The Washington Examiner is a U.S. conservative news outlet based in Washington, D.C., that consists principally of a website and a weekly printed magazine. It is owned by Philip Anschutz through MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group.[3]

Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner Masthead
Front cover of Washington Examiner magazine for May 26, 2014
TypeWebsite, weekly magazine
FormatInternet, magazine
Founder(s)Philip Anschutz
Editor-in-chiefHugo Gurdon[1]
Founded2005; 19 years ago (2005) (newspaper) (as Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal)
2013 (2013) (magazine)
Political alignmentConservative
Ceased publication2013 (2013) (newspaper)
Headquarters1152 15th St. NW
Suite 200
Washington, D.C.
Circulation90,000 (as of 2021)[2]

From 2005 to 2013, the Examiner published a daily tabloid-sized newspaper, distributed throughout the D.C. metro area. The newspaper focused on local news and political commentary.[4] The local newspaper ceased publication on June 14, 2013, whereupon its content began to focus almost exclusively on national politics, from a conservative point of view, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to an expanded print weekly magazine format.[5][6][7]

History edit

A Washington Examiner dispenser, from the time when the newspaper was a free daily paper.

The publication now known as the Washington Examiner began its life as a handful of suburban news outlets known as the Journal Newspapers, distributed not in Washington D.C. itself, but only in its suburbs: Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal.[8] Philip Anschutz purchased the parent company, Journal Newspapers Inc., in 2004.[4][9][10] 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 Anschutz then owned, San Francisco Examiner.[8]

The Washington Examiner became increasingly influential in conservative political circles, hiring much of the talent from The Washington Times.[11] 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."[12] The newspaper's local coverage also gained attention, including a write-up by The New York Times,[13] 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.

In March 2013, the company announced that it would stop printing a daily edition in June and refocus on national politics. The print edition was converted to a weekly magazine, while the website was continually updated.[14] The new format was compared to that of The Hill.[6][14] In December 2018, Clarity Media announced that the magazine would become a publicly available, expanded print magazine.[15]

On January 27, 2020, Roy Moore filed a $40 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Examiner. A former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and candidate in the United States Senate special election in Alabama for the seat left open when Jeff Sessions joined the Trump administration, Moore claimed that the magazine repeatedly wrote "fake news" attacks stemming from allegations that he made unwanted sexual and romantic advances to girls as young as 15 when he was in his late 30s.[16]

In January 2020, breaking news editor Jon Nicosia was fired after showing a sexually explicit video to colleagues. Nicosia denied any wrongdoing, saying he had only shared the video "because he thought it might go viral ... and become a news story". Nicosia accused managing editor Toby Harnden of abusive workplace behavior. An employee's complaint seen by CNN said that Harnden had created a "toxic work environment" and a climate of "workplace terror and bullying". Editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon then announced Harnden had departed and that he was "enlisting a third-party to conduct a thorough investigation" into the Examiner. But CNN reported that "current and former Examiner employees" said that "Gurdon was aware of Harnden's brutish managing style" long before it became a public issue and did nothing about it.[17][18]

In October 2020, the Examiner hired Greg Wilson as the new managing editor. As online editor of the Fox News website, Wilson had previously published a news story supporting the conspiracy theory about murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.[19]

In June 2020, the Examiner published an op-ed by "Raphael Badani", a fake persona who was part of a broader network pushing propaganda for the United Arab Emirates and against Qatar, Turkey, and Iran. The Daily Beast reported that Badani's "profile photos are stolen from the blog of an unwitting San Diego startup founder" while his "LinkedIn profile, which described him as a graduate of George Washington and Georgetown, is equally fictitious."[20]

Distribution and readership edit

The magazine's publisher said in 2013 that it would seek to distribute the magazine to at least "45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals".[12] 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.[21] Its publisher claims that 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.[21]

Notable columnists and contributors edit

Content and editorial stance edit

The Examiner has been described as and is widely regarded as conservative.[22] When Anschutz started it 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."[4]

