The Washington Examiner is an American conservative news website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C. It is owned by MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.
Front cover of Washington Examiner magazine for May 26, 2014
|Type||Website, weekly magazine|
|Owner(s)||Clarity Media Group|
|Publisher||Ryan McKibben|
|Founded||2005 (newspaper) (as Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal)|
|Headquarters||1152 15th St. NW|
Washington, D.C. 20005
|Circulation||45,000 (weekly magazine)|
From 2005 to mid-2013, the Examiner published a daily tabloid-sized newspaper, distributed throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area. The newspaper focused on local news and political commentary. The local newspaper ceased publication on June 14, 2013, whereupon its content began to focus almost exclusively on national politics, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine format.
The publication now known as The Washington Examiner began its life as a handful of suburban news outlets known as the Journal Newspapers, distributed not in Washington D.C. itself, but only in the suburbs of Washington: Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal. Philip Anschutz purchased the parent company, Journal Newspapers Inc., in October 2004. On February 1, 2005, the paper's name changed to The Washington Examiner, and it adopted a logo and format similar to those of another newspaper then owned by Anschutz, San Francisco Examiner.
The Washington Examiner became increasingly influential in conservative political circles, hiring much of the talent from The Washington Times. The website DCist wrote in March 2013: "Despite the right-wing tilt of [the Examiner's] editorial pages and sensationalist front-page headlines, it also built a reputation as one of the best local sections in D.C." The newspaper's local coverage also gained fame, including a write-up by The New York Times, for contributing to the arrest of more than 50 fugitives through a feature that each week spotlighted a different person wanted by law enforcement agencies.
It was announced in March 2013 that the paper would stop its daily print edition in June and refocus on national politics, converting its print edition to a weekly magazine and continuing to publish its website. The new format was compared to that of The Hill. In December 2018, Clarity Media announced that the magazine would become a publicly available, expanded print magazine.
On January 27, 2020, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama and candidate in the United States Senate special election in Alabama, Roy Moore, left when Jeff Sessions joined the Trump administration. He filed a 40 million dollar defamation lawsuit against the Washington Examiner claiming that the magazine repeatedly wrote "fake news" attacks stemming from allegations that he made unwanted sexual and romantic advances to teen girls when he was in his 30s.
Workplace culture controversyEdit
In February 2020, Hugo Gurdon, the editor-in-chief, announced the parent company of the news organization was "enlisting a third-party to conduct a thorough investigation into the Washington Examiner's culture, policies and actions to determine what, if any, additional steps are needed to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment for all of our employees". The culture had been described by employees as abusive, racist, sexist and homophobic. The announcement of the investigation followed the dismissal of Toby Harnden, who became managing editor in 2018, after text messages and secret audio recordings surfaced of Harnden allegedly making sexist and homophobic remarks regarding employees.
Distribution and readershipEdit
The magazine's publisher said in 2013 that it would now seek to distribute the magazine to at least "45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals". The publisher also claimed the Examiner's readership is more likely to sign a petition, contact a politician, attend a political rally, or participate in a government advocacy group than those of Roll Call, Politico, or The Hill. According to its publisher, the Examiner has a high-earning and highly educated audience, with 26 percent holding a master's or postgraduate degree and a large percentage earning over $500,000 annually, likely to be working in executive or senior management positions.
Columnists and contributorsEdit
- Emily Schrader
- Hugo Gurdon
- Kate Hardiman
- Kimberly Ross
- Jason Russell
- Mark Grabowski
- Noemie Emery
- Tony Kinnett
- Zalena Zito
Content and editorial stanceEdit
The Examiner has been described as and is widely regarded as conservative. When Anschutz first started the Examiner in its daily newspaper format, he envisioned creating a competitor to The Washington Post with a conservative editorial line. According to Politico: "When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz's instructions were explicit – he 'wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,' said one former employee." The Examiner's writers have included Michael Barone, Tim Cavanaugh, David Freddoso, Tara Palmeri, Bill Sammon, Rudy Takala, and Byron York.
