The “fake news” wars are getting more intense every day – and more confusing for people who don’t have the time, energy and discernment to determine who’s really telling the truth and who isn’t.
Meanwhile, more and more unknown, mysterious, shadowy entities are attempting to make a quick buck as self-proclaimed “fake news” cops.
One came to my attention this week. It’s called FakeNewsChecker.com. You won’t find out on the website who’s behind it. It’s been around since Nov. 17. And, irony of ironies, it makes stuff up. In other words, it’s a “fake fake news checker.”
I’ll demonstrate for you with one claim it makes about me and my own news organization, which it labels, along with the DrudgeReport, Breitbart, Twitchy, the Washington Free Beacon and the Washington Examiner, as “fake news.”
Here’s what fakenewschecker.com says about WND and its place in the site’s “hall of shame”: “WND – WorldNetDaily is managed by Joseph Farah who received donations from the Donald Trump superPAC Great America PAC calling into further question the motives behind the fake and conspiratorial nature of the content delivered by this website.”
Let’s stop right there for the moment.
Notice there is no citation or attribution for this claim that WND or Joseph Farah “received donations from the Donald Trump superPac Great America PAC.” Do you know why? Because it’s 100 percent, totally false. In fact, neither WND nor I have ever accepted any donations from any PAC. Not in 2016 or any other year.
It’s possible that such a PAC has advertised on WND – many have. WND accepts most political advertising. It has never tainted WND’s editorial coverage. In 2012, for instance, the largest political advertiser in WND was the Barack Obama campaign. The same was true in 2008. Did anyone anywhere ever make an allegation that WND was in the tank for Obama in 2008 or 2012? Of course not.
Advertising is advertising. It represents the lifeblood of all news organizations. That’s not to say we don’t turn down some, but it’s rare for us to reject political advertising in election years because we’re staunch advocates of freedom of speech – and the most important kind of free speech is political speech.
So let’s continue with the “description” from FakeNewsCheck.com of why WND is on its hit list: “Bias: conspiratorialeditorialincitefulpoliticalright. WND – WorldNetDaily publishes information that cannot be validated and that is anti scientific (sic) fact. The information provided should be regarded as speculative opinion or propaganda and cannot be substantiated by fact or evidence. It is among the most untrustworthy sources in the media.”
How do I plead? Well, I would like to point out that I may be the one and only founder of an online news agency that spent more than 20 years in what we euphemistically call “the mainstream media,” running daily newspapers in major markets. WND was also the very first independent online news agency founded 20 years ago. That adds up to more than 40 years of experience directing large news agencies. I should also point out that I taught journalism at UCLA and have received countless awards for my work in the so-called “mainstream” news media long before founding WND. I served as an expert witness on journalistic standards and practices in some of the largest media lawsuits in history.
And the team of WND’s journalism professionals – editors and reporters – have collectively hundreds of years of experience doing similar things in the news media.
Meanwhile, in the case of Fakenewscheck.com, we’re smeared by semi-literate, political hacks cloaked conveniently behind a veil of anonymity, protecting themselves from both individual ridicule and legal liability for disparagement and libel.
Notice WND reports openly and honestly, listing publicly who’s who, sourcing its reports, attributing its claims and operating under the highest standards of traditional American journalism, while very often its worst detractors hide in the shadows like cowards while slinging the most reprehensible unfounded and unsupportable charges.
At the end of the day, I’ll leave it to you to determine for yourself who has more integrity and credibility.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].