PJ Media, originally known as Pajamas Media, News is an American subscription-based commentary website of right-wing politics that is part of Salem Media Group. It was founded in 2004, with its majority owner being software entrepreneur, billionaire and angel investor Aubrey Chernick, founder of Candle Corporation (acquired by IBM). Salem Media Group acquired the company in March 2019. PJ Media also operated the online television and video network PJTV, which ceased operations on May 11, 2016.
PJ Media was founded as Pajamas Media in 2004 by Charles Johnson, the blogger behind Little Green Footballs, and screenwriter and producer Roger L. Simon, after Johnson's contribution to the Killian documents controversy investigation in 2004, in which he helped lead to the retraction of a 60 Minutes story critical of President George W. Bush's service in the Air National Guard and Dan Rather's resignation from CBS News. Johnson and Simon set out to challenge the mainstream media with a network of citizen-journalists. The network was primarily made up of conservatives and libertarians. The network's original name was derived from a dismissive comment made by former CBS news executive Jonathan Klein during the 2004 Killian documents affair: "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances at 60 Minutes and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."
Pajamas Media received venture capital funding on 14 November 2005. Pajamas used this funding for its operations and marketing while expanding its news and opinion coverage. Investors in this round of financing included Aubrey Chernick, an angel investor and technology entrepreneur, James Koshland, a venture capitalist, and a partnership formed by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. It rebranded as Open Source Media shortly thereafter and had a launch party that included a keynote address by former New York Times journalist Judith Miller, presentations from John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine, Andrew Breitbart, Elizabeth Hayt of the New York Times, David Corn of The Nation and others. Less than a week after its official launch Open Source Media changed its name back to Pajamas Media after discovering that Public Radio International distributed a radio show called Open Source produced by Open Source Media, Inc.
Johnson and Pajamas split in 2007 by mutual agreement; Johnson's stake was bought out. In October 2011, Pajamas Media changed its name to PJ Media. In September 2013, former congressman Allen West left PJ Media after he had an altercation with a female staffer and allegedly called her a "Jewish American princess". West denied being fired and said he left voluntarily.
In August 2018, PJ Media published an article by then supervising editor Paula Bolyard, claiming that Google was manipulating its algorithm to prioritize left-leaning news outlets in their coverage of President Trump. Bolyard acknowledged that her study was "not scientific", although she did conclude that "the results suggest a pattern of bias against right-leaning content." Fact checkers at PolitiFact rated this claim false.
In January 2019, PJ Media published a column by their senior editor Tyler O'Neil in which he insinuated in his article that a Muslim community patrol in New York City might be enforcing Sharia Law and might be linked to the NYPD. This group, the Muslim Community Patrol Service (MCPS) was a certified volunteer Neighborhood watch in Brooklyn, a NYC CERT along with other community patrols such as the Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol and the Guardian Angels. PJ Media offered nothing that demonstrated the MCPS could, or planned to, "enforce Sharia law", beyond engaging in the speculative hypothetical that the MCPS might somehow "apply [...] Sharia in its community monitoring." Fact-checkers at Snopes rated this claim false.
In February 2019, PJ Media published a column by one of their writers John Hawkins, also creator of Rightwingnews, in which he stated in an article titled "The Six Most Bizarre Proposals from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal", making five out of six claims such as "getting rid of airplanes" or "getting rid of cows", aim to "get rid of gas-powered cars in a decade", call for eliminating carbon emissions in ten years "without the use of nuclear power", or "promise 'economic security' for those 'unwilling to work'". Fact checkers at NewsGuard rated these five claims false which can be further verified by the official government resolution H.Res.109 Green New Deal proposed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In January 2020, PJ Media published a column by one of their writers, Robert B. Spencer, also founder and director of the anti-Muslim conspiracy blog Jihad Watch, in which he stated that congresswoman Ilhan Omar had given Iran military advice by suggesting it could target Trump hotels, and thus committed treason. Fact-checkers at Snopes rated this claim false.
In February 2020, PJ Media published a column by Victoria Taft, one of their writers and a conservative talk show host, in which she stated that President Barack Obama waited until millions were infected and 1000 dead in the U.S. before he declared the Pandemic H1N1/09 virus an emergency. Fact-checkers at Snopes rated this claim false.
According to NewsGuard, articles on PJMedia.com have frequently included distorted or misleading claims, including about the COVID-19 pandemic. A now deleted July 2020 article written by Matt Margolis headlined "COVID-19 May Soon Lose Status as an 'Epidemic' Under CDC Guidelines", promoted a misleading claim originally published by JustTheNews.com. Many other websites reported this story by PJ Media. After the fact, PJ Media never issued a correction to their original story, but only an update with changes and a new headline "COVID-19 Will Not Soon Lose Status as an 'Epidemic' Under the CDC".
In August, 2020, PJ Media published an article by their Chicago editor Rick Moran, claiming Democrats were urging presidential candidate Joe Biden not to debate with President Trump because they were concerned with the former vice president's mental stamina. The source for this claim cited on the PJ Media article was from Newsweek, but the article states that the former vice president was advised not to debate Trump, citing "publicity stunts and disregard for the rules in 2016" as well as cancelling debates over concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Newsweek article cited by PJ Media makes no mention about any mental stamina. According to CNN, Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo stated that presidential candidate Biden has already agreed to three debates with President Trump in Fall 2020.
