CNSNews.com -- as befits a loyal pro-Trump stenographer -- typically doesn't report on negative things about President Trump unless it can be spun to his advantage, which is why much of its reporting on the Trump-Russia investigation is mostly limited to random people insisting that there was no collusion. It's also why the only story CNS has published about Russian operative Maria Butina and her alleged attempt to infiltrate the conservative movement by acting as a gun-rights enthusiast is framed around the idea that the arrest of a former U.S. Marine by Russian authorities was done in retaliation for Butina's arrest.
But there's another tangent to this story that nobody at CNS or its Media Research Center parent want to talk about -- because it involves MRC chief Brent Bozell.
Butina was romantically involved with a conservative political operative, Paul Erickson, who helped ingratiate her with various conservative groups (and who also just got indicted in relation to the Butina case). Despite his conservative bona fides, Erickson was a bit of a scammer, and Bozell got scammed, as a newspaper in Erickson's home state of South Dakota reported:
Erickson, 56, landed in hot water with many of his associates, including L. Brent Bozell, III, a descendant of conservative royalty, over a failed business deal that ended up in court.
In the late 1990s, Erickson set out to use some of the contacts he had developed over the years to raise money for a nursing home and Alzheimer's care company called Compass Care. Investors were sold on the idea of building 24 facilities that would be Christian based.
Although Erickson raised money, the venture went nowhere. By 2003, the same year in which he was telling donors he wanted to raise money to defeat Daschle, creditors began seeking judgments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars against Compass Care, including on the red Ford Mustang Erickson drove.
The creditors included Blue Stem Capital Partners, an investment company founded by former GOP Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby, who ran for governor in 2002.
In 2007, Bozell filed suit against Erickson after losing nearly all of a $200,000 investment into Compass Care. The lawsuit showed how deep Erickson was willing to tap his conservative allies to raise money.
Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Center, a group founded to highlight alleged liberal bias in the media, had an unmatched pedigree within the conservative movement.
His father had been among the post-World War II intellectuals who revived the conservative movement, and his uncle, William F. Buckley, was the founder of National Review, a conservative magazine that for decades represented the zenith in conservative thought.
In his lawsuit, Bozell said he had known Erickson socially for years.
"Defendant Erickson had from time to time represented to plaintiff Bozell that he was an astute businessman and an accomplished investor of his own and other people's money," the lawsuit said.
Erickson, the lawsuit said, promised Bozell that he would double his money. Bozell sued a year and a half after nearly all of his money disappeared.
A court eventually awarded Bozell a judgment of $190,000. Christopher Craig, a lawyer who represented Bozell in the case, said the judgment, which includes interest, was never paid.
Don't look for CNS to report on any aspect of this story anytime soon.