As WorldNetDaily tries to save itself from going out of business, it's been sending out regular fund-raising appeals from editor Joseph Farah -- part of its current campaign to raise $200,000 to get it through March -- that, on occasion, offer insight into how WND has been run over the years.
Some of it has been dishonest, of course, as one would expect from Farah and WND. Farah has previously blamed Google for stealing ad dollars away from WND (actually, WND is a Google AdSense client, and it remained so even after Google forced WND to abandon its Colin Flaherty-fueled obsession with "black mob violence" by threatening to cut off that particular avenue of revenue) and "Amazon, the owners of the Washington Post" for hurting its e-commerce operation (no, Amazon doesn't own the Post; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does, about whom Farah has spun a factually challenged conspiracy theory).
Farah wrote in a Jan. 19 letter:
WND has always been undercapitalized compared not just with the big corporate media, but even with our friends in the independent media. I’ll share some amazing stats with you. No more than $5 million has ever been invested in WND over 20 years. With that meager investment, WND has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over two decades.
Sounds like a gravy train, doesn’t it?
But it’s not. Because when we bring in revenue, we pay our bills, try new things, and invest the rest back into the company. That’s what we have always done.
Well, if you generated "hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue" but only spent $5 on the operation, it's not unreasonable to ask where all that money went and why it's not helping WND now. (Not to mention how much of that went to the Tennessee car dealer it falsely defamed during the 2000 election.)
Farah then added a little surprising insight about how its revenue patterns align with who the president is:
Political years are generally good for WND. Non-political years, not so much. In addition, when you feel danger from your elected officials, we’re like your best friend in the media. But, conversely, when you feel like your best friend is in power, some of you don’t think you need us so much anymore. It’s ironic, but the Clinton years were a boom for WND – the Bush years, not so much. The Obama years were good for WND, the first year of Trump, not so much.
I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about that phenomenon.
Remember, WND was founded in order to attack President Clinton. And this explains why it fought so hard (and failed miserably) to destroy Obama -- its revenue depended on being always on attack, regardless of whether any of those attacks were true. It also raises the question of why Farah felt the need to start a "thank Trump" campaign when WND's finances were so precarious.
In his Jan. 30 letter, Farah made another admission, in the midst of announcing that WND's online store would take payment through PayPal for the first time in several years (he admits dropping the PayPal option may have been "really stupid"):
The WND Superstore was once WND’s No. 1 source of revenue – for years! It was reliable. It was steady. But because of the “Amazonization” of our culture, fewer people think of any other place to go for their books, Bibles, movies, gifts, preparedness needs and even unique products not carried at Amazon.
Yes, merchandising has tended to be the savior of other operations whose main content loses money. Yet on Jan. 31 WND sent out a promotion for Farah's book "The Restitution of All Things" which reprints favorable reviews of it from ... Amazon. So Farah is clearly not entirely displeased with how Amazon does business if he's trying to ride its coattails.
But throughout all of this, none of Farah's letters has mentioned the elephant in the room, the real reason why Google ranks WND so low in its searches: it's not credlble because of its fake-news-riddled content.
Instead of teasing us with possible site redesigns and secret projects, Farah should be talking about WND's biggest issue -- its bad content -- and telling us what he will do to fix it.