WorldNetDaily publishes lies — at least that’s the case if you believe WND founder Joseph Farah. Farah told Obama Conspiracy Theories:
Apparently you don’t understand the difference between commentary and news reporting.
I know of no news organization in the world that even pretends to hold commentators to the same standard of accuracy and truth as they have for news. Do you? Bill Press lies in the pages of WND in my opinion every week. But we give our commentators wide latitude to make their case. That’s probably a concept you would never comprehend.
Email from Joseph Farah, 8 February 2010
That email is in line with what Farah said in an email exchange with Justin Eliot with Salon.com as reported in a new article on Media Matters for America.
WorldNetDaily doesn’t give its readers clear guidance on whether they are reading commentary (where lies are OK) and reporting where it supposedly isn’t. Staff writers, such as Bob Unruh, are allowed to repeat lies, so long as they originate with commentators. Sometimes lying WND articles are unattributed, leaving readers in the dark about whether they are reading articles or commentary. While it is often said that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts, it appears that WorldNetDaily believes that their commentators are allowed their own facts.
WND is reeling from a recent scandal in which anti-Obama writer Jack Cashill presented a family photo of Barack Obama which he claimed was the original of a photo where Obama had been Photoshopped in. The problem is that the so-called “original” still has part of Barack Obama’s leg in it. That is, Cashill showed a fake original from which Barack Obama had been Photoshopped OUT. Unlike most WND lies, this one was actually covered up (scrubbed without comment) by WND rather than left to stand. I guess WND is not consistent about when it believes its commentators can lie and when they can’t; maybe it has something to do with how obvious and how embarrassing the lie is. Previously the lie about Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan representing Barack Obama on eligibility cases was also removed, although with minor acknowledgment. The lie about the travel ban to Pakistan, remains.
Media Matters for America provides a long list of WND lies and misinformation, and shows many instances from both commentators and staff writers. But they didn’t mention the travel ban to Pakistan!
WorldNetDaily web site rankings have dropped significantly from number 500 in the US to number 720, according to web rating site Alexa.com, since we last published WND rankings last June. I hope that means their readers are fed up with the lies.