Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Does Joseph Farah Hate Mormons?

I've posted before about Joseph Farah and his "news" website, World Net Daily, which is perhaps the fringiest main-stream (or most main-stream fringe) conservative website on the entire internet. It has an impressively huge audience. WND is best known for initially stoking (and even now continuing to stoke) the fires of the "Birther" conspiracy theory, but today WND's editor-in-chief, Joseph Farah, tees off on a slightly stranger target for a conservative newsman: Mitt Romney and John Hunstman.

And only Mitt Romney and John Huntsman, so far. What, you may ask, do these two men have in common? Why would Farah pick these two candidates from a fantasy field of fourteen current or potential presidential contenders on the GOP side? Who the hell are Gary Johnson and Thad McCotter (and I've been following the primary horse race pretty closely)?

Is Farah picking on Mitt and Huntsman right out of the gate because they're the only former governors? No, the list of contenders still includes Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry (and there's no reason Farah couldn't have initially disqualified four, or six for that matter). Is it because Romney and Huntsman aren't orthodox conservatives? This is Farah's supposed justification:

I believe the nomination or election of either of these men [Romney or Huntsman] will spell the end of America as we know it. There will be no rebirth politically – no "morning in America." The success of either one of these phony establishment elitists will result in either the re-election of Obama or the acceptance of Obama's "achievements" and "accomplishments" as permanent hallmarks of American life...There are others on this list who I pray will not succeed – but none more than Romney and Huntsman. These two represent traps for real Republicans. The differences between them and Barack Obama are merely differences in degrees.


But of all fourteen, are these two really the biggest hypocrites? Is Romney less conservative than, say, Rick Perry or Tim Pawlenty?

Or could it be that Huntsman and Romney have something else in common, something that America's 14 million and Utah (in particular)'s 1.6 million members of the LDS church might resent a little bit?

Greg West from the LDS Church Examiner certainly thinks so:

WorldNetDaily is becoming, much like the conservative web site Free Republic: a forum for anti-Mormons. In the past few months, WND's editor-in-chief Joseph Farah has been attacking Glenn Beck, a fellow conservative, because Beck doesn't put much stock in the "birther" issue (which is Farah's bread and butter) and he's more concerned at other more imminent threats to freedom (like a Marxist takeover of the government) than gay marriage.

In April this year (a month after Farah began attacking Beck after his statements about the birthers and the gay rights issue on Bill O'Reilly's show) an offensive anti-Mormon video by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron appeared on WND. The video content has since been removed from the site, but it featured an Evangelical interviewer baderging a heavy-set man with a white beard about his association with Mormonism.

WND columnist Dave Welch's September 4th, 2010 article "Christians the Problem, not Mormons," despite its title, focuses entirely on Mormonism.


Mr. West can now add Farah's strange singling out of Mitt Romney and John Hunstman to his list. Does Joseph Farah hate Mormons? Does he hate them enough, too much, or not enough for the conservative movement (more or less than, say, Barack "Marxist" Obama)?

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