|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
WND (formerly WorldNetDaily or, as it was affectionately known to its fans, WingNutDaily or WhirledNutDaily) is a far-right website and publisher founded by the
ridiculously impressively mustachioed Joseph Farah in 1997, as a project of his Western Center for Journalism. WND espouses a fundamentalist Christian, creationist world view, with a healthy dose of jingoism. WND's coverage provides multiple sides of the issues: the very conservative viewpoint and the ultra-conservative viewpoint. WND makes Fox News look positively moonbatty in comparison. Managing Editor David Kupelian claims that WND "serves as your watchdog on government 365 days a year. We guard your priceless freedoms by aggressively exposing corruption and evil everywhere, and by championing good."
While they present themselves as news, WND is a tabloid for radical right-wingers. Their publishing standards are rock-bottom, and they have run stories from extremely questionable sources on many, many occasions. WND are one of the earliest and longest running publishers of Ann Coulter's insipid columns, as well as editorials from such august political analysts as Chuck Norris, Pat Boone, Andy Schlafly, and Charlie Daniels. The addition of editorials by disgraced baseball bigot John Rocker and an obsession with so-called "black mob violence" marked a shift from their less than subtle dog whistles into more overt racism.
The scary thing is, this bilge is actually slightly influential, with made-up bullshit from WND making its way out the mouths of wingnut congressmen and cable TV pundits far too often. Most notably, WND became ground zero for the Birther movement during the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections.
- 1 Corporate structure
- 2 Website contents
- 3 Videos
- 4 WND Superstore!
- 5 Obama birth certificate "controversy"
- 6 Racism
- 7 And that's not all
- 8 WND Books
- 9 Mailing list
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Although its website lists Washington, D.C. as the location of its corporate and marketing headquarters and Medford, Oregon, as the location of its accounting office, it is actually headquartered in Medford. For decades Medford has been a mecca for survivalists, conspiracy theorists, and others of the paranoid-unhinged persuasion; it is also candidate to become the capital of the State of Jefferson, should that state ever become a reality. The other offices listed are an "operations" office in Long Beach, California, and a "customer service" office in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, Missouri. In 1999, it was incorporated in the tax haven state of Delaware. In fact, the Washington DC address that WND claim as their corporate HQ is a UPS store.
While the website obviously has to pay its costs somehow, advertising is done in a particularly tacky way. Entire articles and editorials are nothing more than promotions for books and tours. When an article isn't solely dedicated to selling crap from their store, you can be sure that it will contain at least 2 hypertext links to the store disguised to appear that they will link to other relevent sources. Ads are placed on the front page using the same sensationalist headlines, fonts and formatting as articles, making it difficult to differentiate between advertising and news content. One of the best examples of this was in November 2011 when under the banner of "WND Exclusive" was an article titled "Obama hasn’t destroyed ‘that time of year,’ at least not yet…"; clicking on this apparent shocking headline led you to an article plugging WND Superstore's Christmas selection.
Banner advertising on the site falls into two broad categories: passive weight-loss techniques and survivalism-related products. Basically, advertisers think WND's readers are fat slobs who want to lose weight without effort or paranoid nut jobs who think America is going into a second dark age and the only way to survive is to preserve your own food and generate your own power. The power generation issue is especially ironic, given that WND criticizes Google for solar-powering their premises (except for the server cluster), but flogs kits to build your own system for $100.
Commentary and columnists
“”I really should send Joseph Farah a gift for putting together a publication that goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide me with maximum fodder for this blog.
endlessly daily on his three favorite topics: how the media is liberal, how the liberal media is ignoring his latest venture, and defending his latest venture from the media's attacks… because they're liberal. He also frequently brings up how he has been in the media thirty years and that when he started out the media "just reported the truth" and similar fantasies.
The list of former and current weekly columnists reads like a Who's Who of the wingnut set:
In 2010, WND temporarily ceased publishing Ann Coulter's columns and dis-invited her from a conference over her involvement in the gay Republican event, HomoCON. Farah went on a gay radio show(!) to accuse Coulter of believing "that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle." and stated that he no longer considered himself a conservative, due to what he perceived as the Right's embrace of homosexuality. Coulter called Farah "swine", "a publicity whore" and a "fake Christian." Despite all of that, WND quickly resumed publishing her columns and Farah is as much a wingnut conservative than he's ever been.
