WorldNet Daily Can’t Take A Joke

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The folks at WorldNet Daily take their birther conspiracies very seriously. The right-wing publication has been the leading purveyor of rumors that President Obama is not a natural born American citizen, and thus, ineligible to serve as president. Its publisher, Joseph Farah, has paid for billboards blaring, “Where’s the birth certificate?” and recently his outfit published Jerome Corsi‘s book of the same name. Corsi, though, had the misfortune of publishing the book at just about the exact moment Obama decided to release his “long form” birth certificate, settling once again and for all time the issue of where he was born.

Last week, Esquire magazine posted a little satire piece suggesting that in response to Obama’s birth certificate production, Farah was recalling Where’s the Birth Certificate?, pulping all 200,000 copies and offering refunds to anyone who’d bought the book. Esquire editor Mark Warren wrote:

A source at WND, who requested that his name be withheld, said that Farah was “rip-shit” when, on April 27, President Obama took the extraordinary step of personally releasing his “long-form” birth certificate, thus resolving the matter of Obama’s legitimacy for “anybody with a brain.”

“He called up Corsi and really tore him a new one,” says the source. “I mean, we’ll do anything to hurt Obama, and erase his memory, but we don’t want to look like fucking idiots, you know? Look, at the end of the day, bullshit is bullshit.”

Apparently lots of people believed that Farah could be so sensible and called up WND and asked for their money back. Farah was not amused. For the past few days, he has been blasting out emails suggesting that he might sue Esquire for libel. Of course, he hasn’t just gone ahead and sued the publication. That would deprive him of a tremendous opportunity to fundraise off the whole episode. In an email Wednesday entitled, “To Sue or Not to Sue?” Farah writes:

I believe Warren, Esquire and the Hearst Corporation may have committed something other than satire. I think they committed libel.

And that’s why I have decided to pursue every possible legal recourse for justice in this matter – not so much out of a personal sense of vengeance, but because my profession needs a good kick in the rear end.

I’m sick and tired of spoiled little twits like Warren, perched in their comfortable offices in New York, firing salvoes on tireless, hard-working, committed journalists like Jerome Corsi and the rest of my team at WND without any accountability to standards of professionalism.

Farah also manages to find another conspiracy in the Esquire satire: the possibility that the White House put Warren up to the spoof. Farah notes:

Who is Mark Warren? He’s Harry Reid’s collaborator. In other words, he’s a liberal Democratic hack, not a newsman. Who else is he? His professional bio posted at Esquire says he has worked there since 1988. That’s 23 years in the insular world of a New York girlie mag. And he is in charge of Esquire’s political coverage. He’s also an acolyte of Dennis Kucinich and Christopher Hitchens. Maybe you wonder where a guy like this cut his journalistic teeth? Actually, he has no journalistic teeth. He worked in local Democratic Party political campaigns and staff positions until plucked out of obscurity by Esquire in 1988.

And some actually scoffed when I suggested the distinct possibility that the White House may have been behind this dirty trick!

Naturally, he finishes his rant with an appeal for financial contributions to wage his legal war on Warren, Esquire and its parent corporation, Hearst. You can make a donation through the same WND “superstore” that still sells Corsi’s book. 

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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