WorldNetDaily

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WorldNetDaily
Wndlogo freepress.jpg
Type Online news site
Format Website
Owner(s) WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
Editor-in-chief Joseph Farah
Managing editors David Kupelian
News editor Joe Kovacs
Founded 1997
Political alignment Neoconservative, libertarian
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Official website wnd.com

WorldNetDaily (WND) is an American web site that publishes news and associated content from the perspective of U.S. conservatives and the political right.[1] It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intent of "exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power"[2] and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.[3]

History[edit]

In 1997 Joseph Farah created the news website WorldNetDaily[2] as a division of the Western Journalism Center. It was subsequently spun off in 1999 as a for-profit organization[4] with the backing of $4.5 million from investors, Farah owning a majority of the stock.[5] The site describes itself as "an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism".[2] In 1999, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware[4] with offices in Cave Junction, Oregon.[6] According to its website, WND has a staff of approximately 25 people.[2] In 2007 it was headquartered in Medford, Oregon.[7]

Seeking credentials to cover the U.S. Congress in 2002, WND was opposed by the Standing Committee of Correspondents. This panel of journalists was charged by Congress with administering press credentials. Until 1996, Internet-only publications had been deemed unacceptable.[8] WND turned to the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration for help, arguing that the panel's decision had violated the site's constitutional rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom of the press. Faced "with legal threats and negative publicity, the panel reversed itself, voting 3–2 to award WorldNetDaily its credentials".[9] Shortly after, the rules were formally adjusted to clarify the participation of online publications.[10]

Description[edit]

WND provides news, editorials, commentaries, letters to the editor, forums, and conducts a daily poll. It claims its editorial content has a diverse range of viewpoints,[11] though predominantly from a right wing or conservative perspective.[1][12][13] Besides providing articles authored by its own staff, the site links to news from other publications. Notable staff includes Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein, White House Correspondent Lester Kinsolving, and Staff Writer Jerome Corsi. Its commentary pages feature editorials from the site's founder, Joseph Farah and other social conservative authors such as Pat Buchanan, Ellis Washington, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Chuck Norris. It also has featured weekly columns by libertarians Walter Williams, Vox Day, Ilana Mercer, as well as liberals such as Maralyn Lois Polak, Bill Press, and pro-life moderate Nat Hentoff.[14]

Board of directors[edit]

Terry Krepel and the Southern Poverty Law Center linked several members of WND's board of directors to conservative causes.[15] Board member and stockholder Robert Beale was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, founder of the Minnesota Christian Coalition and "contributed more than $10,000 to Republican candidates in the 1990s". Wayne C. Johnson, another WND board member, was a California political consultant working with conservative candidates, and also a member of the board of directors for the Chalcedon Foundation, a "far-right group founded by R. J. Rushdoony that advocates... Christian reconstructionism."[16]

Books and products[edit]

WND also offers products for sale, typically these are products sold by its related book service, WND Book Service, by its publishing house, WND Books, or by its retail operation, ShopNetDaily. The site also runs a printed magazine, Whistleblower, and other companies such as the G2 Bulletin, a subscription-only website described as an "intelligence resource" for "insights into geo-political and geo-strategic developments".

WND Books[edit]

WorldNetDaily also publishes books under the imprint WND Books. The imprint was launched in 2002 through a partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishers (a Christian publishing house) and released books by politicians and pundits like Katherine Harris, Michael Savage and Farah himself. The partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishing ended shortly before the 2004 election;[17] Thomas Nelson continued the division for a time under the Nelson Current imprint.[18] The WND Books imprint was subsequently published under a partnership with Cumberland House Publishing[19] and released books by Jerome Corsi, Tom Tancredo and Ken Blackwell, among other authors. In 2007 Los Angeles-based conservative publisher World Ahead Publishing became the publisher of WND Books.[20] In January 2008, WND announced it had acquired World Ahead Media.[21] In April 2011, Paul Harris, writing for The Guardian, called WND Books "a niche producer of rightwing conspiracy theories, religious books and 'family values' tracts".[22]

Controversies[edit]

WND has published articles that have created controversies and criticism of the site by other media outlets.

9/11 attacks[edit]

On September 13, 2001, WND published a commentary by Anthony C. LoBaido regarding the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., that occurred two days earlier. In his column, LoBaido outlined what he regarded as the moral depravity of America in general and New York in particular, asking whether, "God (has) raised up Shiite Islam as a sword against America".[23] Commentators Virginia Postrel of Reason magazine and James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal criticized LoBaido and Joseph Farah for the piece and called for columnists Hugh Hewitt and Bill O'Reilly to sever their ties with WND, prompting Farah to respond with a column of his own explaining that the article did not reflect the viewpoint of WND, and that it, like most other commentary pieces, had not been reviewed before being published.[24]

Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories[edit]

Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate

WorldNetDaily has repeatedly publicized conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's citizenship status, claiming that Obama is not a natural-born American citizen and is thus not eligible to serve as president.[25][26][27] After the 2008 presidential campaign, WND began an online petition to have Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate released to the public. The website also unsuccessfully urged Supreme Court justices to hear several lawsuits aiming to release Obama's birth certificate.[28]

Libel lawsuit[edit]

