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The Gateway Pundit

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Gateway Pundit
The Gateway Pundit Logo.png
Type of site
Political blog
Available inEnglish
Created byJim Hoft[1]
EditorJim Hoft
Alexa rank1,477 (US 12/2018)
Launched2004; 15 years ago (2004)

The Gateway Pundit is an American far-right[2][3] news and opinion website. It was founded after the 2004 United States presidential election,[4] according to its founder, Jim Hoft, to "speak the truth" and to "expose the wickedness of the left".[5] It came to prominence in 2016 for its favorable coverage of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and was later granted press credentials in the Trump White House.[6] The website is known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.[7]

The Gateway Pundit expanded from a one-person enterprise into a multi-employee operation that is supported primarily by advertising revenue.[8][9] During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the site received over a million unique visitors per day.[10]


The website's name makes reference to the Gateway Arch in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where Hoft resides as of February 2018.[11]

White House press credentials

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, former editor at Breitbart News.[12][6]

As official correspondents, Hoft and Wintrich can now attend all press briefings and address their questions to the White House press secretary. In an interview, Wintrich described how 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".[6] 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",[9] and to alleviate what he sees as bias among reporters in the White House press corps.[12]

False stories and conspiracy theories

The Gateway Pundit is known as a source of viral falsehoods and hoaxes.[13][14][3] It has been described as a fake news website.[15] 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, saying "I don't want any more lawsuits so we have to be really careful with what we put up."[16] Hoft stated that he believes the lawsuits "are part of a multi-pronged effort to attack media outlets on the right."[16]

2016 election

The Gateway Pundit has promoted false rumors about voter fraud and Hillary Clinton's health.[6][17][18][19] 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?"[17][19] As to voter fraud, The Gateway Pundit published an unsubstantiated report during the 2016 presidential election from the Internet Research Agency claiming that Republicans had accused Broward County, Florida officials of tampering with mail-in ballots.[20]

Misidentifying shooters and terrorists

The Gateway Pundit has a record of misidentifying perpetrators of shootings and terror attacks.[21]

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.[22] 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 rejected that she had ever made such an assertion.[23]

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. Together with his father, the Michigan man has filed a large defamation lawsuit against twenty-two corporate and individual defendants, including Hoft, alleging that the false identification caused motivated readers to harass him, that the harassment included numerous death threats, which obliged him to go leave his home (pursuant to advice from the police) and causing large damages to his business.[24][25]

The Gateway Pundit promoted conspiracy theories about Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[26] 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.[27][28] 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,[29] alleging that David Hogg's gun control activism was being coached by his retired FBI agent father.[30]

In July 2018, Gateway Pundit falsely claimed that a man arrested with bomb-making equipment and illegal weapons had been a "leftist antifa terrorist".[31] The individual in question was however a conservative whose Facebook profile was littered with pro-Second Amendment memes.[31]

In August 2018, Gateway Pundit falsely identified a Reddit user as the perpetrator of the Jacksonville Landing shooting.[32]


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.[33] The redditor behind the post later said that the post was intended "as an obvious troll."[33] 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."[33] 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.[34]

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.[35]

In September 2018, after college 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[36] 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. In an update, The Gateway Pundit noted, "CBS News reports the case was settled amicably and the Blaseys kept their house."[37]

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." The following day, Gateway Pundit's owner Jim Hoft retweeted a tweet by Wohl that suggested 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 1st, 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 [38] to be serving jury duty in Washington. 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.[39][40][41][42][43]

Jim Hoft

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.[5]

In February 2018, Hoft was scheduled to participate in a Conservative Political Action Conference panel titled "Social Media Censorship." After CPAC preemptively removed Hoft from the discussion on censorship following his coverage of the recent Florida mass shooting, Hoft stated that CPAC was in effect engaging in its own form of censorship.[44]

In August 2013, Hoft contracted a serious strep infection, lost vision in one eye, suffered five strokes, and had 12 hours of open-heart surgery. Three months following his treatment and after learning that he would be losing 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.[45]

Hoft was awarded the Reed Irvine Award for New Media by the Accuracy in Media watchdog at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2013.[46][47]

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.[48]


