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Monday, January 20, 2020
Newsmax Columnist Rants About Purported Poll Bias
Topic: Newsmax

In his Jan. 6 Newsmax column, John Tantillo complains about "Democratic party bias in polls of how Americans view the impeachment issue, and Donald Trump" in an October Fox News poll showing a 52 percent of Americans favor President Trump's impeachment:

The poll cited that 48% of the sample were Democrats. But the electorate, according to Gallup, consists of 31% Democrats, 29% Republicans and 38% Independents.

[...]

It appears, that all — that’s right, all — of the polls cited in the venerable Real Clear Politics Poll (RCP) average have a bias of at least six points toward Democrats with Independents being underrepresented by at least two percentage points and always leaning more Democratic.

How can this be?

Well, it’s rather simple:

It appears that these esteemed pollsters may be basing their stratified poll sample on this Dec. 4, 2017, Gallup column "Democratic Party Maintains Edge in Party affiliation."

The only problem is that this is no longer the case.

In December’s Gallup Political Party Affiliation poll 28 percent are Democrats; 28 percent Republicans and 41 percent Independents.

TRantillo invoked a New York Post "analysis" of the Fox News poll that Newsmax itself devoted a "news" article to at the same time. But Tantillo linked to Gallup's affiliation poll history, which hasn't shown much change between 2017 and now. And contrary to Tantillo's claim and the Gallup affiliation polling, registered Democrats consistently outnumber registered Republicans, as the Pew Research Center points out:

Gold-standard, nonpartisan surveys have found for decades that more U.S. adults identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party than the Republican Party – whether these surveys take place under GOP or Democratic presidential administrations. That is the finding of two of the highest-quality surveys that use nationally representative data collected through in-person interviews: the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies. It’s also the result obtained by numerous other reputable surveys that poll Americans by telephone or online using randomly selected samples of adults, including those done by us here at Pew Research Center, as well as those done by Gallup, Fox News, Kaiser Family Foundation and The Associated Press-NORC.

Because Tantillo doesn't understand how polls work, he decides to try and "unskew" the Fox poll results:

For those of us more conservatively analytical, a better metric to use describing public sentiment regarding impeachment is 46% (Take the poll’s 52% response and subtract from it the 6% Democratic oversampling error into account.) A more aggressive investigator would also consider the independent bias as well and then use a 40 percent benchmark — (46 percent minus the 6 percent oversampling against independents.)

In either case, both the 46 and 40 percentages are significantly different from the poll’s major headline of 52% favoring the removal of the president from office.

It seems that "all" those pollsters are correct and not their politically motivated critics.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EST
Monday, January 13, 2020
Newsmax Lamely Attacks Christianity Today Over Editorial Critical of Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been a loyal Trump-supporting outlet, so it has unsurprisingly joined others in the ConWeb in attacking Christianity Today editor Mark Galli's editorial advocating President Trump's impeachment.

A Dec. 20 article by David Patten tried to make the case that Christianity Today is a liberal publication though it was founded by Billy Graham, insisting that "A survey of the magazine’s Twitter posts suggest its opposition to Trump is hardly new" -- but he cited only four posts over a six-month span that offered criticism of Trump -- hardly evidence of aggressive "opposition." Patten went on to tout how "Responses from the Christian right are unwavering in their criticism of CT and their support for Trump," putting their names in boldface, though none of their criticisms addressed Galli's point that Trump has behaved in a "profoundly immoral" manner and has a "blackened moral record."

James Hirsen similarly failed to examine Galli's arguments with any kind of seriousness in his Dec. 23 column and instead labored to portray Galli and his publication as a liberal tool:

Galli penned a column that appeared to be written with the goal in mind of putting grins on the faces of leftists and garnering gobs of attention from the Trump-hating faction of the media.

Whether the above stated goal was mapped out or not, the end result was the same. The magazine’s image took a hit, the president was unfairly maligned, and the liberal media ate it all up.

[...]

When they found out that an ostensible spokesperson for evangelical Christians essentially used Democratic Party talking points to go after the president, the left-leaning media were filled with delight. Galli was predictably offered numerous media spots.

Guesting on NPR’s "Morning Edition" turned out to be a perfect venue in which to double down on his attacks on the president while letting loose with some additional jabs that seemed tailor-made for a CNN audition.

Galli, of course, repeated his call to negate the choice of America’s voters, but this time came up with other justifications, claiming that the president is in "psychological and moral confusion."

As propagandists are prone to do, Galli used highly manipulative and corrosive language that is designed to plant negative seeds and is deliberately crafted to poison the minds of potential voters. He compared the president to a physically abusive husband and then left the notion there to lie.

During his appearance, Galli denied that his publication is left-leaning. But the truth is, he and his magazine don’t even come close to being objective.

