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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
Posted 7/16/2020

David Kupelian

WorldNetDaily remains on life support, just limping along. The film and book divisions have been shuttered (for the best, since the book division had a bad habit of publishing racists and anti-Semites), and last fall, it appeared to become a a de facto division of the Western Journal -- the Floyd Brown-operated descendent of what used to be known as the Western Journalism Center, which Joseph Farah founded in the early 1990s and from which WND sprung -- redesigning its website to emulate the Western Journal's and adding Western Journal content to help fill the void of a purged WND reporting staff.

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.


I had the honor of spending a year working closely with the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intel official ever to defect to the West during the entire Cold War, former communist spymaster Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, on his groundbreaking book, "Disinformation."

That's why I know disinformation when I see it — and that is precisely what so much of today's "news" amounts to.

This disinformation is designed to brainwash the American people with regard to what is going on in our country, scare people with "crisis stories" or fake "bombshell reports" attacking our president, and leave people with the mistaken belief that there is nothing they can do to fight back.

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.

But we’ve got the cure!

The cure for lies is truth. The cure for confusion, obfuscation and doubletalk is truth. The cure for hysteria, demonization and exploitation of crises “to restructure things to fit our vision” is truth.

WND has been publishing real news nonstop for almost 23 years, since long before Google, Facebook, social media – or for that matter, most of the rest of the online news media – even existed. We are experienced, professional journalists dedicated to our craft. But we are also Christians who above all honor God, America, the U.S. Constitution, liberty, and our nation’s Judeo-Christian culture, which of course is the glue that holds everything good about America together. That is our anchor, the rock we stand on, and we will be here for the duration, like a lighthouse, to help illuminate the way forward for good Americans to navigate through these troubled and turbulent times.

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.

Censorship of dissent has become the “new normal.” In the last couple weeks, several WND stories have been singled out and labeled “Partly False Information” by Facebook, which seriously hurts our readership. When we asked Facebook’s “independent fact checkers” why one story had been labeled “Partly False Information” even though it was 100% accurately reported, they told us the viewpoint of the expert being interviewed – a New York-based Ph.D. epidemiologist who argued herd immunity would be reached faster by not locking down the whole country – was “harmful misinformation.”

This is tyranny.

Hey Facebook: What about virtually the entire output of the “mainstream media” for the past four years, from the Washington Post and News York Times to all the broadcast and cable networks (except Fox News), with their never-ending conspiracy theories contending that Donald Trump “colluded” with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton? Those stories weren’t “partly false,” they were totally false. But did they merit any attention from Facebook’s fact checkers? We all know the answer.

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.

Kupelian's first response to the Post expose was much like it is now -- lots of whining, victim-playing and invoking of Farah's stroke (the Post pointed out that WND had not reported Farah's stroke to its readers until two hours after it was contacted by the Post for comment on its to-be-published article), denial that the shady behavior exposed was "anything remotely illegal," and a declaration that 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. 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.

Indeed, to this day, WND has never refuted any claim in the Post article -- which includes a litany of bad business decisions (i.e. ersatz 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.

Even though our advertising-revenue model has mostly been destroyed by Google and Facebook who together control 90% of online ad revenue; even though we are banned, censored, maligned, shadow-banned, suppressed and buried in search results; even though we are battered by lawsuits, threats, hack attacks and every other kind of attack imaginable – we’re still here! And in fact, we’re getting stronger!

Along with reporting boldly, honestly and accurately, and exposing the ubiquitous "fake news" of an establishment press afflicted with Stage 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome, we at WorldNetDaily are doing our job as "real news" journalists.

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.

The only thing standing between the far left and absolute, 24/7 propaganda and disinformation? Us. You and me, Friend.

You and I fight for uncompromisingly truthful news reporting ... because without the truth, all is lost. We must make sure the American people know the truth about what’s going on in our country.

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.

The only choice conservatives have right now? Fight with everything we’ve got.

That’s what WorldNetDaily is doing every single day ... fighting back with the truth, a very powerful weapon!

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.

Our current difficult financial situation (we’ve gone from 50 employees a couple years ago to 9 today, but they are 9 of the best in the business) is the direct result of a relentless campaign by Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants, as well as the big establishment media and their allies on the far left, to shut down conservative journalism. Which is to say, to shut down America’s free press, without which a nation CANNOT stay free.

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.

Without WND, which has reported boldly and truthfully every single day since May 1997 – 23 years ago! – our nation will be that much closer to being buried under a radical, far-left agenda and propaganda blitz that crushes our Constitution and tramples our values.

We need your help to keep our lights on and our journalists punching back against the far-left with the truth.

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.

I believe God has been intending to fill in that missing something in me. By allowing me to suffer a heart attack, He humbled me, softened my heart, helped me to forgive people who had hurt me, clarified my mind and freed me from many deceptions.

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."

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