Front cover of Washington Examiner magazine for May 26, 2014
|Type||Website, weekly magazine|
|Owner(s)||Clarity Media Group|
|Publisher||Ryan McKibben|
|President||Stephen R. Sparks|
|Managing editors||Philip Klein|
|News editor||Pete Kasperowicz|
|Opinion editor||Tim Carney|
|Founded||2005 (newspaper) (as Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal)|
|Headquarters||1152 15th St. NW|
Washington, D.C. 20005
|Circulation||45,000 (weekly magazine)|
The Washington Examiner is an American political journalism website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C. It is owned by MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.
From 2005 to mid-2013, the Examiner published a daily tabloid-sized newspaper, distributed throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. At the time, the newspaper mostly focused on local news and political commentary. The local newspaper ceased publication on June 14, 2013, and its content began to focus exclusively on national politics, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine format.
The publication now known as The Washington Examiner began its life as a handful of suburban news outlets known as the Journal Newspapers, distributed only in the suburbs of Washington: Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal. Philip Anschutz purchased the parent company, Journal Newspapers Inc., in October 2004. On February 1, 2005, the paper's name changed to The Washington Examiner, and it adopted a logo and format similar to those of another newspaper then owned by Anschutz, The San Francisco Examiner.
The Washington Examiner became increasingly influential in conservative political circles, hiring much of the talent from The Washington Times. The website DCist wrote in March 2013 "Despite the right-wing tilt of [the Examiner’s] editorial pages and sensationalist front-page headlines, it also built a reputation as one of the best local sections in D.C." The newspaper's local coverage also gained fame, including a write-up by The New York Times, for contributing to the arrest of more than 50 fugitives through a feature that each week spotlighted a different person wanted by law-enforcement agencies.
It was announced in March 2013 that the paper would stop its daily print edition in June and refocus on national politics, converting its print edition to a weekly magazine and continuing to publish its website. The new format was compared to that of The Hill. In December 2018, Clarity Media announced that the magazine would become a publicly available, expanded print magazine.
Distribution and readership
The magazine's publisher said in 2013 that it would now seek to distribute the magazine to at least "45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals."  The publisher also claimed the Examiner's readership is more likely to sign a petition, contact a politician, attend a political rally, or participate in a government advocacy group than those of Roll Call, Politico, or The Hill. According to its publisher the Examiner has a high-earning and highly educated audience, with 26 percent holding a master's or postgraduate degree and a large percentage earning over $500,000 annually, likely to be working in executive or senior management positions.
Content and editorial stance
The Examiner has been described as and is widely regarded as conservative. When Anschutz first started the Examiner in its daily newspaper format, he envisioned creating a competitor to The Washington Post with a conservative editorial line. According to Politico, "When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz's instructions were explicit – he 'wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,' said one former employee." The Examiner's writers have included Michael Barone, Tim Cavanaugh, David Freddoso, Tara Palmeri, Bill Sammon, Rudy Takala, and Byron York.
The Examiner endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2010. On December 14, 2011, the newspaper endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, publishing an editorial saying he was the only Republican who could beat Barack Obama in the general election.
In January 2019, the Washington Examiner published a story with the headline, "Border rancher: 'We've found prayer rugs out here. It's unreal'." Shortly thereafter, President Donald Trump cited the story as another justification for a border wall amid the 2018-2019 federal government shutdown. The story in question cited one anonymous rancher who offered no evidence of these Muslim prayer rugs, such as photos. The story provided no elaboration on how the rancher knew the rugs in question were Muslim prayer rugs. The author of the story formerly worked as press secretary for the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform. Stories of Muslim prayer rugs at the border are urban myths that have frequently popped up since at least 2005, but with no evidence to substantiate the claims. The Examiner never issued a clarification or retracted the story.
In April 2019, Quartz reported that White House advisor Stephen Miller had been purposely leaking information on border apprehensions and asylum seekers to the Washington Examiner so that the paper would publish stories with alarming statistics that sometimes criticized DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, which he could then show to Trump and undermine her position. Nielsen was fired in April 2019 for reportedly not being sufficiently hawkish on immigration.
False story about The New York Times
On June 20, 2019, the paper falsely reported that The New York Times had "fed information" to the FBI about Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law. The paper issued a major correction within a day. Prior to the correction, Trump tweeted, "Just revealed that the Failing and Desperate New York Times was feeding false stories about me, & those associated with me, to the FBI," which was retweeted over 20,000 times.
After the Climategate controversy, the Washington Examiner published an op-ed which said of climate science, "Some decades hence, I suspect, people will look back and wonder why so many government, corporate and media elites were taken in by propaganda that was based on such shoddy and dishonest evidence." The allegations regarding the basis for the supposed controversy were rapidly debunked. The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged throughout the investigations.
In 2017, the Washington Examiner editorial board supported President Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, which the Examiner editorial board described as "a big flashy set of empty promises... The Earth’s climate is changing, as it always has. And part of the reason it is changing is due to human activity. But those two facts are excuses neither for alarmism and reflexive, but ineffective action, nor for sacrificing sovereignty to give politicians a short-term buzz of fake virtue and green guerrillas another weapon with which to ambush democratic policymaking."
On August 31, 2019, the Examiner published an editorial, titled "The great failure of the climate models", which claimed that overwhelmingly accepted climate models were not valid scientific tools. Scientists described the Washington Examiner op-ed as highly misleading, noting that there were numerous false assertions and cherry-picked data in the op-ed.
On September 23, 2019, the Examiner published a piece that contended global warming protests are really a Trojan Horse meant to end capitalism and promote socialism. It criticized 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg who had just addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations for her "apocalyptic rhetoric" that went beyond what it characterized as "fear mongering and alarmism" regarding the predicted ultimate consequences of global warming in order "to specifically attack capitalism, profit, and markets as a root cause of the issue."
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- Qiu, Linda (January 18, 2019). "Trump's Baseless Claim About Prayer Rugs Found at the Border". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- "Trump points to a migrant caravan and unverified claim about Muslim prayer rugs as he continues push for wall". The Washington Post. 2019.
- Timmons, Heather; Timmons, Heather. "Trump's anti-immigration zealot Stephen Miller is behind the purge at Homeland Security". Quartz. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- "Report: Washington Examiner was used to undermine DHS boss Kirstjen Nielsen". The Washington Post. 2019.
- "NYT reporter emailed FBI to 'flag' Jared Kushner meetings with Russians". Washington Examiner. June 20, 2019.
- "Washington Examiner Issues Correction That Discredits Claim NYTimes 'Fed Info' to FBI". Washington Examiner. June 22, 2019.
- Sarewitz, Daniel (March 1, 2010). "World view: Curing climate backlash". Nature. 464 (7285): 28–28. doi:10.1038/464028a. ISSN 1476-4687.
- The eight major investigations covered by secondary sources include: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK); Independent Climate Change Review (UK); International Science Assessment Panel Archived 9 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine (UK); Pennsylvania State University first panel Archived 25 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine and second panel Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine (US); United States Environmental Protection Agency (US); Department of Commerce (US); National Science Foundation (US).
- Biello, David (Feb 2010). "Negating 'Climategate'". Scientific American. (302):2. 16. ISSN 0036-8733.
- "Trump will withdraw US from Paris climate agreement while California, New York, Washington unite to back climate pact". Carbon Brief. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
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- "Washington Examiner op-ed cherry-picks data and misleads readers about climate models". Climate Feedback. August 31, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- The climate change protests are a Trojan horse for socialism, Washington Examiner, Brad Polumbo, September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.