Of course, neither is Hirsen -- he's clearly too much of a pro-Trump propagandist to admit that his idol can do no wrong, hence his partisan attack on a publication he can't even prove is partisan (and, no, James, supporting immigration reform is not the hallmark of a partisan publication). He even sneered that the publication should change its name to "Un-Christianity Today." even as he failed to identify anything un-Christian about anything Galli wrote.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
Monday, December 16, 2019
Image Rehab: Newsmax Tries To Insert Dershowitz Into Impeachment Debate
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is so dedicated to the rehabilitation of Alan Dershowitz's image in the wake of his links to Jeffrey Epstein that it's trying to insert him as a forgotten legal expert -- not to mention an aggressively pro-Trump voice -- in the Trump impeachment debate.

Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy complained in a Dec. 5 column:

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony all day Wednesday from four legal scholars who were called to explain to the members what acts would be considered impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution.

Three were called by Democratic committee members and just one, Prof. Jonathan Turley, was called by Republicans.

But noticeably missing was arguably the most famous constitutional lawyer and acclaimed civil libertarian in the nation: Alan Dershowitz.

In 1967, he became the youngest full professor in the history of Harvard Law School and has made waves, big ones, ever since.

Like Dershowitz, all four testifying were politically liberal to far-left Democrats, who did not vote for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Why was Dershowitz not invited then?

The simple answer is House Democrats do not like his views.

Ruddy did not mention the fact that Dershowitz is a former lawyer for notorious teen sex trafficker Epstein, or that he has been accused of having sex with one of Epstein's trafficking victims.

Newsmax also published a Dec. 11 article by Solange Reyner stating that "Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., thinks President Donald Trump should add Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz to his impeachment defense team." Reyner also failed to mention Dershowitz's ties to Epstein.

In between, Dershowitz was given a platform to complain about being excluded due to his Epstein links in a Dec. 8 article by Eric Mack:

Accusations emanating from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal railroaded civil liberties legal expert Alan Dershowitz from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.

"Just because there is an accusation out there, the decision was made not to use me,"  Dershowitz, who testified against former President Bill Clinton's impeachment before Congress, told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. "Also, because the Republicans are only given one witness. If they had been given two witnesses, probably I would've been used along with Turley. Jonathan Turley did a good job."

Weirdly, Mack did not detail what exactly those "accusations emanating from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal" were that have kept him from being involved.

Newsmax has also been publishing columns by Dershowitz himself. In a Nov. 15 column, he groused that "the 92nd Street Y would not allow me to speak this year because I had been accused of having sex with a woman associated with Jeffrey Epstein, who I represented 13 years ago," accusing the facility of "McCarthyism" in doing so.

In his Dec. 4 column, Dershowitz again attacked his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, who has also accused Prince Andrew of sexual improprieties, complaining that a BBC interview of the prince "does not focus on the credibility of his accuser — a woman with a long history of making up provably false stories about prominent men." He even attacked her claim to have been underage while involved with Epstein, claiming that "her own employment records prove that she was well over 17, which is the age of consent in most jurisdictions where she said she had sex."

The next day, Dershowitz offered up his impeachment goods, in which he sounds more like a pro-Trump partisan than a legal scholar in bashing the legal experts House Democrats selected to testify:"The three Democratic experts would place congress over the constitution. They would effectively “amend” the words of the Constitution to make them mean what these experts believe would be “better” criteria for impeachment. But the Constitution cannot be amended through stretched academic interpretation. ... All presidents are accused by the opposing party of abusing the office, and many have. The remedy for such perceived abuse is not impeachment. It is election."

Newsmax has touted Dershowitz's pro-Trump, anti-impeachment arguments in other articles as well.

That, it seems, is the real reason Ruddy and Newsmax are working so hard to rehab Dershowitz.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2019 10:49 PM EST
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Alveda King Now Shilling for Trump Over Impeachment
Topic: Newsmax

We've detailed how anti-abortion activist Alveda King is desending into pro-Trump worship and outright shilling. She went further down that path in her recent Newsmax columns. On Oct. 25, she wrote:

Blessings to Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for his stand for justice in the case of the current unfair impeachment efforts against President Trump.

Yesterday, Senator Graham introduced a resolution denouncing the current impeachment inquiry into President Trump. He said impeachment is "very dangerous to the country," and that is true.

Please join the battle for justice in support of this effort. Support Sen. Lindsey Graham’s resolution by doing three things:

First, pray that what is being done in secret will be exposed in the light.

Next, get on all your social media platforms and post your support of the resolution and for your support of due process for President Trump.

And, put a call in to your Senators and Representatives, let them know they must honor the rule of law, to put the impeachment proceedings to a vote and for your support of SR 378. Assure them of your support.

