph actually confessed to his crimes. Cashill now concedes that Rudolph is "a crazed anti-abortion activist," but back then he was just a "mystical right-winger" who was merely an anti-abortion protester and illogically tied to the Olympic Park bombing.
(Actually, Rudolph confessed his motive was "to shame the United States for its legalization of abortion" by knocking out Atlanta's power grid and shutting down the Olympics. He also bombed two abortion clinics and a lesbian nightclub.)
This is the guy Cashill was willing to defend in order to attack the Clintons. There's no reason to trust his conspiracy-mongering now.
The Trump-Flip-Flopping Continues At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is takingitsindecisiveness over whether to attack or defend Donald Trump to new contradictory levels.
In a March 14 post, Rich Noyes complains that Trump, not "left-wing protesters who forced the cancellation of a presidential campaign event," is getting the blame for violence at Trump campaign events, according to an "an MRC analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage" spanning "a whopping 45 segments totalling nearly 85 minutes of airtime."
A mere seven hours later, Curtis Houck -- the MRC's king of the conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is conspiring to make Trump the GOP nominee so he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November -- devoted an entire post to complaining that Trump got "a whopping 84 percent of the Republican campaign segments" on the TV networks prior to the most recent Super Tuesday elections.
While Houck noted that the Trump coverage was largely made up of stories on "the ongoing fears of violence at Trump rallies," he didn't note that, as his MRC colleague wrote seven hours earlier, that coverage was almost uniformly negative -- which you'd think would be a good thing since MRC boss Brent Bozell is an anti-Trump activist.
The MRC needs to decide on what Trump message it wants to send, because being contradictory isn't working.
CNS Reporter's 'News' Article Turns Into Anti-Obama Rant Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones loves to inject opinion into her "news" articles. This time, her "news" is mostly a right-wing anti-Obama rant.
Jones starts off a March 16 CNS article by ostensibly reporting on President Obama's criticism of "vulgar and divisive rhetoric" on the campaign trail, but the last portion of her article is a full-on anti-Obama rant:
The core values of the country we love have changed dramatically under President Obama's watch.
While campaigning for president in April 2008, President Obama alienated many small-town Americans, when he explained their frustrations over job losses and broken political promises this way: "And it's not surprising then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Later that year, in October, Obama told a plumber at a campaign event that he planned to raise taxes on successful Americans "to spread the wealth around."
Throughout his presidency, he has pitted "millionaires and billionaires" against the middle and lower classes, insisting in 2011, "This is not class warfare. It’s math...The money is going to have to come from someplace."
With support only from Democrats, President Obama signed a government health care mandate in 2010, breaking his repeated promises to let people keep the plans they liked. He also offended the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who opposed Obamacare's birth control/abortifacient mandate.
At the National Prayer Breakfast in 2015, Obama reminded the faithful that just as some people "profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it," so people have "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." He suggested that the Christians in the audience should exercise "some basic humility...Not being so full of yourself and confident that you are right, and that God speaks only to us and doesn't speak to others."
With a weak and ineffectual Republican Congress standing by, Obama applied his uncompromising attitude to major issues of the day, including homosexual marriage and illegal immigration, leaving Americans angry, divided and feeling powerless to reverse the tide rolling over the border and steamrolling traditional values.
Under the Obama administration, racial tensions were exacerbated to the point where one Democrat running for president was forced to apologize for saying that "all lives matter."
In 2015, the Gallup polling organization declared Obama one of the most polarizing presidents ever.
As we've previously pointed out when Jones has made the accusation, Obama is not "uncompromising"; quite the opposite, in fact (something Jones apparently cares little about). The PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.
And Jones conveniently fails to hold her side of the political aisle responsible for the country's political polarization, nor does she mention that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama from the beginning of his administration.
Again: This rant is presented as "news." CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screaming to high heaven if Jones was an employee of the so-called "liberal media."
But remember, there's no such thing is conservative media bias in the MRC's eyes, so Jones' job is quite safe -- even if no actual journalism organization would employ her.