On September 20, 2000, WND published an article[29] claiming that a Savannah, Tennessee car dealer, and fund-raiser for then-Vice President Al Gore, had interfered with a criminal investigation, had been a "subject" of a criminal investigation, was listed on law enforcement computers as a "dope dealer", and implied that he had ties to others involved in alleged criminal activity. In 2001, the car dealer, Clark Jones, filed a lawsuit[30][31] against WND; the reporters, Charles C. Thompson II and Tony Hays; the Center for Public Integrity, which had underwritten Thompson and Hays' reporting on the article and related ones;[32] and various Tennessee publications and broadcasters who he accused of repeating the claim, claiming libel and defamation. The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial in March 2008;[33] but, on February 13, 2008, WND announced that a confidential out-of-court settlement had been reached with Jones.[34] A settlement statement jointly drafted by all parties in the lawsuit stated that a Freedom of Information Act request showed that the allegations had been false, and that WND had misquoted sources.[34]

Ann Coulter speaking at Homocon[edit]

WND has also come out against LGBT participants in the Republican party and their associates. In 2010 when writer and pundit Ann Coulter accepted the invitation to attend and speak at GOProud's Homocon 2010 event, Farah announced the withdrawal of Coulter's name from the list of speakers at the company's Taking America Back conference.[35] Coulter responded by saying that speaking engagements do not imply endorsement of the hosting organization; however, after Farah published private emails between himself and Coulter, Coulter called him a “publicity whore” and a “swine” in an email to the Daily Caller blog.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Burns, John F. (May 5, 2009). "Britain Identifies 16 Barred From Entering U.K.". The New York Times (New York City, NY: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.). Retrieved Mar 26, 2010. "according to WorldNetDaily.com, a conservative Web site." 
  2. ^ a b c d World Net Daily. "About Us". Joseph Farah. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Contact WND." WorldNetDaily. Retrieved on August 14, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Farah, Joseph (October 1, 1999). "World's 'No. 1 website' goes for-profit". WorldNetDaily (McLean, VA). Retrieved May 25, 2011. "Beginning today, WorldNetDaily.com, voted the most popular website on the Internet the last 23 weeks, is officially a for-profit corporation..." 
  5. ^ Krepel, Terry (February 19, 2002). "The 'O' Word". ConWebWatch. Retrieved February 2, 2008. "So, who owns WorldNetDaily? Joseph Farah is a little reluctant to answer." 
  6. ^ Black, Jane (August 27, 2001). "On the Web, Small and Focused Pays Off". BusinessWeek (New York). Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Contact WND". World Net Daily. Joseph Farah. December 2007. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved May 27, 2011. "WorldNetDaily.com, Inc., Medford, OR" 
  8. ^ Heaney, Michael T (2008), "Blogging Congress: Technological Change and the Politics of the Congressional Press Galleries" (PDF), PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (2) .
  9. ^ Walker, Jesse (November 2002), "Galley gatekeepers: the politics of press credentials – Citings", Reason .
  10. ^ Thompson, Mark (April 22, 2004), "New Media Often Takes Back Seat to Old Media on Press Credentials", Online Journalism Review .
  11. ^ "Right-wing publisher: We run "some misinformation"". Salon.com. April 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ Ruble, Drew (August 20, 2004). "Conservative pub criticizes Fisk's appointment of O'Leary". Nashville Times. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  13. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (December 8, 2005). "Right-wing Christians launch Christmas crusade". Dublin Independent. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  14. ^ "WorldNetDaily: Columnists". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved December 16, 2006. 
  15. ^ "WorldNetDaily". Get Informed: Intelligence Files. Southern Poverty Law Center. 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Krepel, Terry (1 March 2007). "Who's Behind WorldNetDaily?". ConWebWatch. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily". ConWebWatch. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  18. ^ "Thomas Nelson Launches Political Imprint". The Write News. Retrieved November 18, 2006. 
  19. ^ "WND Books signs 'Unfit for Command' author". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2006. 
  20. ^ "New publishing partner for WND Books". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2006. 
  21. ^ "WND acquires World Ahead Media". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved February 24, 2008. 
  22. ^ Paul Harris (April 21, 2011). "The born-again birther debate". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Judgement Day in Mystery Babylon?". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on September 17, 2001. Retrieved September 13, 2001. 
  24. ^ "The new political correctness police". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2001. 
  25. ^ Stetler, Brian (27 April 2011). "In Trying to Debunk a Theory, the News Media Extended Its Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  26. ^ Isikoff, Michael (27 April 2011). "Publisher of upcoming 'birther' book makes no apologies". NBC News. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  27. ^ Page, Susan; Kucinich, Jackie (28 April 2011). "Obama releases long-form birth certificate". USA Today. Retrieved 18 November 2013. "Joseph Farah, CEO of the conservative website WorldNetDaily and publisher of a new book that investigates whether Obama is eligible to be president, says the issue isn't over." 
  28. ^ "Please Check Eligibility, Thousands Ask Supremes", WorldNetDaily, January 16, 2009
  29. ^ Thompson II, Charles C.; Hays, Tony (September 20, 2000). "Officials say Gore killed drug probe". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  30. ^ Gordon, J. Houston; Hopper, Curtis F.; attorneys for plaintiff, Clark Jones (December 20, 2004). "Second Amended Complaint". Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  31. ^ Jones v. WorldNetDaily (Tenn. Cir. (Hardin); Tenn. App.; Tenn. April 2001) (“The parties settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2008.”). Text
  32. ^ Krepel, Terry (November 1, 2007). "WorldNetDaily on Trial". ConWebWatch. Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  33. ^ Unruh, Bob (February 6, 2008). "Future of reporting scheduled for trial". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  34. ^ a b "WND settles $165 million libel case". WorldNetDaily. February 18, 2008. 
  35. ^ "WND drops Ann Coulter from Miami event over Homoconflict". WorldNetDaily. August 17, 2010. 
  36. ^ Chris Moody (August 18, 2010). "Ann Coulter’s Email to The Daily Caller About WorldNetDaily". 

External links[edit]