The Washington Examiner - hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
These media sources are moderate to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports, and omit information reporting that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.
Bias Rating: RIGHT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Newspaper
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2005, The Washington Examiner is an American political journalism website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C., covering politics and policy in the United States and internationally. The current editor is Hugo Gordon.
Read our profile on the United States government and media.
Funded by / Ownership
The Washington Examiner is owned by Clarity Media Group, owned by Philip Anschutz, an American billionaire entrepreneur who describes himself as a “conservative Christian.” Anschutz is also the owner of the right-leaning Weekly Standard and has donated millions of dollars to right-leaning causes, including anti-LGBT groups, such as the Family Research Council, which has been labeled a hate group. The Washington Examiner is funded through an advertising and subscription model.
Analysis / Bias
In review, the Washington Examiner format and content have been compared to The Hill, albeit with a right-leaning tilt. They generally report political news as well as local Washington DC news stories. The Washington Examiner frequently utilizes loaded wording in sensationalized headlines like Trump’s manic Monday amid the Kavanaugh storm. While the headlines may be sensational, the articles’ content is written with less bias and tend to be adequately sourced to credible media outlets.
Editorially, the Washington Examiner is 100% right. It is virtually impossible to find a single editorial that offers balance. Most editorials have anti-left loaded headlines such as this: Obama, the Great Divider when in office, lacks the credibility to lecture America.
Failed Fact Checks
The Air Force wants taxpayers to fund a fantasy football league. – FALSE
Ripon College banned a campus group’s display of a poster commemorating 9/11 because “it may offend Muslims.” – MOSTLY FALSE
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar described America as a ”rotten country.” – FALSE
“Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War.” – MOSTLY FALSE
Overall, we rate the Washington Examiner Right Biased based on editorial positions that almost exclusively favor the right and Mixed for factual reporting due to several failed fact checks. (7/18/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 5/17/2022)
we rate the Washington Examiner Right Biased based on editorial positions that almost exclusively favor the right and Mixed for factual reporting due to several failed fact checks.
Washington Examiner is a U.S. conservative news outlet which consists principally of a website and a weekly printed magazine, based in Washington, D.C. It is owned by MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.
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, from a conservative point of view, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to an expanded print weekly magazine format.
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 attention, 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.
(for fun, look up Washington Times)
On January 27, 2020, Roy Moore filed a $40 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Examiner. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and candidate in the United States Senate special election in Alabama for the seat left open when Jeff Sessions joined the Trump administration, claimed that the magazine repeatedly wrote "fake news" attacks stemming from allegations that he made unwanted sexual and romantic advances to girls as young as fifteen when he was in his late 30s.
In January 2020, breaking news editor Jon Nicosia was fired after showing a sexually explicit video to colleagues. Nicosia denied any wrongdoing, saying he had only shared the video "because he thought it might go viral ... and become a news story." Nicosia accused managing editor Toby Harnden of abusive workplace behavior. An employee's complaint seen by CNN said that Harnden had created "toxic work environment" and a climate of "workplace terror and bullying." Editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon then announced Harnden had departed and that he was "enlisting a third-party to conduct a thorough investigation" into the Examiner. CNN reported, however, that "current and former Examiner employees" said that "Gurdon was aware of Harnden's brutish managing style" long before it became a public issue, without doing anything about it.
In October 2020, the Examiner hired Greg Wilson as the new managing editor. As online editor of the Fox News website, Wilson had previously published a news story supporting the conspiracy theory about murdered Democratic aide Seth Rich and Wikileaks.
In June 2020, the Examiner published an op-ed by "Raphael Badani", a fake persona who was part of a broader network pushing propaganda for the United Arab Emirates and against Qatar, Turkey and Iran. The Daily Beast reported that Badani's "profile photos are stolen from the blog of an unwitting San Diego startup founder" while his "LinkedIn profile, which described him as a graduate of George Washington and Georgetown, is equally fictitious."
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.
[img]Phil Anschutz’s conservative agenda
Famously reclusive, the 69-year-old Anschutz has never discussed how he ended up owning two money-losing publications or what he wants to do with them.
By Michael Calderone
10/16/2009 05:14 AM EDT
One night last week at The Dubliner, an Irish bar near the Capitol, an unassuming Denver billionaire who has quietly made himself a player in Washington’s relatively small media world, had dinner with his editors.
