Jerome Corsi's Cesspool
With his birther conspiracies imploding, WorldNetDaily's star reporter is taking a deep swig of the most fetid waters of Obama-hate by parroting sleazy rumors about Barack Obama's sexuality.
By Terry Krepel
It's rough being Jerome Corsi these days.
WorldNetDaily's star reporter has spent the past four years peddling various birther conspiracies, desperately trying to prove that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. That work culminated with taking part in a successful effort to manipulate Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio into conducting an "investigation" into Obama's "eligibility" -- into which Corsi insinuated himself as a de facto member of Arpaio's "cold case posse."
As Corsi's involvement would indicate, the posse's "investigation" was largely a rehash of WND's birther conspiracies that had previously been debunked by others. Then, in a July news conference, posse leader Mike Zullo announced his latest piece of so-called evidence: handwritten codes on Obama's long-form birth certificate "proves the document has been tampered with."
But Zullo and the posse used the wrong coding system to divine what the handwritten numbers meant -- a system established in 1968 to interpret a 1961 birth certificate. Fact-checking sites immediately shot the claim down.
Having his shoddy, careless research methods exposed so completely appears to have shaken Corsi. He has written very little about the posse since then, and he certainly won't admit that the posse screwed the pooch on the coding stuff -- just one of many birther-debunking facts WND refuses to publish.
Instead, Corsi is turning his attention to one of the darkest, most fetid corners of the Obama-hate by peddling rumors that Obama is gay.
Larry Sinclair lays the groundwork
This is a direction WND has not been afraid to take in the past. In February 2008, it pounced on never-proven claims by Larry Sinclair that he and Obama did drugs and had sex, promoting them even though it made no apparent effort to verify Sinclair's claims. WND editor Joseph Farah even defended Sinclair, suggesting that he must be credible because he "makes his charges public, agrees to a polygraph and files a lawsuit reiterating the charges and accusing the candidate of harassment and intimidation." But as Sinclair failed that lie-detector test, was revealed to be a convicted criminal, and continued to discredit himself in public -- most notably with what one observer called "the single most stupefying event on any single day, what with the diversity of inanity on display from coast to coast in an election year," that came complete with a kilt-wearing attorney who justified his wardrobe decision by discussing the size of his "male genitalia" -- even WND backed away from him.
Corsi began hinting at this Dumpster-diving direction in a February 2011 WND column, in which he purported to review of WND columnist Jack Cashill's book "Deconstructing Obama" but mostly served up a mish-mash of Obama derangement in which he invoked the unproven Obama rumors:
Ayers, Axelrod and Plouffe would go to any length, including lying, to hide the reality that Black Liberation Theology is a Marxist-derived revolutionary religion predicated on racist prejudices.
Corsi was alluding to a claim promoted by the likes of Wayne Madsen that Obama had an affair with Young. It echoes the discredited "Clinton body count" promoted by Clinton-haters during the 1990s.
Madsen is a fringe conspiracy theorist who has scaremongered about vaccines and believes that Obama is a creation of the CIA. Madsen also asked in an appearance on fellow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show, after claiming in a discussion of the Colorado theater shooter that "presidential assassins" owned copies of "The Catcher in the Rye" and that its author, J.D. Salinger, took part in the CIA's notorious MKULTRA program: "Has Batman replaced 'Catcher in the Rye' as a triggering mechanism?"
As Corsi's birther conspiracy began to publicly implode this year, he turned more and more to the gay-sex rumors. In an April 24 WND article, Corsi tried to rehabilitate Sinclair, writing that a libel case was dismissed against Sinclair by a man who claimed Sinclair ruined him by claiming in a book that Obama adviser David Axelrod had agreed to pay the man $750,000 to rig the results of Sinclair's polygraph test. Corsi makes sure to put in his lead paragraph that Sinclair has made the "sensational charge that he had sex and used drugs with the future president," but it wasn't until the final paragraph of his 27-paragraph article that Corsi gets around to mentioning that Sinclair has a "criminal past."