Email to the Editor
This section is basically a chance for the readers to tell Farah how right he is. On the rare occasions they do post letters disagreeing with their editorial stance, it is usually threatening and offensive, reflecting poorly on the letter writer. They post five a day, and it is not hard to believe they receive a lot more than that, so they are obviously choosing only the ones they want.
Unfortunately, there is no archive or permanent links to the emails so we can't show you any highlights. However, to give you an idea on the well-informed views you are missing out on, one day we had: a long, ranty, birther letter; a comparison of the health care reforms to Soylent Green; a letter saying all socialists are Nazis; a letter complaining that Robert Gibbs starts sentences with "The American people want…" despite the fact Tony Snow also used that phrase; and a person fawning over how great their columnist Burt Prelutsky is.
The best batshit craziness is to be found on the "forums". They are only called "forums" because that is the name WND has given them — they are actually a comments thread on a blog, without a blog piece to comment on. These are started by the site admins rarely and there is no ability to link to posts. Annoyingly, the newest post goes first, and to follow any conversation you have to work backwards trying to connect the blue quote text to the original post. Forum moderators are easy to spot as they are the only ones with a signature and it is about 15 lines long trying to explain how their convoluted forum system works. There are actually only 15 threads on the forums currently available for commenting, not counting the polls — which are a lot more fun.
WND runs polls daily. The polls typically never have fewer than eight options, running the full gamut of the political spectrum from far-left to far-right, as well a few wingnut options that lie nowhere in the spectrum (or reality). Occasionally the truth sneaks in with options such as: "No, this is all just sour grapes from right-wingers", but they receive few votes.
Polls are mildly restrictive, since you have to register before you can participate. However, you may view the embarrassing results without registering.
Previous poll results include:
- Is Obama's eligibility issue a concern to you?( ) - 17 options. Top result, 36%: Yes, he's already proven he's not qualified. Now let's find out if he's eligible. (The top 8 results were variations on yes, totalling 99% of the votes).
- Why do you think the national media avoided the July 4th tea parties?( ) - 15 options. Top result, 70%: They're driven by ideology and are completely in the tank for Obama and the Congress.
- Do you believe mankind evolved from lower species?([note 1] - 13 options. Top result, 63%: No, I believe the Bible account of creation. )
- Where exactly do you think President Obama was really born?( ) - 10 options. Top result, 72%: Kenya.
- What would you like to give Obama for Christmas?( ) - 25 options. Top result, 25%: A court ruling booting his ineligible self from office.
- Who's your pick for 2012 GOP presidential nominee if you could vote today?(Ron Paul. Second, 19%: Sarah Palin. ) - 27 options. Top result, 21%:
- What do you make of the recent spree of earthquakes?( ) - 10 options. Top result, 35%: It's the beginning of the end-time birth pangs, as the Bible puts it.
- Sound off on Michelle Obama's comment that Barack's 'home country' is Kenya.( ) - 15 options. Top result, 62%: She spilled the beans. Barack was really born in Kenya, his home country.
- Sound off on evangelical leaders pushing amnesty for illegal aliens already in U.S( ) - 20 options. Top result, 22%: Unless their churches and ministries - rather than the taxpayers - are on the hook for the added costs of their pious platitudes, they're advocating robbing Peter to pay Pablo.
WND also hosts several video series. They are all tragically awful and should be avoided like the plague. Here are just a few:
For The Record
By amateur filmmaker Jason "Molotov" Mitchell. Some of the videos surpass WND's usual standards of offensiveness, such as when Mitchell actually argues in favor of the Ugandan law making homosexuality a capital crime, citing a commandment in the book of Leviticus as his reason. (Molotov admits to having a Christian tattoo, apparently ignoring Leviticus 19:28, wherein the Lord explicitly forbids tattoos.)
