Jerome Corsi, 61
Denville, N.J.

Corsi
Jerome Corsi

Insult-mongerer Jerome Corsi has made a career of peddling conspiracy theories in far-right publications and his own books, variously attacking 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry, undocumented immigrants, and alleged secret plans to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into a so-called "North American Union."

But it was Corsi's Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, that brought him and co-author John O'Neill to national attention — in part because of many falsehoods in its claims about the legitimacy of Kerry's medals from the Vietnam War. Corsi followed that up with Minuteman: The Battle to Secure America's Borders, written with Minuteman vigilante leader Jim Gilchrist, and most recently, The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada, which claims to reveal a secret plan, possibly including "an executive branch coup d'etat," to merge the three countries. The new country, the two writers claim, will see the dollar replaced by the so-called "Amero."

Corsi also is a bigot. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Media Matters for America compiled comments Corsi made on the far-right Free Republic website. There, Corsi described Islam as "a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion," described Muslims as "boy bumpers" and "women haters," and suggested that "boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press." And he mocked Kerry's supposed Jewish ancestry. The comments set off an uproar, with Unfit for Command co-author O'Neill falsely claiming to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that Corsi was merely "an editor" of the book, not the co-author, in an attempt to put distance between himself and Corsi.

Corsi's most incredible book has to be 2005's Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil. In it, Corsi argues that oil — which scientists unanimously agree is derived from ancient organic substances like vegetable material — is actually "abiotic," or not related to living things. Rather, Corsi and his co-author opine, oil is produced by an underground chemical process that is limitless. Therefore, they conclude, that oil is not a finite resource.

In 2006, Corsi suffered an attack from an unexpected quarter, with right-wing nativist commentator Debbie Schlussel accusing him of plagiarizing parts of her columns and using them under his byline. Schlussel called Corsi "a thief."

But Corsi soldiers on. In January 2007, he was recruited to serve as the senior political strategist for TheVanguard.org, a major conservative effort meant to serve as a right-wing MoveOn.org. At press time, the project had yet to take off.