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Larry Klayman, general counsel and chairman of Judicial Watch, has filed a formal demand for retraction of a published statement made by Washington Post ombudsman E.R. Shipp linking WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah with Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Demands for retraction must precede defamation claims.
“Specifically, the article suggested that because Mr. Farah brought to the nation’s attention through his column the brutal rape and murder of a 13-year-old child and criticized the lack of coverage this crime received in the national press, that he was an extremist like Duke,” said Klayman. “More egregiously, by associating Mr. Farah with David Duke, readers received the impression that Mr. Farah was a member of or associated in some way with the Ku Klux Klan. Such a suggestion is totally false, without any merit and ludicrous on its face. Because of his ethnic and religious background, Mr. Farah is far more likely to find himself a victim of the Ku Klux Klan’s hatred. That makes this attack by Ms. Shipp all the more painful and shameful. Mr. Farah has a 20-year track record as a journalist and has served with distinction as the editor-in-chief of major market daily newspapers in Sacramento and Los Angeles. He now runs a successful Internet newspaper. Correspondence from readers has confirmed that Ms. Shipp’s purposeful, gratuitous and false linkage between Duke and Mr. Farah has left the impression that the two are associated in some way.”
The offending line in the column by Shipp, who is the Post’s press ethics officer and reader advocate, states: “… but those who are inclined to believe the David Dukes, Joseph Farahs and Tim Grahams of the world — who have asserted that the story has been suppressed so that homosexuals won’t be portrayed negatively — will not be satisfied.”