Did Scott Roeder, alleged killer of abortion doctor George Tiller, read WorldNetDaily on a regular basis? How about James von Brunn, accused killer of a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington?
After all, WND shares interests with both alleged shooters, no matter how fervently it wants to conceal that fact.
As ConWebWatch has already detailed, WND has long expressed disdain for Tiller, repeatedly calling him "Tiller the Killer." It also has a history of sympathetically portraying anti-abortion extremists, even going so far as portray one such extremist, James Kopp, as being framed for the shooting death of another abortion doctor (just a few months before he confessed to the crime). While WND has never explicitly advocated the deaths of anyone in the abortion industry, if such continuously negative attacks can be said to have the possibility to incite violence -- a point that has been debated about Bill O'Reilly's similar attacks on Tiller -- then WND may very well have played a role in hastening Tiller's death.
Meanwhile, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum has led to the discovery of interests shared by WND and von Brunn.
Talking Points Memo uncovered an Internet bulletin board posting attributed to von Brunn listing documents regarding Barack Obama that have supposedly not been released to the public. The Huffington Post found further examples of the von Brunn post.
WND, of course, is the leader of the birther movement, a deceptive and dishonest campaign to attack Obama in which exculpatory information is hidden -- like the fact that when the issue first surfaced last summer, WND declared the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign to be "authentic."
Coincidentially, the day before the June 10 museum shooting, WND published an article by Chelsea Schilling that listed "more than a dozen other documents" regarding Obama that allegedly "remain unreleased or otherwise blocked from the public eye." Did von Brunn's list inspire Schilling? It's a fair question to ask.
Affinity for questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate is not the only thing WND shares with von Brunn; they both despise the Federal Reserve as well.
In 1981, as TPM described it, von Brunn "pulled out a sawed-off shotgun at the Federal Reserve Board headquarters, claiming to have planted a bomb and threatening to take members of the Board hostage." Von Brunn described it as an attempted "citizens arrest"; he served six and a half years in prison for it.
WND's hatred of the Fed appears to be as virulent, if not as violent or driven by anti-Semitism. WND's store sells numerous books and videos attacking the Fed:
-- "Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free," which claims the following: "Except for coins, all of our money is now created as loans advanced by private banking institutions -- including the private Federal Reserve. Banks create the principal but not the interest to service their loans. To find the interest, new loans must continually be taken out, expanding the money supply, inflating prices -- and robbing you of the value of your money. Web of Debt unravels the deception and presents a crystal clear picture of the financial abyss towards which we are heading."
-- "The Money Masters: How Banks Create the World's Money," which WND has promoted thusly: "With the U.S. and global economies looking more disastrous every day, more Americans than ever are asking whether the Federal Reserve really is what they've long been told -- the protector of America's money policy and financial well-being -- or, as critics allege, an unaccountable, private banking cartel siphoning off citizens' wealth and manipulating America's economy for the benefit of a hidden elite."
-- "The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve": "Banking and the Federal Reserve ... a dry and boring subject? Don't believe it! Once you pick up this book you'll be hooked in five minutes. This book reads like a detective story -- which it really is; but it's all true. 'The Creature from Jekyll Island' is about the most blatant scam of all history. You'll find it all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity and more." In a May 30 WND column, Ellis Washington wrote that the book "systematically explained the unconstitutional creation of the Federal Reserve and uncovered the tragic folly of putting America's economic health under the control of an unelected, unaccountable oligarchy of men whose clandestine modus operandi is more analogous to socialist globalism rather than defending America's constitutional and economic interests."
-- WND Whistleblower magazine, July 2006, "THE FEDERAL RESERVE: FRAUD OF THE CENTURY": "Whistleblower documents authoritatively and with uncommon clarity how the "Federal Reserve" -- which is neither part of the federal government, nor does it rely on monetary reserves -- is an unconstitutional, unelected cartel that literally creates the devastating problems it was supposed to prevent."
