Weekly World News > World Net Daily

World Net Daily has gone further over the top, reporting that Barack Obama is developing facial tics, and how Michaelle is all disraught. They plagiarized a quote by some Doctor, representing the quote as if it came in an interview. Their fiction isn’™t nearly as entertaining as Weekly World News, but the whack jobs on the right are eating it up.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

World Net Daily is reporting that Michelle Obama is disraught! Disraught, I say! She is worried about the stress and its effects on Barack Obama. Evidently, according to WingNutDaily, and no other credible source, Barack Obama has developed a facial tic because of the stress. Oh Noes! From WingNutDaily:

The strain of the long campaign and a frenetic transition period is beginning to wear on the face of President-elect Barack Obama, who has developed a facial tic under his right eye.

The tic on the lower part of his right orbital bone is clearly visible in his recent interview with ABC’™s Barbara Walters. Campaign insiders say it first emerged during the primary season and has now become chronic.

A facial tic is a repetitive, spasmodic movement often involving the eyes and facial muscles. The cause of tics is unknown, but stress appears to increase their severity.

‘œThe patients I’™ve treated with tic disorders had one thing in common: They knew that the tics worsened when they were under stress,’ said Dr. Robert T. London, a psychiatrist with the New York University Medical Center.

. . .

London says studies show that simple tics disappear during sleep, which suggests that a relaxation treatment, such as hypnotherapy, might work better than medication to calm the misfiring nerves during the day.

One guage of how real this story is would be a simple google search. When one performs one for ‘œObama’ and ‘œfacial tic,’ one gets many results from right wing sites, all quoting the WingNutDaily story. A similar search of google news reduces the results substantially, with no American news agency picking up the story at all. It appears WingNutDaily simply made the story up.

I’™m all fascinated by this Robert London they used as their ‘œexpert.’ A quick look at his background shows London to have graduated with his MD from the University of Miami in 1971. Let’™s be generous and say the guy did so at age 25. That puts him at 62 years old or so. He serves now as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, with his office in Bellevue. 62 years old and only an Assistant Professor? Wow! I’™ve half a mind to email the guy and see if he really said what he said. But why do that? Let’™s just take the string of the sentence WingNutDaily quoted and see where they plagiarized it from. Remember, they made it look like the good Doctor was commenting via an interview with WingNutDaily’™s reporter. They certainly didn’™t credit July’™s edition of Clinical Psychiatry News. No, this isn’™t just dishonest about Obama potentially having a tic, but it is dishonest to use Robert London’™s work without citing the source.

Weekly World News uses the same tactics, citing real Doctors as if they were commenting on the fiction Weekly World News weaves around the story. But Weekly World News is far, far better and has far more journalistic integrity than WingnutDaily. They’™ve got Bat Boy gobbling up a whole turkey, and aliens out shopping on Black Friday. Hey, it could happen! And it is far funnier than any of the fiction WorldNetDaily puts out.

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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