The birthers may not believe in Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but they do believe in the power of the courts, as Esquire magazine just found out the hard way.
Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of the conservative Web site and publisher WordNetDaily, and Jerome Corsi, author of “Where’s the Birth Certificate?,” are suing Esquire for upwards of $120 million after the magazine published a fake news article about Corsi’s book.
Farah and Corsi filed suit on Tuesday against Esquire Magazine, Hearst Communications and Esquire writer Mark Warren for defamation, false light, invasion of privacy and false advertising, which they say hurt both their reputations and actual book sales.
Corsi’s book, which was published by WND Books, claims to contain evidence that Obama was not born in the United States. Obama released his birth certificate online on April 27, just weeks before Corsi’s book hit shelves.
The suit arose after Esquire published an article by Warren on May 18 claiming Farah was pulling copies of Corsi’s book from stores and would refund anyone who had pre-ordered it.
“In a stunning development one day after the release of Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, WorldNetDaily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book,” the article read.
It included fake quotes from Farah saying he could not “in good conscience publish it and expect anyone to believe it” because of “factual inaccuracies.” (Lohan slams the Federal Reserve)
After the article began spreading over the Internet, Esquire published a brief disclaimer explaining the article was satire. The magazine said the article was in response to Corsi and Farah’s refusal to accept the proffered birth certificate.
“Are its author and publisher chastened?” the disclaimer read. “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. This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That’s why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book.”
Later, in an interview with The Daily Caller, Warren called Corsi an “execrable piece of shit.”
At a press conference Wednesday, which began with an extensive presentation on the alleged forgery of Obama’s birth certificate, Corsi and Farah said Esquire’s article was a deliberate attempt to abridge their free speech and stop people from reading the book.
Farah and Corsi’s attorney, Larry Klayman said the Esquire article, plus Warren’s comments to The Daily Caller, showed actionable malice “for which they will pay dearly.”
“It was amateurish, rank, and it hurt,” Corsi said. (Congressman on stopping illegal immigration: I’ll do anything short of shooting them)
Farah said the article led to some bookstores returning copies of the book, as well as a flood of calls from news organizations and confused readers.
“The book has not sold nearly as well as it would have,” Farah said.
Warren did not return a call for comment.