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A clerk at a Borders bookstore in California has been telling customers that the hot-selling “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” has been withdrawn from the market by the publisher – basing his answers on a fraudulent story published by Esquire.
The issue was noticed by a WND reader, who reported calling the Borders store in Northridge, Calif., seeking the book. He reported via e-mail:
I called the store and asked if they had the book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” by Jerome Corsi and the guy laughed at me and said he wasn’t sure but he would look for me. He went on to say isn’t that outdated being Obama just released his birth certificate and shouldn’t they at least rename it. So, I played with him a bit and said the book was far beyond just the birth certificate issue and told him maybe it should be renamed “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?” and he said, why is it fake? I said many people that have examined the online image have stated it was indeed a manipulated document. He said well they must be right, in a smart-a– tone. Anyway, after that he put me on a hold for a few minutes and then came back on and said he searched and they do not carry the book and said he was just told the publisher pulled the book.”
A subsequent telephone call to the store by WND confirmed the conversation, as a clerk said, “I think they pulled it.”
“We had it, but I’m almost certain the publisher pulled it,” he continued. “They didn’t figure anyone would buy the book once the birth certificate was disclosed.”
When pressed to check the facts, the clerk returned after a few minutes and confirmed that the store, in fact, had found “one copy” of the book “in the back.”
“There’s no story here,” said a spokeswoman for the Borders corporate headquarters, Mary Davis. “The bookseller saw the headline on the Esquire article below and mistakenly took it as truth. The book was coincidentally out of stock at the store and the bookseller mistakenly attributed that to this headline. Totally innocent on his part.”
The headline that was attached said, “Esquire Tries Satire: Where’s the Birth Certificate Pulled from the Shelves!”
However, the original article was not presented as satire, and a number of organizations took it for an actual news story, contacting WND Books chief Joseph Farah for verification.
“This action affirms my contention that the Esquire article had a real-world, deleterious impact on our business. It also proves that others took the article seriously, at face value. In fact, given the article writer’s vulgar comments about Jerome Corsi, the author of the book in question, we have the evidence we will use in court to show actual malice on his part and the part of his magazine, which still employs him after this heinous example of defamation,” Farah said.
“This was a calculated effort by Esquire and likely its friends in the administration to kill the book because they fear the truth,” said Larry Klayman, legal counsel for WND.
The situation developed days ago, when the magazine’s executive editor published a completely fictional article claiming Jerome Corsi’s best-selling book – “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” – was being pulled from the shelves and destroyed and that book purchasers were being offered refunds.
Mark Warren, Esquire’s executive editor who supervises political coverage for the magazine, published what appeared to be a news story quoting Farah as saying he was destroying hundreds of thousands of copies of Corsi’s high-flying book challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for office and issuing refunds for them.
Immediately, news organizations throughout the U.S. began contacting Farah for confirmation of the story and comment. In addition, consumers began requesting refunds and book supporters began attacking Farah.
“Only when I issued a statement saying I was exploring our legal options did Warren append a disclaimer to the article explaining that it was ‘satire,'” said Farah. “That was too little, too late. The damage was done. And Warren himself confirmed his own malicious intent by characterizing Corsi as ‘an execrable piece of sh–.'”
A WND message left on Mark Warren’s answering machine requesting comment did not generate a response. Nor did an email to a publicist to whom WND was referred when requesting a comment from the magazine.
“I don’t like to sue people or organizations,” said Farah. “It’s not what I do. But I was strongly encouraged by hundreds of supporters within the past 48 hours to take on this fight. People were shocked by the brazenness of this attack. This was not satire. It was not funny. It was designed to materially hurt my business and disrupt the marketing efforts behind a best-selling book. And it was carried out by a lifelong Democratic political activist masquerading as a journalist.”
Farah points out Warren is best known as Sen. Harry Reid’s collaborator on his autobiographical “The Good Fight.” While he has served in several capacities at Esquire for the last 23 years, his resume shows he was a Democratic political activist and political aide prior to that experience.
“Warren has never stopped being a partisan political hack throughout his 23 years in the insular corporate media world of Hearst – the same institution that offered safe harbor to anti-Semitic Helen Thomas in her declining years in the White House press corps,” said Farah. “Having worked for Hearst for nearly 10 years ending just about the time Warren was hired, it grieves me to see what has become of the company. Examine Warren’s recent work for yourself and you will clearly see one simplistic common thread running through it – Democrats good, Republicans bad.”