Feeding the Extremists
Not only does WorldNetDaily have a soft spot for anti-abortion radicals of the type that killed George Tiller, it shares common interests with the man who allegedly shot a guard at the Holocaust Museum.
By Terry Krepel
Did Scott Roeder, alleged killer of abortion doctor George Tiller, read WorldNetDaily on a regular basis? How about James von Brunn, accused killer of a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington?
After all, WND shares interests with both alleged shooters, no matter how fervently it wants to conceal that fact.
As ConWebWatch has already detailed, WND has long expressed disdain for Tiller, repeatedly calling him "Tiller the Killer." It also has a history of sympathetically portraying anti-abortion extremists, even going so far as portray one such extremist, James Kopp, as being framed for the shooting death of another abortion doctor (just a few months before he confessed to the crime). While WND has never explicitly advocated the deaths of anyone in the abortion industry, if such continuously negative attacks can be said to have the possibility to incite violence -- a point that has been debated about Bill O'Reilly's similar attacks on Tiller -- then WND may very well have played a role in hastening Tiller's death.
Meanwhile, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum has led to the discovery of interests shared by WND and von Brunn.
Talking Points Memo uncovered a Internet bulletin board posting attributed to von Brunn listing documents regarding Barack Obama that have supposedly not been released to the public. The Huffington Post found further examples of the von Brunn post.
WND, of course, is the leader of the birther movement, a deceptive and dishonest campaign to attack Obama in which exculpatory information is hidden -- like the fact that when the issue first surfaced last summer, WND declared the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign to be "authentic."
Coincidentially, the day before the June 10 museum shooting, WND published an article by Chelsea Schilling that listed "more than a dozen other documents" regarding Obama that allegedly "remain unreleased or otherwise blocked from the public eye." Did von Brunn's list inspire Schilling? It's a fair question to ask.
Affinity for questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate is not the only thing WND shares with von Brunn; they both despise the Federal Reserve as well.
In 1981, as TPM described it, von Brunn "pulled out a sawed-off shotgun at the Federal Reserve Board headquarters, claiming to have planted a bomb and threatening to take members of the Board hostage." Von Brunn described it as an attempted "citizens arrest"; he served six and a half years in prison for it.
WND's hatred of the Fed appears to be as virulent, if not as violent or driven by anti-Semitism. WND's store sells numerous books and videos attacking the Fed:
Wanna bet von Brunn owns some, if not all, of these titles? One has to wonder if he bought his copies from WND.
In a March 14 column, Farah expressed his disappointment that Ronald Reagan "left us with bigger government": "He didn't eliminate the Federal Reserve. He didn't eliminate many of the most destructive, immoral and lawless institutions that knocked America from its pedestal as a shining city on a hill."
WND's columnists have also attacked the Fed:
WND has also touted an effort led by Ron Paul to audit and even abolish the Federal Reserve. A Feb. 21 article by Bob Unruh stated:
"Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy," Paul said in a statement at the time the proposal was introduced.
A June 11 article by Unruh added: "Paul long has opposed the power held by the Federal Reserve and its ability to manipulate the nation's economy and over the years has launched multiple proposals to get rid of the quasi-governmental agency, without significant support."
Such language -- as well as that from Farah and other WND writers -- is not far from von Brunn's writings (though von Brunn's vile anti-Semitism is absent from WND's work). From von Brunn's website, as reported by the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg:
The Constitution states that Congress alone shall issue and control America's currency; Congress may not delegate those functions. Nevertheless a corrupt and ignorant U.S. Congress enacted the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act (1913). Few Congressmen since have dared suggest it is unconstitutional -- fearing for their livelihood and their lives. The word "Federal" is a sham. It has no more relevance than "Federal" Tire Co. The FED is a private corporation whose stock is owned by International Bankers. It is not an agency of the United States Government. It is one of many parasitical Rothschild Central Banks infesting the world stage. Its power ascends over every U.S. citizen from cradle to grave. Every dollar in your wallet is a note issued by the FED. The U.S. Government redeems that note (principal and interest) with your taxes. Through its enormous resources and power the FED controls the machinery of the U.S. Government.
