WorldNetDaily Will Die On Birther Hill

Huffington Post

The news that Donald Trump has renounced birtherism (in front of the cameras, anyway) has to be a blow to WorldNetDaily, which helped Trump behind the scenes with his birther obsession. Not surprisingly, WND doesn't want to talk about the implications of Trump's statement but, instead, will endeavor to cling to its old, discredited birther lies.

WND's article on Trump's announcement refuses to admit that birtherism has been discredited or even admit that President Obama has released a valid birth certificate, rehashing tired old language that Obama released "a document he said was his Hawaii birth certificate" (not mentioning that the state of Hawaii says it is too) and that "The only official law enforcement investigation into the issue, authorized by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, concluded the document was fraudulent" (actually, the investigation itself is what was fraudulent).

And rather than admitting the fact that WND's birther crusade was always a partisan fraud and never about the Constitution -- a view reinforced when WND's Jerome Corsi appeared on a right-wing radio show after Trump's statement and refused to even discuss the issue of which he has been such a key part of for several years because it's being used to hurt his favored candidate Trump and "I'm done with the topic until Obama's out of office" -- WND pivoted to the new Trump-approved talking point: it was all Hillary's idea in the first place and birtherism is really Obama's fault.

WND editor Joseph Farah's first column after Trump's statement was not about said statement but, rather, focused on a statement a week and a half earlier by Ben Carson that Trump should apologize for being a birther in order to appeal to black voters. Farah asserted that Carson was " just plain wrong" to say that, ranting:

Who believes support from black voters hinges in any way on this question?

Who believes that Donald Trump or anyone else who raised the question of Obama's constitutional eligibility did so because they were motivated by racism?

How is the so-called "birther issue" even relevant with Obama's term ending Jan. 20, 2017, and the American people faced with a choice between two candidates - both of whom questioned Obama's eligibility, the first being Hillary's campaign in 2008?

And how in the world does Dr. Carson's answer help defeat Hillary Clinton, which I know is his priority?

Farah went on to assert that "there were and are legitimate questions about Obama's constitutional eligibility that have been swept under the rug - one more part of our nation's foundation of the rule of law chipped away forever." But given the chance to further explore those same questions with a candidate he didn't despise, Ted Cruz, Farah chickened out instead.

Farah got closesr to addressing Trump's statement in his Sept. 18 column. His main job, however, was to pivot the blame away from Trump (and, by extension, WND) by insisting that the honor of being the first birther "belongs to one person and one person alone - Barack Obama," because of a 1990s-era book publisher's bio in which Obama "billed himself as having been born in Kenya." But that bio didn't surface until 2012 -- by which time WND had been hardcore birthers for years -- and Obama didn't provide that information to the publisher.

With that falsehood as a setup, Farah then shifted full gear into lying, such as his assertion that "Obama refused to release his birth certificate during his entire first term in office." In fact, Obama released a birth certificate before the 2008 election; WND simply refused to recognize it as real.

Farah then claimed that the certificate Obama released in 2011 "has never been authenticated as genuine." False -- as former Arpaio "cold case posse" investigator Brian Reilly has pointed out, the state of Hawaii has officially verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.

And then Farah was off to his beloved conspiracy land:

I won't go into the voluminous amount of evidence of a cover-up, or all the valid reasons for questioning not only where Obama was born, but whether he had even retained citizenship when he and his mother left the country to move to Indonesia and enroll him in a Muslim school there over the objections of U.S. immigration officials concerned, at the time, about the status of his citizenship status.

I won't go into his missing college records, which might shed light on whether Obama had claimed to be a foreign student, as many at Columbia assumed.

I won't go into the fact that his supposed "birth hospital" in Hawaii steadfastly refused to acknowledge publicly that simple fact.

Personally, I thought it was important to establish that Obama met the minimal constitutional litmus test for eligibility. For that I was vilified, called a racist, lampooned, besmirched, called a conspiracy theorist and worse.

During all that time, I never drew any conclusions about his birthplace - just that there were questions that needed to be answered.

Funny, Farah never felt similarly compelled to establish that Ted Cruz met the minimal constitutional litmus test for eligibility, even though by the overly narrow definitions of "natural born citizen" WND has pushed over the years Cruz is even more ineligible to be president than Obama.

The fact that WND refused to apply its Obama birther standards to Cruz tells us that, like Corsi, Farah never cared about the Constitution at all; he cared only about trying to personally and politically destroy someone he, for whatever reason, has some sort of deep grudge against.

Now, like Corsi, Farah no longer wants to talk about what was his website's signature issue for eight years: "Excuse me for not answering at least a dozen requests for interviews from the global media last week when Trump admitted Obama was born in the U.S. - something he actually has no evidence to conclude with any certainty."

Farah couldn't talk about birtherism enough when the target was Obama. But now that it's come back to bite not only his preferred presidential candidates but WND as well -- its insistence on clinging to birther lies and refusal to apply Obama birther standards to Cruz are no doubt two big reasons why WND is in serious financial trouble -- he wants to take his ball and go home.

But that means Farah has effectively signed the death warrant for WND. No rational person would choose to believe a "news" organization that clings to something so definitively and prominently discredited.

Whether Farah admits it or not, birtherism is the hill WND will die on. His refusal to admit he misled readers about birtherism for years means that death will come sooner rather than later.

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