21 years of WND

By Joseph Farah

Last Friday marked the 21st anniversary of WND – the original, pioneering, independent online news-gathering source, the first one created for the new digital world.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention it then, the answer is simple.

I was so busy trying to ensure that we would have a 22nd anniversary next May 4, that I forgot.

That’s how rough it has been recently for WND and the rest of the independent online media that have followed our lead over the decades.

Despite the many articles I have written about this in recent months and the fine work Tucker Carlson and a few others have done explaining the existential threat we face from an increasing hostile internet infrastructure, few seem to understand the gravity of the situation.

Yet, I’m convinced it’s not just the independent media targeted for extinction by this cabal composed of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and a handful of other monopolistic mega-corporations.

The other bigger targets include free speech itself and Donald Trump.

I do not believe I exaggerate.

We’ve been through many challenges over 21 years – but nothing like this.

Google and Facebook together control 75 percent of the digital advertising market. If that’s not a monopoly, or duopoly, that threatens freedom of the press and freedom of speech in America, then I don’t understand the meaning of those words.

More to the point, these two companies share a common corporate culture that can be described objectively as follows:

  • They believe they have the right to know everything about their customers down to the smallest, most personal details – where they travel, what they eat, how they spend their money, the most intimate secrets of their lives.
  • They believe in capitalism for themselves but not free enterprise for others, especially those with whom they disagree.
  • Though they have become basic utilities in the 21st century digital world, they also represent the most powerful media voices – something for which there is no precedent in history.
  • Three of these four entities, Google, YouTube and Amazon, have chosen to engage a leftist extremist organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center to serve as their watchdog on content standards. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook also has, and we just don’t know, or will in the future.

Now think about this: There are still laws on the books that restrict cross-ownership of newspapers, radio stations and television stations in the same market. Why? To ensure that one point of view is not imposed on a city or a region and to ensure that the advertising market is not dominated by one major corporation.

Yet, look what has happened nationally with the Digital Cartel, without as much as a whisper of concern coming from Washington.

As a result of all this, the independent media have become endangered species. They are starved of traffic, advertising and gouged for vital hosting services. I speak to my colleagues regularly about the obstacles deliberately placed in our paths. We’re all in the same boat. No one really can make plans for the future because the Digital Cartel make up new rules on the fly if they see any of us figuring out how to play by the rules in place.

It’s diabolical. The playing field is just not level. And it all comes down to different worldviews, different points of view, different opinions.

I compare the independent media plight to that proverbial canary in the coalmine. When you see the bird die, there is toxic gas in the coalmine, signaling it’s time to flee the mine. In the case of the independent media, what will you learn when we vanish?

You will learn that free speech and free press are only free for those who think like Digital Cartel.

I wish I had better news today.

If you understand what I’m saying today, support the independent media of your choice with direct financial support. For WND, you can do that here.

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