Joseph Farah spends his entire March 27 WorldNetDaily column whining about his business rival, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy. There are dark hints of betrayal and related things, but Farah's complaint really comes down to one thing: Newsmax has a richer sugar daddy than WND.
For the next year or so, I did everything in my power to help Ruddy pursue that story and others involving the Clinton scandals. When the New York Times Magazine did a story about “The Clinton Haters,” Ruddy and I were in the middle of it. When Hillary Clinton talked about “the vast right-wing media conspiracy,” we were in the middle of it – along with a guy named Dick Scaife.
Unlike Ruddy and me, Scaife had money – lots of it. He soon hired Ruddy to pursue the Clinton scandals at his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
I warned Ruddy about Scaife. I never trusted him. I told Ruddy he would compromise his values if he went to work for Scaife. He didn’t listen.
Today, Dick Scaife and Chris Ruddy own Newsmax – some would suggest my competition.
And, there is no question that Newsmax was founded to be WND’s competitor. They were going to replicate our success on the Internet – but with nearly unlimited financial resources.
Over the years, I have observed with some disappointment the changes in values and character that Chris Ruddy has demonstrated. He still belongs to all the right conservative groups. He still sponsors the Conservative Political Action Conference every year. But, make no mistake about it, he is no more conservative than Mitt Romney – in fact, less so.
Farah is flattering himself by suggesting Newsmax is a WND ripoff. WND started in April 1997, while Newsmax launched in September 1998, so it's unlikely that WND at that point had much "success" to "replicate." Besides, WND and Newsmax -- along with the Media Research Center's CNSNews.com, founded around the same time -- all had the same mission: to destroy President Clinton.
While Farah has historically kept quite about WND's finances, it's doubtful that it's doing as well as Newsmax, which has diversified into financial and health newsletters and claimed $50 million in revenue in 2010. (granted, it used shady techniques to promote its financial products and borderline quacks like Russell Blaylock as health columnists).
Farah appears to be jealous that Newsmax has a sugar daddy like Scaife -- though presumably Farah wasn't bad-mouthing Scaife like this when the organization he founded in the 1990s, the Western Journalism Center, accepted $330,000 from him. Meanwhile, WND has had to make do with backers like Robert Beale, a convicted felon currently in prison for tax evasion.
Farah is also incensed that Ruddy went over to the not-so-dark side and gave up his obsessive hatred of everything Clinton:
For instance, would Romney dare praise Bill Clinton? Ruddy and Scaife do.
Would he revel in the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton? Ruddy and Scaife do.
Would he go so far as to praise another big-government, boondoggle, unconstitutional, rip-off program devised by Barack Obama? Ruddy and Scaife do.
Ruddy even wrote a shamelessly glowing profile of Bill Clinton back in 2007. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read it.
Bill Clinton was a monster as president – a man who ruthlessly went after his enemies, including me, with politically motivated Internal Revenue Service audits. He lied under oath. He was impeached – and should have been convicted. I know for a fact Ruddy feared for his life when he was investigating him. Now, Bill Clinton is a saint?
What all this basicallycomes down to: Farah is jealous that Newsmax is a much more successful, profitable and prestigious organization than WND. Such pettiness is unbecoming for someone who purports to be a professional journalist, but being thin-skinned is how Farah rolls.