She repeated more pro-Trump talking points: "The illegitimate impeachment proceedings lack due process for the president and transparency, as standing members of Congress have been shut out of the hearings, and U.S. citizens are being denied facts while POTUS is denied due process.

King then gushed in her Nov. 8 column:

I am in Atlanta today with President Trump and it’s been a great day for the president.

There is a lot of support for Trump in Atlanta. We all need to love, forgive, and support our leaders. Through loving our enemies we can all get along. We can have the greatest nation on the planet.

Today we rolled out the “Black Voices for Trump” coalition. There is a lot of energy and excitement in the air. President Trump spoke to a large crowd of supporters along with Vice President Mike Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

In his run for the presidency in 2016, in asking for the Black vote — "What do you have to lose?" Since that day, with many promises kept, POTUS has consistently shown us what we have to gain. Now, 3 years later, not only did Blacks not lose anything but we have gained a lot with the unemployment rate being at historic lows and the establishment of opportunity zones to help revitalize struggling neighborhoods. He has also been the most prolife president we have ever had, protecting all life from the womb to the tomb. With Blacks accounting for about a third of all abortions, that’s a lot of Black babies our president is protecting.

So, please pray for us! God is good.

King's prayer for Trump included this bit of worship: "God bless humanity and America with four more years with Donald J. Trump in your hands as our president."

In her Nov. 14 column, King bizarrely framed the impeachment in biblical terms:

This most recent bloodthirsty demand for impeachment, a drive based on lies, secrecy, and hearsay reminds one of a passage in 1 Kings 18.

Let’s examine the passage through 21st century “woke” lenses.

“Then the Truth-seekers said: Let the haters seek impeachment. Let them lay it out on their altar — but don’t ignite it. We will take the truth, lay it before the people. And wait; neither will we light the fire. Now you do your worst; we will do our best. You fan the media furor, we will pray to GOD.

The one who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.

[...]

A Challenge from Truth Seekers to America:

“How long are we going to sit on the fence? If GOD is the real God, follow GOD; if it’s the politicians, follow them. Make up your minds!”

Immediately the fire of GOD fell upon the altar of the truth seekers and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “GOD is the true God! GOD is the true God!

Truth seekers arise. We don’t worship government, we worship God. Overcome impeachment with truth. Pray for America.

It's almost cute how King thinks that an inveterate liar like Trump is a "Truth Seeker."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Monday, November 18, 2019
Newsmax's Ruddy Defends His Buddy Trump on Impeachment
Topic: Newsmax

Twenty years ago, Christopher Ruddy and his Newsmax operation were rabidly anti-Clinton and supported his impeachment. Now, he's trying to save his buddy, Donald Trump, from the same impeachment fate. Ruddy declared in his Oct. 20 column:

If you can’t beat him, destroy him.

That’s the Democrats' game plan when it comes to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

I spoke with the president shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nonsensical impeachment announcement.

To me, it was so clear this was nothing more than a political act, not motivated by constitutional or legal matters.

[...]

Almost from the hours after his stunning election in 2016, the far left went into attack mode, launching protests that very night.

Calls for impeachment began at the time of his inauguration.

The president has been hindered by these actions, and his approval ratings, which should have been sky high, have been dented.

The country has no history of impeaching and removing popular presidents.

The key for Trump, as he faces impeachment, is to use the same playbook he’s employed since he started as a rising business, entertainment and political star: just remain popular.

Unmentioned by Ruddy: Bill Clinton was a popular president at the time he was impeached.

On Nov. 1, Ruddy took a different defense approach: Trump is being impeached for being too good of a president:

Donald Trump may make history once again.

He is on track to become the first U.S. President to be impeached for being too successful.

Yesterday’s House vote, along party lines, is setting in motion a plan to impeach the President because his record is so strong the Democrats can’t beat him at the ballot box.

Unable to deal with the President’s A-plus performance managing the country, the Democrats have launched yet another “allegation in search of a crime” probe. (A phrase I coined to describe the Mueller investigation.)

Again, Ruddy did not mention Clinton, who presided over significant economic growth during his presidency. He did, however, weirdly try to throw President Reagan under the bus, claiming Trump "pales in comparison" to the Iran-contra scandal, adding that "Donald Trump’s involvement in the Ukrainian matter looks like small potatoes compared to Iran Contra, where laws were clearly broken."

Then, in an italic-laden Nov. 15 column in which every sentence is its own paragraph, Ruddy does his best to spin away the impeachment hearings:

Hey, are you seeing these hearings?

They don't have anything.

It's come down to someone hearing the president on the phone with Sondland.

In a crowded Kyiv restaurant. But still hearing every word.

Then there is another person who amazingly heard Trump too.

Heard what?

Trump wanted "investigations."

Trump always wanted investigations.

