Guest: Joseph Farah
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Joseph Farah is the Founder, CEO & Editor-in-chief of World Net Daily and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators News Service. Mr. Farah explains why he is erecting hundreds of Ten Commandments billboards around the country. He also answers the controversial question: can Atheists be real Americans? Some readers consider Farah to have a radical plan to revive America back to freedom, morality and justice. Farah finally discusses the viability of the Tea Party movement.
Farah is the author or co-author of 13 books, including his latest, “The Tea Party Manifesto,” and his classic, “Taking America Back,” now in its third edition and 14th printing. Farah is the former editor of the legendary Sacramento Union and other major-market dailies.
Visit World Net Daily at www.wnd.com.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Solomon Success Show, where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible, as it relates to business and investing. False prophets and get-rich-quick schemes are everywhere; let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source: the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power, and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
JASON HARTMAN: Welcome to the Solomon Success Show. This is your host, Jason Hartman, where we talk about Biblical principles applied to business and investing. Learning from King Solomon, of course. And we will be back with a fantastic guest for you in just a moment here. But be sure to visit our website, www.solomonsuccess.org, or www.solomonsuccess.com. Take advantage of our extensive blog library, and our free content. I think you’ll find some fantastic things there. So, be sure to visit us on the web at www.solomonsuccess.com.
JASON HARTMAN: It’s my pleasure to welcome Joseph Farah to the show! He’s the founder and CEO and editor in chief of World Net Daily, a site you’ve certainly heard of, with some fantastic content. And he has another project that I wanted to talk about today as well. Joseph, welcome, how are you today?
JOSEPH FARAH: Great to be with you, thank you.
JASON HARTMAN: Well good. The pleasure is all mine. So, you have been busy erecting some Ten Commandments billboards around the country. Hundreds of them, in fact. Tell us about this project!
JOSEPH FARAH: Yeah, the plan is for hundreds. We’ve got probably that many in the works right now. Actually, we’re looking at potentially thousands. We want to cover the United States with this billboard campaign. And basically, it’s very simple. Each billboard is identical in verbiage; it’s just basically a copy of an abbreviated version of the Ten Commandments. And I’ll tell you how this came about. Because I think that’s the most interesting part of the whole story. I actually, for several months, before we launched, I had this—I don’t know how to describe it exactly. Maybe that still, small voice that was telling me I was supposed to do something with the Ten Commandments. And it was very real. And I didn’t know what that meant. What was I supposed to do with the Ten Commandments? That was the only information I was getting. And then I got an interesting email one day, shortly before the launch of the campaign. This really put it into high gear. And the email came from a gentleman who said, I have been sitting on this domain name, thetencommandments.com, for years. And I believe that God is telling me that I’m supposed to give it to you. And at that point, it just confirmed for me that this was real. This message that I was getting was something, you know, divinely directed. And so—and very quickly, at that point, I understood exactly what I was supposed to do. And that was to use the expertise that we had doing the outdoor advertising over the years in large numbers, and that it was going to be a Ten Commandments billboard.
JASON HARTMAN: Right. Yeah. Amazing! I’m certain that you’re gonna hear from the ACLU and similar groups. But what’s behind it, other than getting that great domain name?
JOSEPH FARAH: My feeling of what’s behind it is very simple. I believe that our country has, you know, lost its moral barometer, if you will. We no longer have a consensus on the things that define right and wrong for us. Our country has moved, our whole culture has moved, in a morally relativistic direction for a generation. And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have literally chased the Ten Commandments out of our schools, out of our courtrooms, out of our law schools, out of the public sphere of our existence. And you know, Ten Commandments that used to hang in the classrooms of virtually every public school in America—they’re not to be found there anymore. There’s an irrelevancy to the Ten Commandments. We’ve trashed them, basically. And at the same time, the expression of atheism is more fervent than ever. Bestselling books, billboard campaigns all over the country denying that God exists, and I see this as a way to fight back.
