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Thursday, March 19, 2015
Newsmax Uncritically Promotes Anti-Obama Author's Latest Unsubstantiated Claims
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has long had a thing for Ed Klein, promoting his dubious, unsubstantiated claims attacking Hillary Clinton and President Obama despite his history of being repeatedly discredited.

Newsmax keeps the lovefest going in a March 14 article by Todd Beamon touting Klein's (unsubstantiated, of course) claim that the Obama administration is trying to stop Hillary Clinton from running for president in 2016. Beamon gave Klein a pass on the lack of substantiation, choosing instead to boost Klein's media cred by noting that he "Klein, who worked as the editor of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987 and as an editor for Newsweek" and where his previous Obama-bashing books placed on the New York Times' best-seller list (as if sales equated to crediiblity).

A March 16 Newsmax article by Jason Devaney regurgitated Rush Limbaugh's own regurgitation of Klein's claim that Obama is sabogaging Clinton's presidential campaign, though Klein's name is curiously absent from the article. Devaney doesn't explain why something is newsworthy merely because Limbaugh utters it, which is the tone of his article.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:57 PM EDT
Friday, March 6, 2015
Ruddy's O'Reilly Defense Pays Off With Fox News Endorsement
Topic: Newsmax

Remember Christopher Ruddy's enthusiastic defense of Bill O'Reilly in the face of his exaggerations and falsehoods? Well, it paid off in the publicity department.

Jim Meyers happily writes in a March 4 Newsmax article:

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly offered up praise for Newsmax on his show Tuesday night, calling our website's fact-based reporting "refreshing."

"Last night we had a segment on how nasty the upcoming presidential campaign is likely to be because of the defamatory websites," O'Reilly told viewers.

"Well, there are some exceptions to the sewer. Check out Newsmax.com. It had some very interesting political analysis. Chris Ruddy and the guys actually try to gather facts, which is refreshing.

"That's the tip of the day."

Meyers does admit that "O'Reilly was no doubt subtly responding" to Ruddy's defense of him. But if O'Reilly didn't mention he was endorsing Newsmax because it defended him, doesn't that actually further the idea that O'Reilly is dishonest?

O'Reilly's endorsement would also seem to contradict Fox News' stance against Newsmax, which operates that TV news channel that directly competes with Fox. Last week, Fox attacked Ruddy for being friends with Bill Clinton and donating to his foundation.

But O'Reilly effectively negated that attack with his endorsement, which is all that matters to Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EST
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Newsmax's Ruddy Defends O'Reilly
Topic: Newsmax

The conservative media continues to line up behind Bill O'Reilly. Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy adds his whitewash in a March 2 column, declaring the controversy about O'Reilly's fabrications and exaggerations to be "much ado about nothing." Ruddy did try to go into specifics, unlike the Media Research Center.

While Ruddy says that NBC's Brian Williams was punished to severely for his exaggerations, he's fully on board with the right-wing meme that criticism of O'Reilly is a liberal conspiracy:

So why the targeting now of O’Reilly on very flimsy accusations?

For one thing, media outlets and liberal groups are upset about conservatives' criticism of NBC anchor Brian Williams.

[...]

Perhaps the O’Reilly brouhaha is a case of professional jealousy at work.

David Corn, who wrote the Mother Jones story, is a former Fox News contributor who didn't have his contract renewed, according to Joe Concha, columnist for Mediaite and host of "The Daily Wrap" on Newsmax TV.

O'Reilly has also been at the very pinnacle of cable news for so long — more than 15 years — it must infuriate his detractors.

He has also become a fantastically successful best-selling author. His latest, "Killing Patton," is currently No. 6 on The New York Times list of best-selling nonfiction books.

Then there is the fact that O'Reilly has always been somewhat of a maverick who doesn't play the establishment media game. But the attacks on his credibility have gone far enough. Some attacks are so ridiculous they are close to joke status.

After presenting video evidence to back up his reporting on one of the so-called fabricated stories, O'Reilly told viewers of his cable show: "I want to stop this now. I hope we can stop it. I really do."

Yes, stop all of this horseradish.

But isn't the idea that O'Reilly is the victim of a liberal conspiracy just as much a load of horseradish?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EST
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Newsmax

The Washington Post's Erik Wemple interviews Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy about his $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation that Fox News attacked him for. Ruddy points out something that Fox News didn't: another Clinton Foundation donor is James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and chief of Fox News owner 21st Century Fox.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EST
Monday, February 23, 2015
Fox News Takes A Shot At Newsmax's Friendship With Clintons
Topic: Newsmax

We reported a long time ago how Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy's previously hostile attitude toward the Clintons has mellowed, to the point that he ultimately went to Africa with Bill Clinton as part of a Clinton Foundation initiative.

