Meet The Washington Examiner, GOP Debate Co-Sponsor

The Washington Examiner is a co-sponsor, along with Fox News, of the August 11 debate for Republican presidential candidates. Owned by a conservative billionaire, it's a prime source of conservative misinformation and extreme claims, and its writers attended a secret gathering last year hosted by the conservative Koch brothers.

Examiner Is Owned By Conservative Billionaire Philip Anschutz

Examiner Is Sister Publication To Weekly Standard. The Examiner is owned by Clarity Media Group, the holding company for the media properties of Philip Anschutz, which also include a similarly named newspaper in San Francisco and the conservative journal The Weekly Standard. [Anschutz Entertainment Group, retrieved 8/10/11]

Anschutz Is Major Supporter Of Republicans, Christian Conservatives. One of the richest men in America, Anschutz has donated extensively to Republican candidates and Christian conservative causes such as Colorado for Family Values, “a group that pushed against gay rights in the 1990s.” [Politico, 10/16/09]

Anschutz's Reported Mandate: “Nothing But Conservative Columns And Conservative Op-Ed Writers.” Politico quoted a former employee as claiming that Anschutz had explicitly stated that he “wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers” for the Examiner's editorial page. Examiner Executive Editor Stephen G. Smith insisted that the paper “plays it straight” when it comes to news, but he also conceded the paper has a slant: “If you're a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, you're probably not going to get up on your hind legs and applaud us. ... If you are a centrist or a little bit right of center and feel frustrated with the [Washington] Post -- and we all know people who feel frustrated with the Post, as good as it is -- I think we're an appealing alternative.” [Politico, 10/16/09]

Examiner Employs Inflammatory Rhetoric, Misinformation

Examiner's Carney Argues Against Racial Anti-Discrimination Laws. Answering a question during an appearance on MSNBC about whether it should be illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, Examiner senior political columnist Tim Carney said that landlords who discriminate based on race “ought to be shamed,” but that “the civil rights laws that restrict on property rights do more harm in the long run.” [MSNBC, The Dylan Ratigan Show, 6/20/11, via Media Matters]

Examiner Headline: “Public Employee Unions: Enemies Of The State.” The headline on the print version of an Examiner column by Hugh Hewitt stated, “Public employee unions: Enemies of the state.” The online version of Hewitt's column at the Examiner website carried the less provocative headline, “Tide of PR battle turns against public employee unions.” [Media Matters, 5/17/10; The Washington Examiner, 5/17/10]

Examiner Headline: “Obama Disses White Guys.” The front-page teaser headline in the print version of the Examiner about President Obama's comments about encouraging “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008” to vote in the 2010 midterm election read “Obama disses white guys; Rallies blacks, Latinos, women.” Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott later defended the headline, stating, “I think it said exactly what should be the issue and the point of discussion. The president made a racial politics statement, and we called him on it.” [Media Matters, 4/27/10; YouTube, 4/23/10; MSNBC, The Dylan Ratigan Show, 4/28/10, via Media Matters]

Examiner Headline: “Democrats To America: Drop Dead.” An Examiner editorial on the passage of health care reform carried the headline “Democrats to America: Drop dead.” [The Washington Examiner, 3/22/10]

Click here for examples of misinformation from the Examiner.

Examiner Writers Attended Secret Koch Meeting

Carney, Barone, Anschutz Attended Secret Strategy Meeting. Among the attendees at an off-the-record June 2010 meeting of “wealthy right-wing donors,” through which conservative billionaire Charles Koch has said he and his brother David coordinate funding of the conservative infrastructure of think tanks and media outlets, were Carney, Examiner senior political columnist Michael Barone, and Examiner owner Anschutz. [Think Progress, 10/20/10]

Carney Has Defended Koch Activism -- And Accepted Their Money. Carney wrote that the Kochs and “any of us advocating a free market are trying to make the world a better place -- not just for business, but for the poor.” Carney disclosed that, in addition to Charles Koch introducing his speech at a “fancy dinner,” “The Koch-created Institute for Humane Studies has, over the past two years, paid me on a few occasions to speak to various audiences (and also to mentor interns). The Koch-funded Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute have also hosted book talks for me.” [The Washington Examiner, 9/1/10]

Carney Says He Did Not Disclose Koch Meeting Attendance Due To “Confidentiality” Clause. Carney admitted that the “fancy dinner” he referenced in September was, in fact, the secret Koch retreat, and that he was “invited to speak on the condition of confidentiality.” [The Washington Examiner, 10/18/10]