The New York Times reports that the video ran "throughout the weekend in all of Iowa’s major television markets." We saw it ourselves on a Omaha TV station, which also covers much of western Iowa. The Times notes that because the Newsmax video doesn't explicitly endorse Gingrich, it doesn't blatantly run afoul of election laws, and that Newsmax, as a corporate entity, is much freer to do such electioneering as a result of the Citizens United decision.
Interestingly, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy admits to the Times that there's something of a quid pro quo in Newsmax's sudden interest in shilling for Gingrich:
Christopher Ruddy, Newsmax Media’s chief executive, said he was inclined to feature Mr. Gingrich in the program because the former speaker was one of only two candidates who agreed to participate in the debate Newsmax planned to host with Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump pulled out of the debate, and Newsmax canceled it after most of the candidates balked.
“We’re very supportive of Newt,” Mr. Ruddy said Friday. “Newt never asked it, nor did we ever have to do it. But we do feel that Newt really is the conservative standard-bearer right now.”
Mr. Ruddy said the special would run 200 times over the weekend in all of the state’s major media markets, including on stations in Omaha and South Dakota that reach into parts of Iowa.
Newsmax and Mr. Ruddy have soured on Mitt Romney after endorsing him in 2008, when it called him “the Reagan candidate” on its cover.
Mr. Ruddy’s feelings now? He said Mr. Romney has been too dismissive of Newsmax, whereas Mr. Gingrich has not. “So we have a comfort level with Newt. Woody Allen says 85 percent of success in life is just showing up. Well, Newt shows up.”
Newsmax said it considered the video news programming, not political activity.
That's a dubious explanation, because Newsmax does not have its own regularly scheduled video outlet, nor does it produce video for broadcast outlets on a regular basis. Further, the program is not "news" per se -- it's a veiled endorsement of a political candidate who, as it happens, did a favor for Newsmax.
Newsmax has done this sort of electioneering while hiding behind the premise of being a "news" organization before. Before the 2004 election, Newsmax purchased TV time to air the discredited anti-John Kerry film "Stolen Honor."
WorldNetDaily apparently believes that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will come true.
A Dec. 29 WND article by Joseph Arminio serves up a variation of the oft-repeated WND falsehood about what President Obama meant by referring to a "civilian national security force." In his article, which uncritically repeats the ravings of right-wing congressman Louis Gohmert, Arminio references a portion of the health care reform law "that references a new national security force, what some have called Obama's 'private army.'" Arminio continues:
One of those impacts [Gohmert] cites as an example is the "regular corps and ready reserve corps" serving at the whim of the president detailed in the law. On March 30, Gohmert warned the nation from the floor of the House about this new "corps" in the context of the war in Libya and wondered "maybe there's this intention to so deplete the military that we're going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned officer corps that the president can call up on a moment's notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill."
He's still raising the issue.
Is this "private army" the fulfillment of Obama's campaign promise of July 2, 2008? Obama said at that time, "We cannot continue to rely only on our military. … We've got to have a civilian security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set."
WND has reported several times on the potential ramifications of such an "emergency health army" or president's "private army."
In fact, the health care reform law did not create a “private army” for Obama. It establishes a “ready reserve corps” of medical personnel inside the Public Health Service to respond to medical emergencies. The corps would be an adjunct of the Commissioned Corps, which has been around for more than 200 years. FactCheck.org and Media Matters shot down this conspiracy theory nearly two years ago, yet WND insists on pretending it's real.
But that's not the only zombie lie Arminio peddles. Later, he writes that Obama "contended that the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren failed in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s because it didn't 'break free from the essential constraints' in the U.S. Constitution."
In fact, as we've detailed, Obama said nothing about the Warren court failing to do anything; he was pointing out that because the court did not get into "the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society," it was not as radical as people think.
CNS' Jeffrey Cherry-Picks More Gallup Data to Bash Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey merges two of his favorite interests -- hating Obama and cherry-picking Gallup poll data for anti-Obama tidbits -- for a Dec. 28 article carrying the headline "‘None’ Beats Obama in Gallup’s ‘Most Admired’ Survey."
