Dispatches from the Creation Wars

It’s really quite amusing watching the Worldnutdaily try to feign rationality and objectivity while falling hook, line and sinker for the Obama birther bullshit. They practically have half their homepage now devoted to that one story, which they’ve been pushing relentlessly. And when this latest forged Kenyan birth certificate was shown by Orly Taitz, the wingnut lawyer that the Worldnutdaily has worked overtime to turn into a mixture of Clarence Darrow and Mother Teresa, they jumped at the bait like a shark on chum.

But since the authenticity of that Kenyan birth certificate lasted about as long as Chuck Norris would on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Farah is now backpeddling hard and pretending that they were just presenting the evidence – and he never really believed it was real anyway.

Because so many Americans have been educated in government schools, it is probably necessary for me to explain that reporting a news story is different than making an assertion.

No one at WND – not me, not Jerome Corsi, not any columnists, not any reporters – have defended the authenticity of the Kenyan birth certificate. No one here has made a judgment that it is real. What we did was report a fact – that California attorney Orly Taitz has filed a motion in federal court to determine its authenticity…

The first I saw of this document was Sunday when Orly Taitz put it on her website. Naturally, we reported this new twist in a story we have covered from the beginning.

But, somehow, people assumed we were asserting that this was a genuine Kenyan birth document belonging to Barack Obama. That was never the case. In fact, if I had to bet on its authenticity, I would wager it is not. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth reporting.

Of course it was worth reporting. But you can report it objectively and accurately or you can report it breathlessly and with great credulity, which is what the Worldnutdaily did — because at this point they have invested pretty much their entire credibility (stop snickering) in this story. Rather than recognize the obviously fraudulent nature of the document, they tried several different ways to vouch for its authenticity:

WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical…

Last week, a counterfeit document purporting to be Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate made the rounds of the Internet, but was quickly determined to be fraudulent. The new document released by Taitz bears none of the obvious traits of a hoax.

In fact, it bore many obvious traits of a hoax as even many birthers managed to point out virtually immediately upon the release of pictures of the document. Indeed, Farah admits that he received many emails from birthers immediately after the story was released telling him that they fell for a hoax that would discredit the entire birther movement.

Indeed, their article even tried to debunk some of the arguments against the document’s authenticity:

Critics immediately jumped on the Feb. 17, 1964, date for the document, explaining that the “republic” of Kenya wasn’t assembled until in December of that year.

Media Matters wrote, “Sorry, WorldNetDaily: Kenya wasn’t a republic until Dec. 1964.”

But Kenya’s official independence was in 1963, and any number of labels could have been applied to government documents during that time period.

At Ameriborn Constitution News, the researcher noted that the independence process for the nation actually started taking as early as 1957, when there were the first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council.

“Kenya became an Independent Republic, December 12, 1963, which gives more [credibility] that this is a true document,” the website stated.

The 1963 independence is corroborated by several other information sources, including the online African History.

Even the People Daily news agency cited, on Dec. 12, 2005, the “42nd independence anniversary” in Nairobi. “The country gained independence from Britain on Dec. 12, 1963,” the report said.

An online copy of the Kenya Constitution, “adopted in 1963, amended in 1999,” states: “CHAPTER I – THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, Article 1, Kenya is a sovereign Republic. Article 1A, The Republic of Kenya shall be a multiparty democratic state…”

Farah now says that he never really believed it was authentic, but the article they published on it was clearly written to imply that it was. Come on Joe, if you’re going to be a wingnut, be a proud wingnut. Say it loud – I’m nuts and I’m proud.