For nearly two decades, the website WorldNetDaily has been widely known as a place that publishes the worst opinions, the craziest conspiracy theories (like birtherism), and the nastiest lies (especially about LGBTQ people). And a bunch of articles by Chuck Norris. No wonder right-wing Christians always loved it. The rest of us have always known the site as “World Nut Daily.”
Now it’s on the verge of going out of business.
The Washington Post‘s Manuel Roig-Franzia tells the story of how WND founder Joseph Farah went from running a site that took in millions of dollars in revenue per year to one that can’t even pay out royalties to its writers.
Even though Farah claimed in WND columns and emails to supporters last year to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations — including tax-deductible contributions — some former employees and contractors have been laid off or had their deals canceled without being paid money they say they were owed. Many authors who signed on with the site’s publishing arm, including former Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, are fuming about allegedly not receiving royalties owed to them.
“I accused him of not being honest,” Coburn said. “He doesn’t keep his commitments. He doesn’t keep his word.”
Why would people give this guy any money when he’s such a bad businessman? As usual, he just told everyone he was a devout Christian and they fell for the scam. Like one woman who paid WND’s publishing arm $9,999 to put out her book and pay her back a share of the profits.
“We thought that if we’re helping our fellow Christians, that seems like a good road to go down,” [Diane Anthony] said in a recent interview. “We went for the most expensive package.”
At points scattered across the country, others reached the same conclusion: They could trust WND because of its Christian values. In Florida, Patricia Feijo dug into her dwindling savings for $9,999 to tell her version of her husband’s imprisonment for promoting unapproved cancer treatments through their ministry…
Farah didn’t live up to his end of the deal in either situation. In the meantime, his staff didn’t get their paychecks in time and their dental and vision insurance was cut off. Yet Farah kept promoting get-rich-quick schemes (bitcoin!) that never panned out.
He’s a Giant Bucket of Food away from becoming Jim Bakker.
If he does go out of business, though, the entire media landscape would be better off. It’s like a Bizarro World edition of It’s a Wonderful Life. When he fails, may he take the rest of the right-wing extremists down with him.
(Screenshot via YouTube)