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Media Matters botches inaugural event story
Posted By Bob Unruh On 01/15/2013 @ 8:24 pm In Faith,Front Page,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
“Joseph Farah Pulled From Right-Wing Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast” – that was the humiliating headline of a report by Media Matters, claiming the founder and CEO of WND and WND Books had been “pulled” from this coming weekend’s Inaugural Prayer Breakfast.
However, the report from the leftwing media “watchdog” has been repudiated by the event’s organizer, conservative pastor Rev. Merrie Turner, who purportedly was quoted in the Media Matters report.
Moreover, the event’s keynote speaker, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, bestselling author of “The Harbinger,” says the group’s real aim was to “attack and humiliate Joseph Farah.”
A WND email to Media Matters did not generate a response for this story.
According to the Media Matters report, Turner, the organizer of the prayer breakfast, “criticized his [Farah's] work and said he had been incorrectly listed as a featured guest.”
“It’s surprising that Farah is considered too toxic to speak at the event – which his publication had promoted – considering the history of its organizer and other reported attendees,” Media Matters continued.
Media Matters quoted Turner as saying, “It is against my beliefs to be openly targeting someone like the president of our country, we have enough enemies outside the country.”
The Media Matters report, which said Turner was going to “remove” Farah from the list of official speakers, was subsequently cited in reports by other media outlets, including the Christian Post.
But today Turner released a statement utterly disavowing Media Matters’ account.
“Recently a story originating with the organization Media Matters stated that Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily had been removed from the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast. This is false. The article also implied that Farah took it upon himself to invite himself as a distinguished [guest]. This, too, is false,” she wrote.
“The misinformation resulted from a number of factors: a confusion over the exact status of guests combined with the fluidity of the program, erroneous assumptions, miscommunication, a train of questioning by Media Matters as to whether we would allow anyone to use the event as a platform to attack the president, my desire to clarify that the event was not about anyone doing so, and what appears to be the aim of Media Matters to attack and humiliate Joseph Farah.”
She explained, “Joseph Farah was asked for his help regarding the event. He graciously gave it. He never invited himself to the event. Nor did he ever ask or expect anything in return. We affirm that the event is to pray for America at a critical time and juncture, for the American presidency and government. We also want to clearly state and affirm that it would be an honor to have Joseph Farah be part.
“I am truly sorry for anything said or spoken, any confusion and miscommunication, and for any distress this may have caused Joseph Farah,” she said.
Cahn, slated to deliver the keynote address, told WND, “Any event of this nature is going to cause a stir. The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast will see many leaders, both spiritual, cultural, and political whose beliefs are passionately biblical, come together to pray at a time when America and its government appear to be in clear departure from those foundations. So it should not be a surprise that there is curiosity, confusion, and even some controversy surrounding such an event.”
He continued, “On top of that, as the event is still forming with more special guests responding, some who are speaking, some leading in prayer, and some just attending, there is much fluidity, without the final status being sealed, which opened the door to some confusion.
“Media Matters is apparently not a friend of such events and certainly not of Joseph Farah. As they questioned Merrie Turner on why they would allow someone to attack the president, she sought to give assurance that this was not what the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast was all about and no one would be allowed to do that. Put together, the fluidity, the confusion, the desire to state the purpose of the event, and the stance of Media Matters against Joseph Farah and such events, and you have a story about Joseph Farah being booted out of the event,” he said.
“I’m blessed with Merrie Turner’s response in seeking to clear up the confusion,” he said. “Perhaps what those at Media Matters didn’t understand is that one of the key teachings of Jesus is to love and pray for one’s enemies. If that’s true for one’s enemies, it must all the more be true for one’s political opponents, and leaders with whom one disagrees. Beyond all he does in media, Joseph Farah is foremost a follower of Jesus. So it was really a non-issue to begin with. Those who wrote the article were apparently concerned over a perceived attack on Obama. It would have been nice had they applied that same concern as they attacked and humiliated Joseph Farah.”
He added, “As believers we are told to speak the truth, act in love, and pray at all times. We are also told to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek the face of God, and turn from our own sinful ways, and God will heal our land. That is what the event is all about, no matter what the background of those who come – the speaking of truth, the acting in love, prayer, repentance, and hope in God. That it should come with opposition is not a surprise, but a good thing.”
The original Media Matters report also had criticism for others scheduled to be at the event, noting that “Turner joined other anti-abortion activists in protest” in 2009, and “other reported attendees like Pat Boone also have a history of attacking President Obama with the types of offensive conspiracy theories endorsed by Farah. In 2011, Boone told the San Francisco Chronicle that he believed Obama’s birth certificate was a ‘photo-shopped fraud.”
The breakfast, held on Jan. 21 at 7 a.m. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, is intended to emphasize that in the midst of political maneuvering, blame-game strategies and Washington insider power plays, there is a higher power to whom all will answer at some point.
The event will also feature U.S. House of Representatives Chaplain Father Patrick J. Conroy, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson, Trinity Broadcasting Network host Jan Crouch; entertainer Pat Boone; WND CEO Joseph Farah; Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; and others. State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf of Pennsylvania will be the master of ceremonies
Cahn’s keynote message to America likely will be to heed warnings from God, turn back to seeking His will, and prosper.
His book documents a series of stunning parallels between the Old Testament collapse of Israel and events in the United States, specifically the 9/11 attacks, the construction on the Ground Zero site and the economic crisis. Farah was the producer of a bestselling film documentary based on “The Harbinger” and featuring Cahn, titled “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”
The theme of the presidential prayer event is to be II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
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