Remember a few weeks ago when those inside-the-beltway, establishment
press types were snickering about the accuracy of Matt Drudge’s Internet
Within days we witnessed the Associated Press and ABC News trying to
explain why they had pronounced Bob Hope dead before his time. Then,
within a week, CNN and Time Magazine teamed up on one of the greatest
frauds in the history of American journalism — an investigative report
claiming that U.S. troops had used deadly nerve gas during the Vietnam
War and had purposely set out on missions to kill defectors. There is
zero credible evidence for any such allegation. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
While the Time-CNN report has been criticized in news stories in the
major media, discredited in an op-ed piece in The New York Times and
subject to a new investigation by the magazine itself, CNN continues to
stand by the Peter Arnett story.
During the fallout, one fact has been conspicuously downplayed in all
the establishment press coverage: The problems with the CNN expose were
first exposed on the Internet — specifically in this publication,
WorldNetDaily. Not one account in the AP, Washington Times or any other
print or broadcast news media have bothered to mention that fact, or to
give credit where credit is due. To its credit, talk radio, another
subversive force, as far as the establishment press is concerned, has
acknowledged where the information was broken.
Now, the purpose of this column is not to blow my own horn — though
I’m not above that, particularly when no one else will. I point this out
primarily to illustrate how self-conscious the establishment press is,
how insecure, how defensive, how pathetic.
This indicates to me that, even with this new medium in its infancy,
we have the big boys on the run. They’re scared, threatened, jealous and
protecting their turf in the only way they know how.
Having spent 20 years working in the establishment press, running
conventional daily newspapers in major markets, I think I’m in a pretty
good position to understand the mentality, to see both sides, to have
In the span of one year, WorldNetDaily has grown from nothing —
little more than a vague concept in my head — to an Internet force to
be reckoned with. This site averages between 150,000 and 250,000 hits a
day, Monday through Friday. That represents a lot of people turning to
this service as their primary source of news. I hear from hundreds of
people a day through e-mail. They are breathless in their praise for
what we are doing. They are grateful beyond words for this alternative.
They are eager to tell their friends and relatives about this unique
While my ego might lead me to believe this enthusiasm is due to my
creative genius, my sensibilities tell me it’s much more complicated
than that. WorldNetDaily, and other Internet news sources, are filling a
great void in the lives of Americans — Americans, who, we keep hearing,
are living in an Information Age.
It wasn’t that long ago that CNN was the new kid on the block. People
laughed at Ted Turner for dreaming up the idea that an all-news cable
network could actually find a niche in the marketplace. Now CNN is part
of the media establishment. And the joke’s on them.
There are fewer and fewer conventional newspapers in the land. When
you travel around this country from city to city, you see very little
difference between the papers. They all run the same stories, follow the
same script, take their cues from the same sources. This is a
prescription for disaster, yet few in the industry seem to notice. They
hold conferences and seminars with one another and reinforce each
other’s prejudices and ignorances. They blame falling circulation and
ratings on all the wrong causes.
I used to be frustrated by what I saw in my industry. Now I’m
grateful. It’s as if God has put blinders on my colleagues, and, at the
same time, opened up incredible new opportunities in a revolutionary new
medium. To paraphrase Chairman Mao, the establishment press now appears
to be a paper tiger.
I always believed the institutional problems of the news media could
only be solved through competition, rather than kvetching and
complaining. Now I can see where that competition will come from. It’s
here. Right here. Right now. Welcome to the party.