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WorldNetDaily (WND) 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.
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.
WorldNetDaily (WND) is an independent conservative news website. It was founded in 1997 by Joseph and Elizabeth Farah. Currently, WND is visited by an average of five million unique visitors each month. <ref>http://www.worldnetdaily.com/resources/about_WND.asp</ref>
In 2011, the organization dropped the long form of its name and rebranded itself as simply WND.com. This rebranding was accompanied by a complete redesign of its website, giving it a much more modern look.
WorldNetDaily (WND) is an American web site that publishes news and associated content from the perspective of U.S. conservatives and the political right.<ref name=“NY Times 5May2009”>
</ref> It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intent of “exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power”<ref name=“WNDAbout”>
In 1997 Joseph Farah created the news website WorldNetDaily<ref name=“WNDAbout” /> as a division of the Western Journalism Center. It was subsequently spun off in 1999 as a for-profit organization<ref name=“WND100199”>
</ref> with the backing of $4.5 million from investors, Farah owning a majority of the stock.<ref>
</ref> The site describes itself as “an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism”.<ref name = “WNDAbout” /> In 1999, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware<ref name=“WND100199” /> with offices in Cave Junction, Oregon.<ref name=“BusWeek”>
</ref> According to its website, WND has a staff of approximately 25 people.<ref name = “WNDAbout” /> In 2007 it was headquartered in Medford, Oregon.<ref>
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.<ref>
.</ref> 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”.<ref>
.</ref> Shortly after, the rules were formally adjusted to clarify the participation of online publications.<ref>
WND provides news, editorials, commentaries, letters to the editor, forums, and conducts a daily poll. Its editorial content has a diverse range of viewpoints, though predominantly from a right wing or conservative perspective. Besides providing articles authored by its own staff, the site links to news from other publications. Notable staff includes Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein, White House Correspondent Lester Kinsolving, and Staff Writer Jerome Corsi. Its commentary pages feature editorials from the site's founder, Joseph Farah and other social conservative authors such as Pat Buchanan, Ellis Washington, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Chuck Norris. It also has featured weekly columns by libertarians Walter Williams, Vox Day, Ilana Mercer, as well as liberals such as Maralyn Lois Polak, Bill Press, and pro-life moderate Nat Hentoff.<ref>
Board member and stockholder Robert Beale was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, founder of the Minnesota Christian Coalition and “contributed more than $10,000 to Republican candidates in the 1990s”. Wayne C. Johnson, another WND board member, was a California political consultant working with conservative candidates.
WND also offers products for sale, typically these are products sold by its related book service, WND Book Service, by its publishing house, WND Books, or by its retail operation, ShopNetDaily. The site 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”.
WorldNetDaily also publishes books under the imprint WND Books. The imprint was launched in 2002 through a partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishers (a Christian publishing house) and released books by politicians and pundits like Katherine Harris, Michael Savage and Farah himself. The partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishing ended shortly before the 2004 election; Thomas Nelson continued the division for a time under the Nelson Current imprint.<ref>
</ref> The WND Books imprint was subsequently published under a partnership with Cumberland House Publishing<ref>
</ref> and released books by Jerome Corsi, Tom Tancredo and Ken Blackwell, among other authors. In 2007 Los Angeles-based conservative publisher World Ahead Publishing became the publisher of WND Books.<ref>
</ref> In January 2008, WND announced it had acquired World Ahead Media.<ref>
WND has published articles that have created controversies and criticism of the site by other media outlets.
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”.<ref>
</ref> 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.<ref>
WorldNetDaily has repeatedly publicized conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's citizenship status, claiming that Obama is not a natural-born American citizen and is thus 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.<ref>”Please Check Eligibility, Thousands Ask Supremes“, WorldNetDaily, January 16, 2009</ref>