ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

'The Newsroom' Is Right: WND Makes Up Stuff

WorldNetDaily and Joseph Farah engage in their usual thin-skinned whining about the HBO show portraying WND has having fabricated a story. But "The Newsroom" is more correct than it may know about WND's bogus "journalism."

By Terry Krepel
Posted 8/21/2013

The HBO show "The Newsroom" recently aired an episode in which WorldNetDaily is depicted as having published a fabricated story. And you know what happens when WND gets criticized: a lot of thin-skinned whining and nasty pot shots in return.

Yet for all of WND's protestations, "The Newsroom" is correct in depicting Joseph Farah's baby as a purveyor of false and misleading information.

Joe Kovacs uses an Aug. 12 WorldNetDaily article to channel his employer's displeasure at its depiction in "The Newsroom." It includes the usual thin-skinned response from WND chief Joseph Farah:

WND’s real-life CEO Joseph Farah commented on HBO’s targeting of his news agency, saying:

“I don’t watch HBO or subscribe to it because of the way it exploits women with pornographic content and corrupts minds with salacious programming. But I’ve read the description of this episode of ‘The Newsroom,’ and have the following comments based on that: Too many Americans are getting their news and opinions from purely entertainment shows today. And HBO is apparently attempting to jaundice people’s opinions of the first and largest independent Internet news agency with episode 5 of the second season of ‘The Newsroom,’ which mischaracterizes WND in a subplot that dominates a third of the show.

“But here’s the irony of ironies: Here’s a TV show about a fake newsroom accusing a real newsroom of making up stories. Hello? I’ve spent my entire life actually working in real newsrooms, leading them, directing them, doing actual reporting – not playing a reporter or editor on TV. WND’s actual newsroom is comprised of actual journalists who have worked in actual newsrooms for most of their lives. They don’t make up stories.

“I’ll have more comment when I have a chance to watch the episode. First, I will make sure no innocent children are around, as is necessary with most HBO programming. But this is clearly an attempt to smear our work. Why? Presumably the motive has to do with our effectiveness. We must be hitting a nerve in the corporate boardrooms of HBO or in the fertile imaginations of the morally bankrupt writers of ‘The Newsroom.’

“I suggest people read WND and make up their own minds about it.”

One doesn't have to do much reading of WND to pick on its shoddy reporting practices. Farah's own admission that WND publishes "misinformation" is just the beginning. Here's a few of the more egregious examples of WND's bogus reporting over the years:

  • In 2001, WND was sued for defamation by a Tennessee auto dealer whom WND accused of being a "suspected drug dealer" in a series of articles in 2000 designed to smear Al Gore's presidential run. After fighting the lawsuit for seven years -- during which time it admitted that it did not fact-check the claims made in the articles before publishing them -- WND abruptly settled out of court a few weeks before the case was to go to trial, finally admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" and "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true."
  • In 2005, WND treated as real an April Fool's story on the website Gawker that CBS was rushing into production a TV movie about the Terri Schiavo case after buying the rights to the story from her husband.
  • WND hyped a "Kenyan birth certificate" for Barack Obama, claiming that "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical" but making no other apparent effort at verification. Nevertheless, WND defended the document's veracity for a few days -- until admitting that the certificate is "probably not authentic," according to "WND's investigative operatives in Africa."
  • Just last year, WND's Jerome Corsi reported -- citing discredited filmmaker Joel Gilbert -- that a ring Obama wears says "There is no god except Allah" in Arabic. Even Corsi's fellow birthers rushed to discredit that claim, though WND has yet to issue a correction.
Kovacs went on to claim that "more dirt was thrown on WND" when one character on "The Newsroom" noted, “Keeping in mind that WorldNetDaily reported that Obama murdered his gay lover.” But WND has done that by indulging in (anonymous, unsubstantiated) rumors that Obama is gay and that "three Trinity United Church openly professed homosexuals [were] brutally killed in yet-unsolved murders that occurred within a 40-day time span between November and December 2007, as Obama's handlers were preparing to take his presidential campaign to the national stage" -- essentially suggesting that Obama played a role in having them killed.

