June 4, 2008, - 8:02 am
WorldNetDebbie: Website, Its “Reporter” Aaron Klein Copy Schlussel Column Almost Word for Word in “Exclusive,” Plus False Info From Sleazy Source
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
Late last night, a number of prominent conservative commentators and bloggers sent me a column that they noted was almost word for word an exact replica of most of my January exclusive on Barack Obama’s Nation of Islam personnel, Jennifer Mason, Cynthia K. Miller, and Shakir Muhammad. One of them e-mailed:
This is yours …………… almost word for word.
Yup. Except a funny thing happened: the exclusive January column by Debbie Schlussel now says “WorldNetDaily Exclusive” and “By Aaron Klein” on top of it, and someone else is collecting a paycheck for my work. You see, as I’ve pointed out in the past, that’s what WorldNutDaily and its “writers”–especially Aaron Klein–do, all with “editor”/WND owner Joseph Farah’s approval and sanction. They rip off articles from mainstream newspapers and exclusive work of conservative columnists and bloggers and don’t give credit. Farah asked me to return to WND, from which I happily left in early 2002, and I said, no. I guess his motto is: if you can’t beat ‘em–and you can’t join ‘em–rip ‘em off.
Since I’ve been a repeated victim of WND’s drive-by robberies, I suppose I should be overwhelmed with joy that I got a tiny last sentence mention stating that the information and almost exact quotes in this “WND Exclusive By Aaron Klein” was first reported by Debbie Schlussel. Thank Heaven for small favors. Maybe I should write a book, “The Lord of the Rings,” and at the end of it, in the acknowledgements, say, “This was first written by J. R. R. Tolkein.” By WorldNetDaily’s and Aaron Klein’s standards, that will make the book “a Debbie Schlussel Exclusive.”
Aaron Klein is notorious for doing this, and for making up information, which he does here. The only information in his plagiarized, non-exclusive “Exclusive” not already reported in exact words and details by me back in January, is information he made up and can’t source.
Klein has a habit of dishonesty and making things up. He notoriously made up a “World Net Daily Exclusive,” claiming that FOX News paid $2 million dollars to Palestinian terrorists to obtain the release of its two staffers, reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig. Klein was forced to retract the entire story. It was utter fiction.
In my own dealings with Klein–who, in marketing his book and his other “work,” has repeatedly identified himself as an Orthodox Jew–the dishonesty is legion. When Klein was upset that I wrote about how another one of his “WorldNetDaily Exclusives” was actually ripped off from liberal website Crooks and Liars and had already been quoted all over the internet, Klein claimed–as his plagiarizing friend, Sean Hannity, often claims–that he doesn’t read blogs. A complete lie, since most of what Klein “reports” is repeated carbon copy cut-and-paste of conservative blogs like Sweetness and Light‘s and BizzyBlog‘s newsbreaking stories about Barack Obama and other topics.
But what was really notable to me was that Klein e-mailed me his protest on the Jewish Sabbath. This is a guy who not only claims to be an Orthodox Jew but has marketed himself that way and sports a big black velvet yarmulke, a sign of very religious Orthodox observance. But the key requirement to be Orthodox is to keep the Jewish Sabbath, which includes no websurfing and e-mailing or computer use from sundown Friday Night until the nightfall Saturday Night. Then, to pimp his book, he appeared on FOX News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor” on an important Jewish holiday, an Orthodox no-no. This guy is a fraud. And he’s not honest. I don’t judge people by their level of religiosity or even their religion. But I do judge them by their level of integrity, and he ain’t got none.
Why read “his” “exclusive” work, er. . . cut-and-paste, when you could have read it on my site–and others from whom he’s stolen–five months ago?
And then there’s the additional, fraudulent information and the sleazy, dishonest “source” from which Aaron got this “non-exclusive” exclusive.
Back in September, during the week I was mourning my late father’s death, I spoke with the source, a former Obama staffer. I asked him why he was telling me about this–the Nation of Islam staffers, Obama’s relationship with Palestinian activists Ali Abunimah and Edward Said, and Obama’s alleged statements to the source against Jews and Israel–now. The source claimed that he’d “seen the light” on Obama and terrorism and Israel.
But it bothered me that this source–who handled all of Obama’s Jewish and Israel stuff during his U.S. Senate campaign–was not bothered as a Jew and as an American at that time and stayed silent. The source told me that he reworked Obama’s image of being anti-Israel and radical and sold it to Jews at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), despite Obama making several blatantly anti-Semitic statements against Jews on Israel and despite the source’s knowledge that Nation of Islam staffers worked for Obama. In short, the source was like a kapo for the Nazis, selling Jews down the river. And now, suddenly, when it’s way too late and when he could have exposed Obama BEFORE he joined the U.S. Senate, he has a morality tick.