Wanna bet von Brunn owns some, if not all, of these titles? One has to wonder if he bought his copies from WND.
WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, is a leading agitator against the Fed. In a 2001 column, he called the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 "a coup in which a small group of bankers got a blank check to set monetary policy, and, thus, all policy, for the entire nation. No watchdogs. No guardrails. No accountability. Nada. Zip. Zilch." Farah repeated the claim in a 2006 column, adding: "It's a legalized counterfeiting operation -- pure and simple."
In a March 14 column, Farah expressed his disappointment that Ronald Reagan "left us with bigger government": "He didn't eliminate the Federal Reserve. He didn't eliminate many of the most destructive, immoral and lawless institutions that knocked America from its pedestal as a shining city on a hill."
WND's columnists have similarly attacked the Fed:
-- In a Feb. 25 column drawing analogies from Goethe's "Faust," Ellis Washington wrote that "Mephisto (the devil) is Congress, the Executive, the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve."
-- A Jan. 9 "letter of the week" by Ryan Jaroncyk stated: "Look in the Constitution -- you won't find the Federal Reserve anywhere. Since Congress invented this unelected banking cartel in 1913, the dollar has been immensely devalued, and at least six severe stock market corrections have taken place under the Fed's supervision. Failure should not be rewarded, especially when it's unconstitutional."
-- A Dec. 17, 2008, column by Walter Williams asserted: "It is not wise for us to permit a few people on the Federal Reserve Board to have life and death power over our economy."
-- A May 25 WND opt-in poll asked, "What do you think the future holds for the Federal Reserve?" The answer getting the most votes: "The 'powers that be' will never allow the Fed to go away because it's a key tool in controlling the populace."
-- Devvy Kidd wrote in a July 2005 column: "Since 1913, the American people and this republic have been under assault by the international banking cartel and all their tentacles -- it was one of the most destructive years in the history of this republic as far as Congress is concerned. They passed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act of 1913."
WND has also touted an effort led by Ron Paul to audit and even abolish the Federal Reserve. A Feb. 21 article by Bob Unruh stated:
"Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy," Paul said in a statement at the time the proposal was introduced.
"The United States Constitution grants to Congress the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency," Paul said. "The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank. Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy."
"Until the American people demand that their elected members of Congress live up to their duties and responsibilities under the Constitution, they will continue to have their pockets picked clean by these corrupt banksters in New York City (and London) and their contemptible facilitators in Washington, D.C.," [radio host and former right-wing Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck] Baldwin wrote.
A June 11 article by Unruh added: "Paul long has opposed the power held by the Federal Reserve and its ability to manipulate the nation's economy and over the years has launched multiple proposals to get rid of the quasi-governmental agency, without significant support."
Such language -- as well as that from Farah and other WND writers -- is not far from von Brunn's writings (though von Brunn's vile anti-Semitism is absent from WND's work). From von Brunn's website, as reported by the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg:
The Constitution states that Congress alone shall issue and control America's currency; Congress may not delegate those functions. Nevertheless a corrupt and ignorant U.S. Congress enacted the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act (1913). Few Congressmen since have dared suggest it is unconstitutional -- fearing for their livelihood and their lives. The word "Federal" is a sham. It has no more relevance than "Federal" Tire Co. The FED is a private corporation whose stock is owned by International Bankers. It is not an agency of the United States Government. It is one of many parasitical Rothschild Central Banks infesting the world stage. Its power ascends over every U.S. citizen from cradle to grave. Every dollar in your wallet is a note issued by the FED. The U.S. Government redeems that note (principal and interest) with your taxes. Through its enormous resources and power the FED controls the machinery of the U.S. Government.
Not much difference, is there?
The only mention of von Brunn's 1981 assault on the Federal Reserve at WND -- indeed, the only mention at all of von Brunn's hatred for the Fed -- came not in a news article but in a June 12 column by Pamela Geller, which cited the incident only to portray von Brunn as a "certifiable sicko."