But buried in the article is the inconvenient fact that "none" typically battles with the president for top billing, and even President George W. Bush was beat out by "none" on a regular basis:
In 2008, "None/No opinion" took 25 percent, bettering outgoing President George W. Bush, who took 5 percent, but not President-elect Obama, who lead the field with 32 percent. In 2009, Obama beat “None/No opinion” again, 30 percent to 25 percent. In 2010, however, Obama lost to “None/No opinion,” 22 percent to 25 percent.
President George W. Bush managed to beat “None/No opinion” in each of his first three years in office. In 2001, he beat “None/No opinion,” 39 percent to 22 percent. In 2002, he narrowly edged “None/No opinion,” 29 percent to 28 percent. And, in 2003, he beat “None/No opinion,” 29 percent to 25 percent.
In George W. Bush’s second presidential term, “None/No opinion” beat him all four years.
Jeffrey apparently hates Obama so much that he'll throw what little journalistic integrity he has out the window in order to publish bitter, misleading stories like this.
If CNS ever was journalistically inclined, it certainly isn't now -- it's nothing more than a right-wing talking point factory.
WND Not Interested In Truth About Another Self-Proclaimed Ex-Terrorist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in June, Michael Carl wrote a three-partseries for WorldNetDaily telling the story of Kamal Saleem, who presents himself as a former terrorist who was, in Carl's words, "indoctrinated in radical Islam on his mother's knee" but now has "renounced terrorism, adopted a home in America, found Christ and has spoken against terror and radical Islam at universities across the nation."
What Carl made sure not to do, however, is address any of the questions that have been raised -- and continue to be raised -- about the story Saleem tells about his background.
Well before Carl's interview was published, it was reported that Saleem has portrayed himself as the descendent of someone called the "The Grand Wazir of Islam" -- a title and position that does not exist in the Arab world, let alone Islam, which has no overarching clerical hierarchy. Carl made no mention of that title issue in his series.
Since Carl's interview, more questions have been raised about Saleem's background.
The Michigan Messenger reports that Saleem once told a former employer that he was a placekicker for the University of Oklahoma football team and won a game with a last-second field goal -- which, according to school records, did not happen.
Further, Carl made a big deal out of recounting Saleem's story of his conversion to Christianity after being in a severe car accident:
"I cried out for Allah, but Allah didn't come to save me. I cried, 'Allah where are you?'" Saleem added.
He said his rescuer was a doctor.
"His first words were, 'Son we're going to take care of you and everything's going to be all right.' He was assuring me that everything's going to be taken care of and 'we're' going to be with you," Saleem said.
Who is this "we," he wondered.
"Many people read in the Bible about Jonah and the whale, but I was Kamal and the 18-wheeler. The second day, the head of physical therapy, he comes and does the same thing. On the fifth day, these men come together, one after the other to visit me," Saleem recalled.
"They started hugging each other and telling each they love each other. They were Christians. When I realized they were Christians, I got really scared because I thought it was a conspiracy," Saleem said.
At first, Kamal says he thought the conspiracy was from the dark side.
"I thought the conspiracy was from the demons because I thought the demons had found me. But these men had something so special. I did not understand it because the Word of God says in 2 Corinthians that the god of this world has blinded their eyes lest the Gospel open their eyes and ears of understanding," Saleem said.
He says suddenly he realized that he was the one who was blind.
But, the Messenger reported, history professor Douglas Howard points out that Saleem has never identified what city or state this near fatal accident occurred in, nor has he ever identified the Christian doctor who allegedly gave him refuge and helped him pay his bills while he was recovering.
Plus, there's also the question of Saleem being in the U.S. while claiming to be an ex-terrorist. After all, if he is an admitted terrorist, he should have faced justice somewhere along the line, and there's no evidence that he has. Also, how did an admitted terrorist get admitted into the U.S. in the first place?
If this sounds familiar, that's because it is. We've detailed how WND has promoted another self-proclaimed ex-terrorist, Walid Shoebat, while ignoring questions about his background. In fact, it was only after CNN began raising questions earlier this year that WND ran to Shoebat's defense, mostly by uncritically regurgitating Shoebat's own defense.
WND clearly has some skin in this game -- namely, that Shoebat and Saleem reinforce its anti-Muslim agenda -- so WND really can't be trusted to tell the truth about these to self-proclaimed ex-terrorists, and as Carl's hagiographic series on Saleem demostrates, it certainly has no motivation to go out look for it.
