Fack in February, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy decried the idea of "fratricide" within the Republican Party, claiming that "a civil war in the party will do more harm than good." Ruddy seems to have changed his tune, for Newsmax has set its sights on taking down a fellow Republican. And not just any Republican -- the target is Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee.
Newsmax has never particularly liked Steele -- Ronald Kessler declared back in Janaury that "Steele is not ready to lead the Republican Party" and that he "seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at fellow Republicans." But the story that the RNC spent $2,000 at a lesbian bondage club appears to have spurred a much more concerted effort by Newsmax to get rid of Steele.
A March 30 article by David Patten highlights "a growing insurgency seeking to remove" Steele, noting a major donor -- who "served as Christian-community liaison for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign" -- who said he would stop donating to the RNC. (It's worth mentioning that Kessler has a fetish for Romney.) This was followed by an April 5 article by Patten noting that the RNC's top fundraiser had resigned over the controversy. An April 7 unbylined Newsmax article repeated "key excerpts" from a New York Times article reporting claims that Steele has become a "distraction."
Kessler weighed in again with an article asserting that "Steele slapped his own party in the face with his contention that being African-American is a factor in criticism of him and of Barack Obama." Kessler added, "Given Steele’s self-destructive tendencies, he will likely continue to poke his finger in the eyes of his fellow Republicans. The question is how long they will put up with it."
Newsmax then highlighted more criticism: a request from "GOP strategist and CNN contributor" Ed Rollins for Steele to step aside, and a rehashing of conservative writer kathleen Parker's Washington Post column stating that Steele "needs to face the truth and set himself — and his party — free." Then came an reprinted Washington Times article noting that the Democratic National Committee collected more contributions than the RNC last month.
Expect Newsmax to keep the agitation up until Steele is gone (or until Kessler gets tired of writing about it).
Farah Dubiously Claims WND Is Bigger Than MSNBC Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah spent his April 8 WorldNetDaily column gloating that he had once dreamed that his website would be bigger than MSNBC, and now it is:
Not surprisingly, WND.com leads MSNBC substantially in Internet viewers. (WND.com is the 519th largest website of any kind in the U.S., according to Quantcast.com, while MSNBC.com ranks 545th.)
That may be true as far as it goes, but measuring web traffic is not an exact science, and there are many different ways to count. Hitwise, for example, places MSNBC second among news sites, while eBizMBA ranks MSNBC 15th. Neither make any mention of WND.
WND has a long history of cherry-picking statistics to make its web traffic look good -- for example, it has regularly misled readers about its Alexa rankings.
Farah then pontificated on why this was the case, and concluded that it was because his competition, unlike WND, fell "out of touch with America and American values." Really? We didn't know that undermining a president whose policies you don't like through spreadinglies and vilesmears were "American values."
Last week, we wrote an item for Media Matters about Ralph Peters' nonsensical fearmongering over "voting rights for illegals" at FrontPageMag. In response, FrontPageMag published a column by Rich Trzupek that engaged in a lot of ad hominem attacks to defend Peters.
Newsmax Columnist Likes IRS to SS, KGB Topic: Newsmax
Sure, nobody likes the IRS, but does be deserve to be likened to the SS and the KGB and its agents likened to Nazis who took the "just following orders" defense? Richard Rahn thinks so, and he tells us all about it an an April 7 Newsmax column:
Would you consider taking a job with a government agency that does the following:
Unnecessarily strikes fear into the hearts of tens of millions of your fellow citizens, causing such anguish and despair that some are driven to suicide each year
Requires citizens to know 10 million words of rules and regulations because the failure to do so may result in draconian fines and even jail, while at the same time no one in the agency has a full understanding of all the rules and regulations it requires others to know
Routinely ignores the constitutional protections against self-incrimination and the right to the presumption of innocence
Seizes the assets of citizens without obtaining court judgments Penalizes marriage
Discriminates against many of the nation's most productive citizens
Destroys incentives to work, save and invest, and undermines job creation
Routinely protects agency personnel who have engaged in citizen intimidation, misrepresentation or worse
No, I am not referring to the Nazi SS or the Soviet KGB, but the IRS, which is guilty of all of the above and more.
It is, of course, true that no one loves the tax collector and that taxes are the price we pay for a civil society. But, as with anything else, there are proper and improper taxes and tax collection procedures and methods.
According to news accounts, attacks and threats against IRS personnel are rising, and unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue until there is a fundamental change in our tax laws and collection methods.
People who do not have access to the media and cannot afford expensive tax lawyers sometimes reach such a level of frustration with the IRS that they resort to violent or irrational behavior.
IRS officials and workers will say the tax code is not their fault, and they are only doing their jobs.
It is unambiguously true that the tax code and IRS are creatures of Congress, with all of its self-dealing, corruption, ignorance, and incompetence. But it also is true, and was made explicit at the Nuremberg trials, that those who carry out orders that they know to be wrong or should know to be wrong are not absolved of personal responsibility.
Rahn, by the way, is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, so this hateful smear comes heavily subsidized.
UPDATE: NewsReal endorses Rahn's column, but is silent about his vile smears.
Newsmax is keeping up its newly revived Bernard Kerik rehabilitation business -- after the disgraced former New York City police chief was sentenced to four years in prison on a host of corruption charges -- with a pair of articles this week.
An April 6 article by David Patten touts Joe Scarborough's dubious assertion that Kerik would be "walking be walking the streets today" if Rudy Giuliani had not run for president. That's highly unlikely since since the investigation into Kerik began in 2004.
Patten went on to assert that Kerik "pleaded guilty rather than paying millions of dollars in legal fees against a prosecution that many contend was politically motivated." Patten offered no evidence that "many" people feel this way.
