WND's 'Real News' Failure
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian is no Joseph Farah, so his insistence that WND cares about the "truth" rings even more hollow. Has he forgotten that WND has a 20-plus-year track record of spreading misinformation and lies?
By Terry Krepel
Meanwhile, founding editor Farah remains out of commission. His only notable contribution in the past few months was a May 13 column bizarrely declaring against all evidence to the contrary that President Trump "may be the most polite and patient president America has ever had."
Given that void, it's been up to managing editor David Kupelian to promote the interests of WND and serve as its public face. Unfortunately, Kupelian is no Farah, lacking his boss' panache, chutzpah and utter shamelessness.
Still, WND is apparently desperate for money, so Kupelian continues to send out email letters to WND's mailing list begging for cash and touting WND's purported journalistic legacy -- as if he thinks we've forgotten the truth.
In a March 11 letter, Kupelian serves up a WND-standard anti-media rant:
When radical left media bullies talk about "Freedom of the Press," they're not talking about the vision of the Founding Fathers who understood the crucial, life-and-death role a free and independent press plays in keeping our democratic republic healthy and strong.
Funny, we figured Kupelian knew disinformation when he saw it because he has published so much of it at WND -- Obama birtherism and Seth Rich conspiracy theories, to name just a couple of instances. And we remember when WND falsely smeared a Tennessee car dealer as a drug dealer -- despite years of denial, WND was forced to quietly settle the man's defamation case against it before it went to trial. (How much did WND have to pay the man, David? Why are you keeping that secret after all these years?)
WND has not particularly cared about the truth before, and there's no reason to believe Kupelian now when he claims that WND cares about "real news stories about important issues free of bias and selective reporting" and that it "isn't politically motivated." Honestly -- has WND ever been like that? Not in ConWebWatch's 20 years of monitoring it.
On March 29, Kupelian sent out another letter, this time rehashing most of the typical right-wing talking points about the coronavirus pandemic, including the obsession with chloroquine, claiming without evidence that "many physicians in America who are currently treating COVID-19 patients are taking the drug themselves right now, prophylactically." That led to more bogus posturing:
We are living in an exceedingly dangerous time and I don’t mean just from a dangerous and highly contagious virus. I also mean from the dangerous virus of leftism that has infected both the Democratic Party and the elite news media. It’s very contagious.
If Kupelian wants us to believe he publishes "real news" by "experienced, professional journalists," he should start apologizing for and retracting all the fake news WND has published through the years.
Both letters end with a plea for donations. Again, not until it repents for its decades of reprehensible behavior.
The anniversary column
It fell to Kupelian to write a column on the anniversary of WND's founding on May 4 (and, of course, beg for money). Kupelian may lack Farah's panache and shamelessness of Farah, but he can whine just as well. Take this passage on alleged social media censorship:
Last week, YouTube banned the viral video of two California ER doctors after more than 5 million people had viewed it over the course of just a few days. You see, the two physicians dissented from the “approved” view of how to manage the coronavirus pandemic the one favored by the guardians of the internet.
Kupelian seems not to understand that there's one very simple way to not get flagged by social media for publishing misinformation: don't publish misinformation.
As we documented, WND touted the views of the "two California ER doctors" without telling readers that actual experts found their research to be flawed and their video discredited. In the other instance, Kupelian is apparently referring to an April 7 article touting the views of one Knut Wittkowski, which was a another one-sided story that ignored the fact that experts say given how deadly coronavirus is and the overall lack of knowledge about the virus, counting herd immunity would be uncertain at best and dangerous at worst. In an apparent attempt to get the "misinformation" tag off the article, WND appended an "update" a week later adding the expert view.
From there, Kupelian moved on to the usual whining about alleged slights against WND, ranting that both Wikipedia and the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out its fringe-right leanings and appetite for conspiracy theories. He responded, "Translation: WND is pro-American, pro-Christian and pro-Constitution."
No, David; nobody sane is making that translation.
Kupelian is still mad at the Washington Post's allegedly "vicious, lengthy smear article on WND's 'downfall' published immediately after the Post's reporter learned from Elizabeth Farah that her husband and WND CEO Joseph Farah had just suffered a devastating stroke." His phrasing here is telling us that WND used Farah's stroke as a excuse to try and suppress the Post article -- which is a violation of journalistic ethics, which Kupelian would know if, again, he actually cared about journalism.