Long before his "call" with Zelensky, he openly and publicly complained about the Bidens' role in the Ukraine.

[...]

Almost two months since the impeachment inquiry, we're just discovering this is "bribery."

But a quid pro quo, per se, is not bribery.

[...]

Finally, two things resonate with me.

First, Steve Bannon is looking like a prophet.

At the White House, all he talked about was cycling out the Obama holdovers from the NSC.

“We're going to have big problems," he would warn, seeing danger if Trump staffers were not brought into the NSC.

I heard it myself.

And then there's Trump.

The legendary Ben Hogan said a great golfer isn't defined by his best shots, but by his best "bad shots."

That's Trump.

He always makes the best bad shots.

He has a track record of making miracles out of messes.

Nancy, mark my words.

Now that's some serious shilling right there.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EST
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Newsmax Denounces Pro-Impeachment Poll As Biased
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 18 Newsmax article by Bill Hoffmann took issue with a Pew poll showing that 54 percent of registered voters support President Trump's impeachment, insisting that it was "stacked with Democrat [sic] respondents":

But the methodology behind the poll appears to have stacked it in favor of achieving a pro-Democratic outcome. 

Buried in the survey results is the fact that of the 3,487 respondents, 1,942 are Democrats or are Democratic leaning while 1,453 are Republicans or Republican leaning. That means 56 percent of those polled were Democrats compared to 42 percent who identified as Republicans — a 14 percent margin favoring Democrats.

Frank Luntz, a veteran American political consultant and pollster, questioned the validity of the poll.

“Self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by about 6 percent nationally. The sample for this poll leans a bit too Democratic to accept these numbers as gospel,” Luntz told Newsmax. “When the questions are about impeachment, you have a responsibility to ensure an accurately balanced sample.”

Hoffmann failed to look closely at the poll's methodology, which showed the weighted percentage spread -- which "aligns the sample to population benchmarks" -- was just 7 percentage points between Democrat and Repubican -- much closer to current self-identification numbers.

Hoffmann doesn't mention weighting at all in his article, even though he got a comment from Pew telling him to look at the methodology.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 PM EST
Monday, October 21, 2019
Newsmax Co-Hosts Democratic Debate In Iowa
Topic: Newsmax

Back in 2011, Newsmax tried to host a Republican presidential debate that would have been moderated by ... Donald Trump (whom Newsmax had been building up as a possible presidential candidate). Even with a former CNN executive producing the debate and a motley group of conservatives endorsing it (Steve King, anyone?), doubts about whether Trump would keep his word to endorse the Republican nominee and not run as a third-party candidate kept candidates away (only two committed to taking part) and the debate was canceled.

Now, Newsmax is putting together something a little smaller in scale: a town hall in Iowa this week for Democratic presidential candidates co-sponsored by a libera-leaning Hispanic group.

An Oct. 18 Newsmax by Bill Hoffman article proclaimed:

On Thursday, October 24th, Newsmax TV and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) will co-host a two-hour Presidential Town Hall meeting featuring top Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination.

The LULAC-Newsmax Town Hall will include candidates Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro. The program will air live from the Des Moines Events Center in Iowa.

The Town Hall will begin at 8 p.m. ET, and Newsmax will air a pre-Town Hall starting at 7 p.m. ET. The program will open with a message from Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national president. The co-moderators for the Town Hall will be Newsmax TV’s John Bachman and Spectrum News 1’s Annette Garcia.

This Presidential Town Hall will focus on issues of importance to all Americans and the impact policies will have for Hispanic voters in Iowa and across the nation.

The event is expected to draw more than 800 people, and will be attended by more than 500 eligible and registered Latino voters from the Des Moines area. Iowa is the home to an estimated 73,000 Latino voters.

Because none of the questions directed to the candidates are known in advance, the Presidential Town Hall promises to be lively and unpredictable, and a potential game-changer in the Democrats’ quest for their nominee.

Hoffman also did a follow-up interview with LULAC president Domingo Garcia playing up how the town hall "will show Americans that the Latino vote is truly up for grabs."

The stakes are a bit lower this time -- it's earlier in the primary process than its 2011 attempt, and it has a partner different enough from Newsmax to at least plausibly claim some bipartisan motive. (Fun fact: LULAC's Iowa chapter called for King's resignation over his "many years of hateful, divisive and racist statements.") Still, only four candidates, all of whom (with the possible exception of Sanders) are considered lower-tier, have signed on.And Newsmax TV is not exactly a broadcasting powerhouse, though perhaps a better choice than its 2011 broadcast partner, the sparsely watched ION Television.

