Page 5 of 6
Cashill's column on the site was live for only hours before Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, drew attention to the floating knee and mocked Cashill's detective skills.
"I was absolutely crushed when that happened," Cashill says. "I felt very foolish. But I'd say that in all the years I've been reporting, there's never been an error like that before."
The images and any references to it were immediately scrubbed from Cashill's column. World Net Daily readers who visited the site later that morning were told nothing of the error. Cashill says he can't say for sure how the changes were made.
Farah says he, too, is at a loss. "I wish I could tell you what happened there, I really do," he says. "I'm the editor and CEO. That's not a copout, but I'll be very honest with you. I don't have time to read all the commentary on WND after it's published, let alone before it's published. We honestly don't follow the back and forth all that much."
Cashill has a history of working across party lines. He advised Claire McCaskill when the U.S. senator served in the Missouri House of Representatives in the 1980s. Former Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser added Cashill to his kitchen cabinet midway through his term. At the time, Funkhouser was dealing with criticism and lawsuits stemming from his decision to allow his wife, Gloria Squitiro, to function as a sort of co-mayor.
Funkhouser identified himself as a liberal Democrat. "At first, I thought we wouldn't get along and that our political differences would be too great to work together," Squitiro tells The Pitch.
Cashill proved to be an affable adviser who didn't push his conservative views. He gave the Funkhousers two suggestions. First, he wanted Squitiro to raise her visibility. He felt that if she spoke out, the city would see her as something different from the crass, unbalanced, woman depicted in the media.
The second piece of advice was even more unconventional. Cashill encouraged Funkhouser and Squitiro to attend random weddings around Kansas City.
"Not every single wedding," Cashill says. "They'd call the couples and ask permission, and the ones that accepted them, they'd come. It'd be great for them because it'd show people how committed they were to marriage. So many of the problems we have are because of broken homes, and people would've loved it."
Neither of Cashill's suggestions was adopted.
"I'm not sure about the weddings, but I do think he was right about getting me in front of the cameras more," Squitiro says. "I wish we'd done that. If we'd done that, I really think we would've been re-elected."
Cashill is consistently contrary. Rather than get his morning coffee at Starbucks or any of the other coffee shops around the city, he starts most days at Panache Chocolatier, a specialty sweet shop on the Plaza.
He likes to enjoy his coffee at one of the tables placed outside the store. He's there often enough that he's a familiar face. The UPS man stops to ask him about a column he wrote, shaking his head at the things that Cashill has uncovered. Cashill smiles, sips his drink and smooths down his gray comb-over before the wind scatters it.
Despite everything else he has questioned, Cashill has always accepted that Obama was born in the United States. But now that the long-form birth certificate has been released, he's not so sure. Some sleuthing might be in store.