For the past four-plus years, WorldNetDaily has dedicated itself to the personal destruction of Barack Obama.
It failed to stop Obama's election in 2008 -- despite such stunts as trying to link him to Hamas and Jerome Corsi traveling to Kenya to bring back some fraudulent documents -- and Obama's re-election demonstrates that the ensuing steady stream of Obama-hate at WND during Obama's first term have also utterly failed.
The cost of WND's hate? The utter obliteration of what little credibility WND had.
Let's look back at how WND's increasingly pathological Obama hatred unfolded over the past year.
WND aggressively motivated against Obama's re-election, essentially turning itself into a for-profit super PAC. The seeds for this were planted in 2011, when Jerome Corsi gave a birther presentation to a tea-party group in Arizona that then petitioned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to do an investigation. Arpaio agreed, and WND inserted itself in the process by publishing fawning articles about him and even erasing him from a story about a lawsuit against his sheriff's department.
When Arpaio's "cold case posse" gave its initial report, it was clear just how deeply WND inserted itself in the process -- Corsi was, for all practical purposes, a member of the posse. That all but guaranteed that the investigation would not be thorough or balanced. And if that wasn't enough, Corsi and Mike Zullo, the head of the posse investigation, immediately published an e-book of the findings -- cribbing liberally from Corsi's book, thus confirming the bias of the "investigation" -- and kept the proceeds, even though the posse is a registered nonprofit organization.
Out in the real world, though, the birther conspiracies were consistently discredited -- a development WND chose to hide from its readers.
The anti-Obama zombie lies roamed the earth at WND, as did new lies peddled by editor Joseph Farah and all-out Obama derangement by columnists Larry Klayman and Mychal Massie. Reporter Aaron Klein published another Obama-bashing book based on his usual methods of speculation and guilt-by-association.
As the election neared, Corsi gleefully descended into the gutter, publishing never-verified rumors of Obama's purported homosexuality and touting the supposed credibility of Larry Sinclair, whose accusations even WND ultimately backed off of in 2008 after it was revealed that he was a convicted felon.
WND also embraced anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who promoted the idea that activist Frank Marshall Davis was Obama's real father, and that Obama's mother posed nude for him. When Gilbert's wild claims were discredited, WND not only ignored it, Corsi doubled down by publishing even more outlandish claims from Gilbert. They were so wrong that even birthers were compelled to prove Gilbert wrong.
WND's desperate Hail-Mary stunt in the final week of the election was to have Aaron Klein try to donate to Obama's campaign under the name of Osama bin Laden. Given that Klein did so by using "a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address," he may very well have committed identity fraud in doing so -- which, last we checked, was a crime.
Even after this four-year torrent of hatred -- on top of years of rampant birtherism and general Obama-bashing -- Obama still rather handily won re-election. That means WND failed in its objective.
This Javert-esque pursuit of Obama had a side effect: WND has proven itself to be so desperate to publish every anti-Obama smear, rumor and outright lie that it has become a joke, a sensationalist website on par with the Weekly World News for fabulism. Even when WND may actually be on the right track in reporting something, its track record means that nothing it reports can be taken at face value and must be cross-checked with more reputable news organizations.
Will WND's failure and self-destruction prompt Joseph Farah and crew to do some soul-searching? Unlikely -- Farah is trying to seize on the post-election atmosphere to shake down his readers for more cash.
In his Nov. 9 column, Farah declared he had an "answer" to Obama's re-election -- the revival of his "No More Red Ink" campaign, in which you pay WND $29.99 (Farah benignly describes that "investing less than $30") for the privilege of "sending individually addressed letters in red ink to all 241 Republicans in the House by guaranteed Fed Ex delivery" telling them not to raise the federal debt limit. Farah does his best to sell it: "Let's just say it's a bargain at that price. Try to imagine what it would cost you to send 240 individual letters to Republican House members if you did it yourself. We do all the work and guarantee the delivery."
Farah provides no evidence that spamming members of Congress with letters accomplishes anything.
In his Nov. 11 column, Farah made dubious accusations that the election was stolen, citing as one piece of evidence Aaron Klein's identity fraud stunt. But this too turns into a fund-raising pitch, declaring that "I've filed a Federal Elections Commission complaint at considerable cost" that he wants his readers to defray. The column includes numerous links to a page at the WND store for the "2012 Voter Fraud Challenge," which helpfully suggests that it will accept donations of up to $5,000.
One has to wonder if Farah is simply ginning up all this anti-Obama hatred just so he can try to make a buck on it. Given the nonexistent journalistic reputation of his website these days, hate is pretty much all he has left.
(An expanded version of this article is posted at ConWebWatch.)
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