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American Thinker

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American Thinker
Type of site
News, commentary
Available inEnglish
FoundedMarch 2003; 21 years ago (2003-03)
HeadquartersEl Cerrito, California, United States
Founder(s)Ed Lasky, Richard Baehr, Thomas Lifson
Key peopleThomas Lifson, editor-in-chief
Ed Lasky, news editor
LaunchedNovember 2003
Current statusActive

American Thinker is a daily online magazine dealing with American politics from a politically conservative viewpoint. It was founded in 2003 by attorney Ed Lasky, health-care consultant Richard Baehr, and sociologist Thomas Lifson, and initially became prominent in the lead-up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election for its attacks on then-candidate Barack Obama.[1] The magazine has been described as a conservative blog.[2][3] The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the site "a not so thoughtful far-right online publication".[4]

In the aftermath of Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the American Thinker published a variety of articles that had claims of election fraud.[5] Faced with a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, Lifson acknowledged that the site had relied upon "discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories".[6] The American Thinker likewise admitted that its election claims were "completely false and have no basis in fact" and that "it was wrong for us to publish these false statements."[7]


In 2009, in the wake of the election of Barack Obama, the American Thinker joined a wave of conservative media publications discussing the possibility of a second Civil War. They forecast the possibility of "several regional republics" emerging following the "overbearing, oppressive leviathan" of Obama's presidency.[8]

A 2008 column in the American Thinker drew attention to a California plan to require programmable thermostats that could be controlled by officials in the event of power-supply difficulties. According to The New York Times, the column was "by turns populist..., free-market..., and civil libertarian".[9]

Right Wing Watch has written about American Thinker, including that the site had in 2014 published a complimentary piece on white nationalist Jared Taylor and in 2015 asserted that rainbow-colored Doritos are a "gateway snack to introduce children to the joys of homosexuality".[10] The site has also been described as sympathetic to the counter-jihad movement, having published writers such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Paul Weston.[11]

In a 2020 blog post on the site, Thomas Lifson referenced a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters to claim that sea level rise has been slow and constant, and that this rise pre-dated industrialization. This claim went viral over social media in March 2020.[12] The author of the paper describes this interpretation as factually incorrect, constituting climate misinformation.[12]

Under threat of litigation, in January 2021 American Thinker published a retraction of unsupported stories it published asserting that Dominion Voting Systems engaged in a conspiracy to rig the 2020 presidential election against President Donald Trump, acknowledging, "These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact."[13][14][15]


  1. ^ Libit, Daniel (February 18, 2010). "For the Tea Party Movement, Sturdy Roots in the Chicago Area". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (March 29, 2011). "Still Crusading, but Now on the Inside". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  3. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2007-09-13). "University Fences In a Berkeley Protest, and a New One Arises". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  4. ^ "American Thinker Needs to Start Thinking". splcenter.org. April 24, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Conservative website apologizes to Dominion voting system after defamation letter from attorneys". WKBN-TV. January 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Wang, Amy (May 1, 2021). "Newsmax apologizes to Dominion employee for falsely alleging he manipulated votes against Trump". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Corasaniti, Nick (January 25, 2021). "Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems Over False Election Claims". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Avlon, John P. (2014). Wingnuts: extremism in the age of Obama (2nd ed.). New York. pp. 224–227. ISBN 9780991247608.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ Barringer, Felicity (2008-01-11). "California Seeks Thermostat Control". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  10. ^ "All Posts About American Thinker". Right Wing Watch.
  11. ^ Pertwee, Ed (October 2017). 'Green Crescent, Crimson Cross': The Transatlantic 'Counterjihad' and the New Political Theology (PDF). London School of Economics. p. 135.
  12. ^ a b "Sea levels rose faster in the past century than in previous time periods". Climate Feedback. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  13. ^ Corasaniti, Nick (January 25, 2021). "Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems Over False Election Claims". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  14. ^ Lifson, Thomas (January 15, 2021). "Statement". American Thinker. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  15. ^ Evon, Dan (January 15, 2021). "Did a Conservative News Site Admit Its Voter-Fraud Claims Were False?". Snopes. Retrieved January 20, 2021.

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