The only thing that might be notable about Bolton’s comment was its venue. Bolton was appearing on Sunday on a radio show hosted by Aaron Kelin, the Jerusalem bureau chief for the conspiracy website World Net Daily, known as WND. WND is perhaps best known for pushing Obama “birther” conspiracies — the widely discredited claim that the president was born abroad and is ineligible to hold his office — as well as other questionable stories.
It should come as no surprise that the Romney campaign, where Bolton serves as a foriegn policy adviser, maintains these sorts of relationships with conspiracy theorists. In an interview with another right-wing website, a Romney campaign spokesman Lenny Alcivar outlined a media strategy to use right-wing websites like the aggregator Drudge Report to get around critical media coverage. (During the campaign, Romney singled out Drudge as one of his favorite websites, and posted a video of himself reading the Drudge Report.)
But Drudge has a sordid history of providing traffic-driving links to conspiracy websites — including WND. A ThinkProgress investigation revealed that, since June 2011, Drudge linked 184 times to WND and another prominent conspiracy site, by conservative estimates driving over 30 million pageview to them — and that doesn’t include the seven permanent links Drudge has to WND columnists.
Here’s a chart showing how one of Mitt Romney’s favorite websites drives web traffic to WND and other conspiracy sites:
Like his employer WND, Klein buys into “birtherism”: He recently hosted “birther” idol Sheriff Joe Arpaio on his show to discuss findings of an investigation concluding Obama’s birth certificate was faked. (Klein said he, too, did an investigation that yielded the same results.)
WND pushes other less-than-reliable conspiracies on its pages. The website published stories alleging that Obama spent a year in Pakistan working for the C.I.A. and that conspiracists’ bête noire William Ayers paid to put the “foreigner” Obama through school.