But low stakes come with low expectations, and this might just be the best way for Newsmax to learn how to do one of these things.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2019 9:20 PM EDT
Monday, October 14, 2019
Pat Boone Hypocritically Rants About Anger And Name-Calling In Politics
Topic: Newsmax

Pat Boone began his Oct. 3 Newsmax column (also published at WorldNetDaily) by claiming:

I don’t usually spout off in an angry tone like this — but I’m sick and tired — up to here — with this despicable, destructive, counter-productive, nation dividing name calling and libelous, criminal charges against public servants and elected officials — with no substantiation whatever.

Our culture, particularly our political culture, has seemingly deteriorated to such an amazingly biased and uncivil level that we don’t seem like America at this point!

Boone is lying -- he does, in fact, spout off in an angry, libelous, nation-dividing and name-calling tone on a regular basis. As we've documented, he particularly enjoyed doing so when Barack Obama was president. He loved to repeat lies and conspiracy theories about Obama including birtherism; one column was so filled with virulent hatred of Oama and Muslims that even Newsmax thought it was so over-the-top that it edited out the most extreme references. He mocked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan by suggesting she was a lesbian, claming she's an "otherwise nice woman who likes her softball,"and he declared the American Civil Liberties Union to be the "American Taliban." He even rushed to the defense of Mel Gibson after his drunken anti-Semitic rants.

Boone went on to serve up more disingenous name-calling of non-conservatives he doesn't like: Nancy Pelosi has "eyes bulging with animosity and barely concealed hatred for her president," Adam Schiff is "equally distressingly pop-eyed," ranting that "evidence, audio and visual, has been uncovered in which Adam Schiff himself is heard inviting supposed information, offered by a suspicious foreign party — the very thing he’s hounding and trying to convict Trump for!"

Actually, that involved an incident in which Russian pranksters purported to offer to Schiff photos of a naked Trump -- which, actually, is quite different and not "the very thing" at all from Trump's allegedly offense of using U.S. foreign aid in a quid pro quo to seek personal favors from a foreign country.

Boone concluded his column: "The Bible soberly warns, “Judge not. For with the judgement you judge — you shall be judged.” We Americans, who still have the final say, must absolutely demand that the mudslinging and mindless smearing stop … lest our blessed republic itself be smeared beyond redemption."

You first, Pat.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:37 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Calls For Pardon of Newsmax Friend Kerik
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been a longtime friend of Bernard Kerik. After the former New York City police commissioner was busted on various issues unbecoming of a police commisioner -- an affair with his book editor (and others), mishandling of taxpayers' money, links to a mob-controlled construction company and nanny problems among them -- it attempted an image rehabilitation campaign for him even as he was sentenced to prison for his crimes. In more recent years, Newsmax made Kerik a columnist and even published a novel he wrote under its Humanix Books imprint (while not telling its readers about the conflict of interest).

Now, it appears that Newsmax has one more bit of image rehab to do for Kerik: Get President Trump to pardon him.

Wayne Allyn Root made a naked appeal to that effect in his Sept. 19 Newsmax column:

[M]y friend Bernie Kerik served his country with honor and valor for over 30 years. He’s saved victims from burning buildings, been shot at, stabbed, survived the largest terror attack in U.S. history and a bomb plot aimed at him.

My friend Bernie served as one of the most decorated cops in the history of the NYPD, undercover drug detective, former leader of the U.S. Justice Department's New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, ran the largest jail system in America, and the largest police department.

As the 40th Police Commissioner of the city of New York, Bernie was responsible for 55,000 civilian and uniform personnel, and a $3.2 billion budget.

Bernie was one of the founding members of the Board of Trustees of the Twin Towers Fund, which raised and distributed $216 million to the families of emergency service workers killed on 9/11.

But my friend Bernie was an enemy of the D.C. Swamp. He was targeted for destruction and his life was ruined. He eventually pled guilty to false statements and tax charges that all started with failing to pay payroll taxes to his children’s nanny.

America’s Top Cop and 9-11 hero went to prison, spent time in solitary, served his probation, and in the aftermath, became one of the most aggressive proponents nationwide for criminal justice reform.

If ever there was a perfect candidate for a pardon, it’s Bernie Kerik, American hero. If ever there was a perfect moment to do it, Mr. President, that moment is now. You have the momentum, you have the American people’s support.

Mr. President, please pardon my friend Bernie Kerik.

Note that Root is playing the right-wing victimization card by claiming Kerik was "targeted for destruction." He seems to forget that if Kerik hadn't done what he confessed to doing in a court of law, there would have been no reason that any campaign to "target" him would be successful; Kerik ruined his own life, not anyone else.

As a further sign that a pardon for Kerik may very well be corporate policy, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy retweeted Root's column with the message: "Wayne is right: Bernie Kerik is an American hero, he deserves a pardon! Please read and share ..."

