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A Lie to the Right

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, WorldNetDaily still insists it's not a right-wing site.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 11/12/2003

From the dishing-it-out-but-unable-to-take-it file:

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is upset that an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune is saying bad things about his web site. In an op-ed defending Muslims, Fedwa Wazwaz calls WND "a Christian, right-wing paper." Farah's defense against that statement in his Nov. 10 column came before his refutation of an apparent misquoting of him by Wazwaz.

Farah declared the "Christian, right-wing paper" statement "a lie," adding that "In fact, WorldNetDaily publishes many viewpoints including many in stark contrast with Christian beliefs. It is a general-interest news service read and appreciated by people of every faith and no faith, people of every political persuasion and no political persuasion – some 5 million worldwide."

By that standard, the New York Times isn't a liberal newspaper, as conservatives love to assert. And WND, remember, published a Times-bashing book by Bob Kohn that, according to WND's blurbs, accuses the Times of manipulating the news "to further a leftist political agenda." As much as Farah and WND despise the Times, it had no problem using the Times' bestseller list to pimp Michael Savage's WND-published book (not to mention promote Savage's new book).

Farah's ranting obscures the fact that WND, though it offers links to other mainstream stories (and steals others) and offers token non-conservative views on its commentary page, is heavily biased toward right-wing and Christian causes. For example, count how many original stories WND has written on Terri Schiavo (at last count, 28) compared to, say, original WND stories on the apparent outing of a CIA agent by Bush administration officials (at last count, zero). And its recent spate of non-conservative original reporting by Paul Sperry on President Bush and the Iraq war seems to have pretty much disappeared now that the promotion window for Sperry's WND-published book has passed. Sometimes, WND blends both conservative advocacy and book-plugging as it did when it promoted Katherine Harris' WND-published book along with her congressional candidacy.

And then there's WND's history of one-sided and one-source reporting from the likes of Jon Dougherty. and its various crusades over the years, from maligning Patty Murray to Farah's own impeach-the-Supreme-Court jihad utilizing WND resources.

More recent evidence that WND's coverage is slanted or designed to sell more WND books:

  • A Nov. 5 story devoted solely to Oprah Winfrey calling singer Melissa Etheridge's current relationship a "marriage" but "failing to mention same-sex marriage is illegal in all 50 states."
  • Another Nov. 5 story devoted to the cancellation by a Canadian TV station of a program hosted by evangelist John Hagee.
  • An Oct. 29 story on an "impromptu telephone call" by Clint Eastwood to Michael Savage's radio show. Art Moore put his byline on this one.
  • Another Art Moore story, this time on a "pro-life attorney" who faces "potentially crippling sanctions" of just over $30,000 in court for allegedly filing frivolous charges against Planned Parenthood. Moore doesn't explain why the court sanctions are "potentially crippling" or why an attorney, even a "pro-life" one, can't easily come up with that kind of money.

One more thing Farah rants on is the Star Tribune's apparent lack of fact-checkers: "The paper evidently allows unverified, libelous, hateful accusations to be made by contributors with reckless disregard for the truth."

As far as WND's commitment to fact-checking goes, we're still waiting for WND columnists Sperry and Kyle Williams to correct the record regarding their assertions that former Enron chief Kenneth Lay slept over at the Clinton White House. We're also waiting for Farah to apologize for repeating the "Gore said he invented the Internet" canard.

If Farah really believes WND is not right-wing and otherwise a responsible news organization, the lie he's referring to is the one he's telling himself and WND readers.

* * *

ConWebWatch isn't the only one who has noticed WND's abandonment of much of its original news reporting in favor of rewriting stuff reported by others and placing it under a WND byline and claiming "fair use."

Christopher Manion at the libertarian site did quite a number on WND's sticky fingers back in August.

"Hey, at WND, I can just read an article off of one screen, rewrite it in my own words on the other, give it a "WND" source link, and the site gets double the page views," Manion wrote in a piece claiming he was jumping to WND so he didn't have to spend so much time on research. " I want a job change that saves me time and doesn’t make me think so much, that’s all. WND makes it easy on me .... And half their ‘articles’ are ads! When I was in grad school, I was a fan of Easy Rider. Well, now I can be Easy Writer."

The fact that Manion isn't all that far from the truth makes it all the funnier.

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