Not just fight back because I want to tell you how I believe about the Ten Commandments, but because I think the Ten Commandments are very convicting in and of themselves. I believe that the very definition of what’s right and wrong, what’s simple and what’s not simple. And I think it’s very important to get that back into the lives of Americans. In fact, I would say that America—I think we’d all agree that America’s facing lots of problems today. Everyone knows the economic problems. But I believe the problems we’re facing, at the root of all of them, is a moral problem. And so, we’re never really gonna address the root of the problem unless we address this moral vacuum that we’ve been living in for again, close to a generation now. And so, I just think that this campaign, if it’s as successful as I believe it will be, it’ll be just a constant reminder in this society that has really moved towards Godlessness so extremely over the decades. A little reminder every day as motorists are heading off to work, or heading home for the day, passing these billboards. I think it’s gonna tweak people’s consciences.
I think it will start discussion and debate about the relevancy of the Ten Commandments. After all, I’m talking to you right now on the air, and I’ve been on dozens of programs where I’ve had the opportunity to do the same. And people are responding in ways that surprise me. And I expected it to be successful. We have lots of people who are jumping on board, supporting it with financial donations, asking how they can get these billboards put up in their communities, and cheering it on. Now as far as the ACLU and the opposition, this is ACLU-proof. That’s one of the things I love about it. Because we’re talking about the First Amendment here. When you’re talking about free speech, free exercise of religion, there’s no government money supporting this, these are private billboards in public space. It’s the very definition of freedom of speech. And I don’t believe the ACLU would dare challenge these kinds of expression. In fact, if we were challenged by anybody, I’d call the ACLU and demand that they defend our right to do this.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah. So, very interesting. Now, no one would disagree—I don’t think anybody could disagree, even a radical leftist, that society has gone off the track morally. And the kind of decency of the old days just is not found very often in today’s world. But in talking about this, a lot of people try to separate these two things from spirituality and religion. So, you know, I’d ask, what is the tie between atheism and the American ideal? It’s amazing to me that—by the way, I was having this talk with someone just last week—that people don’t know, and don’t realize, that these communist regimes, especially the big ones, like the former Soviet Union—they demanded atheism! They wanted the government to be God!
JOSEPH FARAH: It was the official religion.
JASON HARTMAN: Right. Government was the official religion, exactly.
JOSEPH FARAH: No, becoming the official religion in the United States. When every public school in this country, I don’t care where they are—every public school, essentially, is teaching atheism as the official religion. To one extent or another. We call it secular humanism today. The Supreme Court of the United States characterized secular humanism as a religion. Well, what is secular humanism? It teaches that man is the center of the universe! That’s what it is. Now, that’s an atheistic tenet. And I believe that atheism is a religion too. I mean, it takes faith to believe that there is no God. It takes faith to insist that there is no God. I believe it takes more faith to do that, than to look around at this creation of ours, and assume that this all happened spontaneously, emerging at one point in time from nothing. And so, you know, this is, in fact, the Bible declares this creation, declares the glory of God. And so, I—this is—I think there’s no discussion we could have at this point in history in America that would be more timely than this. And here’s a simple reason why.
Some people have asked me, well, you’re a journalist, for heaven sakes! You’re the head of a news organization. You’ve been a journalist your whole life. Why are you doing this campaign, rather than some televangelist, or some big church, or some preacher? And here’s the reason why. For all my adult life, I have had the pleasure of working in journalism. Which I believe the real mission of journalism is the pursuit of the truth. We don’t hear that very often anymore. We hear all kinds of, you know, other slogans like fair and balanced, and so forth. Journalism is supposed—in the American tradition, it’s supposed to be about a pursuit of truth. Uniquely, American journalists work under the Constitution’s protection. No other country in the world has a Constitution that protects freedom of speech. No other country in the history of the world has had that. The reason we have that is because our founders were committed to—they were inspired by their belief in God and the Bible and the Ten Commandments. And most of them said it in one way or another. And with—and they also said that we could not continue to have the kind of self-government that they gave us, unless the people were a moral people, and an informed people.
Well, one of the things I focused on as a journalist over the years is informing people. But I want to do my part in reasserting the morality that’s necessary for us to remain a self-governing society in the truest form of that phrase. Why that is important to me—it should be important to every single American, and I don’t believe it’s possible without some kind of a consensus on a moral code. And I don’t know that there’s one that’s ever come along that’s better. Certainly not one that’s been handed down by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, as I believe it was. And so, that’s my—that explains my passion for the Ten Commandments, and what makes it relevant to us as Americans today.
