ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Play the Emmitt Till Card on Kavanaugh Accusations
Topic: Newsmax

As a black American, I have a particular sensitivity to the importance of the concept of the presumption of innocence and due process of law.

Few Millennials and modern journalists know of the famous Emmett Till murder case in Mississippi in the 1950’s. It was one of the first major national civil rights murder cases.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old black boy visiting Mississippi from Chicago. He was beaten beyond recognition, shot, tied with barbed wire, and thrown into Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River.

Why?

Because of an accusation — a mere accusation — that he flirted with a white woman.

Till was only one of the more well known of the many thousands of blacks in the old American South who were tortured, castrated, burned alive, or lynched based only on an accusation of flirtation or sexual assault — they were presumed guilty.

There was no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process!

With this despicable history as backdrop, it is more than disgusting to see Democrats in the United States Senate trample the basic principle of presumption of innocence and apply the old South standard of presumption of guilt once applied to blacks to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

For Kavanaugh, just as was the case for black males in the old South, there is no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process by his enemies.

Yesterday, blacks’ enemies were Democrat segregationists and their shock troops in the Klu Klux Klan.

Today, Kavanaugh’s enemies denying him due process and presumption of innocence are progressive and liberal white Democrats and their friends on the left — who disrupted confirmation hearings — and forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife from a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

[...]

Are there no Democrats in the United States Senate with a sense of decency unwilling to sit by while their colleagues attempt to destroy a man’s career, life, and family?

Apparently not.

-- Clarence McKee, Sept. 27 Newsmax column

(McKee overlooks the inconvenient fact that both Kavanaugh's and Christine Blasey Ford's side got a hearing, Kavanaugh did not get lynched, and racism was not involved. Oh, and the Ku Klux Klan was never the "shock troops" of the Democratic Party, which had no military arm then or now.)


Posted by Terry K. at 4:06 PM EDT
Friday, October 5, 2018
Conspiracy Theory: Newsmax's Hirsen Thinks Ford Is Trying To Profit From Kavanaugh Accusations
Topic: Newsmax

Among the conspiracy theories peddled by the right against Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their prep-school years we can now add Newsmax columnist James Hirsen's claim, in his Oct. 1 column, that Ford is making her accusations in order to profit from crowdfunding:

In a September 2018 appearance on "CBS This Morning," a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris, D-Calif., opined that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had "nothing to gain" in stepping forward with allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

A few days later in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin, D-Ill., stated in the form of a question to the host a similar opinion.

"What in the h*** did she have to gain by doing this?" Durbin queried.

History suggests that there are a host of significant gains that may indeed be awaiting Ford. One has already surfaced via a digital platform. It arrived in the form of "crowdfunding," i.e., the practice of financing a venture or cause by raising money from a large number of people utilizing specialized websites on the Internet.

Two crowdfunding accounts on the GoFundMe website, which were made on behalf of Ford, have raised approximately $740,000. For reasons unknown, at present the two GoFundMe accounts are no longer accepting donations.

[...]

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley recently expressed concern that crowdfunding may be being used in a manner that enables legal testimony to be purchased.

"You can buy a witness effectively by funding them as long as they’re saying the type of thing that you want them to say," Turley cautioned.

The notion that money could potentially be used to purchase testimony from favorable witnesses poses a threat to a functioning legal system and the fundamental precepts of due process.

In the end, it is not merely about what an individual has to gain, but rather what our country and her people have to lose.

Needless to say, Hirsen offers no actual evidence to back up his speculative conspiracy theory.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:14 PM EDT
Friday, September 28, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Promotes Kavanaugh Doppelganger Theory
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's John Gizzi, as befits a reporter for a conservative website, is doing what he can to support the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. That means the questionable theory that Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their high school years, was actually assaulted by someone else. And he found someone to promote it. From Gizzi's Sept. 19 article:

An attorney who specializes in cases of sexual assault among college students told Newsmax she believes Professor Christine Blasey Ford did experience the assault of which she has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

However, Lynchburg, Virginia, attorney Margaret Valois, whose speciality is Title IX (the law guaranteeing equality between males and females) violations, also believes Ford's charge against Kavanaugh might easily be a case of mistaken identity. 

"I have no doubt [the assault] happened — something happened to her in 1980," Valois told us. "These are terrible situations and not unlike situations I deal with now among college students. But given all the testimony to Judge Kavanaugh's character as a young student and today, I have doubts that he was the one who assaulted her."

Thus, Valois concluded, Ford might well be naming the wrong person in pointing a finger at the former Bush White House official and U.S. Court of Appeals judge on the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

"My gut says Professor Ford was assaulted when she was 15, but not by Kavanaugh," Valois said. "She made a claim and deserves to be heard," she said, adding she felt the hearings were "a good thing."

But Valois also pointed out she felt the statements of exemplary character – by people who are well-acquainted with Kavanaugh from his days at Georgetown Prep and Yale University to his stint in the White House – "certainly count for something."