The Good website serves up a profile of WorldNetDaily's very own hatemongering videographers, Molotov (nee Jason) Mitchell and his wife, known to the world as D.J. Dolce. Turns out they're just as you would suspect them to be from their videos, full of hate and intolerance. Molotov is still standing by his endorsement of the "kill the gays" law in Uganda, and D.J. (nee Patricia) is desperately trying to justify her "wifely submission" to him. The sad conclusion: "They are not scary, even if their views are."
Sorry, Barack, but your socialist and communist mentors - from papa Obama to Frank Marshall Davis, from Saul Alinsky to Jeremiah Wright - had it all wrong. It is collectivism, in all its ugly incarnations, that doesn't work. So-called trickle-down economics, on the other hand, does work - and always will. It's built into the system.
Barack Obama would do well to listen to a once starry-eyed collectivist named Bill Clinton, who recently said, in an interview with Newsmax's Chris Ruddy, "We don't have a lot of resentment against people who are successful. We kind of like it, Americans do. It's one of our best characteristics. If we think someone earned their money, we do not resent their success. That's why there's been very little class conflict in American history."
We're less than a year away from finding out who is right in his assessment of the average American - Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.
Personally, while I have big problems with some of Gingrich's positions on the issues, his past behavior and arrogance, I won't lose any sleep over his mental health. Remember who is in the White House right now. Could we possibly do worse?
Then there is Obama. After his election, his promises turned out to be the equivalent of a "Feast of Barmecide." He now no longer promises anything; he behaves as a ruler or, better put, he behaves as a narcissistic, bipolar-schizophrenic, Communist dictator. He no longer promises anything – he now dictates. "Vladimir" Obama now just issues edicts and demands they be followed without question. He doesn't need Congress, and he couldn't care less about the American people. His intent is to rule and to separate by class and race.
A little more than three years ago, I first posited on these pages the unwelcome truth that Bill Ayers was the primary craftsman behind Barack Obama's acclaimed 1995 memoir, "Dreams From My Father."
So taboo was the subject, however, that in the years since not one critic, left or right, academic or journalistic, has dared to explore it in print.
To make such an exploration easy, I will volunteer to any serious critic my digital copies of "Dreams" and Ayers's 2001 memoir, "Fugitive Days."
The real scandal, as I have come to believe, is not that Ayers helped his struggling protégé, not even that Obama has continually lied about their relationship, but rather that the literary and media establishment has refused to investigate the most potentially consequential – and most obvious – literary fraud of our time.
We are just days from the Iowa caucuses, and some of you may look to a new Republican president in 2012 to solve this and other major problems. Even were a great leader to emerge, which, given the spate of Republican "pygmie candidates," as I call them, is not going to happen, we cannot wait until early 2013 to crush the mullahs in Iran. And frankly, no Republican candidate has advocated a massive strike to end the Islamic regime. The Republicans just talk a good game. Where have they been for the last three years, as the cancer grew to a tremendous size under the "mullah in chief," Barack Hussein Obama?! Their efforts amounted to little more than political gamesmanship and are sickening!
Unless he is forced, the prospects of President Obama ordering this forceful action are not great. We thus need to put heat on our political and governmental interests by rising up and demanding this.
Obama and Hillary Clinton are traitors, and they are probably bribed to the hilt by Iran, but that does not relieve the rest of us from demanding action! We cannot allow for the rise of another Hitler-type regime at this time in world history. There are enough problems that confront us, and we must NOW take drastic measures to remove these vile and evil Islamic terrorists from the face of the earth, if for no other reason than to allow us to deal with other matters and get on with business.
Faux-conservative David Frum told CNN Thursday morning that only "one person" in the current GOP field was qualified to be president, before adding that fellow phoney-conservative Jon Huntsman might also be able to do the job but his message is not resonating with Republican voters.
Who voted Hadro the arbiter of who is and is not a "real" conservative? Is that covered under the Media Research Center's nonprofit status?
Newsmax Highlights Morris' Attacks on Paul and Romney, Ignores Morris' Payola Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax devotes a Dec. 26 article to summing up Dick Morris' criticism of Ron Paul ("terrifying") and Mitt Romney ("buyer's remorse may set in"). The article doesn't mention, however, Morris' sordid history of being paid by Republican presidential candidates to promote their prospects.