Corsi followed that up with a June 5 WND article declaring that "Two recent developments have bolstered a campaign by Larry Sinclair to advance the sensational claim in his 2009 book 'Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder' that he and Barack Obama twice engaged in homosexual acts accompanied by cocaine use." Neither of these "recent developments," however, does anything of the sort.
The first is that the man who conducted the lie-detector test that Sinclair failed -- and whom Sinclair is now accusing of having been paid $750,000 by Obama adviser David Axelrod to rig the test -- "was indicted in an unrelated matter by federal authorities and charged with conspiring to conceal campaign donations." The fact that even Corsi admits this case is "an unrelated matter" to Sinclair proves its speciousness. Corsi also made no mention of what evidence, if any, Sinclair cites as proof that the lie-detector test was rigged.
The other "development" Corsi claimed was significant is a brief by Amazon.com in a lawsuit over Sinclair's book claiming that the book has not been proven defamatory. That doesn't mean it isn't, of course, or that it has been documented to be factual. As Corsi reported, Amazon is simply invoking the case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which established modern libel law by setting a higher bar of libel against public figures and setting the standard that a publisher of a defamatory statement know that the statement is false or acted in reckless disregard as a condition of conviction. It's pretty standard procedure for a publisher or distributor of a potentially libelous or defamatory statement to invoke Sullivan in defense.
in an Aug. 15 article, Corsi repeated a claim by John Drew that after a 1980 encounter with Obama, "his strong impression at the time was that Obama and the wealthy Pakistani roommate who accompanied him were homosexual lovers."
In fact, Drew -- who has also cited his encounters with Obama to claim that he was, as Corsi wrote, a "Marxist revolutionar[y]" -- met Obama only twice in social occasions, making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on brief, casual encounters. Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been contradicted by actual college friends of Obama. Corsi made no apparent effort to fact-check anything Drew said.
An Aug. 28 article by Corsi focused around Obama assistant Reggie Love and how "the Internet" was "abuzz with speculation" that Love temporarily stepped down from his position because of college photos that "purported to show a heavily inebriated Love surrounded by fellow students assisting him in engaging in a homosexual act at a party."
Corsi then went on to tout how the Drudge Report "toyed with headlines, photos and page placement over the years that give the impression Love was something more than a presidential assistant" to Obama, then finally moved to peddle completely unsubstantiated rumors that Obama and Love have had a sexual relationship.
Corsi presents not a single fact in support of this claim -- only rumors. And one of Corsi's sources for his sleaze on Love is the above-referenced Wayne Madsen.
This is the WND "news" standard, apparently -- reporting rumors, not facts.
First, in a Aug. 13 article, Corsi set the stage for harassment of gays by publishing a list of "more than 250 openly LGBT (Lesbian-”Gay”-Bisexual-Transgender) professionals appointed by the Obama administration to federal government policy jobs," meaning that "the Obama administration has set a record for appointing more openly LGBT individuals to the federal government than all previous administrations combined." Corsi seems to think this is a bad thing, but he doesn't explain why. The headline on the article furthers Corsi's sleazy dog-whistle narrative: "Why he's the first 'gay' president."
Then, in a separate article the same day, Corsi grumbled that "LGBT (Lesbian, “Gay,” Bisexual, and Transgender) advocacy groups have declared war on Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, targeting him as a villain." Corsi claims that "by doing so, LGBT activists risk putting a spotlight on controversial issues high on the cultural agenda of the political left, including same-sex marriage and open LGBT behavior in the military, issues that might not fly as high in some less-liberal regions of the nation, including some swing states."
(Note the awkward placement of scare quotes around "gay" in both articles. That's a ridiculous, spiteful WND stylebook mandate.)
Corsi upped the ante in a Sept. 11 article claiming that "Barack Obama’s participation in the 'gay' bar and bathhouse scene was so well known that many who were aware of his lifestyle were shocked when he ran for president and finally won the White House." Corsi's source this time around, in addition to Madsen, is Kevin DuJan, who he claims is "a prominent member of Chicago’s homosexual community" and "founder and editor of the Hillary Clinton-supporting website HillBuzz.org."
