by Loren Collins
I retired my blog, Barackryphal, at the end of 2013 because I was burnt out on Birtherism. After five years, it’s simply become a rehashing of the same tropes, and there’s little new to address.
However, after WorldNetDaily all but gave up on its Birther interests in the fall of 2012, WND President Joseph Farah has recently raised its spectre again, and in doing so yet again demonstrated some abject dishonesty that I felt compelled to address. Others have called him out for his supposed hypocrisy over his reactions to Barack Obama and Ted Cruz.
But I’m not here to call him a hypocrite. I’m here to document that he’s a liar. To wit, in his column of April 23, 2011, Joseph Farah wrote:
“WND never reported that Obama had spent $2 million hiding his birth certificate.”
Whereas five months earlier, on December 9, 2010, Farah said:
“Obama has spent at least $2 million fighting efforts to release his birth certificate.”
And that’s just Farah himself; he claimed that WND had never reported this, when in fact WND reporters had said this dozens of times.
On February 19, 2011, Joseph Farah wrote:
“I don’t know any thinking, rational person who questions the existence of Obama’s birth certificate.”
But what did Farah himself say two years earlier, on Chuck Crismier’s radio show on June 5, 2009?
“There’s a reason that Barack Obama will not show the American people his birth certificate. I believe he doesn’t have one.”
And who else questions the existence of Obama’s birth certificate? Why, none other than WND’s senior reporter, Jerome Corsi. Because Corsi had this to say on The Alex Jones Show on January 20, 2011, just one month before Farah claimed that no “thinking, rational person” would say such a thing:
“The key document that should be produced, if it exists and I don’t believe it does, is the long-form, hospital-generated Hawaiian birth certificate for Barack Obama.”
Now, in his latest column of January 29, 2014, Joseph Farah makes this claim that instigated this post:
“In the hundreds of thousands of words I have written and spoken on this subject, I have never theorized Obama was born abroad.”
It’s a defense he’s employed before when called out as a conspiracy theorist. But what did he tell Bill Cunningham when he was a guest on his national radio show on March 27, 2011 (@3:41)?
“I am leaning toward the fact that he wasn’t born in Hawaii now. I really am.”
Joseph Farah is always happy to say that he or WND has “never” said or reported some thing, because he simply has no reticence about flat-out lying. See Exhibits A, B, and C above.
If his lies were just limited to his own history, that would be one thing. But Joseph Farah cannot even be trusted when it comes to the journalistic work of his own reporters. In his third-ever Birther column, on November 21, 2008, Farah said that he had:
“Sent Corsi to Kenya where he talked with some of Obama’s relatives who clearly recall the birth taking place in Mombasa.”
Except that NEVER HAPPENED. Jerome Corsi went to Kenya, yes. But he spoke with no Obama relatives when he was there. Consequently, no Obama relatives ever told Corsi that they recalled Obama was born in Kenya. This is fiction, plain and simple, about non-existent statements and non-existent actions taken by a journalist in his employ. Farah knows full-well that Corsi didn’t “talk with some of Obama’s relatives who clearly recall the birth taking place in Mombasa,” but he lied and said so anyway.
And this was no isolated slip-up, because here’s what Farah said in his fifth-ever Birther column, on November 26, 2008:
“If, as some evidence strongly suggests, including the testimony of two Obama relatives to WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi who say they were present when he was born in Mombasa, Kenya, in 1961″
Not only did Farah not retract his lie from five days earlier, he expanded on it. He specified that it was exactly two relatives (not just “some”), and more significantly, that they told Corsi that they were “present” when Obama was born. Naturally, the names of these relatives are not given; if Corsi had actually spoken to relatives, their names would be central to the story, but since Farah was making it up, he probably didn’t feel like researching names to flesh out the lie. Besides, adding extra details means adding opportunities to be proven wrong. So he left it vague and unverifiable.
It’s a pity that Corsi himself later confirmed that he’d never spoken to any Obama relatives while he was in Kenya. Farah might have thought that by citing a WND employee as his source, then he could get away with the lie. Just like citing an anonymous source, or an unpublished document he claims to possess. But in this case, the cited source spilled the beans, and Farah’s dishonesty was exposed.
Now one might try to defend Farah by arguing that he was somehow conflating Corsi’s trip to Kenya with the taped conversation between Reverend Ron McRae and Sarah Obama. Even if true, it’s highly troublesome that the president of an ostensible news agency could innocently misrepresent his own senior reporter’s work so dramatically, and fabricate details like doubling the number of relatives and claiming they talked to Corsi himself. But moreover, Corsi left Kenya on October 8, 2008, and the taped conversation was over a week later, October 16, 2008. Corsi couldn’t have even come back with a story about that tape, because it hadn’t happened yet. Yet Farah told his readers that Corsi returned from Kenya with first-person confessions of witnesses to a Kenyan birth, personally obtained by a WND employee. He lied to his readers, and he lied to them by making up “evidence” that supported a Kenyan birth for Obama. Now he whines when anyone suggests that he ever promoted the Kenyan birth conspiracy theories.
In other words, Joseph Farah is someone who likes to say that he’s “never theorized that Obama was born abroad” (even though he has), but he’s also reported made-up events in the course of promoting that exact claim. What good is a “journalist” if he just fabricates stories and passes them off as “investigative reporting”? That sort of fictionalized reporting is what got Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair fired from their jobs and exiled from the journalism community.
But that won’t happen to Joseph Farah. Because when you’re the boss of your own agency, you can lie as much as you want to, and your job is never in danger. So long as your readers are willing to accept your lies, then honesty is not a virtue you need to concern yourself with.