WND (formerly WorldNetDaily) is an American news and opinion website and online news aggregator which has been described as "fringe" and far-right as well as politically conservative. The website is known for promoting falsehoods and conspiracy theories.
Type of site
|Online news site|
The site was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah, who is its current editor-in-chief and CEO. The website publishes news, editorials, and opinion columns, while also aggregating content from other publications.
In 1997 Joseph Farah created the news website WorldNetDaily as a division of the Western Journalism Center. It was subsequently spun off in 1999 as a for-profit organization[deprecated source] 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". In 1999, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware with offices in Cave Junction, Oregon.
In 2018, Farah wrote about WorldNetDaily's financial problems, saying it faced an "existential threat." Farah ceased contributing to the site after his March 12, 2019, column; the site announced a few weeks later that he had suffered a major stroke. In April 2019, The Washington Post reported that WorldNetDaily suffered from declining revenue and diminishing readership. Farah blamed the website's financial woes on what he claimed was suppression by powerful technology companies.
The WND website 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", but acknowledges "some misinformation by columnists". WND's content is predominantly conservative. Besides providing articles written 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 by the site's founder Joseph Farah, as well as by commentators including 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Chuck Norris, Walter E. Williams, Ilana Mercer, Bill Press, and Nat Hentoff.[deprecated source]
The Washington Post describes WND's political lean as alt-right or far-right. This view is shared by Michael Massing of the Columbia Journalism Review. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels WorldNetDaily as an anti-government extremist group.
Clark Jones libel lawsuit (2000–2008)Edit
On September 20, 2000, WND published an article[deprecated source] saying that Clark Jones, a Savannah, Tennessee car dealer, a fund-raiser for then-Vice President Al Gore in his presidential campaign, had interfered with a criminal investigation, had been a "subject" of a criminal investigation, and was listed on law enforcement computers as a "dope dealer." It implied that he had ties to others involved in alleged criminal activity. The authors later put forward the theory that the publication of this article, as well as other WND articles that were critical of Gore, contributed significantly to Gore losing his home state of Tennessee that November.[deprecated source]
In 2001, Clark Jones filed a lawsuit 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 whom he accused of repeating the claim, arguing these entities had committed libel and defamation. The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in March 2008;[deprecated source] but, on February 13, 2008, WND announced that a confidential out-of-court settlement had been reached with Jones.[deprecated source] 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.
Anthony C. LoBaido commentary on September 11 attacks (2001)Edit
On September 13, 2001, WND published an opinion article by Anthony C. LoBaido regarding the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., that had occurred two days earlier. In his column, LoBaido described what he said was 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".[deprecated source] 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. Founder Farah responded with his own column, saying that LoBaido's opinion piece did not reflect the viewpoint of WND, and that it, like most other commentary pieces, had not been reviewed before publication.[deprecated source]
Application for congressional press credentials (2002)Edit
Seeking credentials to cover the U.S. Congress in 2002, WND was opposed by the Standing Committee of Correspondents. This panel of journalists is charged by Congress with administering press credentials. Until 1996, Internet-only publications had been deemed unacceptable. 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 WND its credentials". Shortly after, the rules were formally adjusted to clarify the participation of online publications.
Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theoriesEdit
WND has published hundreds of articles promoting "birther" conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, for which it has gained notoriety. It says that Obama is not a natural-born US citizen and thus is not eligible to serve as president. 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.[deprecated source] The White House released copies of the president's original long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011. After the long-form birth certificate was released, WND continued to promote its conspiracy theory, publishing an article questioning the certificate's authenticity.[deprecated source]
Ann Coulter speech at Homocon (2010)Edit
In 2010, when Ann Coulter accepted an 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. Coulter responded by saying that speaking engagements do not imply endorsement of the hosting organization.
Southern Poverty Law Center accusation of WND "peddling white nationalism" (2012)Edit
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused WND of "peddling white nationalism," due to its publication of a series of articles on "black mob violence" by writer Colin Flaherty. It accused the website of being a source of "anti-government conspiracy theories, gay-bashing, anti-Muslim propaganda, and End Times prophecy".
