Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why does anyone read WorldNetDaily?

Some conservative bloggers are fond of citing the Richard Mellon Scaife-backed WorldNetDaily or its evil twin, NewsMax, to support their arguments. When I criticize such sources, I get accused of attacking the source instead of attacking the argument.

Enter the Captain. I view Captain's Quarters the same way I view Antonin Scalia -- I disagree with much of what he says, but there's no denying that he is smart and thoughtful. He's one of the most influential conservative bloggers out there.

Here's what he has to say about WND:

While this article is an opinion column and therefore slightly less egregious than the news article from last month, it uses some of the same tricks seen in that WND exclusive. It references vague 'studies' without ever naming them or providing links to them. It assumes that a food element consumed for thousands of years in Asia in significant amounts without turning it into a large version of Fire Island has suddenly begun feminizing Americans.

WND reminds me of the National Enquirer. It sometimes gets stories right, and most of the time has at least some elements of truth. More often than they should, WND relies on hyperbole and outrageous exaggeration to draw attention to its political agenda. Readers who know this can pick their way through the chaff -- but those readers know better than to waste their time at WND.

The "last month" article he refers to is this one.

The WND article that triggered all this is here.

Loons.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, because conservative Richard Mellon Scaife might be an investor in WorldNetDaily, you totally discount anything they report as being untrue or unreliable? You do know he has contributed to many liberal organizations as well, don't you?

Does this mean you would NEVER quote something from these news sources?: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Newsday?? Because they are all news sources partially owned and supported by big-time liberal investor George Soros. Not to mention all his other media and 527 investments.....like MoveOn.org.

I always find it interesting how some are quick to continue the "Richard Mellon Scaife" bogeyman story, but never seem to care about doing the same with George Soros.

JP5

12/13/2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Hey, JP! Welcome! You and UtahTex on the same day.... I should lay out some snacks!

I discount WND for what it writes. The fact that it is funded by Scaife merely explains where the looniness comes from.

12/13/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you say that? Do you KNOW for a fact that Scaife influences the writing?

JP5

12/13/2006 6:32 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

That's not what I meant. I meant that he doesn't support outlets that don't cater to his particular brand of goofiness -- in particular, conspiracy theories about the Clintons.

He withdrew funding from the American Spectator, for instance, after it panned a book by his favorite investigative reporter, Chris Ruddy, in which Ruddy claimed the Clintons killed Vince Foster.

Scaife's involvement in a given project doesn't automatically mean it's bogus, but it's a major red flag. In the case of WND, the red flag went up years ago and was well-deserved.

12/13/2006 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I suggest you go pull up all the foundations and contributions that Scaife has made---which includes many liberal colleges and causes.

Now, I wonder how many conservative universities and causes George Soros has contributed to? And why is it okay with liberals and Democrats that George Soros contributes to and funds liberal organizations and causes---but not for conservatives like Scaife?

JP5

12/15/2006 4:59 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Scaife and other lunatics are free to donate to anybody they like. I'm not required to respect their choices, or their results.

12/16/2006 5:24 PM  

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