A painfully unfunny Weekend Update knock-off produced by "Molotov" Mitchell and hosted by D.J. Doulce (basically an ersatz Christina Hoff Sommers). Every episode ends with the line "That is all the time we have for this week's News! News!, next week we may all be dead". Only if there is a merciful God.
The Ultimate Jew
Ray Comfort and his
life partner young ward Kirk Cameron ambush college co-eds sinners to ask deep philosophical questions. When their startled victims fail to provide irrefutable proofs for answers, our two heroes declare that atheism and evolution are proven false... or something. Who knows? What do you expect from these two?
Just the Facts
Probably the driest of the five(!) series hosted by Richard Rives, his videos usually focus on Christianity and how the founding fathers were Christians (protip Richy Rich: many weren't). He seems to be anti-established churches and very much teach yourself.
The Heavens Declare
David Rives (son of Just the Facts Richard Rives) is an amateur astronomer and young Earth creationist. David's videos present all the usual arguments for a 6000 year old universe, with a focus on irreducible complexity. Rives also appears to believe that most, if not all, modern scientific discoveries were predicted by the Bible. Dave comes across as a wimpy Ray Comfort.
Red Elephant's Cafe
A "drama" series about a small town in US called Liberty. The villain of the piece is the government, the characters talk in Tea Party talking points and everything will be better if, um ... God.
Everyone knows how to make money on the web, right? You give away stuff free and sell T-shirts on the back of it. They have bibles! They have other books! They have a Reagan Store! They have their WorldNetWeekly magazine! (All material you could have read free on the site every day!) They have CDs and DVDs! They have a Tea Party store! They have a Birth Certificate store! And, of course, they have T-shirts. WND's store also features a "Preparedness" section, where the intrepid doomsday prepper can find low prices on items like: 36 buckets filled with nearly five-thousand servings of vacuum sealed meals, the "Ebola Survival Handbook" and an authentic Russian gas mask.
Obama birth certificate "controversy"
The election of Barack Obama to the office of the President of the United States in 2008 really sent Farah and his cronies over the edge During the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, the vast majority, if not all, of WND's headlines were about the so-called "birther controversy". WND were willing to post any article that could possibly point to Obama being ineligible to be President of the United States, regardless of its absurdity. Despite the fact that a high quality picture of Obama's birth certificate is readily available on the Internet, and there is no doubt at all about Obama's mother's citizenship, WND still believes he is ineligible because:
- He was born in Kenya, his Grandma said so.[note 2]
- He was born in an unnamed hospital in Hawaii, which does not claim credit.
- They only showed his birth certificate to a "select few media outlets", not to us, so it could still be fake.
- Even if it is real, that certificate is a "Certificate of Live Birth" not a "Birth Certificate", so it proves nothing.
- Even if he has a "long-form" birth certificate, he lived in Indonesia for some years and gave up his American citizenship.[note 3]
- Even if he lived in Indonesia without giving up his US citizenship, his father was Kenyan and so does not meet
ourthe Constitution's definition of "natural born citizen", because both parents have to be US citizens.[note 4]
Just to show their determination to
get that black Democrat out of the White House uphold the Constitution, they claim to have raised more than $65,000 to erect billboards around the country with the message "Where's the Birth Certificate?" Interestingly, WND seems to be completely silent on the eligibility of John McCain, who caused a slight stir due to being born in the Panama Canal Zone.
Farah's has also expressed doubts as to who Obama's mother really is. Appropriately, Ed Brayton quipped that the next step would be for Farah to declare his belief that Obama is actually a reptilian (David Icke, take note!); Farah is sure to come up with something just as silly if a lizard-man vibe strikes him as being inappropriate for his birther conspiracy theory of the week.
Proving that stupidity is frequently non-partisan, the eligibility of 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (a dominionist wingnut candidate seemingly tailor-made for WND) is occasionally questioned by some of WND's columnist; specifically noted crazy person Larry Klayman. Seeing that Cruz is the son of a Cuban refugee born in Calgary, Farah stuck to his guns as a seeker of constitutional truth and... endorsed Cruz in the Republican Primaries for the 2016 election.