The Ruddy-Clinton partnership has reached a new level -- and Newsmax's competitors are taking notice.

Au unbylined Feb. 19 FoxNews.com article notes what it calls Ruddy's "strange philanthropy" in pledging $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, adding that Bill Clinton gave a eulogy at the memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife, funder of Ruddy's early anti-Clinton efforts and co-founder of Newsmax with Ruddy. Scaife underwent a similar rapproachement with the Clintons.

The real reason this article exists comes in one brief paragraph: "Last year, Ruddy launched 'NewsmaxTV,' a 24-hour cable news channel that had previously streamed online." It seems that Fox News doesn't like the competition -- with it now apparently sees as a threat -- and wants to undermine Newsmax's conservative credentials in order to keep the right-wing TV audience for itself.

The Fox attack on Ruddy got some traction in the right-wing media. For instance, WorldNetDaily -- who was once a direct competitor of Newsmax but has since descended into conspiracy theories and mindless Obama-hate while Newsmax has moderated its views and jettisoned most of its extreme writers to become more popular --  picked up the Fox story. WND editor JOseph Farah has long been insanely jealous of the success of Ruddy, whose anti-Clinton attacks Farah promoted in the 1990s through his Western Journalism Center.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 23, 2015 11:04 AM EST
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Newsmax Censors de Borchgrave's Conservatism
Topic: Newsmax

It's unsurprising that Newsmax would play up the death of Arnaud de Borchgrave -- after all, de Borchgrave was an original member of Newsmax's board of directors. But there's something about de Borchgrave Newsmax isn't eager to tell you.

David Patten writes in his lengthy Feb. 15 Newsmax obituary of de Borchgrave:

When de Borchgrave took over the newsroom of The Washington Times in 1985, Reagan called to offer his congratulations. At the Times, de Borchgrave's tireless work ethic was soon on full display. He knew his mammoth competitor The Post, his former employer at Newsweek, could outspend his newsroom many times over. To compensate, he labored tirelessly to single-handedly reverse the newspaper's fortunes, often sleeping overnight on the convertible sofa in his office.

In an effort to motivate the Times staff, shortly after taking the helm he recounted his experiences in the Royal Navy. "My skippers seldom left the bridge," he told them. "I see myself as your new captain on the bridge."

By 8 a.m., according to New York Magazine, he would clip his way through five newspapers, and a staff member would sift through a dozen other publications for him as well. The New York Magazine article on his arrival at the Times referred to him as "the last of the world-class reporters."

Notice what's missing in that passage. Patten doesn't mention  that the Washington Times is a conservative operation funded by the cultish Unification Church.

Indeed, the word "conservative" doesn't appear anywhere in Patten's obituary, though he leaves enough clues as to de Borchgrave's ideology that it can be inferred. 

By contrast, the Washington Post was more honest:

In 1985, he became editor of the recently launched Washington Times. The conservative newspaper was backed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a religious group often described as a cult.

The newspaper had a loyal following inside President Ronald Reagan’s administration but at times made unusual editorial decisions. For instance, its editorial page lobbied Reagan to pardon Moon, who was convicted of tax evasion, according to the Post.

Patten's boss, Christopher Ruddy, took a similar tack to his employee. In an appearance on Steve Malzberg's Newsmax TV show, Ruddy eulogized de Borchgrave but at no point explained that he was a conservative.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EST
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Newsmax Pushes More Anti-Vaxxer Fearmongering
Topic: Newsmax

It's apparently not enough for Newsmax to have an anti-vaccine fearmongerer like Russell Blaylock on staff. Its Newsmax Health website is also rife with anti-vaxxer rhetoric as well.

A Feb. 10 Newsmax Health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard features the claims of "holistic physician" David Brownstein attacking the MMR vaccine and defending Andrew Wakefield, whose research linking vaccines to autism has been discredited. Hubbard fails to mention that Brownstein is affiliated with Newsmax, which sells his "Natural Way to Health" newsletter.

