THE BLOG
08/20/2010 03:31 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WorldNetDaily Rewards Liars

On Aug. 4, WorldNetDaily published an article by Joe Kovacs, headlined "Elena Kagan tied to Obama's birth certificate cases":

Kagan served as solicitor general of the United States from March 2009 until May of this year.

In that role, she legally represented the U.S. government in numerous cases coming before the Supreme Court.

A simple search of the high court's own website reveals Kagan's name coming up at least nine times on dockets involving Obama eligibility issues.

[Screenshot of Supreme Court docket, captioned: "Searching the dockets at the U.S. Supreme Court's website reveals Elena Kagan's name coming up numerous times on cases challenging President Obama's constitutional eligibility for office. (Supreme Court screenshot with name highlighted by WND, Aug. 4, 2010)"]

Docket No, 09-724, for instance, comes up with this in the search result:

Title: The Real Truth About Obama, Inc., Petitioner v. Federal Election Commission, et al. Reply of petitioner The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. filed. The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. Elena Kagan

Clicking on any of the dockets reveals who the original petitioners were, as well as what proceedings and orders were issued in each case. Here's another docket, with Jamal Kiyemba v. Barack H. Obama.

[Screenshot of Kiyemba case, captioned: "Elena Kagan's name is noted as solicitor general for cases involving Obama's consdtitutional eligibility. (Supreme Court screenshot with name highlighted by WND, Aug. 4, 2010)"]

The fact Kagan handled these cases and is now Obama's first choice for the high court is raising some eyebrows.

One little problem: None of the above is true.

As the myth-busters at Snopes detailed, none of those docket items has anything to do with "eligibility issues." The Kiyemba case involves a Ugandan who was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for four years beginning in 2002, and the suit originally named President Bush as the defendant. Even the one involving "The Real Truth About Obama, Inc." is centered on an allegation that Obama "chilled its right to disseminate information about presidential candidate Senator Obama's position on abortion."

Snopes went on to note that WND scrubbed the heck out of Kovacs' article after its debunking appeared. Indeed, the article has been completely rewritten and Kovacs' name removed from it. It now begins with a correction (though it's not called that):

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described a series of cases for which Elena Kagan represented the government as eligibility cases. Those cases, in fact, were a series of unrelated disputes pending before the Supreme Court and the references have been removed from this report.

The article now lamely focuses on the inconsequential "Real Truth About Obama, Inc." case. And there wasn't a mere "removal" of false information; it is a completely different article.

Will Kovacs face any sanctions at work for his egregious falsehoods? Not that ConWebWatch has observed -- he did what he gets paid to do in floating his attack on Obama, no matter how false. Copies of Kovacs' lies remain all over the Internet, and they remain uncorrected.
The damage has been done, which may have been Kovacs' intention all along. After all, he's no mere reporter, is WND's executive news editor.

Then again, other WND liars have not notably suffered for their falsehoods -- heck, WND had to officially retract an Aaron Klein article in 2005 because he had falsely smeared an Islamic charity for purported links to terrorism and fraudulently raising money to help nonexistent orphans. He's now WND's star reporter, spreading more lies and conspiracies with impunity. And WND is littered with lies, many about Obama, that remain uncorrected; one could plausibly claim that spreading lies about Obama is WND's official editorial policy.

What's the official ratio? 10-to-1? 20-to-1? What is WND's corrections policy? There is none stated on its website.

The apparently random nature of its corrections -- which seem to come only when it's too blatant to ignore (mistaking an April Fool's story as actual news), or when a lawsuit is filed or threatened (Clark Jones, anyone?) -- and the apparent lack of any formalized procedure for handling them is yet more evidence that WND should not be taken seriously as anything except a propaganda mill.

In 2009, WND published another completely false article, claiming that a bill approved by the House of Representatives "would prohibit federal employees of the executive branch from being compelled to release any document unless a court makes a specified determination by a preponderance of evidence - legislation at least one group suspects is designed to protect Barack Obama's elusive birth certificate from release." The article even included a statement of outrage from WND editor Joseph Farah: "It wouldn't surprise me a bit if this were one of the intended consequences of this legislation. ... In any case, this bill puts the lie to this administration and this Congress being the most ethical and transparent in American history," Farah said. "They're very open when it comes to the secrets of previous administrations, but when it comes to their own work, it is shrouded in secrecy. Even the president's birth certificate and student records are well-guarded state secrets."

In fact, the complete opposite was true -- the bill in question prohibits federal officials from demanding documents from journalists except under certain circumstances.

WND simply made the article disappear from its website without explanation. Of course, copies remain on the Web. One right-wing writer Sher Zieve, however, posted an article based on the WND report before realizing that "my (and others') interpretation of HR 985 may not be as accurate as first thought," adding: "I don't often make this type of mistake and I plan to have a slice of humble pie."

Humility, meanwhile, is not a concept WND is familiar with. Not only did WND apparently fail to punish Kovacs for his falsehoods, it rewarded him just a week after his debacle with a puff piece promoting his WND-published book "Shocked by the Bible," which claims to be "a giant news report that informs people on what is actually in the Bible, and what is not":

Hundreds of people hungering for Bible truth turned out for the first-ever "Shocked by the Bible" event last Friday night in this Midwestern city, hearing a personal plea to "just read the words on the page."

"Wow, look at all these people. I'm shocked!" declared Joe Kovacs, the executive news editor of WND and author of the No. 1 best-selling book "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told." "I didn't know so many people had an interest in Bible truth these days."

How can Kovacs be an expert on "Bible truth" when he has so much trouble discerning actual truth?

How can WND reward the lies of one of its executives with such a sycophantic piece of tripe? Perhaps because they are so morally bankrupt -- and so consumed by their pathological hatred for Obama -- that the truth doesn't matter, if it ever did.

(Originally posted at ConWebWatch.)