Gateway Pundit to file for bankruptcy amid election conspiracy lawsuits

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Gateway Pundit, the popular far-right blog, is filing for bankruptcy as it faces lawsuits alleging it promoted bogus claims about the 2020 election, its founder announced Wednesday — though he vowed to continue publishing.

Since its launch in 2004, the site has become a prolific clearinghouse for conspiracy theories about the election, school shootings, and other topics, helping to funnel such flimsy stories from the fringes of the internet to the broader pro-Trump right thanks to its substantial audience.

But all those conspiracy theories have had a cost for Jim Hoft, the Missouri blogger who founded Gateway Pundit. In a message on the site, Hoft said its parent company would file for bankruptcy because it was under attack from “progressive liberal” lawsuits. Hoft said the bankruptcy filing would help “consolidate” the lawsuits.

The bankruptcy filing wasn’t immediately available, and Hoft did not respond to a request for comment.

While he didn’t name which lawsuits he was referencing, the site is being sued for claims of defamation and infliction of emotional distress by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Moss, two Georgia election workers who say they faced threats after the site leveled baseless accusations of ballot fraud against them.

Despite the site’s apparent financial jeopardy, Hoft seemed determined to continue publishing in some form, writing that he would “not be deterred” from his work at what he called one of the country’s “most trusted independent media outlets.”

Despite its bare-bones layout and small staff, Gateway Pundit consistently ranks among the 20 most-read conservative websites online, according to Howard Polskin, who analyzes conservative media on his website, TheRighting.

Polskin said Gateway Pundit has managed to grow a significant audience through “right-wing hysteria.”

“It’s got a pretty strong brand position,” Polskin said. “It pulls a lot of eyeballs.”

Another lawsuit from Freeman and Moss has already resulted in a mammoth judgment against another election-fraud conspiracy theorist. In December, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani filed for bankruptcy after a $148 million judgment against him for his own attacks on Freeman and Moss.

Gateway Pundit is not alone among far-right media outlets to file for bankruptcy as they face legal judgments. The conspiracy-theorist outlet Infowars and its founder, Alex Jones, both filed for bankruptcy in 2022 as they faced huge legal judgments for promoting conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

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