Hubbard goes on to uncritically promote an overbroad claim by Brownstein that "The MMR vaccine is produced using a cell line that originated from aborted fetal lung cells." While it is true that two specific cell lines from which vaccines are derived have been cultured from cells taken from two abortions (in 1966 and 1962), to use this an excuse to oppose vaccination is dangerous, as physicist Jay Wile, a Christian, writes:

Anti-vaccination advocates play on a person's proper moral indignation about abortion, claiming that if a person gets vaccinated, he or she is supporting the abortion industry. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not you get vaccinated, the same number of abortions will be performed, as abortions are not necessary to make new vaccines. In addition, you are actually dishonoring the memories of those two precious babies if you refuse vaccination, because you are refusing the one good thing that has come from their murder. At the same time, you are putting your life and the lives of your loved ones in jeopardy by refusing one of the greatest protections that medicine has ever developed! How could anyone call himself pro-life if he dishonors the memory of those who have been murdered while risking the lives of those he loves?

Hubbard also suggests a government conspiracy to suppress the purported dangers of vaccines:

There are accusations that the CDC has deliberately suppressed evidence of a link between vaccines and autism. "The Centers for Disease Control altered a 2004 study, hiding data that supported Dr. Wakefield’s research," says Dr. Brownstein. "The report stated there was no link between vaccines and autism, but a CDC whistleblower and author of the paper came forward to announce that the paper was a fraud. He said the CDC hid data in the paper which showed a clear link between the early administration of the MMR vaccine and autism."

The whistleblower was CDC senior scientist William Thompson, who issued a statement through his attorney: "I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism."

As the mythbusters at Snopes details, the data claiming African-American males have an increased risk of autism from the MMR vaccine is flawed. Hubbard omits the part of Thompson's statement where he states: "I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue  to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits."

Instead of telling her readers that, Hubbard rants about "the consensus of the conventional medicine community" that supports vaccination.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 14, 2015 10:52 PM EST
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Newsmax Lets Dubious Doctor Fearmonger About Vaccines
Topic: Newsmax

We've detailed the questionable medical advice of Newsmax-promoted doctor Russell Blaylock, not the least of which is fearmongering about vaccines.

With the current concern about non-vaccinated Americans contributing to a measles outbreak, Newsmax TV gave Blaylock a platform to peddle more fear about vaccines, as described in a Feb. 3 Newsmax article by Bill Hoffmann:

Childhood vaccinations for viruses like measles and chicken pox should not be mandatory and, in fact, may cause serious health problems, says board certified neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, editor of The Blaylock Wellness Report.

"Absolutely not. It takes away one of the fundamental rights of people, individuals and families and certainly parents — and that is the protection of their children," Blaylock said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"You should not have the right to force my child to receive a vaccine when I think that that could cause severe damage to my child.

"There's compelling scientific evidence that vaccines are not as safe as they're being proposed. In fact, there [can be] significant, serious problems, including death, seizures, encephalitis and severe brain damage. This is well documented in medical literature."

[...]

"If you could demonstrate that vaccines never caused serious neurological damage or caused serious health issues, then fine, that's one thing.

"But they can't demonstrate that and what we're seeing is a dramatic increase in autoimmune diseases since they've added so many vaccines to the vaccine schedule. Those include increases in neurological damage and impairment in learning, memory and speech.

"So we're seeing a dramatic increase in all of these disorders as the number of vaccines increased," he said.

Hoffmann didn't mention that Blaylock has defended Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who penned the notorious, now-retracted study linking vaccines and autism.

In an article on the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola -- a anti-vaxxer and peddler of health supplements who has been sanctioned by the FDA for overstating their effectiveness -- Blaylock claimed that criticism of Wakefield is "unjustifed" and that he was "singled out" because of "bias in academia and government regulatory agencies."

One plus for Newsmax, though: Hoffmann disclosed Newsmax's business relationship with Blaylock in his article.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 PM EST
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Newsmax Promotes Trump's Presidential Ambitions -- Again
Topic: Newsmax

Sandy Fitzgerald writes in a Jan. 24 Newsmax article:

Real estate mogul Donald Trump insists he could have defeated President Barack Obama in 2012, and regrets that he didn't run for office.

"I was leading in every poll...I regret that I didn't stay in," Trump told The Des Moines Register on Friday, a night before he was to speak on Saturday's Iowa Freedom Summit, an event attracting numerous GOP presidential hopefuls.

"I would've won the race against (President Barack) Obama," Trump continued. "He would've been easy. Hillary [Clinton] is tougher to beat than Obama, but Hillary is very beatable."

Fitzgerald neglected to mention that the main driving force behind egging on Trump's presidential ambitions in the 2012 election cycle was Newsmax.

