What would you do if a big national magazine like Esquire intentionally slimed you, your company and one of your colleagues with completely fabricated quotations and phony allegations that materially hurt your business and your reputation?

That’s the decision I faced Wednesday after Mark Warren, the executive editor of Esquire, published what appeared to casual readers and trained journalists alike to be a news story announcing that I was withdrawing from bookstores across America Jerome Corsi’s best-selling book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” and offering full refunds to all consumers who had previously purchased it.

Literally within minutes of this posting, reporters from several news outlets were emailing and calling me for comment on the phony scoop.

A couple hours later, after I had made known publicly that I was exploring legal options regarding a possible defamation and restraint of trade claim, Warren added the following disclaimer to the article:

“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.”

I believe Warren, Esquire and the Hearst Corporation may have committed something other than satire. I think they committed libel.

And that’s why I have decided to pursue every possible legal recourse for justice in this matter – not so much out of a personal sense of vengeance, but because my profession needs a good kick in the rear end.

I’m sick and tired of spoiled little twits like Warren, perched in their comfortable offices in New York, firing salvoes on tireless, hard-working, committed journalists like Jerome Corsi and the rest of my team at WND without any accountability to standards of professionalism.

Who is Mark Warren? He’s Harry Reid’s collaborator. In other words, he’s a liberal Democratic hack, not a newsman. Who else is he? His professional bio posted at Esquire says he has worked there since 1988. That’s 23 years in the insular world of a New York girlie mag. And he is in charge of Esquire’s political coverage. He’s also an acolyte of Dennis Kucinich and Christopher Hitchens. Maybe you wonder where a guy like this cut his journalistic teeth? Actually, he has no journalistic teeth. He worked in local Democratic Party political campaigns and staff positions until plucked out of obscurity by Esquire in 1988.

And some actually scoffed when I suggested the distinct possibility that the White House may have been behind this dirty trick!

Now, I think it may not have been necessary for directives to come from Washington. After all, Warren has been carrying water for the Democratic Party his entire life. In all likelihood, he wouldn’t even need to be told what to do. Maybe he just did what came naturally – stood up for his man in the White House. Evidently, in 2011, that’s what the political editor of Esquire is expected to do.

In any case, I am unashamedly asking for your support – your prayer and your financial contributions – to a successful lawsuit against Warren, Esquire and the Hearst Corporation, a company, by the way, at which I cut my journalistic teeth as an editor for its flagship newspaper.

Maybe this is the only way we will be able to force the media to be accountable to its traditional American watchdog role.

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