Vox Day: Glorious fall of a red czar

WorldNetDailyPosted: September 06, 2009 11:45 pm Eastern

© 2009

I am occasionally asked why I would ever choose to write for WorldNetDaily. I am, after all, a columnist who has been nationally syndicated by Chronicle Features and Universal Press Syndicate. My scribblings have appeared in newspapers ranging from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Boston Globe to Pravda and the North Bay Nugget. I was one of the first St. Paul Pioneer Press columnists to be syndicated in the paper's 150-year history, and I'm the only one who was ever syndicated twice, for two different columns. I'm considering either a gardening or a women's shoes column just so I can go for the trifecta. I don't know anything about either subject, but since Paul Krugman has an economics column, that can't possibly be a problem.

Meanwhile, according to its critics, WorldNetDaily is an unreliable and histrionic news source that is one step below the National Enquirer, which at least has a printed product. And while the National Enquirer likes reporting on celebrity alien abductions by surgically inclined extraterrestrials, WND rarely misses a story dealing with the antichrist, Harry Potter or other religious bugaboos. But this is merely flavor, and while it may be an acquired taste of sorts, it's no more meaningful than the flavor that accompanies major media institutions such as the New York Times.

One cannot honestly say that headlines like "Church bell 'noise' under attack – in America" are any more indicative of journalistic unreliability than the "Wither Gambia?" sort that P.J. O'Rourke accurately characterized as MEGO (my eyes glaze over), or those that accompany the "What you can buy in Slovenia for $250,000" articles. The reality is that most church bells can freely ring, nobody cares what happens in Gambia or even knows where it is, and the only reason for publishing the European real-estate porn is so that readers of the Times can feel as if they're the sort of individual who just might buy a vacation home in Slovakia. Or Slovenia, whatever it was.

The superficial dressings are irrelevant. It's only the substance that matters, and it's here that WorldNetDaily has continued to go from strength to strength over the years. Its opinion columnists are smarter and better-looking than those featured by the mainstream media's standard bearer, but more importantly, they also cover a far greater range of the political spectrum. WorldNetDaily features liberals like Bill Press and Nat Hentoff, neoconservatives like Ben Shapiro and Michelle Malkin, conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter, and libertarians such as Ilana Mercer and me. The New York Times, on the other hand, has smart liberals like Nicolas Kristof and Thomas Friedman, less-smart liberals like Paul Krugman, Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd, and Republican liberals such as David Brooks and Ross Douthat.

WorldNetDaily more than holds its own on the news side as well. The resignation of Van Jones is the direct result of WND breaking news that the mainstream media attempted to bury by refusing to report it for five months. In its Sept. 6 story on his resignation, the New York Times referred to "weeks of controversy," which must have been news to readers of the Times because this was one of the first times the Times had mentioned that there was any controversy surrounding the White House's environmental jobs czar. This is far from the first time such a story has gone unreported; John Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter and the hidden Obama birth records are similar non-stories that the media has unsuccessfully tried to keep from the American people.

It is amusing that a few very silly people with dubious right-wing credentials have begun to call for a boycott of WND because they claim it to be a part of "the lunatic fringe." This call is particularly bizarre coming from Megan McArdle, a blogger for The Atlantic; how can anyone take seriously advice on ideologically policing the right from an ersatz libertarian who not only supported the banking bailouts but actually voted for Obama! Now there is your true lunatic fringe – Keynesian libertarians for Obama: total membership, one. Back on Earth, the resignation of Van Jones and the increasing interest in proof of Obama's eligibility for the presidency clearly demonstrates that WorldNetDaily is neither lunatic nor fringe.

WorldNetDaily's reporting has forced one communist out of the White House, which is a lot more than one can say for the Republican Party leadership, whose main accomplishment of late is forcing Republicans out of Congress. The quixotic attempt to marginalize one of the Right's most popular news sites is not only counterproductive, but can only serve to increase WND's popularity among a conservative base that is angry with its leadership, appalled by the actions of the Democrats and deeply unimpressed by the Republican squish faction that believes a return to Rockefeller Republicanism of the '70s is a viable political strategy for the future.

Now, I don't agree with Joseph Farah on everything. I don't agree with anyone on everything. But the fact that WorldNetDaily's leadership has the courage and the integrity to permit those on the liberal Left and the libertarian Right the freedom to write whatever they choose demonstrates its commitment to human freedom is genuine. And its steadfast reporting of the stories that the rest of the media ignore demonstrates a commitment to the truth that is just as strong.

On more than one occasion, I have been asked if WorldNetDaily can be taken seriously. In the future, I'll just tell them to ask Van Jones.