THE BLOG
06/02/2016 05:50 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2017

WorldNetDaily Begs for Money to Head Off 'Existential Threat'

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WorldNetDaily -- the right-wing conspiracy theorists best known for relentlessly pursuing the discredited idea that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president because he may not be an American citizen -- is apparently in serious financial trouble.

WND editor Joseph Farah sent a letter to WND's mailing list on June 1 admitting that WND "faces an existential threat." Farah claims he has kept the fact that WND "is in a sizable hole" hidden from the public until now because "I have been afraid to fail."

Naturally, this is all somehow Obama's fault, not Farah's:

I won't go into all the details for a number of reasons. Some might sound like excuses. Others have to do with the very troubled Obama economy. But I will say this in all honesty: Barack Obama's early years were good for WND - even until three years ago. WND was an important opposition voice. People clung to it. They wanted to hear the truth. And they still do.

But, not enough people listened to that voice, because Obama was returned to office in 2012 and his policies have continued to ravage the very fabric of America's economy. Many businesses, including other media businesses, have also been hurt badly - some of them much bigger than WND. And just think of all the billion-dollar retail businesses that have collapsed in the last few years under Obama. We've dubbed it "The Retail Apocalypse," and that's no exaggeration. It's affecting everyone.

Farah carefully avoids the core issue: While readers do want to hear the truth from the media, that's not they're getting from WND. This is a website, after all, that went all in on hating Obama -- it was a money-maker early in his presidency, as Farah admits -- then went even harder on Obama-hate for the 2012 election by publishing sleaze and lies about the president and refusing to admit its anti-Obama birther crusade was completely discredited.

Live by Obama-hate, die by Obama-hate. Farah is learning that lesson now.

Indeed, the fact that Farah and WND have been so desperate to destroy Obama on a personal level that they stopped caring about journalism or facts is one key reason nobody believes WND. Remember, Farah is weirdly proud of the fact that his website publishes misinformation, and even a press-release mill decided that WND was not "credible" enough to promote.

Perhaps even more shocking is how little WND has done to repair its credibility after its 2012 debacle. It has rebranded itself as "the largest Christian website in the world" in an apparent attempt to build itself with that audience, despite the fact that the only segment of Christianity WND genuinely cares about is right-wing homeschooling types. It hired a couple reporters with recent experience in actual journalism (if working for the still-Moonie-associated Washington Times counts as such), but Cheryl Chumley and Douglas Ernst were as prone to slavishly push WND's right-wing editorial agenda as its regulars. (Ernst, meanwhile, quietly left WND in April, judging by the date of his last byline, and has returned to the Washington Times.)

Oh, and the "retail apocalypse" Farah and WND want so badly to blame on Obama has causes that vary for each troubled retailer, none of which WND has been able to trace to any specific Obama policy.

Farah admits two of WND's key revenue sources are way down:

Retail sales have been a major part of WND's revenue stream. We've seen them decline precipitously in recent years. (If you're beginning to get the picture, please consider visiting the WND Superstore, which, for the last two years, quite honestly, hasn't been so super.)

Advertising, another mainstay for big online companies like WND - one of America's top news sites, and in the top 350 of all websites nationwide - has also taken a huge hit in the Obama economy. Like some other media companies, we're down millions from a few years ago. But we've attempted to weather the storm without diminishing in any way the news services and products we offer the public - most of it for free.

Of course, lack of advertising is due in no small part to WND's lack of credibility, whether Farah wants to admit it or not. And because WND has fewer readers, there are fewer eyeballs to lure to its online store. But the crashing of sales there, even as online retail has been growing immensely overall, strongly suggests that WND's mix of right-wing books and films, biblically based diet plans and prepper supplies (Russian gas masks, anyone?) is out of step with the retail environment. That's WND's fault, not Obama's.

Naturally, Farah's answer to all this is to send him money, in the form of buying from the out-of-touch online store, subscribing to its Whistleblower magazine or just giving WND money directly for apparently nothing in return.

Farah concludes: "We at WND would love to be here for you for many more years to come. But today, I am lifting my hands up, forsaking my pride, and just asking you for help." Yet, strangely, he's apparently not so bereft of pride that he will apologize to his readers and seek repentance for the years of false claims, dishonest reporting and vindictive attacks masquerading as journalism that played no small role in landing him and WND in their current dire situation.