Difficulties with the truth
WND has had some difficulties telling the truth over the birth certificate controversy. On the 2nd of August 2009 when Orly Taitz presented them a photograph of a birth certificate that was reportedly Obama's Kenyan birth certificate, they clearly stated in their article:
However the birth certificate turned out to be a fake based on an Australian birth certificate. They were caught doing what is commonly called lying, and were not helped by the fact they defended glaring errors in the document, such as Kenya not being a republic at the time, which were pointed out before the hoax was exposed.
In August of 2010, they published an article claiming that then Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan had helped to cover up Obama's birth certificate. In fact, they had only found nine Supreme Court cases mentioning Obama and Kagan (considering she was US Solicitor General at the time, meaning her entire job was arguing cases before the Supreme Court, that was perfectly normal), none of which has anything to do with the birth certificate controversy, most of which were filed well before Obama became President and merely "carried over", and only one of which was even related to the election. So, WND took the action of any brave journalistic organization and deleted the story without explanation. The link remained broken for days. WND eventually reactivated the links, replacing it with a story that has only a small connection to the original and an acknowledgement of their initial error.
WND regularly runs stories that engage in base racism, often focusing on white fears of violent blacks. The website regularly features the work of journalist and alleged human being Colin Flaherty, who has "done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse." Some choice articles from Flaherty and other people who can type employed by WND include:
- "White Girl: I'm Tired of Being Looked At Like Prey."
- "Take a stroll, wake up in hospital thanks to black mob"
- A scoop that "Corpulent women of color" in the TSA are molesting white people as revenge for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
- "PACK OF BLACK YOUTH TERRORIZE CITY"
- "Combat soldiers no match for black mob ...
- "BLACK-ON-WHITE BEATINGS LEAVE MORE DEAD"
- "BLACK-MOB VIOLENCE DESTROYS U.S. LANDMARK"
- "Black Mobs Plague Nightclubs Coast to Coast"
- "It's only new if you have been aggressively ignoring the epidemic of black mob violence."
- "Whistleblower: Philadelphia flooded with black mob violence."
The site also advertises Flaherty's book White Girl Bleed a Lot, which argues that "groups of black people have been roaming the streets of America – assaulting, intimidating, stalking, threatening, vandalizing, stealing, shooting, stabbing, even raping and killing."
It got to the point where Google Ads cut off service to them as a "hate site."
And that's not all
In addition to claims that Obama is actually a Kenyan who gay married a Muslim, and that hordes of Africa-Americans are rampaging in your neighborhood and/or spreading Ebola, WorldNetDaily has advanced plenty of other sanity-deprived ideas.
- The attack by Anders Behring Breivik was invented by the Norwegian Labour party in order to gain sympathy. "This is likely a fabrication of the Labour Party, who needs to hold onto power to enforce their multi-culturalist, Muslim-favoring, anti-nationalist views", according to Michael Savage.
- Soybeans and soy milk will make your penis shrink and turn you gay.
- Obama is planning on building a Death Star. Seriously.
- Whenever WND uses the word gay or gay marriage, they employ scare quotes.
- Obama will not leave office after 2016.
- Editor and Gene Shalit impersonator Joseph Farah blamed the Sandy Hook massacre on secularism and the removal of mandatory prayer from public schools and warned that if gun control measures were established, God would punish us more.
- WND published a highly hagiographical report about a visit of Peter Popoff to Washington, D.C.
- The execution of Saddam Hussein was solemn and dignified, and he died like a coward
- Burt Prelutsky even once made an article calling for the Ka'aba to be nuked.
Is Barack Obama Satan?
A reoccurring theme at WND is just asking the question "Is Barack Obama literally, non-metaphorically, Satan?" With stories about his vaguely similar appearance to a guy who played the Devil on TV, the fact that a fly landed on his face at some point, or that a
lens flare demon was recorded with him while in Kenya, the only conclusion that a moron regular reader of WND could come to is: yes, Barack Obama is probably Old Scratch himself.
Under the WND Books imprint, WND publishes IMPORTANT INFORMATION on subjects relevant to its informative mission. Along with being an outlet for Farah's fine volumes, it also prints books by such intellectual greats as: Ray Comfort, Ken Ham and, of course, Chuck Norris. Mostly, though, the authors are WND staff writers producing hyper-partisan screeds against liberals and RINOs.