In September 2020, PJ Media published an article by senior editor Tyler O'Neil, claiming that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was promising fewer fires, floods, and hurricanes if he should defeat Donald Trump in November. Though Biden did promise he would solve the climate crisis if elected in November, but he did not literally promise fewer catastrophic events. Fact checkers at Snopes rated this claim as false,.
In the summer of 2008, Pajamas Media launched PJTV, a subscription based internet television service. The Internet television service debuted at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. PJTV featured shows hosted by commentators such as Bill Whittle, Tammy Bruce, and Glenn Reynolds.
On May 11, 2016, PJTV shut down operations after its majority investor Aubrey Chernick pulled out funds.
- Bolyard, Paula. "Here's Why PJ Media Just Introduced VIP Subscriptions". pjmedia.com.
- "PJ Media". Politifact.
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- Grove, Lloyd (April 15, 2016). "The Death of PJTV: How Aubrey Chernick's Right Wing Media Dream Died". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "Salem Media Acquires PJ Media". Business Wire. March 19, 2019.
- Johnson, Charles; Simon, Roger L. (November 26, 2005). "From the Founders". Pajamas Media. Archived from the original on November 26, 2005. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
- Andrew Leigh (2005). "Pajama-Clad Revolutionaries". National Review (November 15, 2005).
- Peter Hannaford (May 12, 2005). "Pajama Game". The American Spectator.
- "An open letter to all bloggers" by Roger L. Simon, April 28, 2005
- "How the Blogosphere Took on CBS' Docs".
- American Dialect Society: 2004 Words of the Year.
- "Pajamas Media Closes $3.5 Million Venture Round" (Press release). Pajamas Media. November 14, 2005.
- ANICK JESDANUN (November 22, 2005). "Media Web Site Reverts Back to Old Name". Associated Press.
- "Conservative in Liberal Hands".
- Hillel Aron (December 4, 2009). "Charles Johnson And His Little Green Footballs: Holding Down The Center". Neon Tommy, online publication of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009.
- "Pajamas Media Becomes PJ Media" (Press release). PJ Media. October 25, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Nocera, Rosie Gray, Kate. "Allen West Out At PJ Media". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Bolyard, Paula. "Paula Bolyard". pjmedia.com.
- Bolyard, Paula. "96 Percent of My Google Search Results for 'Trump' News Were from Liberal Media Outlets". pjmedia.com.
- "PolitiFact - No, 96% of Google news stories on Trump aren't from left-wing outlets". @politifact.
- O'Neil, Tyler. "Tyler O'Neil". pjmedia.com.
- O'Neil, Tyler. "NYC 'Muslim Community Patrol' Car Not Approved by Us, NYPD Says". pjmedia.com.
- "Muslim Community Patrol & Services". Muslim Community Patrol & Services.
- "NYC CERT- NYCEM". www1.nyc.gov.
- "Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol out to keep BK safe". brooklyn.news12.com.
- "Does a Muslim Community Patrol in New York City Enforce 'Sharia Law'?". Snopes.com.
- Hawkins, John. "John Hawkins". pjmedia.com.
- Hawkins, John. "The Six Most Bizarre Proposals from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal". pjmedia.com.
- "Resolution for a Green New Deal". Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. November 13, 2019.
- "Robert Spencer". pjmedia.com.
- comments, Robert Spencer 2020-01-07T12:11:25 chat (January 7, 2020). "Treason? Ilhan Omar Gives Iran Military Advice, Suggests It Could Target Trump Hotels". News and Politics.
- "No, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar Didn't Give 'Treasonous' Military Advice to Iran". Snopes.com.
- Taft, Victoria. "Victoria Taft". pjmedia.com.
- "PolitiFact | Victoria Taft". www.politifact.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 2, 2020. Retrieved March 2, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Did Obama Declare Swine Flu an Emergency Only After 'Millions' Were Infected?". Snopes.com.
- "NewsGuard – The Internet Trust Tool". Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- Gregory, John; Kidd, Chandler; Ackermann; Peggy; Effron, Eric, eds. (July 2020) "PJMedia.com". NewsGuard. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- Margolis, Matt. "Matt Margolis". pjmedia.com. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- "PJ Media reports "COVID-19 May Soon Lose Status as an 'Epidemic' Under CDC Guidelines" – The Vaccine Report". vaccinereport.org. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- Margolis, Matt. "COVID-19 Will Not Soon Lose Status as an 'Epidemic' Under the CDC [UPDATE]". pjmedia.com. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
- Moran, Rick. "Rick Moran". pjmedia.com.
- Moran, Rick. "Democrats Urging Biden Not to Debate Trump". pjmedia.com.
- EDT, Benjamin Fearnow On 8/1/20 at 2:27 PM (August 1, 2020). "Supporters urge Joe Biden not to debate Trump, applaud hosts for canceling over COVID-19 concerns". Newsweek.
- Business, Analysis by Oliver Darcy, CNN. "Right-wing media focuses on 'imaginary controversy' suggesting Biden won't debate Trump". CNN.
- "New Media 2.0 Venture to Cover RNC; Pajamas TV Internet Service Created in Response to Eroding Public Confidence in Mainstream Media" (Press release). Pajamas Media. September 3, 2008.