Saturday, June 27, 2009

For Sale: Kenyan Birth Certificate and/or Journalistic Integrity.

The latest from WND:

'Proof' of Kenyan birth twice scrubbed by eBay

The first sign of suspicion (after the fact that this is a WND article to begin with) should be the single quote marks in the article title. I've come to learn that that's WND's means of conveying the idea that they're quoting something, but without actually doing so. For instance, nothing in the entire article means "proof" with regard to this eBay listing.

Whereas WND failed to do so, one poster at FreeRepublic had enough foresight to screengrab the entire listing, not just the top of it.

Only two things worth noting here, really, and both have to do with WND's coverage, not the auction itself.

First, the article finally includes this sentence in the second-to-last paragraph about the eBay auction (and before the article moves on to several generic cut-and-paste paragraphs about the "legal challenges"):

"Neither photos nor any verification of the seller's claims are available at this point."

Yep, the auction actually provides ZERO EVIDENCE of a birth certificate actually existing, but that's enough for WND to make it their headlining article for the day. The seller claims that the lack of a scan was to preserve the value of his product against a "flood of facsimiles." Fair enough, but he gives no reason for not providing a redacted version.

Considerably above this detail is a comment from the seller saying that his listing was taken down because birth certificates are forbidden for sale on eBay.

WND doesn't bother to address this, so I will: that's absolutely true. To wit:

Government IDs and licenses, or items that claim to be, or that look similar to, government identification documents are not permitted on eBay...[Including] Birth certificates, driver’s licenses or passports.

So for any purveyors of creative truths out there, take note: WorldNetDaily's journalistic standards are such that they will run news reports about your claims based on nothing more than your unsubstantiated claims. For instance, their articles the other day about the Ark of the Covenant? Totally bogus, because I have the Ark in my attic right now. I'm just a little hesitant to post photos or, y'know, proof. But I'll gladly take money from anyone who believes.

So, WorldNetDaily...where's my story?

1 comment:

  1. Also, the seller is alleged to have said that it was a "certified" document, but the seller also said that it was obtained at the hospital in Mombassa. Hospitals do not certify their documents.