JASON HARTMAN: Sure, sure. Yeah. Good points. Some have called your plan radical. But is this as radical as it gets? I mean, I don’t think it’s very radical. But some have said that. Or is there more to it than the billboards?
JOSEPH FARAH: No, there’s nothing more to it that I know of. I’ve told you what inspired it, what it’s all about. There isn’t like plans, phase II expectation for me. I believe there’s a great deal of power in the Ten Commandments. The Bible tells us not only is it the definition of what’s right and wrong, but it actually acts as a schoolmaster to bring people to repentance for their sins. I think that’s the most important aspect of the Ten Commandments. If people aren’t aware that their behavior is wrong, and there’s plenty of reasons for Americans not to know that any longer, since the Ten Commandments have been chased out of their lives.
JASON HARTMAN: You know, there’s no shortage nowadays of moral relativism, is there?
JOSEPH FARAH: That’s key. That is what it’s all about. And there’s only one way to fight that, to counteract that, and it’s simply to say, this is what it’s all about. If you don’t believe in the Ten Commandments, and if you don’t believe that God has certain requirements for our lives, and has not given us some teachings about right and wrong, then you have to ask yourself, is it wrong to murder? Is it wrong to steal? Is it wrong to covet your neighbor’s property? Is it wrong to commit adultery? Is it wrong to do all of the things that the Ten Commandments—and if you believe it is wrong, on what basis do you believe that?
JASON HARTMAN: Yep, very good points, very good points. Talk to us for just a moment if you would about your thoughts on the Tea Party Movement.
JOSEPH FARAH: Well, I wrote the Tea Party Manifesto in 2010, I believe, and said publicly, and wrote, that it was the most important political activist movement of my lifetime, but I knew that it was in grave jeopardy. Because any political movement that is effective, as the Tea Party Movement surely was in 2010, is in danger of being neutered, attacked, made irrelevant, and there were—all those attempts were made against the Tea Party Movement, and I believe many of them had some effect. Because if the Tea Party Movement had been as active and energetic and forceful as it was in 2010, we would not have had the results in the 2012 election that we had. And what happened, briefly, in my opinion, is that the movement was hijacked, at least in part, by old line political operatives, people like Dick Armey and his organization, FreedomWorks, and others like that, and other politicians who tried to jump in front of this parade that spontaneously began, and steer it in a different direction, and limit the scope of what the Tea Party Movement stood for.
And all of that—and a lot of money was spent doing it. And all of that had an impact. I think a demoralizing impact on many activists. I think the impact of kind of just, you know, steering people in the wrong direction, if you will, and you know, I don’t know what the future of the Tea Party Movement is anymore. I don’t believe it’s dead. I don’t believe we’ve seen the end of it. I believe that in fact, between now and 2014, we’re very likely to see a resurgence of Tea Party-style activism. But the other thing that’s happened is, a movement that really had no leaders, suddenly had a bunch of people claiming to be its leaders. None of them were elected, none of them were appointed. But they just asserted themselves as leaders, and I think that was too bad. That was a tragedy. And I think it confused Tea Party activists, because many of those people didn’t really represent their viewpoint. And so, if this movement is to come alive again and be effective in the next election, in 2014 and beyond, it’s gonna have to rise up spontaneously again. That sounds weird. But that’s exactly what happened the first time around. People just got up, and got out into the streets without being urged to do so, without much media attention, without any money being poured on it, and that’s the kind of activism I think that will be necessary to revive this movement.
JASON HARTMAN: Talk to us for a moment, if you would, just about World Net Daily in general, before you go. You just got some great content on the site. Great contributors. Just wanted to hear a little bit more about what’s going on there, just give you a chance to talk about that before you go. And also, give out the Ten Commandments domain name again.
JOSEPH FARAH: Okay, yeah. Well, before I forget, it’s TheTenCommandments.com, and there you can find out everything about how this program works, how you can get involved, how you can help, and so forth. As far as WND goes—and that’s our new name, WND. We really changed our name 15 months ago. We no longer use World Net Daily, but I know people still think of us that way.
JASON HARTMAN: That’s how I think of it.