Advertisement featuring Neil Patrick Harris (2013)Edit
In January 2013, a WorldNetDaily article criticized a Super Bowl XLVII advertisement in which Neil Patrick Harris had an eye black with "Feb 3 2013" written on it. The website accused Harris of "mocking Christianity." Quarterback Tim Tebow was known for inscribing Bible verses with eye black to wear during NFL games. But, a similar advertisement by Beyoncé for the Super Bowl had not been criticized. In a later Twitter post by Harris about the Super Bowl, he used the hashtag "#noagenda".
Russian interference in US politicsEdit
On August 7, 2017, WorldNetDaily published "The 8 Dirtiest Scandals of Robert Mueller No One Is Talking About" which was pushed out by Elena Khusyaynova's operation, targeting the Mueller investigation.
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). Cumberland House Publishing (2004–2007),[deprecated source] and conservative publisher World Ahead Publishing (2007);[deprecated source] In 2008, WND acquired World Ahead Media.[deprecated source]
WND Books has published books written by politicians and pundits such as Katherine Harris, former secretary of state of Florida; commentator Michael Savage; Jerome Corsi; Tom Tancredo; and Ken Blackwell. In October 2009, WND Books published Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America by Paul David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry. In April 2011, Paul Harris, writing for The Guardian, described WND Books as "a niche producer of rightwing conspiracy theories, religious books and 'family values' tracts."
WND also publishes a printed magazine, Whistleblower. It operates 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".
- "About Us". WND. Joseph Farah. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- "WorldNetDaily". SPLCenter.org. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- "There's the major media. And then there's the 'other' White House press corps". Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- "Our Politics Enables Donald Trump to Lie and Get Away With It". Observer.com. April 15, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- "Un-American". CJR.org. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- Burns, John F. (May 5, 2009). "Britain Identifies 16 Barred From Entering U.K." The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
according to WorldNetDaily.com, a conservative Web site.
- Bruno, Debra; Bruno, Debra (February 21, 2016). "There's the major media. And then there's the 'other' White House press corps" – via washingtonpost.com.
Les Kinsolving, a reporter for the far-right World Net Daily, was a familiar White House gadfly from the days of the Nixon administration on.
- Foley, Jordan M. (September 13, 2020). "Press Credentials and Hybrid Boundary Zones: The Case of WorldNetDaily and the Standing Committee of Correspondents" (PDF). Journalism Practice. Routledge. 14 (8): 9–10. doi:10.1080/17512786.2019.1671214. S2CID 210645440. Retrieved October 9, 2020 – via Jordan M. Foley.
- Massing, Michael. "Un-American". Columbia Journalism Review.
Far-right Web sites like World Net Daily and Newsmax.com floated all kinds of specious stories about Obama that quickly careened around the blogosphere and onto talk radio.
- "Fact-checking President-elect Trump's news conference". Washington Post. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
He frequently claimed that Obama had spent $2 million to cover this up — a number he plucked out of World Net Daily, which promotes conservative-leaning conspiracy theories.
- Borchers, Callum (August 12, 2016). "The highly reliable, definitely-not-crazy places where Donald Trump gets his news". Washington Post. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
WND is a leader in preserving murder cover-up theories, publishing 'exclusive reports' linking the Clintons to a plot to kill their longtime friend.
- Krieg, Gregory. "Trump's supporters and their bloody words of war". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Writing in the right-wing site WorldNetDaily, Pat Buchanan...
- "Our Politics Enables Donald Trump to Lie and Get Away With It". April 15, 2016.
This isolates conservative news seekers to Fox News, conservative talk radio, Breitbart, or even websites further out on the fringe such as World Net Daily.
- Michael Brendan, Dougherty. "Conservative Radio Host Says Andrew Breitbart Might Have Been Assassinated". Business Insider. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
The report comes from WorldNetDaily, a right-wing website that periodically promotes conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate.
- Farah, Joseph (October 1, 1999). "World's 'No. 1 website' goes for-profit". WorldNetDaily. McLean, Virginia. 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...
- Black, Jane (August 27, 2001). "On the Web, Small and Focused Pays Off". BusinessWeek. New York. Retrieved November 4, 2006.
- Roeg-Franzia, Manuel (April 2, 2019). "Inside the spectacular fall of the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites". The Washington Post.
