Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Poison of World Net Daily: Defining Itself in Six Lines

It's not often that I read World Net Daily (WND). When I do, it is usually for entertainment purposes or to see what sorts of wackaloon conspiracy theories the birther crowd is into these days. While I doubt that a thing called "objective news" exists at all, WND is quite overt in its rightwing, fundamentalist Christian viewpoint. As Rationalwiki humorously observes:

"[I]t pretends to give multiple sides of an issue, which, to an extent, it does: the conservative viewpoint and the ultra-conservative viewpoint. They are best known for distributing Ann Coulter's insipid, poisonous 'articles', as well as articles written by noted political pundits [sic] Chuck Norris and Pat Boone."

So, while it's not all that often that I agree with WND contributor Pat Buchanan, I did agree with a teensy tidbit in his latest article. Discussing Obama's address to schoolchildren last week, the text of which proved to be remarkably uncontroversial, Pat Buchanan observed the the right's over-the-top paranoia regarding possible Socialist Indoctrination. To summarize, Buchanan went on to state that sometimes, the left and the right need to take things down a notch and return the discourse back to civility. (He then went on to say a bunch of other stuff that I disagree with, but hey, that little nugget about civility was something, wasn't it?)

And then, below. Six lines within Buchanan's article underscored WND's contributions to the political discourse:


Joe Wilson's rude (and ironically dishonest) "You lie!" ejaculation is touted by one of WND's own writers as revelatory of the "poisoned character of our politics." Yet, a few lines down, in one of its tacky, sneaky, embedded-within-the-article advertisements, WND markets and sells Wilson's "You lie!" proclamation as though it is instead some sort of benign message of opposition towards Obama.

Sadly, I can already envision the angry Americans who will proudly slap Wilson's statement on their cars and, because it is also inevitable, the rightist bloggers who will really stick it to Da Man by gleefully creating "You lie!" buttons for their blogs. The poison of WND is that it appeals to the anger and aggression of those dissatisfied with political affairs, convinces everyday Americans that vast conspiracies are at work threatening to persecute their liberties, justifies hostility and incivility based on that paranoia, and then packages it as Real Americana Just Patriotically Defending Itself Against Evil.

When I look at all of the corny advertisements on WND for Armageddon Supplies, Self-Defense Skillz For Dudes, and Rightwing Hate Gear, I know that somebody is winning. Sadly, I don't think it's the American people. Not even those who read WND for "newsgathering," as opposed to entertainment, purposes.

(Because WND is a commercial site, I have not linked to it for obvious reasons. Anyone who wishes to read Pat Buchanan's original article can make use of The Google.)

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