JOSEPH FARAH: —in the hallowed halls of WND. If somebody says it, they’re corrected—
JASON HARTMAN: What’s wrong with World Net Daily, though? I’m just curious.
JOSEPH FARAH: There’s nothing wrong with it at all, except that it’s a rebranding effort. And you have to be—you know, when you do something like that, you need to be serious about it. And it’s the same way—it’s as simple as this. What did CNN used to be called?
JASON HARTMAN: Well, the Communist News Network. That’s what I still call it.
JOSEPH FARAH: Well, it’s still called that occasionally. But we never say, Cable News Network.
JASON HARTMAN: Right, true. Fair enough.
JOSEPH FARAH: Now Cable New Network is almost a generic, because there’s so many of them. And so, you know, World Net Daily was founded with the idea—you know, more than 15 years ago—with the idea that essentially, what we could do back then was to be what I called an electronic newspaper. It was all text based. We didn’t have broadband, people were using dialup to get on the Internet. And so, coming from the newspaper business as I did, that’s what I was envisioning. That was where the vision began and ended, was an online newspaper. Well, we have the opportunity to do so much more with the Internet now than we did then. And, for instance, we are using a massive amount of video on WND today. And more and more audio reporting. And commentating, and that kind of thing. So, it’s multimedia. And it’s not World Net Daily. That sounds like—it was made to sound like a newspaper. To mimic the tradition of newspapers. And I’m not ashamed of that, because, you know, I spent 25 years running daily newspapers around the country. But the fact is, we are much—we’re going to be much more like a television network in the future than a daily newspaper.
JASON HARTMAN: Okay, good. Good. So enough on that. What’s going on there? Some of the stories and things that you’re covering, and just any news you want to share.
JOSEPH FARAH: Well, you know, some of the stories, I think that, are, I’ve been really significant [unintelligible]. I think probably everybody has heard about the statement by Eric Holder a couple of days ago—
JASON HARTMAN: The drones?
JOSEPH FARAH: Well, no.
JASON HARTMAN: Which statement?
JOSEPH FARAH: I’m just gonna give you one example of the kind of reporting that WND is responsible for. Never gets any credit for. This is really an amazing story. But Eric Holder asked in a press conference about some banking scandals. Mainly HSBC. Said that yeah, there are some banks that are just too big to jail. HSBC was found guilty of massive, unbelievable money laundering schemes involving drug cartels, involving all kinds of incredible abuses. And all of that was discovered by WND months ago, in a series of reports that were absolutely mind blowing, based on inside whistler blowers. We broke that story, HSBC was prosecuted not only in America, in Europe, it’s a worldwide bank. But they—basically, it was the biggest fine that any bank has ever gotten. It was billions of dollars. However, that’s like the cost of doing business when you’re a criminal enterprise like HSBC is. And they’re not the only bank like it. And you know, I could talk to you about this particular story for a long time, because what we went through to tell this story, how HSBC tried to run us out of business, as the series was being published, and not one news outlet, anywhere in the entire world, has ever referenced who exposed HSBC.
Now this—the unique thing that WND does, that nobody else does—we do hard charging investigative reporting into fraud, waste, abuse and corruption, not only in government, though we love to do it in government, but in other powerful institutions like corrupt banks. And it’s fearless kind of reporting, and it takes a lot of courage, and it takes—and we know we will get tremendous opposition. There’s no—not one person has said thank you to WND for that series. Not the Justice Department, not the criminal prosecutors in Europe—nobody. But we had all kinds of opposition. Nobody has done a story even crediting WND. Nobody has done a story about this intrepid little news agency that, essentially, took down the biggest bank in the world. We didn’t take it down, because it’s still there. But the reporting—most people will look at this situation today and say wow, those guys have no business being in the bank business anymore. And that’s the kind of thing that we do, and are gonna continue to do.
JASON HARTMAN: And that is so important. But you know, I was just talking about that with another one of my show guests yesterday, Joseph. And I mean, just the complete absurdity of how this whole financial crisis, nobody’s gone to jail yet, how the banking scandal, with laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels—
JOSEPH FARAH: Yeah. Probably trillions.
