The Gateway Pundit

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The Gateway Pundit
The Gateway Pundit logo.svg
Type of site
Political blog
Available inEnglish
OwnerJim Hoft
Created byJim Hoft[1]
EditorJim Hoft
Alexa rankPositive decrease 874 (September 2020)[2]
RegistrationOptional, required to comment
LaunchedOctober 23, 2004; 15 years ago (2004-10-23)

The Gateway Pundit is an American far-right[3][4] news and opinion website. The website is known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.[5]

The Gateway Pundit expanded from a one-person enterprise into a multi-employee operation that is supported primarily by advertising revenue.[6][7] During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the site received over a million unique visitors per day.[8]


The Gateway Pundit was founded prior to the 2004 United States presidential election,[9] according to its founder, Jim Hoft, to "speak the truth" and to "expose the wickedness of the left."[10] In 2016, it provided favorable coverage of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and, after Trump's election, was granted press credentials by the White House.[11]

The website's name makes reference to the Gateway Arch in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where Hoft resides as of February 2018.[12]

White House press credentials[edit]

In February 2017, founder Jim Hoft and The Gateway Pundit's Lucian Wintrich, a 28-year-old writer and artist, were granted White House press credentials. Wintrich has collaborated with Milo Yiannopoulos, the former editor at Breitbart News.[11][13]

As official correspondents, Hoft and Wintrich are able to attend all press briefings and address their questions to the White House press secretary. In an interview, Wintrich said they will: "be reporting far more fairly than a lot of the very left-wing outlets that are currently occupying the briefing room. We will be doing a little trolling of the media in general here".[11] According to Wintrich, The Gateway Pundit's mission in the White House is "to help drain the press swamp" by covering the press corps' "very leftist and biased reporting,"[7] and to alleviate what he sees as bias among reporters in the White House press corps.[13]

On August 14, 2020, after President Trump called on invited Gateway Pundit reporter Alicia Powe for a question at his televised White House press briefing, the White House Correspondents' Association president told the Washington Examiner that including Powe as a guest was an "outrageous" violation of the group's social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.[14][15]

False stories and conspiracy theories[edit]

The Gateway Pundit is known as a source of viral falsehoods and hoaxes.[4][16][17] It has been described by Newsweek as a fake news website[18] and by CNN as a website "prone to peddling conspiracy theories."[19] As a result of a number of lawsuits against The Gateway Pundit over its false stories, it was reported in March 2018 that Jim Hoft had told his writers to be more careful: "I don't want any more lawsuits so we have to be really careful with what we put up."[20] Hoft stated that he believes the lawsuits "are part of a multi-pronged effort to attack media outlets on the right."[20]

In late 2019, the English Wikipedia community deprecated The Gateway Pundit as a source for reporting "falsehoods, conspiracy theories, and intentionally misleading stories".[21]

2016 election[edit]

The Gateway Pundit promoted false rumors about voter fraud and Hillary Clinton's health.[11][22][23][24] Specifically, rumors of Hillary Clinton's poor health were disseminated via The Gateway Pundit's articles entitled, "Breaking: 71% of Doctors Say Hillary Health Concerns Serious, Possibly Disqualifying!" and "Wow! Did Hillary Clinton Just Suffer a Seizure on Camera?"[22][24] Regarding voter fraud, The Gateway Pundit published an unsubstantiated report during the 2016 presidential election from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, claiming that Republicans had accused Broward County, Florida officials of tampering with mail-in ballots.[25]

Misidentifying shooters and terrorists[edit]

The Gateway Pundit has a record of misidentifying perpetrators of shootings and terror attacks.[26]

In October 2017, The Gateway Pundit published an article falsely implicating an innocent person as the shooter in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. The article was promoted by Google as a "top story" for searches for his name.[27] Gateway Pundit asserted that New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi had reported that ISIS may have evidence that it was behind the shooting, but Callimachi denied that she had ever made such an assertion.[28]

Shortly after the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, in which a person drove a vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one, The Gateway Pundit falsely identified a young man from Michigan as the driver.[29] After the misidentification took place, the family went into hiding after receiving several death threats.[30][31] Together with his father, the Michigan man filed a defamation lawsuit against the publication and other related parties.[29]

The Gateway Pundit promoted conspiracy theories about Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[32] In February 2018, The Gateway Pundit published an article erroneously stating that school shooter Nikolas Cruz was a registered Democrat, citing a registered Broward County voter with a similar name. The website later corrected its mistake.[33][34] Later that month, Gateway Pundit was one of a number of far-right websites that pushed the claim that at least one of the teenage survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was a deep state pawn,[35] alleging that David Hogg's gun control activism was being coached by his retired FBI agent father.[36]