Indeed, to this day, WND has never refuted any claim in the Post article -- which includes a litany of bad business decisions (i.e. bitcoin giveaways) and financial mismanagement. Kupelian is still using Farah's stroke as an excuse not to respond to the article's claims, never mind that he and Farah's wife, Elizabeth, are the top two company officials behind Farah and surely have some knowledge of said financial shenanigans. Thus,we have no option other than to assume the Post article is entirely true.
Kupelian went on to bash more critics but, as before, he refuted none of their claims. He then tried for some Farah-esque rah-rah:
But guess what, friends. On our 23rd anniversary I have bad news for Big Tech and the rest of the leftwing forces that are so breathlessly intent on "fundamentally transforming" America and silencing pro-American, Judeo-Christian news alternatives like WND.
Again: WND is not been associated with "real news," if it ever has been, and all of Kupelian's insistence that that's what it does (it doesn't, even as it's fighting for its life, the details of which Kupelian is conveniently vague about) doesn't change the fact that WND is best known for spending eight years perpetuating the lie that President Obama isn't a real U.S. citizen.
Apologize for all the lies WND has spread, David, and maybe WND will be considered a purveyor of "real news."
More email rants
Kupelian has continued to push the false idea that WND cares about "truth." He ranted in a June 5 email:
Look, you and I aren’t dumb. We know the truth: The unhinged left is attempting to use a global pandemic to destroy President Trump, AND to transform the United States of America into a socialist paradise you know, like Venezuela.
Kupelian similarly complained in a June 15 email:
For years, the leftist media has observed a grotesque double standard ... one for themselves and another for conservatives. But I never thought it’d get this bad.
For his June 30 email, Kupelian was in full victim mode:
As you probably know, WorldNetDaily is under relentless assault by forces of the far left that want to transform America particularly the online media gatekeepers we collectively refer to as Big Tech.
After the usual right-wing complaints about "shadow banning" and purportedly "accurate" articles labeled false by Facebook, Kupelian played the fake "truth" card again to beg for money:
WND is a critical part of the national news media ... because, almost alone among major news outlets, we provide a conservative, Judeo-Christian, pro-American insight and context to today’s civilization-shaking news stories.
In fact, WND is not terribly crucial -- because it's not terribly truthful. Kupelian has yet to acknowledge that particular crucial truth.
FLASHBACK: Kupelian's heart-attack lesson
Like his boss Joseph Farah -- who has repeatedly failed to see a connection between WorldNetDaily's history of promoting conspiracies and fake news and its current life on the edge of extinction -- Kupelian seems not to be learning the correct lessons from his adversities.
In December 2018, Kupelian devoted a column to telling the story of his heart attack two years earlier. He did ask the right questions one might expect from a self-proclaimed religious person: "Any halfway introspective person who experiences a heart attack or stroke (which occurs in the U.S. every 21 seconds) will tell you it’s a big wake-up call: 'Why did this happen?' And if you’re a spiritually minded soul, the question is even more pointed and urgent: 'God, what are You trying to tell me?'" He edged closer:, claiming that "one thing God was telling me was that I could no longer safely continue to operate especially at my age, in my late 60s on the energy of stress, ego, ambition, obligation, fear of failure and sheer will power. I needed to live from the alternate fuel of grace all the time." Then he served up this:
Mind you, I’ve been a Christian for many years, since I was in my early 20s, when I first asked Christ to come into my life, and I’ve lived a clean, moral life ever since. But something important was missing.
Actually, that's just Kupelian's ego talking. A person who truly "lived a clean, moral life" would not be working for WND, which has been positively amoral in promoting conspiracy theories and fake news intended not to tell the truth but to destroy perceived political enemies.
If Kupelian is truly "freed" from the "many deceptions" he has promoted over the years, he would apologize to Barack Obama for promoting bogus birther conspiracies (not to mention his massive case of Obama Derangement Syndrome), and he would be seeking forgiveness from Seth Rich's family for touting utterly discredited claims regarding his murder. Yet he has done neither, not even in the year and a half after this column was published --which makes us wonder just how "clarified" Kupelian's mind has become post-coronary.
Indeed, Kupelian seems oblivious to the idea that perhaps the message God was sending to him via heart attack is that he needs to seek contrition and forgiveness from all the people he used WND to attempt to destroy through distortions, hate and outright lies over the past two decades, and that the "deceptions" he published at WND were of his own creation.
Instead, he remained clueless to the last, concluding "In the end, I’d just say that somehow God had compassion on this foolish child and stopped him once again, using his powerful, unsearchable methods to stir up my soul and pull me a little closer to Him. Thank You, God."
If Kupelian is going to insist on maintaining that utter lack of genuine self-reflection about his life and career, perhaps God can goose him along with another "message."