But neither of those hold a candle to a December 19 WND article by Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation and Where's the Birth Certificate? The article is "Obama's legacy of broken promises – in Kenya". Not only is roughly half of Corsi's article lifted from a 2008 British news story, but Corsi goes further, and repeatedly claims that the copied information and quotations were instead obtained by unnamed "WND researchers" in Kenya.
The British article in question is "Barack Obama's broken promise to African village", written by David Cohen and published in the London Evening Standard on July 25, 2008. Corsi even links to Cohen's story in his article (proving that he personally read the article he copied, and the content was not just provided to him by an unscrupulous "source"), but credits it as the source of only three sentences of information.
Meanwhile, he claims the rest of the article is the result of "a report in Kenya commissioned by WND." Corsi writes:
"A former Kenyan Parliament member with whom WND has worked confidentially since 2008 compiled the report. The research was assigned to trusted Kenyan professionals who conducted the field work and reported their findings in writing."This is not the only specific reference in Corsi's article to WND researchers. On several occasions, he provides quotes and statements that he claims were provided to WND researchers. But a review of the Evening Standard shows that Corsi simply lifted them, verbatim, from the 2008 story:
Evening Standard, 2008:
However, the school's senior teacher Dalmas Raloo, 41, who is often used as a translator for Obama's grandmother who only speaks Luo, and is a friend of the family, says the family are mystified by what they are calling "Obama's lapse". "If you ask whether Obama's family think he should give something to the village and to the school, the answer is 'yes, definitely'. But they feel it should come from him spontaneously. They don't want to ask him for it."Jerome Corsi, 2011:
Raloo said Obama's family in Kenya is mystified by what they are calling "Obama's lapse."Evening Standard, 2008:
"If you ask whether the family think Obama should give something to the village and to the school, the answer is 'Yes, definitely,'" Raloo told WND researchers in Kenya. "But support should come from Obama spontaneously. We shouldn't have to ask him to keep his promises."
Villagers say that despite her age, Sarah Obama still comes to market where she sells her homegrown fruit and vegetables.Jerome Corsi, 2011:
Villagers told WND researchers that Sarah, 88 years old, still goes to market where she sells her homegrown fruit and vegetables.Evening Standard, 2008:
The market is where we head next to speak to villagers about their hopes for an Obama victory in November and what it might do for their village. Mary Manasse, 40, who runs the Mama Siste Mini Shop selling staples such as bread and cow's milk (packaged in old Coke bottles) says she has a photograph of Obama shaking hands with her on his 2006 visit.
"Back then I was looking after 40 orphans at the orphan centre," she recalls. "We faced a desperate shortage of money and Obama told us that he especially liked special, dedicated projects like ours and wanted to help. We thought he would give funds to help our project but we got nothing. A few months later we were forced to shut down the orphan centre because of lack of funds. Just a million Kenyan shillings [£6,000] would have kept us going another year. I feel disappointed that he did not come through."
Jerome Corsi, 2011:
The market is where WND researchers heard villagers express disappointment over hopes they once held that Obama would transform their lives in Kogelo.Those are just the instances of Corsi attributing the work and research of the London Evening Standard to his anonymous "WND researchers."
Mary Manasse, who runs the Mama Siste Mini Shop selling staples such as bread and cow's milk packaged in old soda bottles, told researchers she has a photograph of Obama shaking hands with her on his 2006 visit.
"Back then I was looking after 40 orphans at the orphan center," she recalled. "We faced a desperate shortage of money, and Obama told us that he especially liked special, dedicated projects like ours and wanted to help.
"A few months later we were forced to shut down the orphan center because of lack of funds. Just a million Kenyan shillings (about $12,000) would have kept us going another year. I feel disappointed that he did not come through."
The singular other specific reference to the work of his "researchers" is also nothing more than a paraphrase of a May 2011 AFP article. While not copied word-for-word like much of the content from the Evening Standard, the information and 'quotes' provided to "WND researchers" by "Francis Muti" appear suspiciously similar to quotes appearing in the AFP article. (I'd also note that discovering the true source of this particular material was considerably more difficult than the content copied from the Evening Standard, given Corsi's paraphrasing and misspelling of Muti's last name.) To wit:
AFP, May 2011:
“In the wake of security challenges including terror threats, I can confirm that we decided to enhance security at the home of Mama Sarah … ,” said regional administrator Francis Mutie"Jerome Corsi, December 2011
There have been no direct threats against the family but Kenya is on alert following warnings from Al-Qaeda followers after bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan on May 2.
"'As a result of the security challenges, including the threat of terror, I can confirm that we decided to improve security at home,' she told WND researchers in Kenya."
Francis Muti, the regional administrator said there was no immediate threat to the family, but Kenya was on high alert after a warning from adherents of al-Qaida after U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan killed bin Laden.
In short, every single quote or finding specifically attributed to Corsi's unnamed "researchers" was lifted from an earlier publication by another news agency.
While these falsifications may be the worst journalistic offenses in the article, they're still not the only ones. Several pictures accompany the article. It's not explicitly stated where these photographs originated from, but it's implied that they also came from "WND researchers." Corsi captions one picture of Sarah Obama by writing "As seen in Exhibit 5, Sarah continues to have roving chickens around her home, as well as goats and cows not seen in this photograph."
But this picture is, in fact, a copyrighted photo belonging to Evelyn Hockstein. No attribution to Ms. Hockstein is provided, and WND does not even indicate that the image is copyrighted. Even the 'roving chickens, goats, and cows' language is borrowed from the Evening Standard.
So much of Corsi's article is paraphrased or copied, word-for-word, that it can only be illustrated visually. Below is that illustration, with the yellow portions of Corsi's column representing the content that was lifted from other sources.
Yellow = word-for-word copying from the Evening Standard;
Orange = content taken from the AFP;
Pink = specific references to the work of 'WND researchers';
Blue = credited citations to the Evening Standard
Obama's legacy of broken promises – in Kenya
I emailed Corsi for comment, including to ask for the names of his 'researchers' or a copy of their 'report.' I received no response. (Update: I received a reply from Corsi claiming that the report is "proprietary," but he'd be willing to give comments. However, he did not respond to follow-up emails with specific questions, including when the supposed investigation was conducted, and what other stories the 'source' has supposedly contributed to since 2008).
In the event that the online version of Corsi's article should disappear or be altered, I have preserved a PDF printout of the article at Scribd.
Finally, while the straight lifting of text from the Evening Standard is egregious, and the rewording of quotations from the AFP is suspicious, Corsi's attribution of all this material to his unnamed 'WND researchers in Kenya' is most troublesome. Corsi regularly relies on unnamed phantom "sources" from Kenya and Hawaii. Corsi's actions here, claiming that copied material was actually spoken directly to his anonymous "sources," should not just call into question the credibility of his "sources"; it should seriously call into doubt whether they even EXIST.