MRC's Graham Mad That NPR Brings Back Satire Mag, Doesn't Mention Hillary Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham really did devote an entire post to complaining that NPR had on the founders of the now-defunct satire magazine Spy to talk about their longtime targeting of Donald Trump -- Spy invented the term "short-fingered vulgarian" to describe him -- but didn't mention that Spy also targeted Hillary Clinton in the '90s.
But Graham glosses over the reason why Spy was worth a story: Trump is still mad about Spy's decades-old mocking of him, and the story came in the wake of the Republican presidential campaign's descent into the gutter of obliquely discussing the gential size of Trump, to which Spy's "short-fingered vulgarian" reference even more obliquely addresses.
By contrast, Hillary has apparently not complained, then or now, about Spy's mocking of her, making any reference to her in this story superfluous.
And despite the fact that Spy devoted three covers (and, presumably, related editorial content) to Hillary-mocking, Graham still insisted on calling Spy a "lefty satire rag." Gotta keep that "liberal media" meme alive, even if you've totally discredited it.
Graham, of course, made sure to include the Spy covers mocking Hillary. He seemingly dismissed them as "juvenile," adding, "These are not sophisticated covers. They're low-class enough to make a high-school joke giggle." And, it would appear, a high-ranking official at a right-wing media-monitoring organization.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Bails on Birthers Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND editor Joseph Farah endorses Ted Cruz while ignoring his eligibility issues -- and to justify the endorsement, Farah abandons the signature issue of WND for the past eight years. Read more >>
MRC Does More PR for Right-Wing Filmmaker Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a history of serving as a shill for right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer, to the point where it appears McAleer was paying the MRC for the privilege of having it say nice things about him and promote crowdfunding campaign for his new film.
It appears the MRC is at it again. Sam Dorman does some dutiful stenography in a March 7 NewsBusters post, declaring that McAleer "said Facebook censored him after he challenged anti-drilling activists on his documentary’s social media site," purportedly for mocking a man who's suing over fracking -- a subject McAleer produced a dishonest film about in order to promote the practice and attack its critics. Dorman's apparent sole source for his post is McAleer himself; all he cites is a press release issued by McAleer and what "McAleer told MRC Business."
Dorman made no apparent attempt to verify anything McAleer said, nor did he apparently contact Facebook for a response to McAleer's charge of censorship. Given McAleer's record of hyperbole and questionable grasp of the facts -- he's been called "climate denial's Michael Moore" -- there's no reason his claims should be taken at face value.
Unless McAleer is paying for that service from the MRC, which may very well be the case once again.
WND's Double Standard on Guilt By Association, Starring David Barton Topic: WorldNetDaily
An unbylined March 11 WorldNetDaily article is an entertaining read -- though not for the reasons WND intended.
The point of it is David Barton, who head a pro-Ted Cruz PAC, defending Cruz against accusations of being too closely aligned with Pentacostal Christians and that his father, Rafael Cruz, is a dominionist, an idea promoted by the Drudge Report. This being Barton, his defense is dishonest and misleading:
David Barton, head of the pro-Cruz PAC “Keep the Promise” and author of “The Jefferson Lies,” defended Cruz, saying video “clips being taken out of context” amounted to an attempt to smear the candidate.
“They are trying to make something out of this,” said Barton. “Unfortunately that’s part of what goes into any campaign, the yellow journalism, the innuendo, the kind of making the noise about, ‘Look how terrible this is.'”
Barton noted it was not clearly shown whether Rafael Cruz was speaking in tongues. Even if he was, Barton suggested it doesn’t matter.
“There are at least 500 million people in the world who are Pentecostal Christians,” said Barton. “Even if he was doing this, this is a major part of the Christian community. It’s being shown in a pejorative way to make it look like something weird and strange. It’s not a big deal because of how large this group of people is.”
Barton never explains the supposedly proper context the clips should be viewed it -- even as he's insisting that even if there was proper context, "it doesn't matter." And he doesn't deny that Rafael Cruz is a dominionist, probably because it's true.
And then there's this line:
Barton condemned any use of “guilt by association” tactics on the Right, by anyone, and was equally critical of similar attacks that might be levied against Trump, Marco Rubio and other candidates.