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, among the conservative media landscape, the Examiner "is structured more or less like a mainstream newspaper—complete with clear distinctions between news reporting and commentary roles. The outlet has one of the largest newsrooms in online conservative media, with dedicated breaking news reporters and more specialized beat reporters, and a full editorial hierarchy." According to Editor in Chief Hugo Gurdon, the paper's conservatism on the news side was largely based on story selection, citing The Daily Telegraph as an inspiration.[23]

The Examiner endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election[24] and Adrian Fenty in the 2010 Washington, D.C., mayoral election.[25] On December 14, 2011, it 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.[26]

Anti-immigration stories edit

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 2018–19 federal government shutdown. The story in question cited one anonymous rancher who offered no evidence of prayer rugs. 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 without evidence.[27] 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 to undermine her. Nielsen was fired in April 2019, reportedly for being insufficiently hawkish on immigration.[28][29]

Climate change edit

The Washington Examiner has published opinion pieces that oppose or deny the scientific consensus on climate change.[30][31][32][33] In February 2010, it published an op-ed in which Michael Barone, a pundit who writes frequently promoting skepticism of climate science,[34] citing the Climatic Research Unit email controversy to argue that the scientific consensus on climate change was "propaganda ... based on ... shoddy and dishonest evidence".[35][36] Daniel Sarewitz of Arizona State University criticized Barone, writing that Barone and other conservative climate change pundits erroneously "portrayed deviation from scientific certainty and highly idealized notions of 'the scientific method' as evidence against climate change", which he compared to "equally naïve and idealized" presentations on the other side of the debate, such as the film An Inconvenient Truth.[35]

In 2017, the Washington Examiner editorial board supported Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, which the Examiner editorial board called "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."[37][38]

On August 31, 2019, the Examiner published an op-ed by Patrick Michaels and Caleb Stewart Rossiter titled "The Great Failure of the Climate Models".[39] It 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.[40]

2022 rejection of Donald Trump edit

On the day after former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the House select committee on the January 6 attack, the Examiner published an editorial titled "Trump proven unfit for power again," writing in part:

Cassidy Hutchinson's Tuesday testimony ought to ring the death knell for former President Donald Trump's political career. Trump is unfit to be anywhere near power ever again ... Hutchinson's testimony confirmed a damning portrayal of Trump as unstable, unmoored, and absolutely heedless of his sworn duty to effectuate a peaceful transition of presidential power ... Trump is a disgrace. Republicans have far better options to lead the party in 2024. No one should think otherwise, much less support him, ever again.[41][42]