Media Matters has detailed how Morris has conducted softball interviews with candidates such as Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, then promoted the interviews through his mailing list, which indicate they were "paid for" by the various campaigns. Morris has promoted Cain on Fox News without disclosing that he has been paid by the campaign.
Further, Morris' stance on Romney is another major flip-flop. Morris trashed Romney in February, then declared earlier in December that Romney, along with Newt Gingrich, "would make a fantastic president of the United States. We are so blessed with having these two as our main candidates." Now, Morris is trashing Romney again.
This was followed by a Dec. 29 article featuring Morris' rather ludicrous claim that Paul is "absolutely the most liberal, radical, left-wing person to run for president of the United States in the last 50 years," even more so than Obama. Morris clearly doesn't understand what libertarianism is.
One can assume that Morris' attack on Paul is partly motivated by the fact that Paul's campaign has not paid Morris to promote him. So what's Morris' deal with Romney?
We've detailed how Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has thrown his support behind Newt Gingrich, something that would undermine any pretense of objectivity in any GOP presiential debate it might host. Newsmax has now blown that up completely by throwing its corporate weight behind Gingrich.
A Dec. 29 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers declares: "Newsmax and Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Michael Reagan say the 2012 presidential election is crucial to America’s future and Newt Gingrich is the candidate who will best continue the Reagan legacy."
Accompanying this article is a video called the "The Newsmax 2012 Campaign Special," hosted by Michael Reagan and described by Meyers as being "featured in lieu of the Newsmax Republican presidential debate originally scheduled for Dec. 27." Meyers doesn't mention Donald Trump and how his presidential ambitions torpedoed the debate.
The half-hour video is all about Gingrich. Reagan introduced a fawning profile of Gingrich, followed by a lengthy, fluffy interview with Gingrich by Newsmax's Jon Bachman.
Newsmax's endorsement makes it even less likely that a Newsmax-sponsored debate will ever take place. Why would any candidate other than Gingrich take part?
WND's Kinsolving Has A Jefferson-Hemings Freakout Topic: WorldNetDaily
The ConWeb has some serious issues with the idea that Thomas Jefferson might have fathered a child with black slave Sally Hemings. Accuracy in Media called it a "smear," while the Media Research Center's Matt Philbin declared that Jefferson must be "exonerat[ed]" of the accusation.
Now, Les Kinsolving joins the freakout in his Dec. 26 WorldNetDaily column. He declares that the alleged Jefferson-Hemings hookup is "one of the most outrageous libels in American history," then quotes at length from some book on the topic. Kinsolving concludes by calling the story an "unconscionable smear of the third president of our country and author of our Declaration of Independence."
It seems Kinsolving is protesting a bit too much here. We already know he's a raging homophobe; is he a not-so-secret racist as well?
Newsmax's Wead Promotes Ron Paul, Ignores Newsletter Controversy Topic: Newsmax
Ron Paul is finding himself embroiled in a controversy over the racially charged content of newsletters he published in the 1990s. You wouldn't know that, however, if you've been reading Newsmax columnist Doug Wead.
Wead is the resident Newsmax promoter of Paul, repeatedy using his column to tout Paul's presidential prospects. His Dec. 23 column is no different,in which he examines "three myths regarding Ron Paul and the Iowa caucuses." Unmentioned, of course, is the controversy surrounding Paul's newsletters.
Wead is running the risk of denying reality to the point that he looks silly. Then again, Wead is so in thrall to Paul that he wrote a column headlined "Thomas Jefferson Lives On in Ron Paul," so he may be a bit blind to such things.
WND's 'Money Guru' Offers More Sketchy Analysis Topic: WorldNetDaily
You might remember Porter Stansberry as the WorldNetDaily financial adviser who is ready to flee the country at a moment's notice -- which is understandable given that his company has faced a $1.5 million sanction from the Securities & Exchange Commission over aggressive sales tactics. Stansberry's firm is also behind all those scary, Alex Jones-narrated "End of America" commercials on cable news channels, which use fearmongering to peddle his financial services.
Well, Stansberry is back, peddling more dubious advice.
