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This is my farewell column.
No, it’s not my last column to readers of WorldNetDaily – far from it. I will be writing daily as long as God gives me the strength and I have something to say.
But it is my farewell to my home of the last few years in southern Oregon – to friends and colleagues with whom I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder to build our business, our media company.
You see, as you read this column today, Elizabeth and I are moving our family across the country to set up our new home and offices in the Washington, D.C., area – the belly of the beast.
I’ll get to the reasons for the move in a moment. But I want to start by telling you how much I will miss our old home and office.
Since setting up WorldNetDaily as a for-profit company in 1999, we have lived and worked in the imaginary state of Jefferson. For those of you who don’t know, many people in southern Oregon and northern California consider themselves residents of the free state of Jefferson. There have been movements since the 1940s to declare this largely rural area a separate, independent state valuing personal freedom – a concept virtually unknown in the more populated regions of California and Oregon.
We will miss the lifestyle. We will miss the open spaces. We will miss the redwoods. We will miss the mountains and the lakes and the beautiful surroundings. And we will miss the people who made it all possible.
I want to publicly thank David Kupelian, our managing editor and vice president of news, for all of his hard work and dedication. I will miss working next to him on a daily basis. From now on, it will be mostly virtual meetings in cyberspace.
I want to publicly thank Shannon Emonds, our office manager, who remains calm, cool and collected no matter how many crises she is juggling at any moment.
I want to thank Joe Kovacs, our executive news editor, who always keeps us smiling and loose and ensures that we not only produce a quality newssite every day, but enjoy doing it.
I want to thank Ron Strom, Diana Lynne and Art Moore, our fantastic news editor team of professionals that gives WorldNetDaily the ability to produce 24/7 coverage for millions around the world.
I want to thank Joel Miller and Tom Ambrose for all they continue to do in bringing readers the best commentary section available anywhere in the English-speaking world.
I want to thank Geoff Metcalf for his work on the radio and his weekly column.
I want to thank Paul Sperry, Jon Dougherty, Anthony LoBaido and our other fine reporters who provide the essence of WorldNetDaily – real news you won’t find anywhere else.
I want to thank Rebecca Hagelin, our vice president of communications and her fine team of professionals, who make WorldNetDaily known to the world.
I want to thank my assistant, Mary Drum, who has kept me organized for the last three years.
I want to thank Liz Medina, Michelle Claudy, Maria Medina, Terrie Fuller and the entire office staff for all their unflagging support.
I want to thank all of our columnists, our editorial support staff, our free-lance writers, our part-time employees, our customers, our advertisers – everyone who has helped to make this dream a reality.
I particularly want to thank Richard Botkin and Bob Beale, two members of our executive committee, the entire board of directors and all the patient shareholders of WorldNetDaily for their support.
I also want to thank newcomer Allen Reno, our business development czar, for his energy, ideas and enthusiasm.
I know I speak for Elizabeth in all I say. And we want to thank our kids for all their contributions to the cause.
We’ll still be working with all of these fine people. But in many cases, we won’t be seeing them every day – except in our real-time video conferences as we spread out around the world and decentralize our operation. So, it seems an appropriate time for some acknowledgement.
Now, for our move to Washington: When we set up shop in rural southern Oregon in 1999, it was, in part, to keep us focused on our business, to minimize distractions, to keep us from becoming tainted by the media culture in the major markets. Now, as our business grows, we feel the time is right to become more visible – to take advantage of the opportunities to appear on television, to network with other like-minded colleagues, to make travel more feasible.
Let me assure you that our commitment to remain apart from the beltway culture is as solid as ever. We will keep our bearings. We will keep our eye on the ball. We will maintain the distinction between WorldNetDaily and rest of the media.
As God is my witness, we will use this opportunity to do what we have always done – only better.
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