As Warren Throckmorton points out, Barton didn't have any problem with guilt by association when it came to the critics of his is once-withdrawn, now-returned (and yet still discredited) Thomas Jefferson book.
And of course, as it was denouncing "guilt by association" tactics, WND was not only engaging in them, it was blowing past them by promoting the false allegation that a protester who rushed the stage at a Donald Trump rally is a supporter of ISIS.
If WND can't be consistent with its own logic, it's certainly not going to hold Barton responsible for defending Cruz and his own discredited book.
MRC Uses Levin For Cover To Criticize Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
The business relationship between the Media Research Center and right-wing radio host Mark Levin is apparently so close now that Levin has a hand in the MRC's editorial agenda.
On Feb. 28, Ted Cruz faced tough questioning from host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," who pressed Cruz on factually inaccurate claims he had made. You know MRC chief Brent Bozell is a big fanboy of Cruz; Levin is too, to the point that Levin's fiancee's son works for his campaign.
The MRC is also a big booster of Fox News, to the point that it deliberately excludes Fox from its TV analyses in order to avoid having to hold Fox accountable to the same standards it applies to other TV networks (on, for instance, Trump boosterism). So it would never criticize Wallace so directly for something it would have no problem attacking him for were he employed anywhere but Fox News.
However, it has no problem attacking Wallace while using Levin as cover. Hence, Randy Hall's March 1 NewsBusters post:
One day after Ted Cruz was a guest on the Fox News Sunday program, conservative radio personality Mark Levin hammered that show's host -- Chris Wallace -- for performing a “hit job” on that Republican presidential candidate after conducting a softball interview with Donald Trump, even though the GOP front-runner has made several of the same mistakes Cruz was accused of making.
Levin began the segment by stating that “Wallace went after Cruz” and is a person he's “never liked” because Wallace is “a chip off the old block,” a son of longtime liberal CBS journalist Mike Wallace, which the radio host stated “is the problem” with his interviews and coverage of the news.
“And no, this isn't journalism or anything of the sort,” Levin stated before airing Wallace's first question to the senator from Texas.
Levin noted that Wallace had conducted two “totally different interviews. That's why I can't watch these Sunday shows.”
“And it's not a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch the other day tweeted out that Trump, Rubio, Kasich and the establishment need to unite to beat the Democrats,” he stated.
“Now who was left out of that?” the host asked. “Cruz … because Cruz is the true outsider, and he's the true conservative.”
Judging from this incident, it appears that Levin has found a downside to the Fox News Channel being “fair and balanced.”
And it appears the MRC has finally found a way to Heather Fox News for insufficient adherence to right-wing orthodoxy without sullying its hands doing so.
WND Helps Breitbart Throw Its Reporter Under The Bus Topic: WorldNetDaily
The story of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, who claims Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski forcefully grabbed her arm and left a bruise, has been very bizarrely covered by her notoriously pro-Trump employer -- editor Joel Pollak has ordered employees to stop speaking publicly about Fields, Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon reportedly made several disparaging remarks about the reporter in conference calls with company leadership, and Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella quit his job rather than peddle management's version of events.
Yet WND has apparaently chosen to side with Breitbart management and against Fields. Cheryl Chumley writes in a March 11 WND article:
Breitbart, in a top-page post on its Friday online news page, acknowledged after viewing video that reporter Michelle Fields was probably wrong – Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski most likely wasn't the one who manhandled her at a recent rally.
The news site notes that "the altercation itself is not shown" and that "Fields quickly disappears from view, as if pulled back." The site also suggests a security official who resembles Lewandowski may have been the one who pulled Fields away.
In a surprise twist on the fast-moving Friday story, Breitbart reported this, too: Fields filed a police report alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Lewandowski.
But first the acknowledgment: "In conducting our own due diligence," Breitbart's Joel Pollak wrote, "we have reviewed as much video footage and other evidence as possible, and present it in the interest of transparency. ... The incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."
