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 the conservative point of view, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine format.
A Washington Examiner dispenser, from the time when the newspaper was a free daily paper.
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 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.
In March 2013, the company announced that it would stop printing a daily edition in June and refocus on national politics. The print edition was converted to a weekly magazine, while the website was continually updated.
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.
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 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."
Distribution and readership
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
, or The Hill
Its publisher claims that 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
Notable columnists and contributors
Content and editorial stance
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."
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.
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.
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, reportedly for not being sufficiently hawkish on immigration.
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.
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Last edited on 13 April 2021, at 15:34
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