In July 2018, Gateway Pundit falsely claimed that a man arrested with bomb-making equipment and illegal weapons had been a "leftist antifa terrorist". The individual in question was however a conservative whose Facebook profile was littered with pro-Second Amendment memes.[37]

In August 2018, Gateway Pundit falsely identified a Reddit user as the perpetrator of the Jacksonville Landing shooting.[38]


In December 2017, The Gateway Pundit published a Reddit post as evidence that Democratic activists were committing voter fraud in the 2017 Alabama Senate special election.[39] The redditor behind the post later said that the post was intended "as an obvious troll."[39] When asked by The Washington Post, the writer of the Gateway Pundit post declined to say whether he had contacted the redditor to verify the information; later the Gateway Pundit story contained an update at the bottom: "Liberals say these are fake Reddit posts(?) Regardless, the posts are still up on Reddit and the posters are still encouraging Democrats to cheat."[39] Also in December 2017, Gateway Pundit published a story falsely saying that Facebook had taken down a previous Gateway Pundit story about the Alabama election, when in fact a Facebook algorithm had made it less prevalent after it had been flagged as fake news.[40]

In April 2018, The Gateway Pundit falsely claimed in a headline that two prominent African-American conservative video bloggers – Diamond and Silk – had been censored by Facebook.[41]

In September 2018, after psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford alleged that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s when they were teenagers, The Gateway Pundit published an article[42] erroneously claiming that Kavanaugh's mother, a district court judge in Maryland, had once ruled in a foreclosure case against Dr. Ford's parents, creating what The Gateway Pundit called "bad blood" between the two families.[43] In an update, The Gateway Pundit noted, "CBS News reports the case was settled amicably and the Blaseys kept their house."[43]

On October 30, 2018, NBC News and The Atlantic published articles detailing a scheme to falsely accuse Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct in 1974. The articles reported involvement by Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, the latter a writer for Gateway Pundit. Hours after these reports, Gateway Pundit published on its site "exclusive documents" about a "very credible witness" to support the accusations against Mueller. Each document had in its header the phrase "International Private Intelligence," the business slogan of Surefire Intelligence, a firm created by Wohl. The site removed the documents later that day, stating they were investigating the matter, as well as "serious allegations against Jacob Wohl."[18] The following day, Gateway Pundit's owner Jim Hoft retweeted Wohl's comment suggesting Mueller's office was actually behind the scheme. Mueller's office had days earlier referred the scheme to the FBI. Burkman and Wohl convened a press conference outside Washington on November 1, ostensibly to present a woman who they said signed an affidavit, which Gateway Pundit had published, accusing Mueller of raping her in a New York hotel room in 2010 — on a date he was contemporaneously reported by The Washington Post to be serving jury duty in Washington.[44] The men accused Mueller's office of "leaking" the eight year-old Post story to discredit their allegations. The purported accuser, a Carolyne Cass, did not appear at the press conference, with the men asserting she had panicked in fear of her life and taken a flight to another location. Soon after the press conference, Hoft announced that Gateway Pundit had "suspended our relationship" with Wohl.[45][46][47][48][49]

Jim Hoft[edit]

In March 2013, Hoft was awarded the Reed Irvine Award for New Media by the Accuracy in Media watchdog at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[50][51]

In August 2013, Hoft contracted a serious strep infection, lost his vision in one eye, suffered five strokes, and required 12 hours of open-heart surgery. Three months after his treatment and before the imminent loss of his health insurance, Hoft stated that it was the Affordable Care Act that has caused insurance companies to leave the marketplace in his home state of Missouri.[52]

Following the 2016 mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Hoft came out as gay, blamed Barack Obama for the massacre and derided "leftwing gay activists" Sally Kohn and Perez Hilton for blaming the National Rifle Association and Christianity for the attack.[10]

On March 4, 2017, Hoft spoke at the Spirit of America Rally in Nashville, Tennessee, and announced that he was starting an event, "The Real News Correspondents' Dinner", to compete with the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The event occurred as planned on April 28, 2017.[53]

In February 2018, Hoft was scheduled to participate in a Conservative Political Action Conference panel titled "Social Media Censorship." After CPAC preemptively removed him from the discussion on censorship following Hoft's coverage of the recent Florida mass shooting, he stated that CPAC was in effect engaging in its own form of censorship.[54]

Notable writers[edit]

Notable writers for The Gateway Pundit, past and present, include Michael Strickland (2015–2016), Ryan Saavedra (2017), Lucian Wintrich (2017–2018), Cassandra Fairbanks (2017–present), and Jacob Wohl (2018).