Chumley even uncritically repeated a smear of Fields, highlighting a Lewandowski tweet that "Michelle Fields is an attention seeker who once claimed Allen West groped her but later went silent." She did also note that a Breitbart reporter was suspended for criticizing Fields and that a statement claims tyhat "Breitbart continues to stand 100 percent with Michelle Fields" -- which seems to be a tad untruthful given all the stuff that's leaking out now.
Meanwhile, in addition to all the behind-the-scenes Breitbart drama now being reported, a new video has surfaced that appears to more clearly show Lewandowski grabbing Fields.
Despite the fact that the story is very much in flux, Chumley has not updated it, nor has WND published a separate update on Fields -- meaning this slanted, outdated version is what's standing as WND's current final word on the subject.
Then again, terrible, biased reporting is WND's modus operandi, so this is unfortunately not surprising.
UPDATE: Chumley has now written a follow-up article with the weekend's events, including that Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro quitting Breitbart. Strangely, she ends it with mostly anonymous "social media" comments suggesting that Fields invented the incident to promote an upcoming book.
MRC Bashes Media For Not Immediately Hopping on Trump-Reporter Incident -- But CNS Has Buried It Topic: Media Research Center
According to the Media Research Center, the TV networks didn't move fast enough to cover an alleged incident in which Donald Trump's campaign manager manhandled a conservative reporter. Curtis Houck writes in a March 10 post:
Two days after Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly forcefully grabbed the arm of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC finally noticed this disturbing incident just as a Trump protester was sucker punched at a rally on Wednesday night.
Houck praised ABC for offering "the most extensive and substantive time on this matter" and touted how it "secured an interview with Fields."
You know who who gave even less attention to this incident? The MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com.
A search of the CNS archive for "michelle fields trump" turned up only twolinks to a single story, an Associated Press article dated March 13. CNS did not put the story on its front page -- which means it may as well not have been published at all since few CNS readers are likely to venture beyond the front-page headlines -- and no CNS reporter covered the controversy.
Houck, of course, is suggesting that this plays into the MRC's conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" want Trump chosen as the Republican presidential nominee so he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November. But his own organization downplayed the controversy even more than the networks purportedly did.
Does that mean CNS is part of the "liberal media" conspiracy too?
After protester Thomas DiMassimo was arrested for rushing the stage at a Donald Trump rally, his supporters at WorldNetDaily quickly ran with the story that DiMassimo has links to ISIS.
A WND article touted how "was featured in a pro-ISIS video reportedly uploaded to YouTube in May 2015":
At Newsmax, Todd Beamon uncritically reported Trump's claim that DiMassimo's was "probably ISIS or ISIS-related," even embedding a Trump tweet that he has "ties to ISIS"and repeating the claim that DiMassimo "was featured in an Islamic State propaganda video uploaded to YouTube last year."
Just one problem: it doesn't appear to be true.
The Heavy website reports that the "pro-ISIS video" in question "appears to be a hoax video posted by a troll to discredit and mock DiMassimo" following a protest last year in which he stood on an American flag. While the video uses Arabic-style language and music, Heavy reports, "The Arabic caption roughly translates to a joke about the size of Dimassimo’s penis."
WND has since updated its article (without noting it has done so) by adding the hoax information from Heavy, but the "pro-ISIS" claim remains in the headline and lead paragraph. Beamon's Newsmax article reamins unaltered.
Publishing false information and knowingly allowing false information to stand uncorrected potentially opens up WND and Newsmax to libel risks.
WND Helps Trump (And David Duke) Do Damage Control Topic: WorldNetDaily
We got so busy documenting Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily abandoning the birther movement to support Ted Cruz, we almost forgot that WND is a friend of Donald Trump as well. So much so, in fact, it ran to his defense over that whole David Duke imbroglio.
This was important enough to WND that Bob Unruh was trotted out to write an article headlined "Trump disavows KKK -- again!" The article documented how Trump ran to righit-wing radio host (and WND friend) Michael Savage to "again disavow the KKK." But Unruh rather deliberately underwrites the situation that got Trump into trouble in the first place, writing only that "Trump was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, and the news agency reported the candidate 'declined to disavow support from David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, claiming he didn’t know anything about the group.'" Unruh then uncritically writes that "Trump later explained he didn’t hear the question because of a 'bad earpiece.'"