Remember that Ruddy is a close buddy of Trump, and Trump's pardons are influenced in part by his friends. That would seem to mean Kerik has a better chance of getting pardoned than he might otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 10:17 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Newsmax Alan Dershowitz Defense Watch
Topic: Newsmax

We've documented how Newsmax has been giving Alan Dershowitz all the space he wants to defend himself over his alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal and related issues. That hasn't really stopped.

On Aug. 9, Dershowitz defended his infamous argument for lowering the age of consent for sex, insisting it was merely "a provocative think piece, designed to stimulate debate." After Epstein's death, Dershowitz wrote an Aug. 16 piece insisting yet again that the sex accuations made against him by one of Epstein's victims is false, declaring: "The death of Jeffrey Epstein does not diminish the suffering of his real victims. Nor does it diminish the suffering of those who have been falsely accused by Epstein’s victims."

An Aug. 13 article quoted Dershowitz in a Newsmax TV appearance declaring that he will be vindication of the Epstein-related charges not only in a court of law but "the court of public opinion" as well, going on to claim that "the accusations against him are a result of opportunists trying to capitalize on society's sensitivities to the Me Too movement."

An Aug. 19 column by Michael Dorstewitz ran to Dershowitz's defense, portraying him as a victim of "polarization politics" over the Epstein-related charges and his defense of President Trump, making sure to portray Dershowitz as a "lifelong liberal." On Sept. 24, Newsmax published an Associated Press article on Dershowitz filing a motion to "throw out a lawsuit that accuses him of lying about his sexual history with a woman who claims she was a teenage victim of a Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring."

Dershowitz has also used his Newsmax platform to opine on politics:

  • On Aug. 29 he declared that fired FBI Director James Comey "certainly acted guilty."
  • On Sept. 9, he insisted that Trump didn't do anything illegal in paying hush money to a porn star before the 2016 election, adding, "that's called a settlement. It's done all the time.
  • In a Sept. 15 article, he was quoted as uncharacteristically defending former FBI official Andrew McCabe, though he undercut it by going on to claim that Trump's naming of William Barr as attorney general was the "right choice to bring credibility back to the Justice Department."
  • This was followed by a Sept. 18 paywalled item featured him claiming that israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "experience and leadership is still a valuable asset during tenuous times in the Middle East."

We missed it before, but Newsmax also published an Aug. 1 column by former Dershowitz student David Oskar Markus defending Dershowitz against the Epstein-related claims, lamenting he is being "accused of a heinous crime without any real recourse or due process protection."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 10:11 PM EDT
Friday, September 20, 2019
Newsmax Lobbies For Ex-Employee Fleitz To Get A Different Trump White House Job
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax really, really wants Fred Fleitz to have a job in the Trump administration.

We've documented how Newsmax lobbied for Fleitz to succeed Dan Coats as director of national intelligence -- while failing to disclose that Fleitz is a former Newsmax employee, having headed a short-lived subscription-based "global intelligence and forecasting" operation called LIGNET. Now, another Trump White house vacancy has brought another opportunity to lobby for Fleitz.

A Sept. 10 article by David Patten cited "informed sources familiar with the situation" to claim that Fleitz "has an inside track to replace outgoing National Security Adviser John Bolton," highlighting "a picture Fleitz tweeted shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, showing him standing by a seated President Donald Trump at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office" as an alleged "indication of the president’s thinking." Patten added that "The picture is believed to be a recent image, and possibly from a Tuesday morning meeting with the president. The text Fleitz included in his tweet stated: 'Proud to help @realDonaldTrump keep America safe! @securefreedom.'"

Patten went on to cite "an intelligence community insider who directs an organization titled ReportForThePresident.org, which is believed to reflect the thinking of the intelligence community" who "told Newsmax on Tuesday he has received reports from his network that Fleitz is expected to get the nod to replace Bolton." Actually, ReportForThePresident.org looks to be little more than a pro-Trump, liberal-hating operation whose "statement of purpose" gushes about how "President Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his promises by rebuilding our national security, defeating ISIS, creating jobs and global fair trade, reducing taxes, standing up for our rights, prosecuting human traffickers, and reducing the number of criminals coming across our southern border, despite countless diversions--from the fake Russia collusion story to other fantastic attacks by self-serving opponents." Further, the site's operator, Robert Caron, is also linked to a group called JTFMAGA, which in turn is reportedly linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

So, actually not that credible. Needless to say, Patten didn't tell his readers any of this, let alone that Fleitz is a former Newsmax employee.

The same day, Newsmax's John Gizzi wrote an article about how difficult it might be to find someone who would take Bolton's job, adding that Fleitz "was an alleged candidate and was reportedly a runner-up to be national Intelligence director" and had "worked closely with Pompeo when the secretary of state was a U.S. Representative and member of the House Intelligence Committee."