It was a rare D.C. visit by Philip Anschutz, ranked by Forbes as the 37th richest man in America. But Anschutz’s ownership of The Washington Examiner, a daily tabloid, and The Weekly Standard, probably the nation’s most influential conservative magazine, has given him a megaphone for his right-wing views on taxes, national security and President Barack Obama that the 130 or so companies he owns have not provided him.
Characteristically, for someone who’s flown under the radar for much of his career, no one would talk about the dinner’s agenda. Examiner Executive Editor Stephen G. Smith said that Anschutz’s visit to the office that day was “routine” and that the “relaxing” dinner for the two publications’ managers was over by 8 p.m. “We weren’t painting the town red,” he added.
Famously reclusive — he has given only two interviews in the past 30 years — the 69-year-old Anschutz has never discussed how he ended up owning two money-losing publications or what he wants to do with them, but his intentions seem clear.
Founded in 1995, the Standard provided its first owner, Rupert Murdoch, with a Washington platform that bashed the White House during the Clinton years and enjoyed a privileged position during the presidency of George W. Bush, when it became one of the most aggressive champions of the war in Iraq. Anschutz acquired it last spring, reportedly for the bargain price of $1 million.
He started the Examiner in early 2005 as local competition to The Washington Post, but with a clear ideological stamp. 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.
And recently the paper’s politics have become more pronounced while adding a stable of writers plucked from conservative outlets and think tanks, including chief political correspondent Byron York (National Review), senior political analyst Michael Barone (American Enterprise Institute, Fox News) and investigative reporter David Freddoso (National Review, author of “The Case Against Barack Obama”).
Asked why his friend of 20 years is investing in publications that have never made money (the Standard) or have little hope of making any (the Examiner), Dean Singleton, chief executive of MediaNews, replied: “I really don’t know.”
Those who work with Anschutz say he has the same objective in everything he does — a profit. “There’s an expectation that all our assets will be good enterprises and profitable,” said Ryan McKibben, chief executive of Clarity Media Group, part of Anschutz’s empire that oversees his media companies. “There’s no charity involved. “
Not everyone is convinced.
“You have to look at what he’s doing as partly a reflection of some of his political convictions,” said newspaper analyst John Morton. “It was no accident it was The Weekly Standard he bought and not The Nation.”
As for the Examiner, Morton said, “Clearly, I don’t think that any rational person — and you’d have to include him among the rational — would view, right now, the newspaper business [as] an investment that would promise a good return.”
The Examiner’s distribution figures in the Washington metro area are 100,000 on Monday through Wednesday and 135,000 on Friday. On Thursday and Sunday — the two days the newspaper is delivered to upper-income neighborhoods — the circulation is 300,000 and 250,000 respectively. Anschutz’s company is privately held, and longtime aide Jim Monaghan declined to comment on whether the newspapers are profitable and if there is a business plan in place for that to happen.
But it could be a steep climb — The Washington Post, the region’s dominant paper, made $12 million in the second quarter of this year, with print advertising dropping 20 percent. And that was a huge improvement from the first quarter, when the newspaper division alone lost nearly $54 million.
At any rate, the Examiner doesn’t even have a distinct niche. If it is aiming to fill a conservative void in Washington, The Washington Times long ago got there first. Founded in 1982, and owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, the Times has never turned a profit, and the Post in 2002 estimated that the church had pumped $1.7 billion into its paper.
Tony Blankley, former editorial page editor and currently a columnist for The Washington Times, is also dubious that Anschutz is looking for a profit from the Examiner and the Standard. For a fabulously wealthy man, Blankley said, an opinion magazine that suddenly increased its circulation from 30,000 to 300,000 “wouldn’t even be a rounding error in his monthly miscellaneous account. The idea that a person of that immense wealth would see The Weekly Standard as a profit center strikes me as improbable.”
Anschutz first ventured into the Washington market at a time when prospects for the industry were far brighter than today. In 2004, he bought the 139-year-old San Francisco Examiner from the Hearst Co. and announced that he was starting a paper with that borrowed name in Washington. The paper was a new publication but combined three suburban papers he had also bought, and it had a new kind of business model — it would be free.
