THE BLOG
08/08/2014 01:35 am ET Updated Oct 08, 2014

Right-Wing Reporter Jerome Corsi Promotes Film He Appears In

It's abundantly clear that filmmaker Joel Gilbert is nothing more than a charlatan and an opportunist.

The false claims in Gilbert's 2012 anti-Obama film Dreams From My Real Father -- especially his sleazy claim that Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, posed for nude photos taken by Frank Marshall Davis -- were exposed by blogger Loren Collins. Gilbert has yet to publicly acknowledge, let alone apologize for, his falsehoods, though he has engaged in some after-the-fact alterations of his film PR to make them slightly less misleading, and he is aware of Collins' work to the extent that he tried to get a Collins video removed from YouTube because it contained promotional footage of the film.

That same year, Gilbert promoted a claim that Obama's wedding ring contains Arabic writing -- which turned out to be so demonstrably false that even birthers were moved to debunk it.

Yet Gilbert has his champions in the ConWeb; chief among them is WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi. Not only did Corsi embrace Gilbert's salacious attack on Obama's mother as part of his own campaign of sleaze against Obama, he gullibly swallowed Gilbert's false claim about Obama's ring. Corsi couldn't even be bothered to correct the record when Gilbert's claims were discredited.

Gilbert undoubtedly took notice of that. He rewarded Corsi the only way he could: by putting him in his next anti-Obama hit job, There's No Place Like Utopia. For good measure, he put WND columnist Jack Cashill -- best known for dubiously insisting that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first book -- in his film as well.

And despite being repeatedly burned by Gilbert's lies, Corsi repaid Gilbert by promoting the film at WND. If it looks like a quid pro quo, well, it probably is -- Gilbert's casting has essentially bought positive coverage from WND.

How positive? Corsi kicked off the publicity campaign for a film in which he appears with a May 13 article that reads like a press release written by Gilbert himself. Since this is a press release, Corsi makes no mention of Gilbert's trail of lies -- rivaling the Wizard of Oz that Gilbert's new film is inspired by -- even though Corsi himself was burned by them.

Corsi devoted another fawning WND article to the film on July 14. While Corsi admits he's in the film -- though not until the 27th paragraph of his article -- he's too invested in delivering the rah-rah coverage Gilbert knew he could count on to mention his substantial history of fraud.

Corsi held up his end of the logrolling once again in a July 21 WND article, in which he touted "strong box office results at its premiere," adding how "Each showing had long lines and sellout, or near sellout, crowds that responded enthusiastically with sustained applause at the conclusion," and interviews with "various moviegoers" who invariably loved the film, as well as with Gilbert basking in those glowing reviews. This time Corsi waited until the 32nd paragraph of his article that he appears in the movie he's writing about.

It's all ridiculously blatant cheerleading, and WND is complicit -- what self-respecting news organization would let a so-called reporter present as a "news" article gushing PR pieces on a film he appears in? It's a textbook example of how to violate journalistic ethics.

Of course, Gilbert doesn't care because he's getting what he wants. And it's not as if anyone expects ethical, accurate journalism from anyone at WND, especially Corsi.

This is just another reason why nobody believes WND.