You would have to be blind to miss the latest WND Books release. There are advertisements for it all over WND. There is usually an interview with the author, an article on how well it is selling on Amazon and an article by Farah complaining about how nobody wants to interview his author. Any story that can possibly be linked to the book is, and will dissolve into a plug for the book by the time you pass the annoying flashing GIF advertisement in the middle.
In December, 2015, WND proved their publishing standards are equal to their journalistic standards by acquiring the rights to crank pseudohistorian David Barton's wholly discredited book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson. Glenn Beck penned the introduction. The Jefferson Lies was pulled from shelves by its original publisher, conservative imprint Thomas Nelson, after a group of 10 evangelical Christian professors from prominent American universities released a report calling assertions made in the book "unsupportable" and that Barton was frequently "guilty of taking statements and actions out of context" . The History News Network voted it "the least credible history book in print". WND.com columnist Michael Thompson
advertised editorialized that Barton's evangelical critics are simply not conservative enough to correctly interpret history, despite being actual historians with fancy stuff like advanced degrees and years of study. Barton lacks even an undergraduate minor in history.
Joseph Farah notes the wide respect accorded to WND's publications in the mainstream media:
“”Never, ever contact me again.
| —Jeffrey Kluger,|
senior writer, TIME magazine
“”This is sensational rubbish that is of no interest to any legitimate publication.
| —Rana Foroohar,|
deputy editor, Newsweek
| —John Oswald,|
news editor, New York Daily News
| —Evelyn Leopold,|
Huffington Post, formerly of Reuters
“”Remove me from your list.
| —Nancy Gibbs,|
“”Seriously, get a life.
| —David Knowles,|
political writer, AOL
WND maintains a mailing list of readers who have signed up to have their mailbox filled with the same sort of crap that the website is filled with.
Various organizations have rented the WND list including the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and more significantly the Republican National Committee. The right-wing blogger Jon Henke, who considers birtherism and conspiracy theory "hideously embarrassing" for sane conservatives contacted the latter and got a complete non-answer as to why the Republicans would wish to rent the email list of a fringe group of loonies like WND. This may be because WND-reading nutjobs are now the Republican base...
- Fake news
- The Blaze: WND with Glenn Beck as the editor. Slightly less racist, significantly more sanctimonious.
- Breitbart.com: WND with a more populist slant.
- Infowars and PrisonPlanet: WND with the insanity turned up to 11. Run by Alex Jones
- The Daily Mail: The marginally less insane British version
- Globalresearch.ca: The left-wing, moonbat version
- Robert Beale: a former financial backer turned gibbering tax crank
- Self projection as god: a favored tactic
- Zion Oil: A biblical petrochemical(!) company heavily promoted by WND
- The site in question.
- What's WorldNetDaily Hiding on Obama Birth Certificate?, Terry Krepel, Huffington Post, 2 July 2009.
- The Ten Most Absurd Stories at Rick Santorum's New Home, WorldNetDaily, Rightwingwatch, 4 December 2012.
- Actually even a person who supports evolution as the best explanation for the biodiversity present on Earth would answer no to this question: in evolutionary biology there is no such idea as "higher" and "lower" species.
- This is what we were told she said based on a translation. Even if the translation was true, the question she was reportedly asked was "Which city in Kenya was Barack born"? This is begging the question. Also, her son's name was Barack Obama, so once asked about the Kenyan-born Barack Obama she may have assumed they were talking about her son, not grandson.
- This topic does not receive much coverage on WND. If this did apply (which it doesn't; even if Obama had become an Indonesian citizen this would not involve giving up his American citizenship, as American citizenship is quite obviously not subject to foreign nations' laws), it would be difficult to rebut as we would have prove a negative and find evidence that Obama did not become an Indonesian citizen. The absence of such a record will not be satisfying to WND as they don't believe in a certificate that does exist, never mind the one that doesn't exist.
