[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
See, this is why they say that satire is dead. In a sane and normal world, this would be a real news story, and not a satire:
In a stunning development one day after the release of Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book.But of course, it is a satire:
In an exclusive interview, a reflective Farah, who wrote the book's foreword and also published Corsi's earlier best-selling work, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak out Against John Kerry and Capricorn One: NASA, JFK, and the Great "Moon Landing" Cover-Up, said that after much serious reflection, he could not go forward with the project. "I believe with all my heart that Barack Obama is destroying this country, and I will continue to stand against his administration at every turn, but in light of recent events, this book has become problematic, and contains what I now believe to be factual inaccuracies," he said this morning. "I cannot in good conscience publish it and expect anyone to believe it."
When asked if he had any plans to publish a corrected version of the book, he said cryptically, "There is no book." Farah declined to comment on his discussions of the matter with Corsi.
A source at WND, who requested that his name be withheld, said that Farah was "rip-shit" when, on April 27, President Obama took the extraordinary step of personally releasing his "long-form" birth certificate, thus resolving the matter of Obama's legitimacy for "anybody with a brain."
"He called up Corsi and really tore him a new one," says the source. "I mean, we'll do anything to hurt Obama, and erase his memory, but we don't want to look like fucking idiots, you know? Look, at the end of the day, bullshit is bullshit."
UPDATE, 12:25 p.m., for those who didn't figure it out yet, and the many on Twitter for whom it took a while: We committed satire this morning to point out the problems with selling and marketing a book that has had its core premise and reason to exist gutted by the news cycle, several weeks in advance of publication. Are its author and publisher chastened? Well, no. They double down, and accuse the President of the United States of perpetrating a fraud on the world by having released a forged birth certificate. Not because this claim is in any way based on reality, but to hold their terribly gullible audience captive to their lies, and to sell books. This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That's why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book. Hell, even the president has a sense of humor about it all. Some more serious reporting from us on this whole "birther" phenomenon here, here, and here.Apparently, Farah is taking it about as well as you'd expect a paranoid right-wing crank to: He's threatening to sue:
Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of World Net Daily Books, which published Corsi’s work, said he never spoke to the magazine and that the book is “selling briskly.”Of course he's sticking to his guns. Farah -- who advised Donald Trump to jump aboard the Birther bandwagon and who devoted his National Tea Party Convention speech to a defense of Birtherism, -- is deeply invested in the story. And it's in the nature of conspiracy theorists never to give up in the face of devastating evidence, but rather to transform that evidence into further proof of their conspiracy theory.
“I have never spoken to anyone from Esquire. Never uttered these words or anything remotely resembling them to anyone. It is a complete fabrication,” Farah told The Daily Caller. “The book is selling briskly. I am 100 percent behind it.”
Farah said he is considering “legal options” against the magazine for posting the story .
“Let me say this very clearly: There is not a single word of that report that is true. I assume it is a very poorly executed parody. In any case, I have begun exploring our legal options, since this report has all the earmarkings of a deliberate attempt at restraint of trade, not to mention libel.”
Gee, I wonder if Sean Hannity will ask Corsi about this the next time he has him on his Fox show.
All this is coming on the heels of the news that Corsi's book was written with the help of far-right white nationalists. Just yesterday, as Eric Hananoki at Media Matters reported, one of the nation's most prominent white nationalists popped up and claimed credit for having helped assemble portions of the book:
The host of a self-described "pro-white" radio program has claimed that he helped WorldNetDaily reporter Jerome Corsi with a story related to Corsi's new book, Where's the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.Here's a sampling of Edwards' work:
James Edwards writes today that Corsi "personally e-mailed me a few months ago for some assistance on a story closely related to the contents of this book. I was happy to oblige and work behind-the-scenes with both Dr. Corsi and World Net Daily on this matter."
Edwards is the host of the "pro-white" radio program The Political Cesspool. The show's website states: "We represent a philosophy that is pro-White ... We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races." The show regularly features a guest roster of "pro-white" figures like David Duke and "neo-Nazi activist April Gaede."
As the SPLC's David Holthouse reported back in 2007:
"The Political Cesspool" in the past two years has become the primary radio nexus of hate in America. Its sponsors include the CCC and the Institute for Historical Review, a leading Holocaust denial organization. Its guest roster for 2007 reads like a "Who's Who" of the radical racist right. CCC leader Gordon Lee Baum, Holocaust denier Mark Weber, Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm, American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor, neo-Nazi activist April Gaede, anti-Semitic professor Kevin MacDonald, Stormfront webmaster Jamie Kelso and League of the South president Michael Hill have all been favorably interviewed on the "Political Cesspool" this year, along with former Klan leader and neo-Nazi David Duke, the show's most frequent celebrity racist guest, who has logged three appearances.Edwards is one of those slick young racists who knows to stay away from over race-baiting language in public as a way to buttress his claim that all he wants to do is promote the white race. But inevitably, as it always does with such folks, the cover eventually slips:
The "Cesspool" host is a rising star of the white nationalist movement because he's articulate, charming and equally at ease in a television studio, behind a radio microphone and standing in front of a crowd. He was a specially invited guest speaker at the CCC conference. His topic: "Creating Your Own Media." CCC National Field Coordinator Bill Lord told a "Martin Luther Coon" joke in his introduction of Edwards. Lord and other longtime CCC members casually dropped racial epithets at the conference, but Edwards carefully avoided using such crudely derogatory language, as he always does when speaking in public, on the airwaves or to the media. Edwards allies himself with hate group leaders who call black people "niggers," but he doesn't drop the N-bomb himself. Instead he speaks in the more or less polished code of a suit-and-tie racist, calling blacks "heathen savages," "subhumans," and "black animals," exclusively in the context of discussing violent black-on-white crime.Guys like Farah would never try to run and hide now that their mendacious ruse has been exposed -- they always double down, proceeding as if their credibility was every bit as sound as ever. Which, really, it is. As I explained long ago, Farah never pays for having his conspiracy theories fall apart -- he just picks up and keeps moving. When the big "Y2K Apocalypse" he and his magazine ranted about for much of 1999 (a sample is here), Farah simply cleared his throat and pretended that it had all been a valuable lesson -- and then never raised it again.
His audience of about 150 at the CCC conference included Jared Taylor, whose magazine specializes in race "studies," and Don Black, the former Alabama grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of Stormfront, the largest racist forum on the Internet.
That's because, underneath the conspiracy theory facade, these guys really are committed to a radical far-right agenda, and the theories they promote are really just a way of conditioning people to buy into that agenda. That's what they're about.
Most of all, it's an extremely clear example of what I call the Transmission Belt -- the way ideas and agendas move seamlessly from the fringes of the far right directly into the mainstream, thanks to characters like Farah and Corsi, and by extension to guys like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
But of course, it's very uncivil of us to be pointing this out.
Meanwhile, Ben Dimiero and Simon Maloy at Media Matters have the complete rundown on the Corsi book.