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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 24: Joseph Farah, Crusher of Dissent

WorldNetDaily's editor wants to censor views he disagrees with by bringing back the Hollywood blacklist.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/8/2003

How can Joseph Farah top himself after advocating the murder of adulterers? Why, bring back the Hollywood blacklist, of course!

Set off by an article in which Johnny Depp allegedly called the United States a "dumb puppy that has big teeth" (though he said later his views were misrepresented and insisted he wasn't trying to be anti-American) Farah called for that draconian solution in a Sept. 4 column. Farah's reasoned reaction to Depp? "I say we should make certain this scumbucket never works in America again."

Farah went on to cite the usual suspects -- Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, the Dixie Chicks, Janeane Garofolo, Sean Penn -- and then demanded: "It's time to silence these people. It's time to force them to get real jobs and perform real work and learn the unusual and undeserved blessings America has bestowed upon them." Like the First Amendment right of free speech, perhaps?

Farah then goes on to praise the blacklisting of suspected communists in Hollywood in the 1950s: "It was a good thing. It was the right thing to do at the right time in history. And, as America finds itself beleaguered in the world against – literally surrounded by – enemies who seek to destroy it, we cannot allow traitors privileged status in the entertainment industry."

Farah followed this up the next day with a laundry list of celebrities he denounces as "dilletantes," "spoiled-brat political activists masquerading as entertainers" and "enemies of the people" complete with allegedly "anti-American" quotes attributed to them. Here are some of quotes Farah cites:

  • "George W. Bush is a moron"
  • "I despise him [G.W. Bush]"
  • "We've got this guy in the White House who thinks he's a man"
  • "We have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred"
  • "The man's embarrassing. He's not my president and he never will be either"
  • "I am afraid of Bush"
  • "this administration of liars and murderers"

What is the overriding theme of these remarks? First, criticism of Bush. Is Farah saying that criticism of the president is "anti-American"? If so, what is one to make of the criticisms by Farah and others of President Clinton in the 1990s? If mere criticism of a president is anti-American, doesn't that make them anti-American too?

And don't a lot of those comments sound vaguely familiar? Just substitute "Clinton" for "Bush," and you have the conservative tone of the 1990s. Compare the "He's not my president" remark to those "My president is Charlton Heston" bumper stickers the National Rifle Assocation used to hand out. If one entertainer is "afraid of Bush," Farah spoke of being afraid to go to Arkansas to give a deposition: "Too much fear. ... Too many mysterious deaths." And as for "this administration of liars and murderers," Farah himself has touted the alleged "Clinton body count" that alleges by implication that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton are murderers.

What Farah -- and, by extension, WorldNetDaily -- really seems to be interested in is not the "fiercely independent" ideals it continually espouses (a cynical and bogus contention, as ConWebWatch has long ago exposed WND's slanted and plagiarized stories and stacked commentary page) but the complete muzzling of views he disagrees with. He wants something more than to "stand up to these pathetic loudmouths in Hollywood" -- he apparently wants to remove a particular viewpoint from the public forum.

Isn't that a strange position for someone who calls himself a journalist to be taking?

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