- Elliot, Justin (April 13, 2011). "Right-wing publisher: We run "some misinformation"". Salon.com. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Sullivan, Gail (August 5, 2014). "Celebrities get nasty over Gaza and Israel". Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- "Commentators". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- "Introducing the 'alt-left': The GOP's response to its alt-right problem". Washington Post. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Posner, Sarah; Posner, Sarah (March 9, 2017). "Want to know what 'deconstruction of the administrative state' looks like? Look at Trump's staffing". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
One of them is Curtis Ellis, a columnist for the far-right site WorldNetDaily, and now a special assistant to the secretary at the Labor Department.
- "WorldNetDaily". Southern Poverty Law Center.
WorldNetDaily is an online publication founded and run by Joseph Farah that claims to pursue truth, justice and liberty. But in fact, its pages are devoted to manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions of Farah...
- Thompson II, Charles C.; Hays, Tony (September 20, 2000). "Officials say Gore killed drug probe". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Thompson II, Charles C.; Hays, Tony (December 5, 2000). "Why Gore Lost Tennessee". Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Gordon, J. Houston; Hopper, Curtis F.; attorneys for plaintiff, Clark Jones (December 20, 2004). "Second Amended Complaint" (PDF). Retrieved November 18, 2013.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Jones v. WorldNetDaily (Tenn. Cir. (Hardin); Tenn. App.; Tenn. April 2001) ("The parties settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2008.").Text
- Unruh, Bob (February 6, 2008). "Future of reporting scheduled for trial". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
- "WND settles $165 million libel case". WorldNetDaily. February 18, 2008.
- "Judgement Day in Mystery Babylon?". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on September 17, 2001. Retrieved September 13, 2001.
- "The new political correctness police". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2001.
- Heaney, Michael T (2008), "Blogging Congress: Technological Change and the Politics of the Congressional Press Galleries" (PDF), PS: Political Science & Politics, 41 (2): 422–426, doi:10.1017/S1049096508290670, S2CID 154642023.
- Walker, Jesse (November 2002), "Galley gatekeepers: the politics of press credentials – Citings", Reason, archived from the original on July 13, 2012.
- Thompson, Mark (April 22, 2004), "New Media Often Takes Back Seat to Old Media on Press Credentials", Online Journalism Review.
- "'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.
- "Grass roots sign onto eligibility billboard campaign". WorldNetDaily. June 12, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Stetler, Brian (April 27, 2011). "In Trying to Debunk a Theory, the News Media Extended Its Life". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Isikoff, Michael (April 27, 2011). "Publisher of upcoming 'birther' book makes no apologies". NBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Page, Susan; Kucinich, Jackie (April 28, 2011). "Obama releases long-form birth certificate". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 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.
- "Please Check Eligibility, Thousands Ask Supremes". WorldNetDaily. January 16, 2009.
- "Obama releases original long-form birth certificate". CNN. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- "From A to Z: What's wrong with Obama's birth certificate?". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- Smith, Ben (August 18, 2010). "WorldNet dumps 'right-wing Judy Garland' Coulter over gay event". Politico. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Nelson, Leah (October 23, 2012). "WorldNetDaily Now Peddling White Nationalism". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Krepel, Terry (September 14, 2012). "WorldNetDaily Tries to Cash in on Paula Deen's Racism". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- 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.
- "Does Neil Patrick Harris' Super Bowl ad mock Christianity and Tim Tebow?". United Press International. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "Neil Patrick Harris' Super Bowl Ad Slammed For 'Pushing Gay Agenda' On CBS". The Huffington Post. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Pete Williams and Tom Winter (October 19, 2018). "Russian woman charged with attempted meddling in upcoming U.S. midterms: Elena Khusyaynova works for a company owned by a Putin pal who has already been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller's team". NBCNews.com. Retrieved October 29, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "Thomas Nelson Launches Political Imprint". The Write News. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
- "WND Books signs 'Unfit for Command' author". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2006.
- "New publishing partner for WND Books". WorldNetDaily. Archived from the original on November 29, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2006.
- "WND acquires World Ahead Media". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved February 24, 2008.
- Gaubatz, P. David; Sperry, Paul E. (2009). Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America. WND Books. ISBN 9781935071105.
- Paul Harris (April 21, 2011). "The born-again birther debate". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved May 2, 2011.