Friday, December 15, 2006

WND Editor Blasts Rick Warren, World Magazine

By Rick Pearcey

WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah has best-selling author and mega-church pastor Rick Warren in his sights. And World magazine, too.

* Rick Warren-in-Syria Controversy: "I'm ready to let go of the Rick Warren-in-Syria controversy – just as soon as Rick Warren stops deceiving people about what he did and said in that anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, totalitarian police state last month."

The WND editor "first criticized [Warren] for his trip to Syria back on Nov. 16." According to Farah, Warren emailed him "from Rwanda to question why we had not sought his comment, which we had. No one from his church deigned to respond to us after repeated attempts to reach any spokesman."

Farah also says Warren "suggested statements he made in Syria had been twisted by the official Syrian news agency. When I asked him for transcripts or any recordings that were made in Syria, Warren told me flatly that no recordings were made in Syria or any other country he visited on his swing through the Middle East and Africa." (emphasis added)

Then, says Farah, "I e-mailed him with a link to a YouTube video, posted by his own church, in which he made statements describing Syria as a 'moderate' country that doesn't permit 'any extremism of any kind." The upshot, writes Farah, is that the "video was quickly pulled from YouTube without further explanation. " (emphasis added)

* World Magazine Reporting: "Rick Warren recently spun his official yarn for a reporter at World magazine," says Farah, "who dutifully reported what he had to say, despite the existence of the recording."

Farah quotes World reporter Ed Plowman: "Some reporters even placed in [Warren's] mouth pro-Syria words he did not say, as at least one tape-recorded interview showed. . . . Some U.S. conservatives criticized Warren for going at all to a country that supports terrorism. Although the Associated Press avoided the inaccuracies in the government-run Syrian media, internet bloggers widely publicized the flawed Syrian accounts."

The World magazine story concludes with a quote from Warren: "Does it seem ironic to you that some believers trust Syrian press releases without even checking with the Christian pastor they criticize?"

* On the Other Hand: "The record speaks for itself," Farah counters. "Rick Warren's condoning of Syria, his praise for its moderation, his ignoring of the plight of the persecuted church there and official anti-Semitism in Damascus is now a matter of public record.

"We don't need the Syrian press releases. We have Rick Warren's own words, recorded by his own team and posted – at least momentarily – on YouTube. "

"What's truly ironic," says Farah, "is that at least one Christian media outlet has bought all the lies – hook, line and sinker."

The entire WND commentary by Joseph Farah is here.

The World magazine news report by Ed Plowman is here, at the bottom of the page.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.