It took two days, but WorldNetDaily has finally responded to the devastating Washington Post story on WND's history of mismanaged finances and other shenanigans on the road to its current circling-the-drain position. Being WND, of course, there's no actual response to the story's claims.
Managing editor David Kupelian began his April 4 article by playing the victim through invoking editor Joseph Farah's stroke:
Just five days after WND went public with the news that its founder, editor and CEO, veteran journalist Joseph Farah had suffered a devastating stroke, the Washington Post has published a lengthy article attacking Farah, his wife Elizabeth, and WND, America’s first online journalism organization.
The story, sensationally headlined “Inside the spectacular fall of the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites,” cites mostly unnamed former employees and others. The Post also mysteriously managed to get a hold of the contents of WND’s private email server, referencing and picking apart numerous internal emails going as far back as 12 years.
Kupelian didn't mention that the Post article noted that WND went public with Farah's health situation two hours after a reporter called it for reaction to the allegations -- seemingly so Kupelian could play the victim once the story was published.
After admitting that the Post story accused Farah and his wife (to which he obliquely referred to as "the company founders"), Kupelian made it clear he wasn'tgoing to actually respond to anything in the article, immediately going defensive and insisting none of the bad behavior reported was "remotely illegal":
Evidently the Post considers it shocking and newsworthy that over its 22-year history, a small, influential though undercapitalized company in a highly competitive business, rocked regularly by seismic changes – the dot-com crash, the Google-Facebook-Amazon disruption of the internet and so on – might experience its share of failures, difficulties and embarrassments.
Nowhere in the Post’s article is anything remotely illegal alleged. More to the point, nor does the Post acknowledge the important and highly regarded reporting generated day in and day out, year after year, by WND’s journalists – most of whom, remarkably, have been with WND for virtually all of its two decades of existence.
Most interestingly, nowhere in his massive 2,700-word article does Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia ever get down to what has actually caused the precipitous drop in annual revenue at WND over the last couple of years, which has led to the company’s current struggles.
He then blamed Amazon, "whose founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post," for decreased revenue at WND's online store. (And, no, Kupelian won't admit that WND's history of fake news and conspiracy theories played a key role in creating its current financial situation.)
Kupelian followed that by outright declaring he would not bother to "refute every allegation and innuendo in this one-sided, unsympathetic portrayal of a vastly smaller but influential news competitor" -- though it begs the question of why he won't. It seems that if something was actually false or misleading, that would be the first thing he would address as a way to cast doubt on the article's credibility. Instead, he spends several paragraphs attacking the Post for reporting on Trump scandals -- at one point complaining about "no fewer than five different Post writers explicitly comparing Trump to the Nazi monster who murdered 11 million people," forgetting how many times WND writers likened President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis.
Kupelian once again deferred comment, once again invoking Farah's stroke:
Although Joseph Farah is the only person situated to respond to many of the Post’s allegations, the paper chose to publish its takedown article right after Farah suffered a major stroke rendering him totally unable to defend himself, his wife and his news organization.
I don’t know why the Post chose to do such a thing. But I’ll close by simply saying for the record, as WND’s vice president and managing editor for 20 years, that I have nothing but the highest respect and love for this amazing news organization, for its founders Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, and for the dedicated journalists who work here.
But Joseph Farah is not "the only person situated to respond" but conveniently out of commission. As co-founder of WND -- who also holds the title of chief operating officer, which we can probably assume imparts knowledge about the company's finances -- Elizabeth Farah is certainly capable of responding, especially since one of the claims in the Post article is that Ellizabeth Farah used company money for personal expenses. Kupelian himself, also a longtime employee in charge of editorial operations who almost certainly knows things about how the company has been managed, can certainly respond as well.
The fact that Kupelian resorts to distraction and attacks instead of responding to any specific claim in the Post article tells us that he knows the Post article is factually accurate. The sad little line at the end begging readers for money doesn't change that.