  1. ^ Borchers, Callum (January 20, 2017). "Blog known for spreading hoaxes says it will have a correspondent in Trump White House". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  2. ^ " Competitive Analysis, Marketing Mix and Traffic - Alexa". Alexa Internet. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  3. ^ Tani, Maxwell (October 2, 2017). "Fake news about the Las Vegas shooting spread wildly on Facebook, Google, and Twitter". Business Insider. Archived from the original on October 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2017. The 4chan board posts were quickly picked up and magnified by The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website...
  4. ^ a b Darcy, Oliver; Gold, Hadas (February 15, 2018). "Far-right says FBI, distracted by Russia probe, missed warning signs in Florida shooting". CNN Money. Retrieved February 15, 2018. The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website known for peddling misinformation and conspiracy theories...
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  11. ^ a b c d Grynbaum, Michael M. (February 13, 2017). "White House Grants Press Credentials to a Pro-Trump Blog". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  12. ^ Farhi, Paul (February 23, 2018). "What is Gateway Pundit, the conspiracy-hawking site at the center of the bogus Florida 'crisis actors' hype?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 26, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Buncombe, Andrew (February 14, 2017). "Gateway Pundit: Pro-Donald Trump blog granted White House press credentials". The Independent. New York. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017. Gateway Pundit published false reports about Hillary Clinton's health and voter fraud
  14. ^ Brest, Mike (August 14, 2020). "'Outrageous': WHCA president blasts White House for inviting Gateway Pundit reporter to briefing". Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
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  18. ^ a b Croucher, Shane (October 31, 2018). "Who Is Jacob Wohl? Pro-Trump Twitter Personality Mocked Over Fake Mueller Sexual Assault Allegations". Newsweek. Archived from the original on November 2, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. ^ Darcy, Oliver; Scannell, Kara; Shortell, David (November 1, 2018). "How a right-wing effort to slime Mueller with a sexual assault allegation fell apart". CNN Money. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Darcy, Oliver (March 30, 2018). "Will the spate of lawsuits against fringe media stop the flow of conspiracy theories?". CNN Money. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Benjakob, Omar (January 9, 2020). "Why Wikipedia is much more effective than Facebook at fighting fake news". Haaretz. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  22. ^ a b Krieg, Gregory (August 24, 2016). "The new birthers: Debunking the Hillary Clinton health conspiracy". CNN. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2018. More than a month later, pro-Trump blogger Jim Hoft picked up the video and, on his Gateway Pundit site, ran a headline blaring, "Wow! Did Hillary Clinton Just Suffer a Seizure on Camera?" She had not, of course, as had been clear to everyone present.
  23. ^ Gold, Hadas (March 10, 2017). "Fox News Radio correspondent confronts Gateway Pundit reporter in White House briefing room". Politico. Retrieved February 24, 2018. The site, Gateway Pundit, is known for posting questionable stories at times, such as some stories about Hillary Clinton's health during the election [...]
  24. ^ a b Warzel, Charlie (January 24, 2017). "The right is building a New Media 'Upside Down' to tell Trump's story". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on November 2, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via CNBC. The Gateway Pundit made a name for itself during the election with headlines like "BREAKING: 71% of Doctors Say Hillary Health Concerns Serious, Possibly Disqualifying!" (she had pneumonia), and served as an engine for rumors of Hillary Clinton's poor health during her presidential campaign.
  25. ^ Blake, Andrew (February 17, 2018). "Russian disinformation made fodder for pro-Trump blog Gateway Pundit: Indictment". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  26. ^ "Far-right news sites smear California professor after misidentifying Kavanaugh accuser". NBC News. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  27. ^ Abby Ohlheiser. "Analysis | How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  28. ^ Swenson, Kyle. "Congressman channels internet conspiracy theory in claiming 'credible evidence' links Las Vegas gunman to ISIS, Mexican border". Retrieved January 22, 2018.
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  31. ^ Bowden, John (August 16, 2017). "Man misidentified as Charlottesville driver by far-right sites in hiding: report". TheHill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
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  37. ^ Kludt, Tom. "Right-wing media called him a leftist terrorist. He appears to be a pro-gun conservative". CNNMoney. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
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  39. ^ a b c Weigel, David (December 14, 2017). "White House urges Roy Moore to concede, as supporters look for evidence of 'voter fraud'". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  40. ^ "Facebook did not remove Gateway Pundit post after fact-check". @politifact. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  41. ^ Darcy, Oliver (April 15, 2018). "Led by Fox News, pro-Trump media fuels false narrative to accuse Facebook of censorship". CNNMoney. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
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  43. ^ a b Roose, Kevin (September 19, 2018). "Debunking 5 Viral Rumors About Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's Accuser". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
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External links[edit]