JASON HARTMAN: And maybe trillions. And probably sex slavery cartels, and weapons dealers, illegal weapons dealers and so forth. And doing all of that stuff, yet, at the very same time, in our incredibly hypocritical country and system, some guy is smoking a joint or drunk in public, which, you know, I’m not saying I approve of either of those things. At least not in public. And goes to jail!
JOSEPH FARAH: Yeah. No, this is an evil beyond comprehension.
JASON HARTMAN: It’s insane!
JOSEPH FARAH: —what these folks are doing. They were making it possible to string people out on drugs, all over the world. They were involved—the bankers, for the drug cartels. Killers! Murderers! And they got a slap on the wrist, because they know that they keep enough money in reserve to pay—
JASON HARTMAN: To pay their way out of the mess. To buy off the politicians, pay the lobbyists.
JOSEPH FARAH: Yeah. Now, anybody else that some individual—if you got even inadvertently involved with, you know, drugs, you would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the—if drugs were found in your car, or planted by somebody else, your car would be taken away. You’d end up in jail. But here’s a bank that’s completely facilitating this kind of behavior, and essentially gets a slap on the wrist for it. This is so wrong.
JASON HARTMAN: It is so wrong.
JOSEPH FARAH: And so, my whole point—I’m just using HSBC as an illustration. We’ve been doing this kind of reporting for 15 years. It’s very risky. Very high-risk stuff. It’s filled with legal threats; our site was actually taken off line briefly by HSBC, which used its power to go to an upstream provider to deny service to WND for a period of time. And so, you know, I want people to understand, if they value this kind of reporting, they’re not gonna find out about it anywhere else. Only by my talking about this publicly on shows like yours do people even realize! I mean, HS—the scandal I’ve been hearing about everywhere—this all started with this little news agency called WND. Although every other news agency has now reported on it, none of them have talked about the extent of it. None of them have talked about the dirty little details of it. And none of them have mentioned who did it! Who exposed it all! Which is incredible! It’s like a conspiracy of silence.
JASON HARTMAN: Amazing, amazing things. What can we do about—like, when you look at the HSBC scandal, what can we, as the readers and listeners and viewers of your content and my content, what can we do, other than spread the word? I mean, people find out about this stuff, and all of the ridiculous unfairnesses, and the best justice money can buy. But other than being outraged, and other than spreading the word—I mean, those things are important—what can we do? If anything?
JOSEPH FARAH: Well, a couple of things you can do. You can personally divest any money you have in HSBC. If it’s your bank—think about that. It’s immoral to let them be your banker, number one. And think about—I’m not saying they’re the only ones in the banking industry that are immoral. But we know that one is so well documented now, that it’s immoral to participate with them. Number two, make sure that when we go to the voting booth, that we make sure we’re not going to have a president like this one, who’s going to appoint an Eric Holder as his Attorney General, who’s gonna say, well, you know what, some banks are just too big to go to jail. I mean, that is a stunning statement! Okay, it’s not anymore that this bank is too big to fail. Now it’s that they’re too big, no matter what they did, in other words—no matter what you did! If you’re a wealthy billionaire, trillionaire, you’re not accountable to the law! That’s what he was saying! And so, we have to make sure we don’t elect people like that! We need to go to the other party that holds the House of Representatives right now and say, where are you guys on this? I haven’t heard you attacking Eric Holder on this! You mean, it’s really true? That there’s two standards of justice in this country? One for the extremely wealthy and corrupt criminal class, and another for the rest of the people? And also, if you’ve got a strong prosecutor in your local, in your state, in your local county, community, what have you—bring them the evidence! They have the jurisdiction to go after outfits like this as well. So, those are just a few things you can do to fight back. That I’m sorry to say, practically nobody is doing.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, well, at least there’s something we can do. Good stuff. Joseph Farah, thank you so much for joining us today and filling us in one some of this stuff. And I’d encourage everybody to go to WND. The website is great, there’s just a lot of fantastic content there, and that is www.WND.com, is that right?
JOSEPH FARAH: You’ve got it.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, I’ve got it saved, but don’t have it right now. And check out the Ten Commandments work as well. And keep getting the word out there, okay? Thanks for joining us.
JOSEPH FARAH: Thank you. God bless.
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Transcribed by David