And because Farah is so thin-skinned about criticism of him and WND, it was inevitable that he would weigh in further. Indeed, Farah devoted an Aug. 18 column to the kerfuffle:

Now, talk about irony: WND boasts among its full-time reportorial staff two reporters who are experts on Islamic terrorist groups. More than that, they are the only two reporters in the world who regularly talk to Islamic terrorists. One of them, Aaron Klein, a multiple New York Times best-selling author, wrote a book about his experience called “Schmoozing With Terrorists.” No reporter at any other news organization in the world could write such a book, because no reporter at any other news organization does it. (WND boasts the only two.) Take my word for it: Our guys are the least likely journalists to be fooled into reporting about a fake terrorist organization.

Except, of course, that they have. In 2005, WND was forced to retract a article by Klein that falsely linked the charity Islamic Relief to terrorism and suggested that it was raising money for orphans that don't exist. Or did Farah forget about that because the article was purged from the WND website and replaced with a retraction so legalistic it reads like it was written by attorneys in a desperate attempt to avoid a libel lawsuit from Islamic Relief?

Farah continued by asking, "Want some more irony?" Sure, why not? Lay it on us, Joe:

The plot line mirrors closely an actual journalistic faux pas committed by another news organization some might consider a competitor to WND. Last February, ran a bogus story reporting an allegation that a group named “Friends of Hamas” had donated money to organizations connected to Chuck Hagel, who was then under consideration for secretary of defense. While Hagel had plenty in his background for which he should be ashamed, there was no such group as “Friends of Hamas.” Again, this is not a mistake WND could possibly make, given the expertise of our reporting staff.

Meanwhile, WND has made the mistakes -- some might call them malicious falsehoods -- of treating an April Fool's story as real, hyping a bogus "Kenyan birth certificate" for Barack Obama, and making a claim about Obama that was so bogus even fellow birthers were compelled to shoot it down, among many other mistakes. Oh, and there's that defamation lawsuit WND abruptly settled out of court. WND still hasn't told us how much it had to pay to the man to settle it.

But, wait, Farah has even more irony to spread:

The irony and absurdity doesn’t end there, sadly. HBO is the same cable network that in 2012 became infamous for a show called “Game of Thrones,” which featured a prop of the severed head of President George W. Bush on a stick. Even HBO was forced to apologize for that episode.

Remember that Farah runs a website that placed Hillary Clinton's autobiography in a bookstore's science-fiction section and portrayed Obama as the Antichrist as well as various Nazis. Funny, we don't recall Farah apologizing for any of that.

Speaking of irony, Farah's complains that HBO "had to make up mistakes committed by us," even though he and his website have been caught telling lie after lie after lie.

And speaking of lies, Farah tells yet another one:

Earlier in the episode, another character in the show disparaged WND with the following line: “Keeping in mind that WorldNetDaily reported that Obama murdered his gay lover.” Of course, that slur, too, was a complete fabrication.

Farah has also apparently forgotten that WND posted an Oct. 12, 2012, article by Jerome Corsi with the screaming headline "TRINITY CHURCH MEMBERS REVEAL OBAMA SHOCKER!" in which it is strongly hinted that Obama played a role in the deaths of at least one gay man who "was murdered to protect Obama." That's just a section of the fetid cesspool of slime Corsi dived into in a last-ditch attempt to stop Obama's re-election.

Surprisingly, Farah doesn't hint at a lawsuit against HBO and the producers of "The Newsroom" for libel or defamation, instead sounding somewhat proud in claiming that "'The Newsroom' had to make up mistakes committed by us."

But even if WND, Farah, and their lawsuit-happy failed attorney Larry Klayman were to file one, they really don't have a case since enough of what the show portrayed about WND is true.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2013 Terry Krepel