Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of columns by WND founder Joseph Farah as the pioneering, trailblazing, independent, alternative online news site celebrates its 25th year in business May 4, 2022.
It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
(Opening verses of the title track of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”)
Do you remember that song?
Back in 1967, when the Beatles released the transcendent Sgt. Pepper album, I was 13.
Twenty years seemed like a very long time back then. But the song is now 55 years old, and sounds as fresh to me as the day I first heard it. In fact, the entire album does.
I’m thinking about this today as my company, the first independent online news source, the trailblazer, the pioneer, the vanguard of the new media revolution, is observing our 25th anniversary – Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
I’m hoping WorldNetDaily.com, or WND as we know it today, is still as satisfying, challenging, worthwhile and valuable to those who visit as it was when it literally took the world by storm a quarter century ago.
The fact that we’re still here and so many other internet businesses are not suggests we’re doing something right.
But what does it have to do with the Beatles? Nothing. There are people running our country today who believe in artistic freedom. I do too. But artists aren’t necessarily protected under the First Amendment. The press is – overtly, explicitly, absolutely. I want you to consider that for just a minute, and I’ll come back to it.
First a little history on WND. Back when we launched, MSNBC.com was the No. 1 most-visited news website in the world. I vowed we would overtake them some day. I assumed that meant supplanting it as No. 1. While we eclipsed MSNBC in traffic more than 20 years ago, WND never became No. 1, though we were a top-10 news site in our prime – and still a top-20 news site as recently as 2016. The No. 1 site today is the search engine Google.com, which didn’t exist in 1997 when WND first went live.
Google recently became the traffic cop for the internet, literally. They and YouTube, their video company, blacklisted us, DEMONITIZED us – which is serious, because Google controls the lion’s share of online advertising contracts. The lion’s share literally means they control all of it. Lion’s don’t share. Big Tech’s like that – they destroy what they cannot control. And they could not control us.
Of course, neither did these other top web properties exist when we launched: Twitter, Facebook, or Wikipedia.
I guess it was unrealistic to think one news site could ever be the top web property in the world. But we’ve done all right for ourselves, competing with news agencies whose assets are counted in the billions and whose investors ponied up hundreds of millions.
WND made it for a while with capital investments totaling less than $5 million. And, with that, the site ranked consistently among the top 500 in traffic among all websites of any kind in the U.S., as recently as 2018.
That’s when the internet got strangled by WOKENESS, political correctness, the Dark Ages. That’s when freedom of speech in new media DIED.
It’s amazing we’re still here.
As the proud papa of this news phenomenon, I like to think our staying power has something to do with the tools with which God equipped me and my colleagues. I can honestly say I think God was watching over me for decades, leading me to the creation of this enterprise – after more than 25 years of experience in what we today euphemistically call the “mainstream media.”
Why did I leave the old “mainstream media” to start something fresh? Because I saw that we journalists had lost our way, we had abandoned our mission, we had betrayed our sacred trust as practitioners of the “free press.”
As everyone in the press once understood, the central role of the free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government and other powerful institutions. That’s why America’s founders uniquely guarded in the First Amendment the practices of the free press as a guardian of liberty and another check and balance on government power.
I took that seriously 25 years ago. And I saw most of the establishment press did not. In fact, I saw a cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship developing between the corporate press and state power. I vowed WND would never fall prey or be seduced by that temptation. Because that would deny America what it gave birth to – the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
These are cherished principals for everyone at WND – and once to our nation. But not to Google and Big Tech. They had their eyes on two things – political power and CENSORSHIP.
But we stayed true. And now a great awakening is taking place all across America and even around the world. People are recognizing that they are being systematically lied to – not just by powerful forces in government but by those who are supposed to be their watchdogs in the press.
I warned it would result eventually in what happened in the 2020 election when it was rigged for Joe Biden. Without a free press allowed to blow the whistle on it, it was inevitable. And you remember how we just couldn’t talk about the results of the election – even on Fox News. Everyone in the press said you couldn’t talk about it. Big Tech refused to report any of it besides repeating the lie that it was “the most secure election in American history.” It was not. WND would not go along with the charade. So we paid the price at the hands of Google and Facebook – and still are. UNBELIEVABLE! This is happening in the land that once believed in the sanctity of the Constitution!
It’s a travesty. It’s just not right.
So today, WND still faces a grave, existential threat. We rely only on your contributions to survive – mainly through the nonprofit WND News Center. But if Joe Biden, or some other dictator, cuts us off as a nonprofit, as he overtly threatens to do through his chilling new “Ministry of Truth,” we cannot make it. We might not be able to make it to our 30th anniversary or even our 26th.
So wish us a happy birthday today. Think of what it would mean if there were no more serious voices from the Christian, conservative perspective. That could happen someday soon.
We need your contributions NOW MORE THAN EVER. Please review the HELP WND options. We’re living in a perilous time. God help us all.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.