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, among the conservative media landscape, the Examiner "is structured more or less like a mainstream newspaper—complete with clear distinctions between news reporting and commentary roles. The outlet has one of the largest newsrooms in online conservative media, with dedicated breaking news reporters and more specialized beat reporters, and a full editorial hierarchy." According to Editor in Chief Hugo Gurdon, the paper's conservatism on the news side was largely based on story selection, citing The Daily Telegraph as an inspiration.
The Examiner endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2010. On December 14, 2011, the newspaper endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, publishing an editorial saying he was the only Republican who could beat Barack Obama in the general election.
In January 2019, the Washington Examiner published a story with the headline, "Border rancher: 'We've found prayer rugs out here. It's unreal'". Shortly thereafter, President Donald Trump cited the story as another justification for a border wall amid the 2018–2019 federal government shutdown. The story in question cited one anonymous rancher who offered no evidence of these Muslim prayer rugs, such as photos. The story provided no elaboration on how the rancher knew the rugs in question were Muslim prayer rugs. The author of the story formerly worked as press secretary for the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform. Stories of Muslim prayer rugs at the border are urban myths that have frequently popped up since at least 2005, but with no evidence to substantiate the claims. The Examiner never issued a clarification or retracted the story.
In April 2019, Quartz reported that White House advisor Stephen Miller had been purposely leaking information on border apprehensions and asylum seekers to the Washington Examiner so that the paper would publish stories with alarming statistics that sometimes criticized DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, which he could then show to Trump and undermine her position. Nielsen was fired in April 2019 for reportedly not being sufficiently hawkish on immigration.
After the Climategate controversy, the Washington Examiner published an op-ed which said the following of climate science: "Some decades hence, I suspect, people will look back and wonder why so many government, corporate and media elites were taken in by propaganda that was based on such shoddy and dishonest evidence." The allegations regarding the basis for the supposed[a] controversy were rapidly debunked.[a] The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged throughout the investigations.
In 2017, the Washington Examiner editorial board supported President Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, which the Examiner editorial board described as: "a big flashy set of empty promises... The Earth's climate is changing, as it always has. And part of the reason it is changing is due to human activity. But those two facts are excuses neither for alarmism and reflexive, but ineffective action, nor for sacrificing sovereignty to give politicians a short-term buzz of fake virtue and green guerrillas another weapon with which to ambush democratic policymaking."
On August 31, 2019, the Examiner published an op-ed by Patrick Michaels and Caleb Stewart Rossiter titled, "The great failure of the climate models". It claimed that overwhelmingly accepted climate models were not valid scientific tools. Scientists described the Washington Examiner op-ed as highly misleading, noting that there were numerous false assertions and cherry-picked data in the op-ed.
- The eight major investigations covered by secondary sources include:
- House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK)
- Independent Climate Change Review (UK)
- International Science Assessment Panel (UK)
- Pennsylvania State University (US)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (US)
- United States Department of Commerce (US)
- National Science Foundation (US)
- "Staff". www.washingtonexaminer.com. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- Calderone, Michael (October 16, 2009). "Phil Anschutz's Conservative Agenda". Politico. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017.
- Connolly, Matt (June 13, 2013). "The Washington Examiner local news team says goodbye after eight years". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- Sommer, Will (March 19, 2013). "Staffers Told Washington Examiner Will Cease Daily Publication". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Sommer, Will (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner Memo: New Weekly Paper to Target "Key Influencers"". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Adler, Ben (May–June 2009). "Heresy on the Right". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Robertson, Lori (April–May 2007). "Home Free". American Journalism Review. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- "Weekly Standard acquired by Washington Examiner parent company". Washington Examiner. June 16, 2009. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Helman, Christopher (October 21, 2010). "The Man Behind the Curtain". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Joyner, James (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner Newspaper Closing, Becoming Weekly Magazine". Outside the Beltway. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013.
- Freed, Benjamin R. (March 19, 2013). "Washington Examiner to Cease Daily Publication and Become Political Weekly Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine". DCist. Gothamist. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- Peters, Jeremy W. (December 12, 2010). "Washington Examiner Helps Capture Fugitives". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara (March 19, 2013). "The Washington Examiner Announces a 'Shift' in Their Business Model". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- "Press Release: Washington Examiner to Expand into a Nationally Distributed Magazine with a Broadened Editorial Focus". Washington Examiner (Press release). December 3, 2018. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Gattis, Paul (January 28, 2020). "Roy Moore files $40 million 'fake news' lawsuit". AL.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- Darcy, Oliver (February 14, 2020). "Inside the climate of 'workplace terror and bullying' at the Washington Examiner, a conservative media outlet on the rise". CNN. Archived from the original on April 5, 2020.