This was followed by an April 7 article promoting another article by longtime Kerik defender Andrew Kreig, published at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation. Kreig also highlighted Scarborough's defense of Kerik.
New Article: Joseph Farah's Birther Revisionism Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily editor has not only lied about his website's birther coverage, he and Alan Keyes want you to believe that they're not questioning Barack Obama's citizenship. Read more >>
Blakeman: Militarize Mexico Border With Drones, Troops (But Don't Call It That) Topic: Newsmax
Brad Blakeman declares in an April 6 Newsmax column that the government must "take swift and permanent action to secure our nation's borders immediately" -- and he wants U.S. troops to be involved.
The first step, according to Blakeman: "If we can send troops and deploy unmanned predator drones to secure the borders of foreign lands, then we can surely deploy them to help secure our own." Read that again -- he wants Predator drones of the kind that shoot missiles at suspected terrorists in Afghanistan on the Mexico border.
Does Blakeman really believe that someone sneaking into the U.S. for a job is worthy of the same fate as those who wage terror and command suicide bombers?
Blakeman then tries a little language bamboozlement: "We need a military style precision operation to effectively secure our borders. It is not about 'militarizing' our borders, which our president finds offensive." If you're sending armed troops and Predator drones to the border, how can that not be described as "miltarizing" the border?
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches NewsBusters' Tim Graham once again saying something stupid -- this time, claiming the fact that President Obama adapts his speaking style to his audience, as most people do, means that Obama is a phony.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew does a little dot-connecting regarding WorldNetDaily's Molotov Mitchell and anti-gay Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. Turns out Ssempa is buddies of the pastor of a neo-Pentacostal church in North Carolina linked to a movement called Every Nation, the current incarnation of a movement called Maranatha, which has been linked to authoritarian behavior. That church's previous pastor is Molotov's father.
WND Lies About Non-Discrimination Act Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 3 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn engages in baseless and false fear-mongering about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009, which would extend employment discrimination protection to to sexual orientation and gender identity.
The lies start in the headline: "House plans to resurrect law requiring 'gay' hires." This falsely impllies that the bill mandates a quota of gays to be hired and that the law forces employers to hire a certain type of person, which is a complete and utter lie.
Zahn does concede that the bnill makes "exceptions for the U.S. military, religious organizations and some businesses with non-profit 501(c) designations," but complains that it "makes no provisions for business owners' consciences." He then leaps into wild speculation: "A small construction company that wanted to maintain a Christian reputation, for example, could be sued if it refused to hire transvestites."
Zahn goes on to quote a representative of the right-wing group Concerned Women of America as saying the bill creates "special privileges" for gays and the transgendered, and he also quotes professional gay-basher Matt Barber claim the bill creates "special rights." But as Right Wing Watch points out, anti-discrimination protections for things like religion have existed for decades and the right-wingers never once complained about the fact that Christians were receiving "special rights."
Futher, as per WND's typical anti-gay, right-wing bias, Zahn permits no supporters of ENDA to respond to the right-wingers' criticisms. Thisalso follows in the tradition of WND's lies about extending hate-crime provisions to gays.
Ron Paul Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: Newsmax
Last week was a good week for the so-called “constitutional wing” of the Republican Party, those indomitable Ron Paul people. Sure, the next presidential election is a long way off but a recent snapshot taken by pollsters shows a surprising opening for the Texas congressman, the man who says that the Federal Reserve should be audited.
The general public is moving toward Ron Paul, even if most of them don’t even know who he is.
The country is ready. The man who pulled an upset to win the straw poll at CPAC, need only pull another one at the Iowa Cavalcade, 15 months from now, to be thrust into national prominence. The people are ready for some accountability. But the Wall Street bankers and establishment leaders in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor are watching.
The Ron Paul CPAC victory sent shock waves through their ranks. Don’t expect to see or hear about the Ron Paul revolution on the television news. The people who stand to lose from accountability are not about to help his cause.
He is right on the issues. And he has hardly changed his positions in a lifetime of public service. This gives him an immeasurable advantage over Obama and Palin. The country is moving to him, not the other way around.
And Ron Paul has one other ally: “Events.” Day by day, month by month, events are working, side by side, with Ron Paul, to prove him right and send his political star rising into orbit.
Janet Porter, Unrepentant Hater and Fearmonger Topic: WorldNetDaily
Janet Porter ratchets up the hate and fearmongering in her April 6 WorldNetDaily column:
Be warned: The government that already controls access to the care you need to save your life has as its next target, already in its sites, the power to control your home's heat and your freedom to travel – all under the coldest "global warming" threat ever manufactured.
After that, be looking for a food shortage – another crisis you can rest assured Obama won't let go to waste. What happens when the government steps in to "rescue" the food industry? I would suggest you ask the survivors of such occurrences in Russia and Germany, but most all of them aren't around, of course. They were starved to death.
In World War II, we faced the National Socialist Party in Germany. Now we face it at home.
Porter again promotes her May 1 rally " to repent of our many sins, which have brought us to this point. " Porter still has not indicated whether she will, at this event or any other occasion, repent for the barrage of lies and hate she has become known for.
The headline at the top of Newsmax's "Newsfront" section on April 6 looked strangely familiar:
It turns out we had seen it before:
Not only did Newsmax steal a headline from Drudge, the headline itself is false. As the Associated Press article to which Newsmax links explains (which carries the accurate headline "U.S. Unveiling New, More Restrictive Nuclear Policy"), Obama would permit the use of nuclear weapons in certain situations.
Note to Newsmax: If you're going to steal someone else's headline, make sure the headline is accurate.
UPDATE: Newsmax doubles down on the lie by making Drudge's false headline its lead story:
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian appeared on Sean Hannity's April 5 "Great American Panel," during which he claimed, "We're looking at an attempted socialist coup d'etat in Washington, D.C."