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 Conservative[1]
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Website www.wnd.com

WorldNetDaily (WND) is a politically conservative American web site.[2] It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intent of "exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power"[3] WND has been active in promoting a number of conspiracy theories, including Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories.

History[edit]

In 1997 Joseph Farah created the news website WorldNetDaily[3] 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. The site describes itself as "an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism".[3] In 1999, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware[4] with offices in Cave Junction, Oregon.[5] As of 2015, it has offices in Medford, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

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.[6] 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".[7] Shortly after, the rules were formally adjusted to clarify the participation of online publications.[8]

Website overview[edit]

WND provides news, editorials, letters to the editor, forums, videos and conducts a daily poll. Its CEO Joseph Farah has said that WND provides "the broadest spectrum of opinion anywhere in the news business."[9] WND's content is predominantly conservative[2][10] Besides providing articles authored by its own staff, the site links to news from other publications. Notable staff includes Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein, former White House correspondent Lester Kinsolving, and staff writer Jerome Corsi. Its commentary pages feature editorials from the site's founder, Joseph Farah as well as from commentators including Ben Carson, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Chuck Norris, Walter Williams, Ilana Mercer, Bill Press, and Nat Hentoff.[11]

WND products[edit]

WND publishes books under the imprint WND Books. The imprint was launched in 2002. WND's imprint publishing partner was Christian publishing house Thomas Nelson Publishers (2002–2004),[12] Cumberland House Publishing (2004–2007),[13] and conservative publisher World Ahead Publishing (2007);[14] in 2008, WND acquired World Ahead Media.[15] WND Books has released books written by politicians and pundits like Katherine Harris, Michael Savage, Jerome Corsi, Tom Tancredo, and Ken Blackwell. 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".[16]

WND 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".

Activities[edit]

Commentary on September 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".[17] 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.[18]

Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories[edit]

A 2010 billboard displayed in South Gate, California, questioning the validity of Barack Obama's birth certificate and by extension his eligibility to serve as President of the U.S.[19] The billboard was part of an advertising campaign by WorldNetDaily, whose URL appears on the billboard's bottom right corner.[20]
Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate

WorldNetDaily has repeatedly publicized conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's citizenship status, writing that Obama is not a natural-born American citizen and is thus not eligible to serve as president.[21][22][23] 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.[24] The White House released copies of the president's original long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011.[25] After the long-form birth certificate was released, WND published an article questioning its authenticity.[26]

Libel lawsuit[edit]

On September 20, 2000, WND published an article[27] which said 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[28][29] 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; and various Tennessee publications and broadcasters who he accused of repeating the claim, arguing these entities had committed libel and defamation. The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial in March 2008;[30] but, on February 13, 2008, WND announced that a confidential out-of-court settlement had been reached with Jones.[31] 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.[31]

Ann Coulter speaking at Homocon[edit]

In 2010, when Ann Coulter accepted the invitation to attend and speak at GOProud's Homocon 2010 convention, Farah announced the withdrawal of Coulter's name from the list of speakers at the company's Taking America Back conference.[32] 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 criticized Farah in an email to the The Daily Caller.[33] Coulter still has a weekly column at WND.

[edit]

In January 2013, a WorldNetDaily article criticized a Super Bowl XLVII advert where Neil Patrick Harris had a eye black with "Feb 3 2013" written on it. The website accused Harris of "mocking Christianity", as quarterback Tim Tebow was known for inscribing Bible verses with eye black during NFL games.[34] However, a similar Beyoncé advert for the Super Bowl had not been criticized.[35] In a Twitter post later made by Harris about the Super Bowl, he used the hashtag "#noagenda".[36][37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gass, Nick (June 11, 2015). "Noam Chomsky: Hillary Clinton like Barack Obama, only 'more militant'". Politico. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b c World Net Daily. "About Us". Joseph Farah. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  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. ^ Black, Jane (August 27, 2001). "On the Web, Small and Focused Pays Off". BusinessWeek (New York). Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  6. ^ Heaney, Michael T (2008), "Blogging Congress: Technological Change and the Politics of the Congressional Press Galleries" (PDF), PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (2) .
  7. ^ Walker, Jesse (November 2002), "Galley gatekeepers: the politics of press credentials – Citings", Reason .[dead link]
  8. ^ Thompson, Mark (April 22, 2004), "New Media Often Takes Back Seat to Old Media on Press Credentials", Online Journalism Review .
  9. ^ "Right-wing publisher: We run "some misinformation"". Salon.com. April 13, 2011. 
  10. ^ Sullivan, Gail (August 5, 2014). "Celebrities get nasty over Gaza and Israel". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Commentators". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Thomas Nelson Launches Political Imprint". The Write News. Retrieved November 18, 2006. 
  13. ^ "WND Books signs 'Unfit for Command' author". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2006. 
  14. ^ "New publishing partner for WND Books". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2006. 
  15. ^ "WND acquires World Ahead Media". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved February 24, 2008. 
  16. ^ Paul Harris (April 21, 2011). "The born-again birther debate". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Judgement Day in Mystery Babylon?". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on September 17, 2001. Retrieved September 13, 2001. 
  18. ^ "The new political correctness police". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2001. 
  19. ^ "'Birthers' claim Gibbs lied when he said Obama's birth certificate is posted on the Internet". Politifact. The St. Petersburg Times. July 28, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Grass roots sign onto eligibility billboard campaign". WorldNetDaily. June 12, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Isikoff, Michael (27 April 2011). "Publisher of upcoming 'birther' book makes no apologies". NBC News. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "Please Check Eligibility, Thousands Ask Supremes", WorldNetDaily, January 16, 2009
  25. ^ "Obama releases original long-form birth certificate". cnn.com. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  26. ^ "From A to Z: What’s wrong with Obama’s birth certificate?". WND. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  27. ^ Thompson II, Charles C.; Hays, Tony (September 20, 2000). "Officials say Gore killed drug probe". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  28. ^ Gordon, J. Houston; Hopper, Curtis F.; attorneys for plaintiff, Clark Jones (December 20, 2004). "Second Amended Complaint" (PDF). Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  29. ^ Jones v. WorldNetDaily (Tenn. Cir. (Hardin); Tenn. App.; Tenn. April 2001) (“The parties settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2008.”). Text
  30. ^ Unruh, Bob (February 6, 2008). "Future of reporting scheduled for trial". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  31. ^ a b "WND settles $165 million libel case". WorldNetDaily. February 18, 2008. 
  32. ^ Smith, Ben (August 18, 2010). "WorldNet dumps 'right-wing Judy Garland' Coulter over gay event". Politico. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  33. ^ Chris Moody (August 18, 2010). "Ann Coulter’s Email to The Daily Caller About WorldNetDaily". 
  34. ^ Zara, Christopher (January 7, 2013). "Neil Patrick Harris Super Bowl XLVII Ad 'Mocks Christians,' Pushes 'Gay Agenda,' Say Critics". International Business Times. IBT Media. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Does Neil Patrick Harris' Super Bowl ad mock Christianity and Tim Tebow?". United Press International. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  36. ^ Larkin, Mike (January 8, 2013). "Neil Patrick Harris accused of pushing pro gay agenda after wearing Tim Tebow-style face paint in Super Bowl ad". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris' Super Bowl Ad Slammed For 'Pushing Gay Agenda' On CBS". The Huffington Post. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]