DuJan -- whose previous claim to fame was spearheading a campaign to stuff the ballot box so Bristol Palin would win on "Dancing With the Stars" -- has been making this claim for more than two years, making Corsi a bit slow on the uptake. But, like Madsen, DuJan is a less-than-credible source. The liberal gay blog Joe. My. God. writes of him: "DuJan also claims that nobody will date him because he loves Sarah Palin. Then there's that claim that leftist gays are poisoning his drinks in Chicago bars. ... Oh and black people who voted for Obama are racists."
Corsi adds this hard-hitting piece of investigative reporting: "WND also spoke with a member of the East Bank Club in Chicago, who confirmed Obama was a member there and was known to be a homosexual." As with the rest of his article, there's no actual, on-the-record evidence to back up his claim, just uncritical repeating of unsubstantiated rumors.
Hedging his bets
When Corsi isn't splashing around in his little gay-sex cesspool, he's hedging his bets on the birther stuff by touting a film that, while still a strain of anti-Obama sleaze, blows his birther conspiracy out of the water.
Corsi used an April 25 article to promoted an upcoming film claiming that "Frank Marshall Davis, the radical poet and journalist who was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, was the real, biological and ideological father of Barack Obama." The sleaze part comes here:
[Director Joel] Gilbert’s research turned shocking when he obtained seven indecent photos of Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, at Frank Marshall Davis’ house, suggesting an intimate connection between Dunham and Davis.
The idea that Gilbert is "not happy" to include those "racy photos" in his film doesn't pass the smell test -- he's probably tickled to death to push such sleaze. Neither Corsi nor Gilbert offered any substantiation to back up the claim that these photos are actually of Obama's mother.
Corsi also glosses over the fact that if Davis actually is Obama's father, it destroys the specious "natural born citizen" claim WND has been pursuing for years -- after all, nobody is disputing Davis' citizenship, and thus fulfills WND's narrowly drawn definition that a "natural born citizen," for purposes of the presidency, must be the child of two citizens. (Barack Obama Sr. was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his son's birth, which gave birthers an opening to pursue that desperate argument.)
Corsi ramps up the luridness in a June 15 article:
Did Barack Obama’s mother pose nude for communist poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis?
Neither Corsi nor Gilbert actually answer any of those questions. Gilbert is simply engaging in conjecture and speculation -- he can't even prove that the woman he claims posed nude for Davis is actually Stanley Ann Dunham.
Gilbert's film is nothing more than a sleazy smear piece designed to make money off Obama-haters. Of course, WND wants a piece of that action -- you can buy it from WND's online store.
But Corsi managed to overplay his hand here, too. In a July 18 article, Corsi touted another claim by Gilbert -- that "the image of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was airbrushed into the scene" of a 1973 photo "to cover up an African-American man who was standing next to Obama at the Honolulu airport." Corsi and Gilbert cook up a bunch of so-called evidence to back up their conspiracy:
As Media Matters notes, "Were Ann Dunham still alive, she might be inclined to take this as a compliment." Also, it completely ignores the Occam's Razor approach -- that the simplest and most likely explanation is that Ann Dunham's hand looks darker because it's in shadow in a badly lit photo.
But there's more: a blurry close-up of the offending hand compared with a sharp photo of Davis that proves absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, Gilbert lets his anti-Obama freak flag fly: “This photo forgery appears to be part of Obama’s ongoing campaign to minimize, misdirect and outright lie about damaging information about his past. ... I hope the media will now demand that he come clean about his family background, his political foundations and fully reveal his agenda for transforming America.”
For Corsi, the facts, or even logical consistency, don't matter. Hating Obama does, however, and anyone who hates Obama as much as he does -- and is willing to do some synchronized swimming in his cesspool -- is a friend.
That Corsi has reduced himself to peddling sleazy sex rumors tells us the caliber of "journalist" he is: sleazy and amoral.