Not much difference, is there?
The only mention of von Brunn's 1981 assault on the Federal Reserve at WND -- indeed, the only mention at all of von Brunn's hatred for the Fed -- came not in a news article but in a June 12 column by Pamela Geller, which cited the incident only to portray von Brunn as a "certifiable sicko."
Just has WND disappeared facts that make the anti-abortion movement look bad regarding the killing of George Tiller, WND has so far refused to admit its shared interest with von Brunn. A June 10 article by Joe Kovacs repeats Fox News anchor Shepard Smith's statement that "there is no truth whatsoever zero" to claims that Obama is "not a citizen of the United States." Kovacs responded to Smith's statement by devoting five paragraphs to rehashing a 2000 incident in which a car driven by Shepard allegedly clipped another reporter who was saving a parking space for a friend -- despite its irrelevance to anything going on today.
At no point, however, does Kovacs mention the reason that Smith brought up the subject: von Brunn's birther tendencies. WND followed the article up with an opt-in poll asking, "What do you think of Shepard Smith calling eligibility skeptics 'crazies'?" The top response by far: "He doesn't even demonstrate journalistic curiosity about legitimate questions over Obama's eligibility."
A June 11 WND article by Bob Unruh asserted that von Brunn "was a Darwin-lover who hated the Bible and Christians, and defies media efforts to classify him as a stereotypical 'right-winger.'" Unruh failed to mention that von Brunn was birther who hated the Federal Reserve -- just like Unruh's employer, and possibly Unruh himself.
Roger Hedgecock similarly claimed in a June 15 WND column that von Brunn "also thought Christianity was a "hoax," denied the Bible, praised Hitler, denounced Bush and Cheney, was a 9/11 conspiracy fan, had a target list that included the conservative publication 'Weekly Standard,' and used Darwinism to support his anti-Semitism. A violent nut maybe, but certainly not an American conservative." He too refused to say a word about von Brunn's very conservative interests in the Fed and Obama's birth certificate.
So, did Scott Roeder and James von Brunn read WND regularly? It's impossible to know without asking them, of course -- and WND sure as hell isn't going to ask. While Farah regularly claims that WND has "fearlessly skewered sacred cows," WND has its own numerous sacred cows, the chief one being itself.
It's clear, however, that WND publishes articles extremists like Roeder and von Brunn would find of interest, peddling attack after attack on Obama and anything else that violates WND's right-wing worldview in a sensational manner that is nothing less than manna for extremists. Certainly Farah is not unaware of that fact.
In his June 9 column, Farah was strangely vocal in pushing back against Keith Olbermann's claim that Fox News -- where Bill O'Reilly repeatedly called Tiller a "baby killer" -- shares some culpability in Tiller's death, Farah attacked Olbermann, accusing him of wanting to having it both ways and claiming that he is inciting murder by naming people -- specifically, Farah -- to his nightly "Worst Person in the World" list.
Farah concluded by writing of Olbermann: "He'll lie. He'll deceive. He'll cheat. He'll distort. And, yes, he'll incite even while accusing others of doing just what he does."
Isn't Farah really talking about himself here? Given that WND engaged in the very same behavior that Fox News did -- which Farah refused to admit -- is Farah trying to cover his own butt by issuing a pre-emptive strike against Olbermann?
It appears so. Farah's column is full of projection: He asserted that Olbermann built his show around "character assassination, partisan smears, predictable ideological tripe, party-line goose-stepping and self-important, self-righteous political correctness," won't retract his claims because "He knows no one else takes him seriously," and insisted that "in his desperation to establish an audience for his bloviating, Olbermann will continue to tear down others."
Much, if not all, of which can be said about Farah as well, though one suspects that Farah is still self-delusional enough to think that there are people who still take him seriously.
If Fox News is guilty in hastening the death of Tiller, Farah and WorldNetDaily are too. Too bad Farah lacks the guts to honestly address the subject, choosing instead to attack anyone who dares to bring up the subject.
If Farah ever wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, the next sacred cow WND must fearlessly skewer is itself, by admitting the truth about its content -- and its audience.