Reminiscences and tales of woe from the heart

By Joseph Farah

When Elizabeth and I founded WorldNetDaily, or WND.com, it debuted as the first internet-only journalism organization back in 1997. It was also an avowedly conservative and Christian publication. It still is, 26 years later.

In the early days of American newspapers, most were founded as Christian. Just as Yale, Harvard and many of the first universities were founded as Christian institutions, so were newspapers. Sometimes, for many generations in fact, newspapers and universities promoted and advanced America’s Christian culture.

American newspapers were pro-life, pro-family and pro-God, once upon a time. At WND, we still are.

WND.com was also the first internet-only news organization to secure seats at the Senate Press Gallery in Washington, D.C. Of course, we had to threaten to sue to achieve that status – we weren’t being denied because we were Christian, but because our news was online and not written on paper. We thus trailblazed for the rest of the online news organizations that would come later. We also became the first to be archived by the Library of Congress. We blazed many other trails along the way.

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Being so early on the internet, we witnessed a new kid on the block when a company called Google came along – and Facebook, too. For a long time, we got along splendidly with them. But we did even better back then with a fellow pioneer, the Drudge Report – another highly ranked site quite popular and eclectic.

Our traffic was great, our revenues were soaring, we began publishing bestselling books, making movies – all firsts for an internet-only company.

We partnered with Bill O’Reilly at Fox News on writing a column for us and selling his first books, which benefited both of us. We had other hotshot columnists like Pat Buchanan and Chuck Norris and Michael Savage. We even published Savage’s first two No. 1 New York Times bestselling books and produced his website.

Those were the good old days.

For a while, it seemed, we could do no wrong. But then the devil found us, so to speak, and he had several incarnations.

At first, Google was helpful. Our popularity across the board on the internet kept us growing because of its search engine. But before long, one of its partners, the Southern Poverty Law Center, began labeling our super-popular website as a “hate site.” We started to see a correlation with Google’s partner spewing venom at us and our traffic going down ever-so-slightly. This coincided with the arrival on the scene of Barack Obama as president. We were intrigued that this man, whose own book publicist claimed in writing that Obama had been born in Kenya, somehow didn’t possess a birth certificate to counter the claim when asked about it. When our book on the controversy, written by one of WND’s staffers, reached No. 1 on Amazon, suddenly we had more enemies than we could count.

Still our revenues reached a zenith by then, so we survived. Then in 2016, Donald Trump was elected president. We had been supportive of his Make America Great Again approach.

Google started dropping us as a referral site, even though we continued breaking popular stories and had a friend in the White House. Google has that power. When Trump lost power, and we were left with Joe Biden, in no time at all we were completely demonetized by Google. This was a huge blow, since we earned most of our money from advertising – and most of that from the biggest ad seller in the world, Google. At the same time, Amazon and Facebook were taking their liberties with us, and we were forced to shutter our book publishing and movie enterprises.

Most companies would have just closed their doors. But not WND. We still had a very loyal following. We established a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity called the WND News Center and solicited donors. That’s how we have survived so far – barely. But the cost has been heavy. Our annual revenues were $15 million in 2015. They are down to just over $1 million today.

I have to be honest with you. We’re struggling mightily right now. We cannot make it without you – our most loyal readers.

It’s one thing to make history. It’s another thing when you feel like you’re history!

So allow me to be totally candid with you, our readers. We truly appreciate each and every one of you. We are sincerely grateful to all those who continue to donate whatever they can to help in these very hard times. And who support us by purchasing our products, and by supporting our initiative to erect billboards featuring the Ten Commandments, and by buying any of our bestselling bumper stickers, like the one that reads: “Thou Shalt Not Steal Elections.” And please don’t forget our terrific monthly magazine, Whistleblower!

God bless you. And God bless America.

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