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Next, he launched a Baltimore Examiner but folded it after three years. Executives say that they expected more synergy and sharing of costs with the Washington paper, and when that didn’t happen, they pulled the plug. But the Examiner name is being used effectively online, where Clarity has a network of 109 hyperlocal Examiner sites, written by both journalists and community members. According to new figures from Nielsen Online, they had the highest growth rate last month of any news site.
The paper, no longer delivered every day to the affluent neighborhoods it originally targeted, has had a succession of editors and personality transplants but recently has morphed into a kind of New York Post, with headlines such as “Sex Scandal Hits D.C. Jail: Guard Probed After Hooker Sues.”
Smith, executive editor since 2007, said that despite having conservative columnists, the Examiner “plays is straight” when it comes to the day’s news. “If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, you’re probably not going to get up on your hind legs and applaud us,” Smith said. “If you are a centrist or a little bit right of center and feel frustrated with the Post — and we all know people who feel frustrated with the Post, as good as it is — I think we’re an appealing alternative.”
Still, many of those conservative staffers also write news stories, and the Examiner’s management comes with pretty clear political beliefs. Chris Stirewalt, the paper’s political editor, and Matthew Sheffield, managing editor for the website, are both conservatives — the latter also serving as executive editor of NewsBusters, a site that bills itself as “the leader in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.”
Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott, who’s worked as newspaper journalist and was previously director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Media and Public Policy, said he doesn’t have day-to-day contact with Anschutz and has met him only a few times over the years. But while there’s no tinkering from the other end of the phone in Denver, the editorial policy is not hard to figure out. It’s “your basic conservative, limited-government, low taxes kind of perspective,” Tapscott said.
Smith, who comes from a mainstream media background — he was previously the Washington editor for The Houston Chronicle, and was a high-level editor at Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report — said Anschutz plays a very little role in the management of the paper.
“I have never received a phone call or a note asking for a story,” said Smith. “I have never received a phone call from Phil that he didn’t like a story. He is really at a macro level. I am at a micro level.”
When Anschutz visits the Examiner, he walks through the 15th Street newsroom without any great fanfare, and he has been known to befriend those handing out copies of the Examiner outside Metro stations, at times taking on the job himself.
How much he will be involved with the Standard is not yet clear. No one at the magazine even knew it was for sale, and the new owner is an unknown quantity. Terry Eastland, the Standard’s publisher, said he’s “happy to have an owner who sees the value of a small political magazine,” while noting that the product hasn’t changed: “Bill Kristol retains editorial autonomy.”
Kristol, for his part, is nothing but upbeat. “We had a great owner for 14 years in Rupert Murdoch. We have a great owner — I hope for at least the next 14 years — in Phil Anschutz,” Kristol wrote in an e-mail. “The magazine is (I’ll immodestly say) strong editorially, and circulation is going up. All is well.”
Anschutz spends most of his time in Denver, overseeing a diverse empire that includes sports franchises he owns completely (the Los Angeles Kings and Galaxy) or holds a stake in (the Los Angeles Lakers), as well as arenas like the Staples Center and Kodak Theatre. In addition, Anschutz owns Regal Cinemas, Qwest Communications and oil and gas companies, to name a few interests. Recently, he’s been looking to delve more into wind energy.
Over the years, Anschutz has given extensively to philanthropic causes, while also opening his wallet for Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.org. Anschutz and his wife, Nancy, have donated to dozens of candidates — many from Colorado, such as former Rep. Tom Tancredo — as well as state and county Republican committees. Since March 2008, Anschutz has given nearly $59,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and current and former individual members of Congress, such as Orrin Hatch, Ted Stevens, Larry Craig, Elizabeth Dole, Rick Santorum, Alfonse D’Amato and John Ensign. He’s also donated to GOP presidential candidates and primary contenders: That list includes George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain, Bob Dole and Mitt Romney.
He has also donated to Christian conservative causes, such as Colorado for Family Values, a group that pushed against gay rights in the 1990s. More recently, his Walden Media co-produced the first two “Chronicles of Narnia” movies — based on a fantasy book series with Christian themes — before a falling out with Disney.
Whatever he owns in Washington, friends don’t see Anschutz as being changed by the increased attention that comes with doing business in the nation’s capital. “I don’t think Phil wants to have a public persona,” Singleton said, adding: “Phil is a very private person.”