Left-wing media watchdog site interviews Thomas Lifson, profiles American Thinker

I had never heard of the website called The Righting when a person named Michael Lovato, identifying himself as a reporter for it, emailed me asking for an interview.  I checked it out, including a few interviews they had done with other people in the conservative media, and, feeling frisky, agreed to respond in writing to written questions.  They seem like a more civilized version of Media Matters.

Here is the result, which quotes very selectively from what I wrote and mostly is a narrative by Lovato.

Meet the "American Thinker" Behind Thousands of Conservative Posts

The URL of the article seems to indicate that the title was changed after it was first loaded on their server:


The URL of the article seems to indicate that the title was changed after it was first loaded on their server:


It's not very long, so I suggest that, if interested, you read the whole thing.  And, if you are really interested, here is the entire written Q&A that went through a second round of "follow-up" questions.  You will then be able to follow the editorial decisions made in publishing what The Righting chose to feature and what to omit.

1. How and when was American Thinker founded? What role did you play in its founding?

I came up with the concept, logo, and design for American Thinker in 2003 and started publishing in November 2003, when we began a series of test articles.  Starting in early January 2004 we began daily publication.  My friends Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky, with whom I had been trading political commentary and analysis via email for a long time, assisted me in obtaining the software and server capacity and in committing to write for us. They both are credited as co-creators.

2. How many regular contributors does American Thinker have? Do you have a full-time staff, or do you rely primarily on freelance contributors?

We have a large number of people who send us material repeatedly. I can't put a number on them, but certainly dozens.  But we also open to reviewing material from new contributors and if you look at the list of authors we have published (https://www.americanthinker.com/archives.html), you will see that they number on the hundreds, perhaps even over a thousand. If you care to count them up, please share the total with me.

We have a staff of five paid editors in addition to me, but none are full time employees.

3. Are all of your contributors paid, or do you have some freelancers who contribute stories for free?

No contributors are paid. We exist to provide a platform for people who feel they have something important to share with a national and global audience.

4. How many original stories does American Thinker publish over the course of a week? A month?

We normally publish 5 or usually 6 original articles (essays addressing a topic of interest) and 15 blogs (commentary on current events and on material published elsewhere) a day.  On a weekly basis, that would mean more than 140 items and on a monthly basis more than 600.

5. I noticed that American Thinker solicits donations — is that your primary source of funding, or do you generate revenue via other means?

Our revenue sources are advertising, ad-free subscriptions with the ability to leave comments, and donations.

6. How large would you estimate American Thinker's readership is? How many paying subscribers do you have?

We reach well over a million unique individuals a month

7. What kind of posts tend to generate the most traffic on American Thinker?

I wish that I had a formula for that, but I don't.Experience has taught me the wisdom of what renowned screenwriter William Goldman said about predicting what sorts of scripts would yield hits: "Nobody knows anything."

8. Has the popularity of American Thinker fluctuated over the years? Have you noticed its popularity peaking with certain events?

Of course, election years have more traffic, with presidential elections substantially better than midterm election years.

9. American Thinker was threatened with legal action by Dominion Voting Systems for claims the website made about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election — has that experience, and your subsequent retraction of some of those claims, changed what kind of stories you publish or how you use sources?

We do not publish stories on voting machines

10. Earlier this month, American Thinker published an article titled "Michelle Obama's Changing Sexual Identity" by Joel Gilbert. While the article seems to suggest that the rumor about Michelle Obama being a transsexual is false, it openly speculates about Barack Obama's sexuality. Do you agree with Gilbert's speculation about Barack Obama's sexuality? Do you worry that the headline to the story is misleading considering the conclusion Gilbert reaches in the article?

I am not sure what "agree on speculation" means.  I don't rule out addressing questions which have been the subject of extensive public discussion.  I allowed the headline on the article because I thought it was playful, and because the article was very clear on the subject.

Lastly, there's the Final Four — these are questions about the biggest stories of the day that we ask all of our interview subjects:

1. Are you fully vaccinated?

No. I follow the FLCC protocol and have not been infected with Covid, unlike so many fully vaccinated and repeatedly boosted people like Biden and Fauci.  This protocol uses pharmaceuticals and supplements that have been employed by millions of people for many years and which have proven very safe. The experimental drugs approved on an emergency use basis do not have a comparable safety record, and there are very disturbing reports, such as the VAERS data, which suggest caution is the preferred option with experimental drugs that have not been tested the way normal new pharmaceuticals are.

2. Do you think the 2020 presidential election was stolen?

I think it is an open question and would like to see the evidence fully investigated.

3. Would you support Donald Trump if he ran for president in 2024?

He is not my first choice for the Republican nominee, but I would support him if he were on the ballot as matters now stand.

4. Do you believe in climate change?

Of course, climate has changed repeatedly, substantially, and cyclically over the millennia for which we have any evidence. I grew up in Minnesota where the more than 10,000 lakes were attributed to glaciation. I can't imagine any informed person would claim that climate does not change.

We are still coming out of what was termed the "Little Ice Age," that occurred after the "Medieval Warm Period," so temperatures have risen slightly in accord with that cyclical trend.  

I do not know what the ideal global temperature or climate is and find it odd that those who predict catastrophe refuse to specify what the ideal climate is. Are we supposed to believe that the current point in the cycle is the ideal? If so, why? Far more people die from cold than heat. We know that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases crop yields as well as other vegetation such as forests. Incidentally, this increase in vegetation works to moderate CO2 increases, as plants convert CO2 to O2.  Would the world, currently facing the specter of famine, be better off with cooler weather and lower atmospheric CO2 levels? If so, why?

Theories of anthropogenic climate change are based on computer models that do not account for clouds and other important factors. Karl Popper famously stated that for a theory to be scientific, it must be able to be tested and conceivably proven false. Anthropogenic global warming theory fails this well-known and highly regarded test.

We have seen repeated predictions of imminent or near term catastrophe by advocates of the anthropogenic global warming theory (for example, "The End of Snow")  that have not panned out. I keep an open mind on open questions, but so far, the advocates of catastrophic global warming (now rebranded as "climate change") have not proven their case.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com