References edit

  1. ^ "Staff". Archived from the original on May 23, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  2. ^ "2021 Media Kit" (PDF). Washington Examiner. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 14, 2023. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "The Forbes 400 2020: The Richest People in America". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 7, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Calderone, Michael (October 16, 2009). "Phil Anschutz's Conservative Agenda". Politico. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Connolly, Matt (June 13, 2013). "The Washington Examiner local news team says goodbye after eight years". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Sommer, Will (March 19, 2013). "Staffers Told Washington Examiner Will Cease Daily Publication". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  7. ^ Sommer, Will (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner Memo: New Weekly Paper to Target "Key Influencers"". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Robertson, Lori (April–May 2007). "Home Free". American Journalism Review. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "Weekly Standard acquired by Washington Examiner parent company". Washington Examiner. June 16, 2009. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  10. ^ Helman, Christopher (October 21, 2010). "The Man Behind the Curtain". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Joyner, James (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner Newspaper Closing, Becoming Weekly Magazine". Outside the Beltway. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Freed, Benjamin R. (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner to Cease Daily Publication and Become Political Weekly Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine". DCist. Gothamist. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (December 12, 2010). "Washington Examiner Helps Capture Fugitives". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara (March 19, 2013). "The Washington Examiner Announces a 'Shift' in Their Business Model". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  15. ^ "Press Release: Washington Examiner to Expand into a Nationally Distributed Magazine with a Broadened Editorial Focus". Washington Examiner (Press release). December 3, 2018. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  16. ^ Gattis, Paul (January 28, 2020). "Roy Moore files $40 million 'fake news' lawsuit". Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  17. ^ "How the Washington Examiner became a traffic monster". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  18. ^ Darcy, Oliver (February 14, 2020). "Inside the climate of 'workplace terror and bullying' at the Washington Examiner, a conservative media outlet on the rise". CNN. Archived from the original on April 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Rawnsley, Adam (July 6, 2020). "Washington Examiner Hires Editor Behind Fox News's Disastrous Seth Rich Story". Washingtonian. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (October 14, 2020). "Right-Wing Media Outlets Duped by a Middle East Propaganda Campaign". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  21. ^ a b "MediaDC | Audience and Readership". Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  22. ^ Adler, Ben (May–June 2009). "Heresy on the Right". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  23. ^ "Conservative Newswork: A Report on the Values and Practices of Online Journalists on the Right". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  24. ^ "The Examiner endorses McCain-Palin". Washington Examiner (editorial). September 24, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "Why Fenty deserves – and D.C. needs – four more years". Washington Examiner (editorial). September 7, 2010. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
  26. ^ "Influential Conservative Newspaper Backs Romney for GOP Nomination". Fox News. December 14, 2011. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  27. ^ * Sommer, Will (January 18, 2019). "Trump Tweets Discredited Right-Wing Meme About 'Muslim Prayer Rugs' at Border". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Timmons, Heather (April 8, 2019). "Trump's anti-immigration zealot Stephen Miller is behind the purge at Homeland Security". Quartz. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  29. ^ Wemple, Erik (April 9, 2019). "Report: Washington Examiner was used to undermine DHS boss Kirstjen Nielsen". The Washington Post (editorial). Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.
  30. ^ Chapa, Alec (2020). "In Trump We Trust: Epistemic Isolation, Conflict Narratives, and Climate Change Denial In Significant Portion of Trump's 2016 Election Base" (PDF). The Macksey Journal. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 4, 2023. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  31. ^ Waldman, Scott. "Climate Denial Spreads on Facebook as Scientists Face Restrictions". Scientific American. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  32. ^ "Dismissing The Deniers: Climate Change Is Real". June 3, 2014. Archived from the original on July 4, 2023. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  33. ^ "Washington Examiner op-ed cherry-picks data and misleads readers about climate models". Climate Feedback. August 31, 2019. Archived from the original on October 25, 2019. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  34. ^ Elsasser, Shaun W.; Dunlap, Riley E. (June 2013). "Leading Voices in the Denier Choir: Conservative Columnists' Dismissal of Global Warming and Denigration of Climate Science". American Behavioral Scientist. 57 (6): 754–776. doi:10.1177/0002764212469800. ISSN 0002-7642. S2CID 145593884. Archived from the original on October 19, 2023. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  35. ^ a b Sarewitz, Daniel (March 3, 2010). "World view: Curing climate backlash". Nature. 464 (7285): 28. doi:10.1038/464028a. PMID 20203581.
  36. ^ Barone, Michael (February 3, 2010). "How climate-change fanatics corrupted science". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on July 4, 2020. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  37. ^ "Trump will withdraw US from Paris climate agreement while California, New York, Washington unite to back climate pact". Carbon Brief. June 2, 2017. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  38. ^ Corneliussen, Steven T. (June 9, 2017). "Paris climate accord critics praise and defend US withdrawal". Physics Today. doi:10.1063/PT.6.3.20170609a.
  39. ^ Michaels, Patrick; Rossiter, Caleb Stewart (August 25, 2019). "The great failure of the climate models". Washington Examiner (op-ed). Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  40. ^ "Washington Examiner op-ed cherry-picks data and misleads readers about climate models". Climate Feedback. August 31, 2019. Archived from the original on October 25, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  41. ^ Mastrangelo, Dominick (June 29, 2022). "Washington Examiner: Hutchinson testimony shows Trump should not hold office 'ever again'". The Hill. Archived from the original on July 15, 2022. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  42. ^ "Trump proven unfit for power again". The Washington Examiner. Editorial Board. June 29, 2022. Archived from the original on June 30, 2022. Retrieved June 30, 2022.

External links edit