That Trump ran to a hater like Savage to do damage control says a lot about the situation, but Unruh -- being a good propagandist who knows Savage is a WND buddy -- doesn't talk about that. Instead, he regurgitates Savage proudly touting how the "bullet points" of his anti-immigration agenda "have been and are being used by the Trump campaign, to the credit of Donald Trump, and, of course, to the benefit of the United States of America."
Then, even more bizarrely, WND published a video clip of Duke denying in an "unscripted response" that he endorsed Trump. But it's only a 30-second clip that includes only the denial.
But Duke did effectively endorse Trump, even if he won't admit to doing so in name. Three days before the Trump-Tapper interview, Duke said that "I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do" (while also saying that "I haven’t formally endorsed him").
So it's certainly an informal endorsement of Trump. He and WND shouldn't pretend otherwise. Or is WND now doing damage control for David Duke as well?
MRC's Trump Dilemma Still Leaves It Flip-Flopping Topic: Media Research Center
Defend or bash Donald Trump? The Media Research Center, whose boss is on record as anti-Trump, keeps wildlyswinging between the two.
The latest example is kicked off by a March 8 item by Scott Whitlock complaining that "ABC and NBC on Tuesday hyped the comparison of Donald Trump to the Nazis and Adolf Hitler" by noting that Trump "has asked crowds to take a loyalty oath," adding that "In December, CNN, ABC and CBS touted the Philadelphia Daily News likening Trump to Hitler."
This might have been more effective criticism had the MRC's NewsBusters not also, at around the same time, posted an item in its "editor's picks" section from the conservative site Twitchy pointing out thgat the "pledge of allegiance to Trump is NOT a good look." (Screenshot captured above.)
Apparently clueless about the contradiction, Whitlock continued to complain that "when Tea Party members compared Obama to Hitler, an angry CNN reporter deemed it 'offensive,'" even though the tea party critics in question named no Obama actions -- a huge contrast with Trump -- and had only "a mocked-up sign in which President Barack Obama is melded with Adolf Hitler." Whitlock doesn't mention that even the person who wrote that post, the since-departed Seton Motley, agreed that likening Obama to Hitler is "a bit over the top."
And Whitlock's post was followed by one by Mairead McArdle whining that "liberals get far more of a pass" in likening people to Hitler. McArdlewaited until way near the end of her lengthy piece to concede that conservatives regularly subject Obama to such comparisons:
People on both political sides sometimes give in to the easy temptation to caricature opponents as Nazis, and plenty of conservatives reacted that way to Obama’s statist tendencies over the course of his presidency. However, the extreme reactions of liberals can only be hypocritical.
Both sides should refrain from comparing elected representatives of the United States to the man whose name has become the byword for evil. But let us not forget who made invoking Nazism routine, and for which side the fascist sky is always falling.
But has McArdle denounced those Obama-Hitler comparisons as extreme beyond that tepid declaration that both sides should stop? Not that we've seen -- which makes her just as hypocritical as she claims liberals are.
Farah Whines And Dissembles About Cruz's Eligibility ... Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
It would be so easy for Joseph Farah to explain in a simple and straightforward manner why he and his WorldNetDaily won't go after Ted Cruz's eligibility issues as aggressively as they did Barack Obama's Instead, Farah has decided to treat us to yet another day of dissembling and revisionism and whining.
And whine he does in his March 10 column -- that his endorsement of Cruz was criticized, that he was "caricatured as a 'conspiracy theorist,' a 'birther' and vilified as a racist hatemonger" for his anti-Obama birther crusade (hey, if the shoe fits...), and that he's being called out for being insufficiently birther when it comes to Cruz.