  1. ^ Borchers, Callum (20 January 2017). "Blog known for spreading hoaxes says it will have a correspondent in Trump White House". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Fake news about the Las Vegas shooting spread wildly on Facebook, Google, and Twitter". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
  3. ^ a b Gold, Oliver Darcy and Hadas. "Far-right says FBI, distracted by Russia probe, missed warning signs in Florida shooting". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-02-15. The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website known for peddling misinformation and conspiracy theories
  4. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (22 January 2017). "'Alternative Facts' and the Costs of Trump-Branded Reality". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Jim Hoft, conservative blogger, comes out as gay after Orlando terror attack". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  6. ^ a b c d Michael M. Grynbaum (13 February 2017), White House Grants Press Credentials to a Pro-Trump Blog, The New York Times, archived from the original on 14 February 2017, retrieved 14 February 2017
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Advertisers are in the hot seat as activists both for and against Trump call for boycotts". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  9. ^ a b "'Real News' Joins the White House Briefing Room". POLITICO Magazine. Archived from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  10. ^ "Is Trump Trolling the White House Press Corps?". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  11. ^ "What is Gateway Pundit, the conspiracy-hawking site at the center of the bogus Florida 'crisis actors' hype?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  12. ^ a b Andrew Buncombe (14 February 2017), Gateway Pundit: Pro-Donald Trump blog granted White House press credentials, New York: The Independent, archived from the original on 14 February 2017, retrieved 14 February 2017, Gateway Pundit published false reports about Hillary Clinton's health and voter fraud
  13. ^ Phillip, Abby (2017-10-02). "Trump may come face-to-face with Cruz in Puerto Rico after days of attacking the mayor". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-07. In other tweets, Trump Jr. retweeted an article from a right-wing site known for trafficking in falsehoods, Gateway Pundit
  14. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (2017-10-31). "'This is a nothing burger': How conservative media reacted to the Mueller indictments". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  15. ^ Croucher, Shane (October 31, 2018). "Who Is Jacob Wohl? Pro-Trump Twitter Personality Mocked Over Fake Mueller Sexual Assault Allegations". Newsweek. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Darcy, Oliver. "Will the spate of lawsuits against fringe media stop the flow of conspiracy theories?". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  17. ^ a b CNN, Gregory Krieg,. "The new birthers: Debunking the Hillary Clinton health conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-24. 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.
  18. ^ "Fox News Radio correspondent confronts Gateway Pundit reporter in White House briefing room". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-02-24. The site, Gateway Pundit, is known for posting questionable stories at times, such as some stories about Hillary Clinton's health during the election
  19. ^ a b Warzel, Charlie (2017-01-24). "The right is building a New Media 'Upside Down' to tell Trump's story". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-24. 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.
  20. ^ Andrew Blake. "Russian disinformation made fodder for pro-Trump blog Gateway Pundit: Indictment". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  21. ^ "Far-right news sites smear California professor after misidentifying Kavanaugh accuser". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  22. ^ Abby Ohlheiser. "Analysis | How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  23. ^ Swenson, Kyle. "Congressman channels internet conspiracy theory in claiming 'credible evidence' links Las Vegas gunman to ISIS, Mexican border". Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  24. ^ "Homocon Jim Hoft, Chuck C. Johnson, Paul Nehlen, And Others Sued For Falsely Naming Teen As Killer Driver". Joe.My.God. 17 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (2018-04-04). "'You Hate America!': How the 'Caravan' Story Exploded on the Right". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  27. ^ "Florida school shooting: hoaxes, doctored tweets and Russian bots spread false news". USAtoday. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  28. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (2018-02-20). "Right-Wing Media Uses Parkland Shooting as Conspiracy Fodder". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  29. ^ "Far Right Blogs, Conspiracy Theorists Attack Parkland Mass Shooting Survivor". Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  30. ^ Kirell, Andrew (2018-02-20). "Donald Trump Jr. 'Likes' Conspiracy Theory About Florida Shooting Survivor's Ex-FBI Dad". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  31. ^ a b Kludt, Tom. "Right-wing media called him a leftist terrorist. He appears to be a pro-gun conservative". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  32. ^ Collins, Ben. "Far-right media misidentifies Jacksonville shooter as Trump-bashing Reddit user". NBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  33. ^ a b c Weigel, David (2017-12-14). "White House urges Roy Moore to concede, as supporters look for evidence of 'voter fraud'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  34. ^ "Facebook did not remove Gateway Pundit post after fact-check". @politifact. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ Hoft, Jim (September 17, 2018). "Bad Blood: Judge Kavanaugh's Mother Presided Over Far Left Accuser's Parents' Home Foreclosure (UPDATED)". The Gateway Pundit. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  37. ^ Roose, Kevin (September 19, 2018). "Debunking 5 Viral Rumors About Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's Accuser". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Mueller refers alleged scheme targeting him to FBI for investigation". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  40. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (30 October 2018). "Mueller Wants the FBI to Look at a Scheme to Discredit Him". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Jacob Wohl on Twitter". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  42. ^ Sommer, Will (1 November 2018). "Mueller Smear Pushed by Pro-Trump Activists Falls Apart at Press Conference". Retrieved 2 November 2018 – via
  43. ^ "No proof, no victim at news conference alleging Mueller sex assaults". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  44. ^ "Speaker pulled from panel alongside CPAC over Florida shooting controversy". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  45. ^ Thompson, Ben (2013-12-13). "Plan canceled, patient asks, 'What now?'". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  46. ^ Krepel, Terry (2013-03-13). "Accuracy In Media Honors Inaccuracy In Media". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  47. ^ Catherine Herridge, Jim Hoft to Receive Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Awards at CPAC, Washington: Accuracy in Media, 5 March 2013, archived from the original on 18 February 2017, retrieved 14 February 2017, Jim Hoft [for] His dedication to a free America and his personal devotion to democracy that has led him to cover freedom movements from inside Iran to the streets of Azerbaijan, have propelled GatewayPundit into one of the country's top resources for right-of-center news and commentary.
  48. ^ "An Awkward Right Wing Dance Party". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-08-31.

External links