We've documented how former Newsmax reporter Ronald Kessler -- a longtime Trump suck-up -- used Newsmax to tout the idea of Trump running for president, even proclaiming that his Trump-pumping secured Trump a speaking slot at the 2011 CPAC conservative confab.

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy is a Trump buddy as well, having partied with him and once declaring, "In my book, Trump’s a giant. He’s a 'big picture' visionary."

Kessler may be gone, but it looks like Trump can count on Newsmax to promote his latest round of teasing a run for president.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 PM EST
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Newsmax TV Laughably Claims It Cares About 'Free Expression'
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is trying to make hay out of a minor controversy involving its TV channel, as described in a Jan. 20 article by Jim Meyers:

A former senior White House aide to President Obama became furious after he noticed Newsmax TV airing on a United Airlines flight.

Bill Burton, who served as Obama’s deputy White House press secretary, was apparently outraged when he saw Newsmax TV yesterday on the plane’s video screens, and quickly tweeted:

"Hey there, @united. Why on earth is newsmax tv the default channel running on all of your screens when boarding your planes."

Burton apparently doesn’t have much use for the liberal ideals of free expression or allowing for an open exchange of ideas and opinions – at least when it comes to Newsmax TV.

[...]

The tweets of Burton and United have now gone viral, and some United customers are not happy about the airline’s quick cave-in to P.C. browbeating.

But Newsmax TV appears to care about "free expression" and an "open exchange of ideas and opinions" only when those ideas and opinions conform to its conservative ideology. Newsmax's archive of articles derived from Newsmax TV content shows it's almost entirely dominated by right-wing opinion from right-wing commentators.

For example, Newsmax TV's panel following Presdient Obama's State of the Union address featured only conservatives: Newsmax reporter John Gizzi, columnist John Fund and serial health care misleader Betsy McCaughey. Needless to say, all three bashed the president and his policies.

Where's the non-right-wing commentary that should be a key part of the "open exchange of ideas and opinions" Newsmax TV claims to offer? We're not seeing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EST
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Newsmax-Bernard Kerik Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has always been dedicated to fixing the reputation of former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik in the wake of corruption allegations for which he served prison time. They're still at it, letting him appear on Newsmax TV to opine about Al Sharpton:

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that controversial civil rights activist Al Sharpton "shakes down" companies for money in exchange for not attacking them as racists, according to former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik.

"I don't think anyone that's followed Sharpton for any period of time would be surprised by the article," Kerik said during an appearance Monday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV, during which he discussed a Sunday New York Post story that reported Sharpton takes corporate payoffs to keep quiet.

"It's what he does and I've said this before, he's an opportunist in many of these circumstances."

Unmentioned during the interview: Kerik served more than three years in prison for essentially doing what Sharpton is accused of doing: exploiting a tragedy to make money.

It's ironic that Newsmax lets a convicted felon to make such accusations, then hides his criminal record.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 PM EST
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Klayman Gets Softball Interview on Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Larry Klayman is a deranged Obama-hater and an incompetent lawyer. But Newsmax thinks his views

A Dec. 29 Newsmax article by Sean Piccoli dutifully transcribes an interview Klayman did on Newsmax TV. In the two entire segments he devotes to interviewing Klayman, guest host Ric Blackwell serves up softball questions and fails to ask any follow-up questions about Klayman's outrageous statements, such as calling President Obama an "emperor," or his laughable claim he's "neutral" on the issue of immigration. Blackwell ends the interview by fawningly calling Klayman a "leading voice on the right."

The promos attached to the video claim that Newsmax TV is devoted to "real news, better talk." Since when does turning over your network to a hateful nutjob like Klayman for 10 minutes and failing to challenge his extremist views equate "real news, better talk"?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 PM EST
Friday, December 19, 2014
Newsmax's Ruddy Laments 'Persecution' Of Christie As His Website Champions Persecution of Hillary
Topic: Newsmax

Christopher Ruddy complains in a Dec. 17 Newsmax column:

The ongoing probes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his associates over the so-called Bridge-gate matter boil down to another example of political prosecutions that border on political persecutions.

The case involving the George Washington Bridge occurred in January, nearly a year ago, and should be open and shut by now.

Christie was recently cleared in a report by a New Jersey legislative committee of any prior knowledge of the plan to impede traffic onto the bridge by closing access lanes.

No one thinks or believes he ordered the closing of any bridge lanes. So why the worry?

It is clear that some of his aides may have acted out of political considerations in their decision to close the lanes. If that is the case, their actions were stupid, but not criminal.

