How the Worldnutdaily Builds a Narrative

Or perhaps more accurately, how they spin a tale of tyranny out of almost nothing. Take a look at Jerome Corsi’s latest bit of faux-journalism, with the headline “DOJ REGARDS CRITICISM OF ISLAM, OBAMA AS CRIMINAL?” and the subheading “U.S. attorney who vowed to punish anti-Muslim rhetoric also prosecuted ‘birther.'” Now let’s take a look at the actual facts.

First, the claim that the DOJ thinks “criticism of Islam” is criminal. The WND has been beating this drum for a couple weeks now and it’s based on almost nothing. It started with this article, headlined “DOJ: Slam Muslims on Facebook, face feds.” The very first sentence is the kind of breathless paranoia the WND is so famous for:

Bloggers beware. And those who use email, too. And those on Facebook. And Twitter. And anyone else using social media: Diss a Muslim and the Department of Justice will be on your case with the full weight of federal law.

It’s all based on an appearance by Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee at an event sponsored by a Muslim organization in that state, at which he planned to “provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.” But in the original article they link to in a local paper, the example he offered was someone who posted a meme that was explicitly violent, a picture of a man holding a shotgun pointing at the camera with the caption “how you wink at a Muslim.” From that they’ve leaped to the absurd conclusion that the DOJ is going to prosecute anyone who “disses” or “slams” Muslims — something that the law does not permit, by the way. Under what law do they think the DOJ would prosecute someone who merely criticizes Muslims, as opposed to threatening them?

From that thin veneer of nonsense, Corsi then goes a step further and says that the DOJ regards “criticism” of either Islam or Obama to be criminal. Does it not occur to them that if the DOJ really thought criticism of Obama was criminal, they would have been arrested long ago? And this nonsense about Killian prosecuting a birther is contradicted by their own article:

The U.S. attorney who warned last week that “inflammatory speech” against Islam could violate civil-rights laws was the prosecutor who brought firearms charges against a Navy veteran who challenged the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate…

The Navy veteran, Darren Huff, came on the federal government’s radar in 2010 when he and another Navy veteran living in Tennessee, Walt Fitzpatrick, filed civil actions in court charging President Obama with treason. The veterans claimed Obama assumed the presidency while refusing to prove he was born in Hawaii by presenting to the American public a 1961 original long-form Hawaii birth certificate that could be independently authenticated by court-recognized document experts.

According to the Department of Justice website, Huff, on April 20, 2010, traveled from his home in Dallas, Ga., to Madisonville, Tenn., upset at the refusal of the grand jury in Monroe County, Tenn., to indict Obama for treason. He allegedly carried with him a .45 caliber handgun and an AK-47 with ammunition for both weapons and subsequently was arrested.

“Huff told people that day that he had 300-400 rounds of ammunition with the AK-47,” the DOJ website said. “During a traffic stop by a Tennessee State Trooper on his way to Madisonville, Huff stated, ‘I’ve got my .45 because ain’t no government official gonna go peacefully.’”

Huff was sentenced in U.S. District court to serve four years in prison following a criminal conviction for transporting firearms across state lines with the intent to cause a civil disorder. He currently has currently some 22 months of his prison sentence.

So no, he wasn’t prosecuted for being a birther, he was prosecuted for actual crimes and a jury found him guilty. Again, if the government really thought being a birther was grounds for prosecution, wouldn’t Orly Taitz be in prison by now? This is how the Worldnutdaily weaves a bunch of half-truths and lies into a narrative to scare their readers.

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  • CaitieCat

    From that they’ve leaped to the absurd conclusion that the DOJ is going to prosecute anyone who “disses” or “slams” Muslims — something that the law does not permit, by the way. Under what law do they think the DOJ would prosecute someone who merely criticizes Muslims, as opposed to threatening them?

    I think they want it to be true. There’s nothing they’d like better than to get a chance to say they’ve only got one life to give for their country, to become a huge martyr like some of their heroes from various right-wing fools’ attempts to take on the might of the US govt, like McVeigh and that Eric whassisname who did the Atlanta Olympic bombing, or that Aryan jerk who killed some state officials a couple of months back in Texas.

    Well, ideally, I’d expect they want someone else to be the actual martyr, but they’d be totally with you in spirit, brother!

  • Punished for his honesty. He would have gotten a fairly minor sentence if he said he was transporting the guns to sell them.

  • eric

    Off-topic alert: SCOTUS just ruled that natural human genes are not patentable. [Applause] For the ruling in pdf, go here and click on “6/13/13 – Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.” on the right hand side.

  • justawriter


    I agree with your comment. I think the prevailing attitude among wingnuts is that they would give their life for their country, as long as it doesn’t cause them any personal discomfort.

  • Subtract Hominem

    What a brave band of heroes.

  • Chiroptera

    CaitieCat, #1:

    I agree that they want this to be true. But I think it’s because the expect to come into power and then want to be able to lay the hurt on their enemies.

  • I think CaitieCat is close. What they want is to convince their flying monkeys that they are in danger of being persecuted, unless they act right now and put them in control. If they ever faced real persecution, as in, someone drags you off in the middle of the night never to be seen again kind of persecution, doofs like Corsi would turn informant in about five seconds flat.

  • shoeguy

    The market is saturated with prime red meat wingnutteria and WND has got to come up with product that will make it show up in the chorus line. You are a long time connoisseur of WND’s product, while I prefer a piping hot plateful of washed down with a double shot of You can’t go wrong with a burger and side of With all the noise it’s almost impossible to be heard above the herd. Red usually sews its conspiracies from whole cloth, but none of them really need much of a seed to get started. I suppose they do the lord’s work by sopping up all the cash from the teabaggers’ pockets so they have none come election time.

  • Breathtakingly dishonest. I don’t know how you have the stomach for this stuff.

  • kermit.

    I thought the heads of the adults around me in the Southern Baptist church 50 years ago were filled with crazy soup. But now the cauldron has had road kill and old rat poison thrown in and brought to a full boil.


    I cannot rightfully imagine the roiling froth that births:

    1. Birtherism – a shaman and a political analyst perhaps, in Kenya 50 years ago, could pick a baby and successfully send him to the White House!

    2. Climate Change – hundreds of thousand of scientists from multiple countries over thirty years have been faking evidence so that some US liberal politicians can get rich off carbon taxes.

    3. Impending Doom – The president is sneaking tens of millions of Jihadist warriors into the US without anyone noticing.

    4. War on Christmas – saying “Happy Holidays” is an assault on Christianity.

    5. Tornadoes in Oklahoma are God’s punishment for gay sex in New York. Or caused by Obama weather machines.

    6. Jesus hates charity.

    And so, ad infinitum.


    I am numb. We need to be disciplined, informed, and charitable to get through the rough times we’ll see when Earth’s infrastructure collapses. Instead, we have Fox.