L. Brent Bozell III calls himself "one of the most outspoken and effective national leaders in the conservative movement today."
Bozell is founder and chairman of the board of the Media Research Center, "the largest media watchdog organization in America." The MRC was founded in 1987. His books include "And That's the Way It Isn't: A Reference Guide to Media Bias"; "Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency"; "How to Identify, Expose and Correct Liberal Media Bias"; and "Out of Focus: Network Television and the American Economy." Bozell is also founder and chairman of the Parents Television Council, "the only Hollywood-based organization dedicated to restoring responsibility to the entertainment industry." Bozell is a nephew of conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and the son of L. Brent Bozell Jr., who co-wrote "The Conscience of a Conservative" with Barry Goldwater.
In 1998, Bozell launched the Conservative Communications Center (C3) and its online news division, Conservative News Service, now Cybercast News Service. CNSNews.com "specializes in covering news stories the major networks seem to be omitting," which in practice has meant stories that appeal to conservatives and criticize liberals. The mission of C3 is "to provide the conservative movement with the marketing and public relations tools necessary to proactively deliver its message into the 21st century."
Bozell also serves as executive director of the Conservative Victory Committee, an "independent multi-candidate political action committee" whose goal is to help elect conservative candidates to office. He has also served as national finance chairman for the Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign and finance director and president of the National Conservative Political Action Committee. He also writes a syndicated column, which is reproduced on the MRC web site.
Bozell is also a member of the Council for National Policy, a secretive group described as a congregation of "the Right's Washington operatives and politicians, its financiers, and its hard-core religious arm."
The Media Research Center, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., bills itself as "a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education foundation"; donations are tax-deductible. The MRC is a steady recipient of donations from conservative-oriented foundations. In 1996, its operating budget was just under $4 million.
Farah worked for a number of daily newspapers prior to the creation of WorldNetDaily -- he was editor of the now-defunct Sacramento (Calif.) Union, owned for several years by Richard Mellon Scaife, though he started work there after Scaife sold the paper to two Sacramento real estate developers, Daniel Benvenuti Jr. and David Kassis. They along with Farah were accused of taking the paper in an even more conservative direction than it had been under Scaife and skewing stories to reflect conservative ideas. Farah has also served as executive news editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (now defunct) and served as editor-in-chief of a group of California dailies and weeklies.
Farah is the co-author, with U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo, of "This Land is Our Land," and in 1994 he collaborated with Rush Limbaugh on his book "See, I Told You So."
Farah co-founded the Western Journalism Center with James H. Smith, former publisher of the Sacramento Union. The center provided Christopher Ruddy with "additional expense money, funding for Freedom of Information Act requests, legal support and publicity" during his investigation of the death of Vince Foster while working as a reporter for the New York Post and the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. This included buying full-page ads in major newspapers reproducing Ruddy's work and co-producing a video about the Foster investigation with Ruddy. The center accepted $330,000 in donations from Scaife-connected foundations in 1994-95. The center has been involved in an ongoing lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service over a tax audit it alleges was politically motivated. Farah is, like Bozell, also a member of the secretive Council for National Policy.
WorldNetDaily started in May 1997 as a project of the Western Journalism Center. WorldNetDaily describes itself as "a fiercely independent newssite committed to hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse." WorldNetDaily.com, Inc., headquartered in Selma, Ore., but incorporated in Delaware, was spun off in 1999 as a for-profit subsidiary of the non-profit Western Journalism Center with the backing of $4.5 million from investors. Farah and the Western Journalism Center own a majority of WND, according to Farah; the rest of the stock is owned by about 75 private investors. As of late 2001, WorldNetDaily employed 25; Farah says that about 80 percent of WND's revenue comes from the sale of books and videos through the site. The company expects to turn a profit in 2002.
Christopher Ruddy came to prominence through his reporting work on the death of Vince Foster and other alleged Clinton administration scandals for the New York Post and the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In 1997, Mr. Ruddy authored the book "The Strange Death of Vincent Foster." Also in 1997, Ruddy and Pat Matrisciana, producer of the anti-Clinton videotape "The Clinton Chronicles," worked together on a videotape titled "The 60 Minutes Deception," a counterattack on the TV show and its correspondent Mike Wallace for debunking Ruddy's views on Foster's death. Accuracy in Media help to pay for the video's production costs. Matrisciana and Ruddy held a joint bank account that at one point contained roughly $3 million, according to Joe Conason and Gene Lyons in their book "The Hunting of the President." Not long after the "60 Minutes" video was released, Ruddy started NewsMax.
NewsMax.com, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., but incorporated in Nevada, operates under the parent company NewsMax Media. The business model of NewsMax is based on "an integrated approach between online and offline publishing and direct sales." NewsMax's corporate shell was formerly known as Sequoia Ditgital Corp. NewsMax calls itself a "major news portal," as well as "one of Americas leading sources of balanced news coverage." It claims its print magazine has a paid readership of 240,000. According to Ruddy, at the end of 2000 total investment in the company was "less than $10 million," and the company became profitable in November 2000.
Ruddy, according to his NewsMax biography, is a media fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from St. John's University in New York and a master's degree in public policy from the London School of Economics.