[...]

Yet in a strange way, the Left's attempt to persecute Christie could actually help his GOP standing because it is so obviously motivated by their worry he actually might be the GOP nominee.

Hence, the Democrats want to keep pushing Bridge-gate as far as they can and for as long as they can. Perhaps they have finally gone a bridge too far and should finally “shut up,” as the New Jersey governor might put it.

Ruddy might have a point if Newsmax wasn't pushing another political persecution elsewhere on its pages the very same day. From a Dec. 17 unbylined Newsmax article:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the next Congress, said the incoming committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

According to The Hill, the committee intends to investigate the issue of embassy security in the coming congressional session, and the Utah Republican said that Clinton's record in managing it as secretary of state will be examined.

He said Clinton, "changed the way we do embassy security and how we build the infrastructure there and she created a mess. It's a disaster!" The Hill reported.

Asked if Clinton could be called before the committee as a witness, Chaffetz said, "I'm not going to rule that out."

The article did not mention the fact that, as ABC News reported, "Multiple independent, bipartisan and GOP-led inquiries have faulted the State Department for inadequate security in Benghazi, leading to four demotions," or that the State Department has implemented recommendations regarding embassy security made by an independent review board. 

the fact that Chaffetz seems intent on dragging Clinton before yet another congressional committee even though she left the secretary of state post nearly a year ago suggest that he's acting on behalf of Republicans fearful that she may be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016 and simply wants to keep pushing anything Benghazi-related as far as he can.

Ruddy doesn't explain why he apparently has no problem with cheerleading a political persecution of Hillary Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:59 PM EST
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Newsmax Plays Class-Warfare Card on Obama Kids
Topic: Newsmax

James Morrison snarkily writes in a Dec. 11 Newsmax article:

While many public school students complain about lunchtime mush that meets White House calorie guidelines, President Barack Obama's daughters are dining on gourmet meals at a posh private school in Washington.

School kids have been moaning about tasteless fare local governments adopt to comply with first lady Michelle Obama’s war on the waistline and posting photos of the mystery meals online.

The Sidwell Friends School, the $36,000-a-year private academy attended by Malia and Sasha Obama, also posts its menus on the Internet.

The Daily Caller discovered that Sidwell students eat well.

Thursday’s lunch included: potato sausage soup, firecracker slaw, California chef’s salad, all natural Jamaican jerk chicken wings, sweet potato black-bean bake, sauteed local greens, gemelli alfredo, and slice pineapple.

Morrison's reference to "gourmet meals at a posh private school" got further emphasis in the headline, which screamed "Obama's Daughters Enjoy Gourmet Lunches at Posh School."

Morrison doesn't explain why he has chosen to make such a blatant class-warfare-based attack on the Obama daughters.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 14, 2014 11:17 PM EST
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Newsmax Promotes Ben Carson's Propaganda
Topic: Newsmax

Jim Meyers serves up quite the cheerleading tone in a Dec. 8 Newsmax article:

A just-released documentary about the best-selling author and rising GOP star Ben Carson is getting rave reviews from conservative activists — a strong sign that the renowned neurosurgeon is seriously looking at running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

The hour-long film "A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America," airs every night this week on Newsmax TV at 9 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

You can tune into Newsmax TV on DIRECTV 349 and DISH Ch. 223, on NewsmaxTV.com, or via the free Newsmax app on any smartphone.

One thing Meyers doesn't mention: Newsmax is apparently being paid to air the Carson propaganda documentary.

A National Journal article that Meyers cites for its praise of Carson as a potential presidential candidate also notes that the documentary's producer, Armstrong Williams, insists that the documentary will never be placed online because that "would violate his paid-programming contract with the networks that aired it." That, preumably, includes Newsmax TV, which means that Newsmax is promoting something it's being paid to air.

National Journal also notes the propagandistic nature of the documentary:

In tone, A Breath of Fresh Air lies somewhere between a Church of Scientology recruitment video and a cash-for-gold infomercial. In the documentary, you'll learn about the dangers of political correctness and the "liberal orthodoxy," along with the triumphs of Ronald Reagan and Galileo. You'll also hear an almost inscrutable metaphor about American greatness and oxygen masks.

Meyers just wants you to watch Newsmax TV. He doesn't care about the quality or objectivity of its programming.

UPDATE: A Newsmax spokesperson tells ConWebWatch: "Newsmax was not paid to air the film, nor did we pay Dr. Carson anything."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 8:01 PM EST

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