Fleitz even put in an appearance on Newsmax TV, as documented in a Sept. 16 article that's hidden behind a paywall.

Alas, as before, all this lobbying was for naught -- two days after Fleitz's Newsmax TV appearance, Trump picked Robert O'Brien as his new national security adviser.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Newsmax Falls for Bogus 'Democrat' Who Defends Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Sandy Fitzgerald writes in an Aug. 30 Newsmax article:

President Donald Trump Friday, while speaking out on Twitter about the Inspector General's report on James Comey's actions, tweeted a compilation of comments from a Democratic former CIA officer who said on Fox News that Comey tried to "kneecap our duly elected president."

Trump pointed out the former officer, Bryan Dean Wright, had commented on "Fox and Friends" that "'in 2016 we had a coup. We have to take Comey and others to task. Makes no sense not to prosecute him. Comey got a book deal. I fear for my Country. He tried to kneecap our duly elected president, and there are no consequences.”

Wright said Friday that he's angry because Comey leaked information to force the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump not because the facts depended on it but because "he and his own partisan drive desired it."

Fitzgerald didn't report, however, that Wright has made a career at Fox News of writing "I'm a Democrat, but..." op-eds that bash Democrats and praise Trump.

Newsmax has done this sort of thing before. A 2014 article called Pat Caddell a "Democratic pollster" even though he hadn't done anything for Democrats in years and was making his living as Democrat-basher on, yes, Fox News. And in a 2017 column, James Hirsen touted Wright as "a former CIA officer and a Democrat" who "spoke frankly about a fifth column of intelligence staffers who are leaking as well as withholding intelligence materials from the Trump administration" on Fox News.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 9:35 PM EDT
Monday, September 9, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Claim Ben Franklin Endorses Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Stephen B. Presser's Aug. 27 Newsmax column carries the goofy headline "Ben Franklin Would Be All In for Trump 2020." He never quite gets around to making that case, though.

Much of Presser's column is devoted to riffing on Franklin's comment "A republic, if you can keep it" by claiming that republics are better than democracies and, by implication, that the Republican Party is better than the Democratic Party. He then rather abruptly shifts into partisan mode for a tired political argument:

In the Barack H. Obama administration, in a manner that departed from the rule of law, an effort was implemented to concentrate much more power in the federal government.

In that administration, a far-from-disinterested bureaucracy (especially in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and our intelligence agencies) came close, as we are now coming to understand, to deciding to shred the constitutional scheme of presidential selection, to promote a favored candidate (Mrs. Clinton) and, eventually to seek to depose a duly-elected chief executive (Donald Trump).

President Trump, and his administration now understand this, and he and they are determined to continue his ongoing effort to reverse the flow of power to the bureaucracy, or as they call it reining in "the deep state" or "the swamp."

The Democrats, whose candidates have their own plans for increasing taxes, restricting private property, implementing some form of socialism, and redistributing resources to meet the selfish needs of their core constituencies, fail to understand that their program would fatally undermine the Framers’ design.

Republicans in 2020 are, in the President’s new campaign slogan seeking "to keep America great," simply striving to preserve small "r" republican government itself.

Of course, there's little proof outside right-wing fever swamps that the Obama administration used the federal bureaucracy to stop Trump (Presser writes not only as if it existed and also that it succeeded), while there's growing evidence that Trump cares less about maintaining a republican form of government and more evidence that he's using the levers of goverment to enrich himself. And Republicans care less about republican government than about getting a corrupt man re-elected.

Presser won't tell you any of that, of course. In addition to the cumbersonmne title of "Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law," he was also a "Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus," whatever that is.

Presser can't make the case that Trump is a conservative or a small-government republican, so he will trot out the usual right-wing attacks against Democrats.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EDT
Monday, September 2, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Likens Democrats to Nazis, Stalin
Topic: Newsmax

Conservatives love to complain that some people liken President Trump to a Nazi -- and they conveniently forget how many of their ilk did the exact same thing to President Obama. And they're doing the same thing to Democrats now.

Case in point: Wayne Allyn Root wrote in his Aug 15 Newsmax column:

I’ve pieced together the game plan of the Democrat [sic] Party. It’s evil. It's Stalin-esque. It’s about fear, intimidation, bullying, and persecution.

Let’s go back to 2012, with Mitt Romney running for president. Because I had been Obama’s biggest critic on Fox News, I had attracted Obama’s attention. Obama’s IRS attacked me in a way you only expected in a Nazi or Soviet communist police state. They tried to destroy and silence me.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I went on national TV and radio, day and night, to report Obama’s IRS crimes of targeting, intimidation and persecution. I reminded Americans that the Nixon Articles of Impeachment included the exact same crimes.

