Joseph Francis Farah (born July 6, 1954) is an American author, journalist, and editor-in-chief of the far-right conservative website WorldNetDaily (WND). Farah gained prominence for promoting conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide of Vince Foster and is a proponent of birtherism, the false conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States.
|Born||Joseph Francis Farah|
July 6, 1954
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||William Paterson University (BA)|
|Notable awards||The Washington Times Foundation National Service Award (1996)|
|Spouse||Judy Smagula (divorced)|
|Children||5, including Alyssa|
Farah was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on July 6, 1954, to parents of Syrian and Lebanese ancestry. His father was a schoolteacher. He graduated from William Paterson University, in Wayne, New Jersey with a B.A. in Communications.
Farah worked for six years as executive news editor at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner until the paper shuttered in 1989.
On July 22, 1990, Farah became editor of The Sacramento Union. The paper had been losing up to $3 million annually, and in early 1990 it was purchased from Richard Mellon Scaife by Daniel Benvenuti Jr. and David Kassis. Farah and the paper's owners envisioned the paper as a conservative alternative to The Sacramento Bee. "We just thought the way to go was to be unabashedly conservative in our approach," explained Farah to The Washington Post. Among other things, Farah convinced Rush Limbaugh to write a daily column, which ran on "Page 1." Farah prohibited advertisement for films rated NC-17 in the newspaper.
In 1991, Farah left the Union and co-founded the Western Journalism Center. He writes a weekly print column for The Jerusalem Post which is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate.
He launched the online WorldNetDaily in 1997. The website has been categorized as far-right and is known for publishing unreliable or fringe material.
In April 2019, WorldNetDaily announced that Farah had suffered a stroke and would withdraw from the website's day-to-day operations until he recovers.
Promotion of conspiracy theories
Farah gained prominence for promoting conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide of Vince Foster.
Farah is a proponent of birtherism, the conspiracy theory related to Barack Obama's status as a natural-born citizen of the United States and resultant eligibility to serve as U.S. president, stating, "It'll plague Obama throughout his presidency. It'll be a nagging issue and a sore on his administration, much like Monica Lewinsky was on Bill Clinton's presidency" and "It's not going to go away, and it will drive a wedge in an already divided public." Despite the release of Obama's notarized birth certificate abstract, he continued to promote birtherism.
He is married to Elizabeth Graham and is a conservative evangelical Christian. He has five children, including a daughter from a previous marriage to Judy Smagula, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who served as the Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence and later served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Media Affairs and Press Secretary for the Department of Defense.
- Collaborated with Rush Limbaugh on See, I Told You So (1994)
- Farah, Joseph; Richard Pombo (1996). This Land Is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-14747-1.
- Farah, Joseph (2005). Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality, and Justice. WND Books. ISBN 978-1-58182-469-8.
- Farah, Joseph (2007). Stop the Presses!: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution. WND Books. ISBN 978-1-58182-469-8.
- Farah, Joseph (2008). None of the Above: Why 2008 Is the Year to Cast the Ultimate Protest Vote. WND Books. ISBN 978-1-935071-01-3.
- Farah, Joseph (2010). The Tea Party Manifesto: A Vision for an American Rebirth. WND Books. ISBN 978-1-935071-28-0.
- ^ Black, Jane (August 28, 2001). "On the Web, Small and Focused Pays Off". Business Week. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- ^ Bruno, Debra (February 21, 2016). "There's the major media. And then there's the 'other' White House press corps". The Washington Post.
- ^ Massing, Michael (February 2009). "Un-American: Have you listened to the right-wing media lately?". Cjr.org.
- ^ a b c d e Roig-Franzia, Manuel (April 2, 2019). "Inside the spectacular fall of the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites". The Washington Post.
- ^ a b Holt, Jared (February 3, 2020). "Hiding in Plain Sight: The White Nationalist Who Toiled Inside a Right-Wing Media Powerhouse". Right Wing Watch. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
- ^ a b Martin, Jonathan (February 25, 2009). "Shelby says he has no doubts on Obama citizenship". POLITICO. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
- ^ a b Babington, Charles; Ramer, Holly (April 27, 2011). "In NH, Trump takes credit for Obama birth info". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
- ^ a b Stelter, Brian (April 27, 2011). "In Trying to Debunk a Theory, the News Media Extended Its Life". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- ^ a b c d e f Stephen Goode (March 4, 2003). "Putting faith in the founding fathers: WorldNetDaily.com cofounder Joseph Farah challenges all Americans to take back their country by embracing traditional values and spurning today's MTV culture". Insight magazine. p. 4. Archived from the original on October 23, 2004. Retrieved January 16, 2022.
- ^ a b William Trombley (May 16, 1991). "Paper Chase; Media: The Sacramento Union is Trying to Attract Readers and Advertisers by Billing Itself as 'Pro-American,' 'Pro-Life,' and 'Pro-Business.'". The Los Angeles Times.
- ^ Pat Guy (July 13, 1990). "New editor for 'Sacramento Union'". USA Today.
- ^ a b Howard Kurtz and Charles Trueheart (October 23, 1990). "At Sacramento Union, A Conservative Bent". The Washington Post.
- ^ Dorothy Giobbe (September 17, 1994). "Western Journalism Center director says it's non-partisan, not pro-right wing". Editor & Publisher.
- ^ "About Joseph Farah". Creators.com.
- ^ Mark O'Keefe (November 24, 2002). "Conservative media flex muscles". Newark: The Star-Ledger.
- ^ "WorldNetDaily". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- ^ "Shed a tear for WorldNetDaily — or maybe don't. But the downfall of a far-right site is instructive". Salon.com. April 5, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- ^ Fisher, Max (September 9, 2009). "The Fringe-Fighting Pundit Who Fears Nothing". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- ^ Coaston, Jane (November 28, 2018). "Jerome Corsi, the conspiracy theorist now entangled in the Mueller investigation, explained". Vox. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
- ^ Tim Jones (December 8, 2008). "Court won't review Obama's eligibility to serve". Hartford Courant. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
- ^ "Born in the U.S.A". FactCheck.org. August 21, 2008.
- ^ @PhilippeReines (August 15, 2019). "Alyssa Farah's mother Judy Farah..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- WorldNetDaily Official website
- Washington Post Online Chat Session with Joseph Farah
- Appearances on C-SPAN