- In point of fact the nationality of one, or for that matter both, of Obama's parents is simply irrelevant. Anybody who is born on US soil is automatically a US citizen.[See Snopes on Obama's birth]. The only mention of what constitutes a citizen in the Constitution is in the 14th amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Given that Obama's mother was a natural born US citizen, and he was born in the US, this would cover most, if not all, legal definitions of "natural born" with various legislatures in the US. This is actually a political controversy among anti-immigration activists, some of whom feel that the 14th Amendment should be partially repealed so as to stop the scourge of "anchor babies"; you'd think a far-right site would know about this.
- WorldNet Daily Continues to Pump Out Outrageous Propaganda, Leah Nelson, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Fall 2012.
- In which WND gets nailed by Snopes.
- The Worldnutdaily Pimps Christmas Junk — Freethoughtblogs, Ed Brayton, November 17, 2011.
- Thank You, Joseph Farah. Thank you. - Dispatches from the Culture Wars, July 17, 2008.
- WND:Emails to the editor
- RationalWiki:Annotated Bible/Leviticus#Leviticus_19:28
- David Rives WND.com Video Archive. Enjoy!
- Farah responding to claims he is obsessed about this, only giving himself another excuses to go over it again.
- That could belong to anyone named Barack Hussein Obama II born to a Caucasian women and African man on the 4th of August 1961 in Honolulu
- A typical WND article on this topic. This of course ignores that he was born at Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children, which Obama thanks in a congratulatory message to them. There was some confusion with people claiming he was born at Queen's Medical Center, but Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children being named after Queen Kapi'olani may be the source of this confusion. Two days after this was posted here, WorldNetDaily ran an article on the letter, as per usual, WND used the fact that it is against federal law to release private information to insinuate Obama is hiding his place of birth. Eventually the issue of this letter descended into a farce. When the letter was removed from the website WND accused them of participating in a cover up and of course they ran a poll on it. They were eventually satisfied of the existence of this when they got to see it, although they insisted on saying it was "allegedly" written by Obama.
- This is irrelevant, the website chosen was due to its neutrality and professionalism.
- Birth Certificates and Certificate of Live Birth are the same thing. There is in fact not any document issued by the state of Hawaii with the title of "Birth Certificate". A longer version of the one on the net is on record, but even his short one says he was born in Hawaii.
- I searched for John McCain's eligibility, not Obama's, stupid liberal search engine...
- In fact Obama co-sponsored a bill to ensure that the legal definition of natural born citizen would cover McCain. "Those who serve and sacrifice for their country, like John McCain and his father, deserve every honor and privilege that our nation can possibly provide, and that includes the ability to run for the highest office in the land" - Obama
- Main page announcement of documentary.
- The shop with the already falling price.
- Farah Takes Birtherism to Whole New Level, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
- Claim: Obama hid 'gay life' to become president, World Net Daily
- World Net Daily Dredges Up Ancient ’Obama Gay’ Rumors
- World Net Daily's Corsi Asks: "Was Obama Married To A Man?", BuzzFeed
- WND - Is this really smoking gun of Obama's Kenyan birth? (retrieved 18th of August 2009)
- Picture in case anything happens to it.
- ConWebWatch - WorldNetDaily Does Not Do Journalism (retrieved 18th of August 2009)
- Snopes.com article debunking the WND story
- Link to where the WND story was before they deleted it.
- The TSA's Trayvon Martin revenge, WorldNetDaily
- Savage: Norway Terrorist Attacks A Left-Wing Conspiracy, RightWingWatch. Original on WND has been blanked, with just the title left.
- Soy is making kids 'gay', WorldNetDaily
- Will Obama build a Death Star next?, WorldNetDaily
- Expect more Sandy Hooks, not fewer, WND
- Peter Popoff Ministries Visits Washington, DC, WND.
- It's WND: Gird your loins before entering "Anatomy of an American Book Banning"
- Farah's ramblings - May 6 2010
- Organizing Against WorldNetDaily, The Next Right
- The RNC responds, but will not distance itself from WorldNetDaily, The Next Right
- The RNC responds, but will not distance itself from WorldNetDaily, The Next Right
- WorldNetDaily, the RNC, and the mainstreaming of extremist ideas, Crooks and Liars