In an email sent today by Doctor Conspiracy (not a real doctor) to Joseph Farah, publisher of the WorldNetDaily web site, documentation was provided that WorldNetDaily publishes a story claiming that there was a travel ban for US Citizens to Pakistan in 1981, and documentation was provided that this claim is completely false. Dr. Conspiracy called on Farah to correct the public record by publishing a retraction.
The Obama Conspiracy Theories blog is dedicated to the proposition that a well-informed public is essential to democracy. Its purpose is to correct misinformation and faulty reasoning wherever it is found on the subject of conspiracy theories involving Barack Obama. Many rumors and false claims have been debunked by the site, including the widely-repeated travel ban to Pakistan. In fact, American citizens could travel freely to the tourist-friendly country of Pakistan in 1981.
Joseph Farah, in an e-mail replied that the article in question is commentary and not reporting. [The text of Farah’s reply has been removed because I discovered after scrolling down that it had a boiler plate statement on it that the sender intended the message to be private and confidential.]
I understand the difference between reporting and commentary. This blog has comments of all kinds from all points of view, and they are often factually false. However, this blog’s format would never leave anyone for a moment confused between the site’s edited content and visitor comments. WorldNetDaily does label its commentary as such, and Janet Folger Porter’s piece where she makes several false statements including the fake travel ban to Pakistan is labeled commentary; however, one has to look for it and I think it likely that many readers of WorldNetDaily readers lack the critical thinking skills to make the distinction.
Indeed WND not only published the commentary containing Porter’s lies, but its reporter, Bob Unruh, later quoted the lie in a news article and it also appears quoted on another unattributed page not labeled as commentary. [Thanks Rickey for pointing these out.] I think that puts to rest any question as to the integrity of WND reporting.