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Pick Your Poison

WorldNetDaily continues to serve up its toxic brew of bias and distortion masquerading as journalism.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/22/2004
Updated 10/23/2004

Oh, the irony.

The latest issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine, titled "Poison Press," is another conspiratorial-minded look at "big media." (How conspiratorial? The "old media" is likened to "the malevolent computer program in 'The Matrix' film trilogy.") WND, of course, has been ladling out its own toxic brew of journalistic lies and distortions for years.

And, just as ConWebWatch has noted when WND published Bob Kohn's attack on The New York Times, the journalistic sins detailed in "Poison Press" directly apply to WND.

The lead instigator, the Chemical Ali of journalism if you will, is Joseph Farah. For months, he has disingenuously claimed to have not taken sides he didn't support George W. Bush for re-election, even though he actively promoted Bush's cause by leading a relentless, almost hysterical campaign against John Kerry -- more than 70 stories related to the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth alone, eagerness to repeat the never-confirmed rumors of a Kerry affair -- while refusing to extend anywhere near the same scrutiny to Bush. Despite the WND's denouncing in "Poison Press" of the alleged "scandalous pre-election hucksterism" for Kerry by the "big media," WND has very much been a huckster for Bush.

On Oct. 20, though, he finally stated what was long obvious to anyone with a sentience level above celery -- that he supported Bush's re-election, if only because his hatred of Kerry is so visceral.

"Osama bin Laden and his jihadist allies have one short-term goal above all others -- defeating George W. Bush at the polls Nov. 2," Farah wrote. "A victory by John Kerry, a lifelong appeaser of totalitarianism, would hand the terrorists their biggest morale boost since Sept. 11, 2001. ... A Kerry victory -- or even a close election, decided days or weeks after the vote -- will increase exponentially the danger our country faces, the risk to our children, the threat to our way of life."

Of course, Farah has no actual proof that terrorists want Kerry to win (though he cites an alleged endorsement of Kerry by Yasser Arafat); in fact, the only record we've seen of an actual terrorist expressing a presidential preference has come out for Bush.

When WorldNetDaily isn't busy tearing down Kerry, it's promoting bogus online polls that support Bush. Writer Joe Kovacs has a strange obsession with the America Online opt-in poll, even though he knows (or should know) that online polls are meaningless. An Oct. 17 story by Kovacs once again pimps the poll, playing up a "mysterious" two-week absence -- but that's because Bush is winning it. Never mind that it has no relation to reality.

"Poison Press," meanwhile, alleges that a newspaper manipulated a poll because it allegedly "didn't show the desired "bounce" for John Kerry."

WND also has a stubborn insistence on swallowing anything published on the Drudge Report as the gospel truth, despite Drudge's record of factual error (like the aforementioned Kerry affair rumors). WND did it again on Oct. 14, when it promoted a Drudge Report item about a Democratic National Committee election manual that allegedly "urges local operatives to stir up talk about potential voter intimidation even if there is no evidence." In reality, the manual urges such hardball tactics like issuing a press release -- hardly the agitation Drudge and WND want you to think is being promoted.

WND's Jon Dougherty legacy of slanted one-source stories sadly continues as well. An Oct. 20 story by Art Moore on Sinclair Broadcast Group's backtracking on its planned broadcast of the biased, inaccurate anti-Kerry film "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Won't Heal" -- The New York Times noted that it is "rife with out-of-context and incomplete quotations from Mr. Kerry and other antiwar veterans. ... many accusations in it were not provable or stretched far beyond reality" -- quotes only a representative of Sinclair, Mark Hyman, and is sympathetically slanted toward Sinclair's viewpoint.

Moore swallows Hyman's contention that Sinclair never planned to air the full film in the first place, despite the fact that TV listings for Sinclair's stations promoted the film and WND itself reported that Sinclair planned to air the full film. Moore also provides a list of "challenges to Sinclair" that mysteriously leaves out one important "challenge": Sinclair's firing of its Washington bureau chief after he complained publicly about his employer's plans to air the film.

And that's just in the past week. WND has a long history of bias, distortion and outright lies, as ConWebWatch has copiously documented over the years. Among the offenses:

Despite all this, the "Poison Press" issue of Whistleblower rails against "agenda-driven manipulators" and "the fabric of confusion, cover-up and deceit that passes for 'political analysis' in the establishment press."

In other words, same poison, different bottle. If WorldNetDaily is claiming to be the antidote for the "Poison Press" -- and, at least implicitly, it is -- the cure is worse than the disease.

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