The headline of WND's Dec. 23 article on Stansberry reads, "Money guru: Nation in decline if not outright collapse." Cue the fearmongering:
The man who predicted the bankruptcy of General Motors says the government's financial data isn't giving an accurate picture of the state of the U.S. economy, and the real numbers show things are much worse than is commonly believed.
The numbers tell us America is in decline, if not outright collapse, writes investment expert Porter Stansberry in the December 2011 issue of Stansberry's Investment Advisory.
Stansberry uses questionable analysis to back up this fearmongering. For example:
He uses the sale of cars as an example of evidence that shows real per-capita wealth peaked in the late 1960s.
The lowest median age of the U.S. fleet was in 1969, at only 5.1 years, he points out. Even as recently as 1990, the median age was only 6.5 years. But in 2009, the median age of a registered vehicle in the U.S. was almost 10 years.
"Rich people buy new cars," he argues. "Poor people do not."
First, Stansberry gets his numbers wrong. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average age of an automobile in use in 1970, the earliest number DOT has, was approximately 5.6 years. And in 1990, the average age was more than 7.5 years -- not the 6.5 years Stansberry claims. The 2009 number is 9.4 years, which Stansberry stretches into "almost 10."
Second, Stansberry overlooks the fact that cars last longer than they used to. From a Motor Authority article featuring automotive consulting firm R.L. Polk & Co.:
Dave Goebel, from R.L. Polk, told reporters from MSNBC the increasing durability, not the economy, is the main driver of rising vehicle age. There are more vehicles per household than in the past, he said, indicating that people buy cars and then hang on to them because they last longer."Each new model year the technology continues to get better and there are fewer components that fail, so we expect to see these trends continue," he said.
If Stansberry is manipulating numbers to back up his claims, one has to wonder about the rest of his analysis.
Margaret Menge does a little deceptive editing in a Dec. 23 Newsmax article:
In a pre-Christmas interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight on ABC, President Barack Obama refers to himself as lazy, saying it’s the result of having grown up in Hawaii, with the sun and beach.
Walters interviewed the president and the first lady in the Green Room of the White House on Dec. 15 in a special called “One-on-one with the Obamas.”
In the interview, Walters asks each: "What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?"
"Laziness," the president replies.
"You're lazy?" Walters asks.
"You know, it's interesting,” says the president. “There is a deep down -- underneath all the work that I do -- I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach”
“Sounds good to me,” Walters replies.
The president left for Hawaii today on a 10-day vacation with his family. He was scheduled to leave earlier and to stay in Hawaii for 17 days, but changed his plans after Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, rapped him for leaving town before a budget deal had been reached.
Romney has repeatedly criticized the president for his lax work ethic and for taking long vacations, saying earlier this month: “Obama’s idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”
Q Okay. What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?
THE PRESIDENT: Laziness.
Q You've lazy?
THE PRESIDENT: It's interesting, there is a -- deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me. I mean, probably --
MRS. OBAMA: If you had your choice --
THE PRESIDENT: It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach --
Q Sounds good to me.
PRESIDENT: Right. But when I'm mad at myself, it's because I'm saying to myself, you know what, you could be doing better; push harder. And when I -- nothing frustrates me more than when people aren't doing their jobs. Although -- sorry, I shouldn't provide two answers. The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty. I can't stand cruel people. And if I see people doing something mean to somebody else just to make themselves feel important, it really gets me mad. But in myself, since I tend not to be a mean person, if I get lazy, then I get mad at myself.
So Obama actually uses his feelings of laziness as motivation to "push harder." Menge not only didn't mention that, she reinforced the misleading impression that Obama called himself lazy by repeating Romney's criticism of Obama's supposedly laziness.
Politico's Ben Smith is calling this the "next anti-Obama talking point." Menge proves Smith right.Too bad Menge can't be bothered to fairly report the quote in full.
CNS Invokes George Washington On End of DADT, For Some Reason Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Dec. 21 CNSNews.com article on how Mitt Romney "says he has no plans to reverse the Obama administration’s repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military," Michael W. Chapman adds, for no apparent reason:
As CNSNews.com has reported, America’s first president, George Washignton [sic], as the leader of the Continental Army, approved the dismissal of a soldier for “attempting to commit sodomy” with “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes,” on Mar. 10, 1778.
How is this relevant to anything that's happening today? George Washington used muskets as well -- does Chapman want the military to return to those as well?