- Chasmar, Jessica (February 14, 2020). "Washington Examiner's parent Clarity launches probe into outlet's 'culture' after firings: Report". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020.
- "MediaDC | Audience and Readership". influence.mediadc.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
- "Conservative Newswork: A Report on the Values and Practices of Online Journalists on the Right". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
- "The Examiner endorses McCain-Palin". Washington Examiner (editorial). September 24, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "Why Fenty deserves – and D.C. needs – four more years". Washington Examiner (editorial). September 7, 2010. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
- "Influential Conservative Newspaper Backs Romney for GOP Nomination". Fox News. December 14, 2011. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- * Sommer, Will (January 18, 2019). "Trump Tweets Discredited Right-Wing Meme About 'Muslim Prayer Rugs' at Border". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Graham, David A. (January 18, 2019). "Trump's Entire Shutdown Approach, Encapsulated in One Tweet". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 26, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Oprysko, Caitlin (January 18, 2019). "Trump touts story about finding 'prayer rugs' along border". Politico. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Joseph, Rebecca (January 18, 2019). "Trump uses migrant caravan, prayer rugs to defend border wall, despite little proof". Global News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Qiu, Linda (January 18, 2019). "Trump's Baseless Claim About Prayer Rugs Found at the Border". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Wagner, John (January 18, 2019). "Trump points to a migrant caravan and unverified claim about Muslim prayer rugs as he continues push for wall". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.
- Timmons, Heather (April 8, 2019). "Trump's anti-immigration zealot Stephen Miller is behind the purge at Homeland Security". Quartz. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- Wemple, Erik (April 9, 2019). "Report: Washington Examiner was used to undermine DHS boss Kirstjen Nielsen". The Washington Post (editorial). Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.
- Sarewitz, Daniel (March 3, 2010). "World view: Curing climate backlash". Nature. 464 (7285): 28. doi:10.1038/464028a. PMID 20203581.
- Biello, David (February 1, 2010). "Negating "Climategate": Copenhagen Talks and Climate Science Survive Stolen E-Mail Controversy". Scientific American. Vol. 302 no. 2. p. 16. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016.
- "Trump will withdraw US from Paris climate agreement while California, New York, Washington unite to back climate pact". Carbon Brief. June 2, 2017. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Corneliussen, Steven T. (June 9, 2017). "Paris climate accord critics praise and defend US withdrawal". Physics Today. doi:10.1063/PT.6.3.20170609a. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.
- Michaels, Patrick; Rossiter, Caleb Stewart (August 25, 2019). "The great failure of the climate models". Washington Examiner (op-ed). Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "Washington Examiner op-ed cherry-picks data and misleads readers about climate models". Climate Feedback. August 31, 2019. Archived from the original on October 25, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "UK 'Climategate' inquiry largely clears scientists". Deccan Herald. Associated Press. March 31, 2010. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020.
- Gillis, Justin (July 7, 2010). "British Panel Clears Scientists". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.
- Reed, Sarah (April 14, 2020). "Oxburgh Report Clears Controversial Climate Research Unit". Science Insider. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017.
- Adam, David (April 14, 2020). "Scientists cleared of malpractice in UEA's hacked emails inquiry". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- Eilperin, Juliet (July 1, 2010). "Penn State clears Mann in Climate-gate probe". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010.
- Kintisch, Eli (February 3, 2010). "Climate Scientist Mann Partially Absolved by Penn State". Science Insider. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012.
- Kintisch, Eli (July 1, 2010). "Michael Mann Exonerated as Penn State Inquiry Finds 'No Substance' To Allegations". Science Insider. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019.
- "Scientists' 'Climategate' e-mails 'just discussions'". BBC News. August 6, 2010. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019.
- "U.S. scientists cleared in 'climategate'". CBC News. February 24, 2011. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013.
- Efstathiou, Jim Jr. (August 22, 2011). "No 'Research Misconduct' by Climate-Change Scientist, U.S. Says". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020.