Farah does is usual manhood-measuring, making sure we know that he is "the man who founded the first independent online news agency, a lifelong journalist who had won awards for investigative reporting, my work as a foreign correspondent and achievements running daily newspapers in major metropolitan markets." Farah also engages in some counterfactual revisionism on his birther crusade:
In 2011, I published “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” by Jerome Corsi, which instantly became the No. 1 best-selling book in the country. Within days, Obama dispatched aides to Hawaii to retrieve his “long-form birth certificate” – releasing an image that satisfied every single so-called “mainstream” media organization in the U.S. An Esquire magazine columnist wrote a column claiming falsely that I was withdrawing the book from the marketplace, setting off a frenzy by retailers to return tens of thousands of copies. We sued Esquire unsuccessfully for restraint of trade and defamation, but the process ended with split decision at the U.S. Court of Appeals level, one step below the Supreme Court.
Well, no. Farah doesn't name the chart on which Corsi's book was "the No. 1 best-selling book in the country" -- probably because it doesn't exist. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the book only made it to No. 6 on the New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list. Also, Obama released his long-form birth certificate three weeks before Corsi's book was released, so he cannot plausibly claim the book forced him into it.
(What did force Obama into it was Donald Trump going aggressively birther, something Farah and Corsi were advising him on behind the scenes. Funny how Farah is now refusing to either take credit for his behind-the-scenes work then or give Trump credit for going birther on both Obama and Cruz.)
Farah also conveniently fails to mention that the reason his lawsuit against Esquire failed is because the Esquire post was clearly satire -- something Farah himself admitted until it became inconvenient to do so.
Farah dissembles further:
Meanwhile, WND actually investigated the suspicious document Obama released, which only served to raise more questions than it answered. The only law enforcement investigation of the document found it to be fraudulent.
Then, bizarrely, Farah decides that he doesn't really know what a "natural born citizen" is -- despite his column carrying the headline "What is a 'natural born citizen?'" -- and that if he did, it doesn't matter now because he doesn't want to make the election about "eligibility." See how he punts:
As for me, I have studied the matter closely. But I do not pretend to be the last word. I have my opinions about the original intent of the founders. I have my opinions about what should be the standard definition. But I would be fooling myself if I thought anyone cared.
Anyway, the election was now upon us. I had a choice: I could make the election all about constitutional eligibility, or I could look at the candidates and determine for myself who would be the best president. Either way, my decision would not likely determine the outcome of the election.
I looked at all the records of all the candidates running and found Ted Cruz to be the one who, if elected, would most likely return our country to a foundation of liberty, the rule of law, equal justice and limited government. His entire life has been dedicated to advancing those principles.
If I were convinced he was not constitutionally eligible, I could not support him. But I am not the last word on such matters. That’s for every voter to decide for himself or herself – since neither government, the courts, nor the dominant media culture have any interest in doing so.
Those sincerely convinced a candidate is constitutionally ineligible have a moral obligation not to support him. I respect that. As for me, I am not persuaded Cruz is ineligible. I am, however, convinced he is the best candidate running for president.
This is a massive load of hypocritical hooey. Contrast Farah's suddenly convenient reticence to define who's eligible to run for president with a 2012 column in which he asserted that eligibility "cannot be ignored" regarding Marco Rubio, who isn't eligible because his parents didn't become U.S. citizens "four years after Marco Rubio was born." He cites numerous legal precedents to claim that only a child born of two American citizens can be a "natural born citizen," adding that Obama is not "not eligible" and "never was" because "his father was a Kenyan student who never became a U.S. citizen. Therefore, he doesn't meet the test of eligibility."
But Cruz's father was not an American citizen at the time of his son's birth and didn't become one until 2005.Therefore, under the definition of "natural born citizen" Farah himself promulgated a few short years ago, Cruz is not eligible.
So why won't Farah come out and say that? Why has Farah abruptly decided that he is "not persuaded Cruz is ineligible" despite his own history of pushing an interpretation demonstrating the opposite?
Because he knows his Obama birther crusade was never about, as he now claims, prompting "an informed and intelligent national debate about the meaning of the constitutional phrase 'natural born citizen'" -- it was about trying to bring about the personal destruction of Obama. If he held Cruz to the same standard, he would be accused of sabotaging the man he wants to be president.
In short, he's abandoning birtherism because it no longer advances his political agenda, just like he compains that the media "dropped [him] like a hot potato" for pushing his birther views. What an utter hypocrite.