Regardless, with that in mind, I thought the information the source had on Obama–the stuff I could verify–was important, and I agreed to work with him and write about it on the condition that it would be and remain an exclusive story for me and that he would work with no-one else. He agreed. But didn’t keep his word.
A month or so ago, the source decided that his story was not getting the attention he felt it deserved. No biggie that the story was all over the internet and getting a lot of attention. That simply wasn’t enough for this source, who insisted that since my piece didn’t get published in the New York Post–because he refused to provide additional sources to corroborate his claims and also insisted on remaining anonymous–that he now had license to break his deal with me. The source said that he realizes that Sean Hannity repeatedly plagiarizes me (and many others), but that he was going to Sean Hannity.
Apparently, that didn’t work so he went to Sean Hannity-even-liter, Aaron Klein. And there’s a tiny bit of “new” information in the story that–based on my interaction with the source and Aaron’s established record of deceit and fabrication, I can only conclude is fraudulent.
In addition to his almost word-for-word reproduction of my work, Aaron Klein “reports” that the source claims that “his sources” claim that former Obama campaign contractor Shakir Muhammad–about whom I first reported–was a Nation of Islam bodyguard for Louis Farrakhan. Based on my information, Klein made this up. But I’m sure he has many Nation of Islam sources in his Jerusalem apartment . . . just like his regurgitation of my five-month-old column is an “exclusive.”
Then, there’s the source’s alleged new claim–to Klein–that Barack Obama asked indicted Arab businessman Tony Rezko to get a job for Nation of Islam member Cynthia K. Miller with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Klein quotes the source as saying:
She got an offer but turned it down. She ended up doing real estate.
But when I was writing my January column–after months of research and talking to both the source and Cynthia K. Miller, herself–I repeatedly asked the source what he could tell me about Miller’s relationship with Obama. He repeatedly told me that he knew nothing other than that she was Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign treasurer and that Obama–after months of claiming that her membership in NoI did not mean she shared Farrakhan’s views–forced her out, when he decided to run for President because he realized that the Nation of Islam connection would look bad for him.
We discussed Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich many times, and the source never once mentioned this important detail that Obama tried to get Miller a job through them. Instead, after repeated questioning, he told me he knew little about her other than her website and that she was a real estate agent.
Therefore, I can only conclude that the source–and/or Aaron Klein–are making up this new “revelation” about Obama, Miller, Rezko, and Blagojevich. . . just so Aaron Klein’s carbon copy will have a few differences in it.
Aaron Klein’s “editor,” WND “editor”/owner Farah, wrote that Klein is one of the bravest reporters he knows because he risks his life every day when he sets foot outside his Jerusalem apartment.
Well, sitting at a computer and cutting and pasting is hardly “bravery.” Neither is theft. And Klein very apparently risks his life very litte, since it’s evident that most of his “reporting” is done without ever setting foot outside his Jerusalem apartment; but instead, ripping off the original work of others.
Oh, and BTW, Aaron Klein’s publicist, listed at the bottom of my, er . . . “his” “WND Exclusive” column is Maria Sliwa, who is apparently marketing this story as Aaron’s. This is not new for her either, as she once ripped off a column I wrote on “former” Palestinian terrorist Imad Hamad and used it, word-for-word, for a press release for another fraudulent client of hers, phony “former terrorist” Walid Shoebat. When I confronted her, she claimed that Shoebat insisted she remove my name and not give me credit for her work.
And ever the moral paragon, just like her clients Aaron Klein and Walid Shoebat, Sliwa complied with the dishonesty and rip-off. Birds of a feather . . . .
Exit question: Which part of “Copyright, Debbie Schlussel” don’t they understand?
**** UPDATE: My Obama source claims that WND’s Aaron Klein approached him, via e-mail, to do this story, and that the source responded in writing that the story was mine and that I already wrote it. Yet Klein ripped me off anyway (and the sleazy source helped him do it, just as he helped Obama win his U.S. Senate race, despite Obama’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments, and remained silent until recently).
The source also said he agrees with me that Aaron Klein made up the claim that he has NoI sources and that Shakir Muhammad was a Farrakhan bodyguard.
Since they’re both very dishonest, it’s hard to believe either of them, frankly.
Either way, one message is clear:
Hey Aaron, take that yarmulke off. It’s as phony as you are.****