Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
Cover image of Washington Examiner magazine for July 29 2013.jpg
Front cover of Washington Examiner magazine for May 26, 2014
Type Website, weekly magazine
Format Internet, magazine
Owner(s) Clarity Media Group
Founder(s) Philip Anschutz
Publisher Ryan McKibben[1]
President Stephen R. Sparks
Editor Hugo Gurdon
Managing editors Philip Klein
News editor Pete Kasperowicz
Opinion editor Tim Carney
Founded 2005; 14 years ago (2005) (newspaper) (as Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal)
2013 (2013) (magazine)
Language English
Ceased publication 2013 (2013) (newspaper)
Headquarters 1152 15th St. NW
Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
Circulation 45,000 (weekly magazine)
Website washingtonexaminer.com

The Washington Examiner is an American political journalism website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C. that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally.[2] It is owned by MediaDC,[3] a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group,[4] which is owned by Philip Anschutz.[5][6]

From 2005 to mid-2013, the Examiner published a daily tabloid-sized newspaper, distributed throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. At the time, the newspaper mostly focused on local news and political commentary.[5] The local newspaper ceased publication on June 14, 2013, and its content began to focus exclusively on national politics, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine format.[7]

The Examiner is known for its conservative political stance and features many prominent conservative writers.[8][9][10]


A Washington Examiner dispenser, from the time when the newspaper was a free daily tabloid

The publication now known as The Washington Examiner began its life as a handful of suburban news outlets known as the Journal Newspapers, distributed only in the suburbs of Washington, under the titles of Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal.[11] Philip Anschutz purchased the parent company, Journal Newspapers Inc., in October 2004.[12] On February 1 of the following year, the paper's name changed to The Washington Examiner, and it adopted a logo and format similar to that of another newspaper then owned by Anschutz, The San Francisco Examiner.[11]

Over time, the paper became influential in conservative political circles, hiring much of the talent from The Washington Times and replacing the Times as the primary conservative paper in the capital city.[13] The website DCist wrote in March 2013 that "Despite the right-wing tilt of its editorial pages and sensationalist front-page headlines, it also built a reputation as one of the best local sections in D.C."[2] The newspaper's local coverage also gained fame, including a write-up by The New York Times,[14] for contributing to the arrest of more than 50 fugitives through a weekly feature that spotlighted a different individual wanted by the authorities.

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.[15] The new format has been compared to The Hill.[13] The Examiner's editor is Hugo Gurdon, and its managing editor is Philip Klein.[15][16][17]. In December 2018, Clarity Media announced that the magazine would relaunch as a publicly available, expanded print magazine.[18]

Distribution and readership

The target market for the weekly magazine is the "45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals in Washington, DC, and state capitals."[2] According to its publisher, 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 the readerships of other political publications including The Weekly Standard, Roll Call, Politico, and The Hill.[19] According to its publisher, The Examiner has a high-earning and highly educated audience with 26% 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.[19]

Content and editorial stance

The Examiner has been described and is widely regarded as conservative.[8][10][9] 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, Rudy Takala, and Byron York.[5]

The Examiner endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election[20] and Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2010.[21] 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.[22]

2018 "MAGA list" story

In December 2018, The Washington Examiner published a story with the headline, 'MAGA list: 205 ‘historic results’ help Trump make case for 2020 re-election.' The story listed numerous alleged accomplishments of the Trump administration with no fact checks. The list was given to the Washington Examiner directly from the White House for publishing and there was no reporting rebutting anything. Shortly after, President Trump tweeted out the story twice.[23][24]

2019 Muslim prayer rugs story

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 after, President Trump cited the story as 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-immigrant 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.[25][26][27][28][29][30] The Examiner never released a clarification or retracted the story.


  1. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (December 5, 2014). "Shake-Up At The Washington Examiner". The Daily Caller. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c 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. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  3. ^ MediaDC website. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "New Examiner to offer online reporting, weekly magazine". (June 13, 2013). Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Calderone, Michael (October 16, 2009). "Phil Anschutz's Conservative Agenda". Politico.
  6. ^ Weekly Standard acquired by Washington Examiner parent company[permanent dead link], Washington Examiner, June 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Connolly, Matt. (June 14, 2013). "The Washington Examiner local news team says goodbye after eight years." The Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Lauter, David. "As 2017 ends, Republicans struggle to counter a Democratic wave". latimes.com. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Heresy on the Right". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Sommer, Will (February 2, 2018). "Chuck Todd: Fox News obtaining memo excerpts early ' smacks of a partisan exercise'". TheHill. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Robertson, Lori (April/May 2007). "Home Free". American Journalism Review. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Helman, Christopher. "The Man Behind the Curtain" (October 21, 2010). Forbes. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Washington Examiner Newspaper Closing, Becoming Weekly Magazine". www.outsidethebeltway.com. 2013-03-19. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (December 12, 2010). "Washington Examiner Helps Capture Fugitives". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara. (March 19, 2013). "The Washington Examiner Announces a 'Shift' in Their Business Model". Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  16. ^ Rogers, Jenny (August 11, 2014). "Stephen Smith Is Out at Washington Examiner". Washington City Paper. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (March 23, 2015). "Washington Examiner Ups Philip Klein to Managing Editor". The Daily Caller. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  18. ^ "Press Release: Washington Examiner to Expand into a Nationally Distributed Magazine with a Broadened Editorial Focus". Washington Examiner. 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  19. ^ a b "MediaDC | Audience and Readership". influence.mediadc.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Examiner endorses McCain-Palin". The Washington Examiner. September 24, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "Why Fenty deserves – and D.C. needs – four more years". The Washington Examiner. September 7, 2010. Archived from the original (editorial) on December 4, 2010.
  22. ^ "Influential Conservative Newspaper Backs Romney for GOP Nomination". Fox News. December 14, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  23. ^ Moran, Lee (2019-01-02). "Donald Trump Gets Busted Boasting About Positive News Coverage Written By Own Aides". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  24. ^ AM, Dan Cancian On 1/2/19 at 9:13 (2019-01-02). "Trump boasts about positive coverage, neglects to note it came from the White House". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  25. ^ Sommer, Will (2019-01-18). "Trump Tweets Discredited Right-Wing Meme About 'Muslim Prayer Rugs' at Border". Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  26. ^ Graham, David A. (2019-01-18). "Trump's Entire Shutdown Approach, Encapsulated in One Tweet". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  27. ^ Oprysko, Caitlin. "Trump touts story about finding 'prayer rugs' along border". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  28. ^ "Trump uses migrant caravan, prayer rugs to defend border wall, despite little proof - National | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  29. ^ Qiu, Linda (2019-01-18). "Trump’s Baseless Claim About Prayer Rugs Found at the Border". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  30. ^ "Trump points to a migrant caravan and unverified claim about Muslim prayer rugs as he continues push for wall". The Washington Post. 2019.

External links

  • Official website
  • The Washington Examiner at the Wayback Machine (archived August 30, 2005)
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