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The Truth Slips Out

WorldNetDaily betrays its agenda and runs a piece critical of George W. Bush. Its readers weren't happy.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/16/2000

Apparently, even Clinton-bashing gets old. What other explanation could there be for WorldNetDaily running a column critical of George W. Bush?

Not merely critical, mind you. We're talking vast-conspiracy critical here.

And it comes from a most unlikely source -- Maralyn Lois Polak, whom we last saw trying to add poor, alcoholic Tony Moser to the Clinton "death list."

Polak's Aug. 30 column chronicles the bulk of the more unsavory bits about the Republican presidential candidate and his family -- his missing year of National Guard service, his grandfather's links to Nazi Germany (his assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act), daddy's questionable work while head of the CIA, among other things -- all things the ConWeb has avoided reporting on throughout the campaign. (ConWebWatch has already taken a look at the ConWeb's treatment of the AWOL issue.)

The article even provides links to other sites with the details. A couple of those links are belong to sites available for months on the ConWebWatch links page.

As Polak writes in the personage of AngstWorld, her conspiratorial alter ego: "Bush is a political sock-puppet." It's almost as if someone had taken a piece of typical ConWeb reportage and ran a find-and-replace on it, substituting "Clinton" for "Bush."

You'd think WorldNetDaily readers would be interested in reading such disturbing details about a politician's life; after all, they eat up similar stuff about the Clintons.

Wrong. Its "E-Mail to the Editor" page was chock full of letters angry that WND would even run such a story, though none offered any evidence that anything in Polak's column was incorrect. (WorldNetDaily doesn't archive its letters, so links are not available.) It also provides a glimpse into the thinking of the ConWeb patron.

Typical was this comment: "I was deeply saddened to read the piece by Maralyn Polak smearing George W. Bush in what has to be the ugliest effort yet."

Some writers felt a little more strongly about the issue. "What a bunch of garbage you write," wrote Rob Knoll. "We shouldn't even waste paper on such nonsense. Why don't you just say you are a puppet for the Clinton-Gore scum machine?" Rob signs off with: "Leave this great country, you communist pig."

And then there was "Gulfwind," who wrote: "Speaking for myself, I don't want balance on your website, I want pure right-wing conservatism."

One writer, on the other hand, found Polak's article "EXTREMELY disturbing. This is not the first time I have heard or read this point of view, but until now I have largely dismissed this kind of talk as left-wing spin and propaganda. ... Seeing this material on WND has forced me to take a second look."

Interestingly enough, WND didn't leave the issue of Bush-bashing alone. Joseph Farah wrote a Sept. 7 column saying he's not voting for Bush because the candidate isn't pro-life enough. "I will not waste my vote on a candidate who, even by the admission of many of his most vociferous proponents, is a lighter shade of evil," he writes.

Farah got pretty much the same reaction that Polak did. As one letter went: "As much as you dislike Bush, how can you suggest that he is not the candidate of choice. Maybe you are a closet Democrat?" Another reader wrote: "Lesser evil is still lesser ... but asking the good people to do nothing fosters the greater evil."

Again, no actual defense of Bush, but the reasoning that Bush is not as bad as Gore -- and basically proving Farah's argument right.

So, what have we learned? That WorldNetDaily shows the potential of producing actual journalism whose ultimate goal isn't to attack the Clintons. And that its readers prefer the red meat of Clinton-bashing over any hint of conservative criticism.

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