Remember the WND News Center, that clone of the Daily Caller News Foundation whose main function is to offload WND's reporting operation (or what was left of it, anyway) to a nonprofit organization that would allow WND to publish its content for free (as long as other people could as well)? It appears that -- after getting announced back in February 2019, it has finally happened. Joseph Farah announced it in his Dec. 22 column -- but not, of course, establishing a sob story behind its creation in which he played victim and served up a little of his health history over the past couple of years:
I've been more or less absent from the scene for a little over 18 months. Some of you know what happened to me. I was working really hard trying to save this journalistic experiment from the plague of the Tech Giants. They destroyed our advertising revenues through underhanded, dishonest and monopolistic means we've been documenting for years, which caused our annual revenues to plunge from $15 million to $1 million. Staff had to be cut to a bare minimum. We had to stop publishing books and producing movies – two of our big successes for years.
Then I had to drop out myself from the race because of a series of massive strokes from November 2018 to March 2019.
Call me a casualty of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which launched this massive "indecency" by giving the Tech Giants a waiver from the lawsuits that tend to plague journalism sites – even though their brazen "editing" and "censoring" of news and viewpoints they don't like makes them de facto journalists, not simply "neutral platforms" like AT&T and Verizon, as they claim. Their mega-monopoly status has also made Google and Facebook advertising behemoths – landlords to what remains of the press. The Tech Giants promote reporting they like, namely that with a progressive-left slant, while censoring and suppressing independent, honest, hard-hitting reporting like ours.
The carnage started shortly after the arrival of President Trump. My public pleading could not stop it. It was a massacre. Frankly, we're fortunate anything is left of WND. No one was hit harder.
Needless to say, Farah is not going to tell the full truth -- that its business model of publishing falsehoods and conspiracy theories failed and, given that little has changed about WND's editorial operation since then, raises questions about whether WND even deserves to live.
(Also: if the book and movie operations were "big successes," there was no reason to shut them down, since "success" typically equates with generating profits. The fact they were shut down tells us they weren't moneymakers.)
From there, it was time to self-promote (and, of course, beg for money):
Allow me to introduce you to the WND News Center – the reader-supported, tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit that is giving birth to an optimistic, credible, fearless and uncompromisingly truth-oriented news entity in a sea of fake news, propaganda and disinformation.
The original vision and hopes we have long had for WorldNetDaily are still intact at your favorite news site, WND.com. But those ideals are now shared by our sister organization, an intrepid new journalism nonprofit called the WND News Center. Approved by the IRS as a public charity, the WND News Center is committed to making its journalistic output freely available for publication by other news organizations. Many believe the nonprofit route is the wave of the future in American journalism, where the traditional advertising-based business model has been largely destroyed by Big Tech.
Freedom's not going away in America. It's here to stay. Allow me to make a plea that my selfless partner, David Kupelian, has often written in my absence: Please give generously to the WND News Center and help rejuvenate a truly free press in America!
While the WND News Center is finally off the ground, it's not offering too much so far -- as the website shows, the available content is just article rewrites by the few remaining WND writers like Bob Unruh and Art Moore, as well as WND-exclusive columnists. Those articles on the WND website proper now have tags stating that "Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience."
Farah might want to watch himself, though. The Daily Caller model he's clearly following -- ironically, WND publishes a lot of Daily Caller News Foundation content -- has brought complaints that the nonprofit is improperly funding the for-profit operation and have engaged in political activity that clashes with the foundation's nonprofit status. Right-wing financier Charles Koch is a major bankroller of the DCNF.
On the other hand, the fact that the WND News Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit means that it has to file tax reports that reveal how much money it raises and from whom, as well as what it spends on salaries and other expenses -- all of which must be made public. That might be a little much for the secrecy-loving Farah (whose strokes shortly after the announcement of the News Center, if you'll recall, weren't publicly revealed until the Washington Post sought comment on an expose it was working on about WND's financial shenanigans).
Whether or not Farah's health issues caused it, WND has been very slow on the uptake in doing basic things to shore up its fragile finances. It wasn't until November that WND got around to setting up a subscription option, after wasting precious time on things like giving away sketchy cybercurrency. WND's management has not changed in the interim -- meaning that the way WND is run and the policies it follows are not changing in any significant way -- and it's to the point where all of the last-minute fixing being done here may be too little, too late.
But how much money will donors ultimately kick in? This is content by the same people whose work has already been discredited and rejected by the public. Why would anyone outside WND want to pay for the privilege of generating it when there's no return on it?