It took him five days, but WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah finally published his email letter pleading for money amid an "existential threat" at WND proper, making it his June 6 column. It's a duplicate of the email version, but with the following note at the top: "Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to 400,000 WND email subscribers last week. An astounding number of them answered the call for help."
Which brings up another reason WND is failing: its lack of transparency.
This is a meaningless statement. How many is "an astounding number"? What is the financial amount of the "help" they provided? We can probably assume that the "help" offered was actuyally not that "astounding" because Farah published the letter on the WND website.
WND is privately owned, so it doesn't have to disclose its financials. But the fact that it begs for money as much as it does -- heck, it has an option at its online store to just give it money directly -- would seem to confer some sort of obligation on WND to tell people where that money goes.
As we've noted, WND has been seeking donations to fund this year's anti-Hillary jihad -- er, the "Hillary Clinton Investigative Justice Project" -- which it claims will be used to "hire legal talent, private investigators and pay expenses for continued investigative reporting efforts." At no point does it promise a public accounting of how that money is used, just "regular insider updates on the progress of the campaign."
WND has long hid its inner workings from public scrutiny. Farah famously shut down a press conference rather than answer our question about whether an affidavit filed in its birther crusade was proffered by WND-affiliated lawyers, and its birther-related petitions contained no apparent verification that the signatories were who they said they were, leaving it open to fraud in the form of fake names and multiple signings.
And the terms of WND's settlement with a Tennessee car dealer over charges of defamation -- in which WND admitted that he was not a drug dealer and criminal as it claimed in a series of articles in 2000 attacking Al Gore -- remains confidential, no doubt because WND wants to keep the presumably large amount of money it had to pay out a secret.
WND operates as something of a black box. Farah is asking us to take on faith that WND's in bad shape in order to get people to give him money, but he provides no numbers to back him up, nor will he say exactly how much money he needs to stay solvent.
Farah's complete lack of disclosure should be a red flag for anyone considering sending him money.