Just has WND disappeared facts that make the anti-abortion movement look bad regarding the killing of George Tiller, WND has so far refused to admit its shared interest with von Brunn. A June 10 article by Joe Kovacs repeats Fox News anchor Shepard Smith's statement that "there is no truth whatsoever -- zero" to claims that Obama is "not a citizen of the United States." Kovacs responded to Smith's statement by devoting five paragraphs to rehashing a 2000 incident in which a car driven by Shepard allegedly clipped another reporter who was saving a parking space for a friend -- despite its irrelevance to anything going on today.
At no point, however, does Kovacs mention the reason that Smith brought up the subject: von Brunn's birther tendencies. WND followed the article up with an opt-in poll asking, "What do you think of Shepard Smith calling eligibility skeptics 'crazies'?" The top response by far: "He doesn't even demonstrate journalistic curiosity about legitimate questions over Obama's eligibility."
A June 11 WND article by Bob Unruh asserted that von Brunn "was a Darwin-lover who hated the Bible and Christians, and defies media efforts to classify him as a stereotypical 'right-winger.'" Unruh failed to mention that von Brunn was birther who hated the Federal Reserve -- just like Unruh's employer, and perhaps even Unruh himself.
Roger Hedgecock similarly claimed in a June 15 WND column that von Brunn "also thought Christianity was a 'hoax,' denied the Bible, praised Hitler, denounced Bush and Cheney, was a 9/11 conspiracy fan, had a target list that included the conservative publication 'Weekly Standard,' and used Darwinism to support his anti-Semitism. A violent nut maybe, but certainly not an American conservative." He too refused to say a word about von Brunn's very conservative interests in the Fed and Obama's birth certificate.
So, did Scott Roeder and James von Brunn read WND regularly? It's impossible to know without asking them, of course -- and WND sure as hell isn't going to ask. While Farah regularly claims that WND has "fearlessly skewered sacred cows," WND has its own numerous sacred cows, the chief one being itself.
It's clear, however, that WND publishes articles extremists like Roeder and von Brunn would find of interest, peddling attack after attack on Obama and anything else that violates WND's right-wing worldview in a sensational manner that is nothing less than manna for extremists. Certainly Farah is not unaware of that fact.
In his June 9 column, Farah was strangely vocal in pushing back against Keith Olbermann's claim that Fox News -- where Bill O'Reilly repeatedly called Tiller a "baby killer" -- shares some culpability in Tiller's death, Farah attacked Olbermann, accusing him of wanting to having it both ways and claiming that he is inciting murder by naming people -- specifically, Farah -- to his nightly "Worst Person in the World" list.
Farah concluded by writing of Olbermann: "He'll lie. He'll deceive. He'll cheat. He'll distort. And, yes, he'll incite -- even while accusing others of doing just what he does."
Isn't Farah really talking about himself here? Given that WND engaged in the very same behavior that Fox News did -- which Farah refused to admit -- is Farah trying to cover his own butt by issuing a pre-emptive strike against Olbermann?
It appears so. Farah's column is full of projection: He asserted that Olbermann built his show around "character assassination, partisan smears, predictable ideological tripe, party-line goose-stepping and self-important, self-righteous political correctness," won't retract his claims because "He knows no one else takes him seriously," and insisted that "in his desperation to establish an audience for his bloviating, Olbermann will continue to tear down others."
Much, if not all, of which can be said about Farah as well, though one suspects that Farah is still self-delusional enough to think that there are people who still take him seriously.
If Fox News is guilty in hastening the death of Tiller, Farah and WorldNetDaily are too. Too bad Farah lacks the guts to honestly address the subject, choosing instead to attack anyone who dares to bring up the subject.
If Farah ever wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, the next sacred cow WND must fearlessly skewer is itself, by admitting the truth about its content -- and its audience.