Suddenly, I started to get a blizzard of emails from strangers across America. They all had the same story. They’d never been audited by the IRS. But once they made a large donation to the GOP or Mitt Romney, within weeks they received an IRS audit notice. This was clearly a conspiracy to freeze donations and eliminate free speech.

Not that at no point does Root offer any substantive evidence that any of this happened. Then again,Root has had a years-long case of Obama Derangement Syndrome; while not an official birther, he praised Donald Trump for having "brilliantly brought up" birtherism, and he pushed the bogus conspiracy theory that Obama likely didn't attend Columbia University because nobody remembers seeing him there at the time. He has also likened Obama to Hannibal Lecter.

And here comes the Nazi part (again):

Saul Alinsky said “Look in the mirror. Whatever you see, blame the other guy.” The left screams “Nazi” because they see Nazis in the mirror. They want to instill fear into the American people. They want to intimidate potential GOP donors. They want to make it dangerous and frightening to write a check to President Trump. They want to ban, bully, censor, and silence conservatives.

Same game, just different tactics. To win elections by cheating, bullying, intimidating. By making it dangerous to publicly support President Trump or the GOP.

Democrats are taking a page from the Stalin playbook.

If Root didn't have a history of dishonesty and derangement against Obama, he might have a point.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Trump's Pollster Thinks Media Coverage Is Holding Trump's Numbers Down
Topic: Newsmax

John McLaughlin is a pollster for President Trump's re-election campaign. He also has a history of overly optimistic numbers not only for Trump but for other Republican candidates -- to the point that after dismal internal polling leaked in June, the Trump campaign fired most of its pollsters but not McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, along with Jim McLaughlin, also write a column for Newsmax; we last noted them denouncing any criticism of America as anti-American. In their Aug. 13 column, they claim that Trump's poll numbers would be higher than they are if there just wasn't any negative media coverage of him:

It’s a totally amazing political phenomena unique to President Trump. Regardless of what the news or events are, public opinion about the president moves at glacial speeds. If the news is bad and the mainstream media coverage about him is overwhelmingly negative, they can’t reduce his job approval. The president’s base is rock solid and impervious to negative mainstream media coverage. The only one who could reduce the president’s job approval is the president himself. That hasn’t happened, and it’s not likely to happen.

On the other hand, with all the mainstream media’s negative coverage and the unyielding opposition of the Washington political establishment for the past three years, including the phony Russian collusion investigation, they have successfully contained President Trump from breaking above a 50% job approval for any significant sustained period of time. He’s close, but not there yet. And the media and D.C. establishment are going all out to stop him.

Note that the McLaughlins never concede that Trump does anything negative; it's just the media coverage that's negative. Their answer is not telling the truth, but framing things to make Trump look as good as possible -- which they're trying hard to do:

The president is close, but not over the 50% job approval mark yet. So why are his opponents so rabidly negative, throwing slanderous attacks and disrespecting a sitting president as never before — at least not since maybe Abraham Lincoln? They know that they must frame the president’s disruptive personal style as negative, rather than allow him to define himself in a positive light as a successful president based on his record of accomplishment.

In our June 24 national poll one message question that we asked revealed the key to President Trump gaining a 50%+ job approval and winning re-election. This question showed that the president can clearly generate majority approval when his record of accomplishment and unique style are put in proper perspective.

We asked all voters whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:

“Politicians have been talking for years about turning the economy around, limiting illegal immigration, and standing up to unfair foreign trade practices, but it took Donald Trump to make it happen. Sometimes he seems like a bull in a china shop and his manners are jarring. It seems he is always fighting with someone, but a nicer, more polite gentleman couldn’t do all that he has done. The powers in charge don’t change unless a guy like Trump comes along to make them change. Trump is too valuable to lose — there is so much more to be done.”

When framed in this way a solid majority of voters, 52%, agreed with this message and only 40% disagreed. Within that majority some voters had actually switched from being unfavorable to the president to now agreeing with this positive framing of the president’s style and record.

Still, the McLaughlins argue, that pesky media keeps getting in the way, reporting their facts instead of being Trump's propaganda arm: "If the mainstream news media is the source of information about the president without the voters seeing and hearing him directly, whether it’s the State of the Union Speech, the president’s June announcement speech, or the president’s July 4 speech, these voters have a negative opinion of the president. However, if they follow the president directly on social media, or if the voters see and hear the president speak directly, the response is overwhelmingly positive."

And, like a loyal pro-Trump propagandist, they smell conspiracy: "From these results it’s very clear that the mainstream news media’s bias and negative coverage of the president is trying to keep a lid on his job approval and just as he has been able to disrupt Washington to get things done, President Trump will have to disrupt the media further to get his message to the voters. "

The McLaughlins never consider the fact that Trump's poll numbers are low because the media report accurately about him.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:39 PM EDT

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