A week later -- following Ford's Senate testimony about the attack and Kavanaugh's rebuttal, as well as conservative attorney Ed Whelan's attempt to push a similar doppelganger theory that went so horribly wrong that he was forced to take a leave of absence from his day job as the head of a conservative think tank -- Gizzi called on Valois once again to tout the theory anew:

Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony Thursday that she was "100 percent" certain it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her when they were both in high school 35 years ago, attorney Margaret Valois — who specializes in sexual assault cases among college students— still believes Ford's charge against the Supreme Court nominee is dealing a case of mistaken identity.

"I don't think she can be certain that it was Judge Kavanaugh," said Valois, who first advanced the "mistaken identity" theory with Newsmax a week ago.

"How can she be certain if she cannot address the other circumstances with certainty—location, date, time, and the other people involved?" Valois told us.

Curiously, Gizzi made no mention of Whelan's doppelganger fiasco. Nor did he mention that Valois takes a decidedly right-wing approach to Title IX, filing a lawsuit against Tulane University for purportedly discriminating against men.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Monday, September 24, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Does A Weird Tribute to Paul Manafort's Dad
Topic: Newsmax

The news that Paul Manafort has decided to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller prompted Newsmax reporter John Gizzi to do a little mstiy-eyed reminiscing. About Manfort's dad. No, really.

From Gizzi's Sept. 19 article, deceptively headlined "The Paul Manafort I Know":

Official Washington was jolted Friday by the news that former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had decided to cooperate with the Department of Justice—including Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The sartorial splendor of Manafort, his vast collection of horses and luxury homes in New York, and his schemes to avoid paying taxes on his foreign income—all will probably be rehashed in the media when the famous political consultant’s name comes up in the weeks ahead.

But, for those of us who are older and grew up in or near the Hardware City of New Britain, Connecticut, the name “Paul Manafort” evokes other memories.  

Paul Manafort, namesake-father of the current Manafort, was the three-term Republican mayor of New Britain. Growing up next door in a close suburb, New Britain was an urban mecca to me — blue collar, industrial, and ethnic.

[...]

In 1981, Manafort’s name appeared in headlines when he was charged with two counts of perjury. He had insisted he did not know that an envelope he was given by New Britain’s personnel director contained answers to exams for promotion to sergeant on the city’s police department (which two Manafort family friends were vying for). A jury subsequently acquitted the former mayor.

When Paul Manafort died in 2013 at age 89, that final black mark on his life of public service was barely mentioned in obituaries. His funeral was one of the biggest New Britain had ever seen.

Today the name Paul Manafort evokes a lot of negative feelings. But to this reporter, who grew up on the New Britain border, it generates quite different memories.

Gizzi made no mention of what exactly Manafort the younger did to generate those "negative feelings."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Monday, September 17, 2018
Newsmax Plugs Kerik Novel (Which It Published)
Topic: Newsmax

Bill Hoffman gushes in a Sept. 4 Newsmax article:

Bernard Kerik has lived an extraordinary life by any standard. Abandoned at age 2 by his alcoholic mother, he dropped out of high school, became a military policeman and martial arts specialist, then rose through law enforcement from patrolman to become a highly-decorated undercover narcotics officer in New York and then the city’s top cop before it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Drawing on these incredible experiences, the 63-year-old former commissioner has just penned an explosive new thriller, "The Grave Above the Grave."

"I’ve spent 30 years in policing and security, 10 of which was in the Middle East, and people constantly ask me what are my fears, and whether I believe we could suffer another 9/11 attack," Kerik tells Newsmax. "Writing this book gave me the opportunity to educate people in a fictional way what rolls around in my head daily."

In "The Grave Above the Grave," published this month by Humanix Books, Kerik tells the story of NYPD Commissioner Rick Raymond who, while battling a cop killer with Islamic terror ties, uncovers a plot to launch another devastating attack on the city. As he races against the clock, Raymond also must juggle the pressures of a grandstanding mayor, a disreputable reporter and a secret love — who just happens to be the district attorney.

What Hoffman doesn't mention: Humanix Books is a division of Newsmax -- which makes his article an in-house promotion, not "news."

Hoffman dismissed Kerik's criminal record in a single paragraph as nothing more than book fodder: "Kerik has had his share of scandals, including a stint in federal prison for tax fraud. That became the basis for his 2015 nonfiction best-seller, 'From Jailer to Jailed.'" Then he quickly returned to the business of plugging Kerik's new book and touting his pro-Trump, right-wing views, which presumably would help sell his book to Newsmax's core audience.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Corsi's Book
Topic: Newsmax

When right-wing conspiracy theorist and former worldNetDaily writer got subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury looking into Russian election interference, Newsmax was quick to exploit it:

Jerome Corsi, author and investigative writer, has been served papers to appear before the Mueller grand jury in Washington this Friday to answer questions about his longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, according to a report in The New York Times.

Corsi is the author of “Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,” a New York Times bestselling book that has been harshly criticial of the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller.

“He fully intends to comply with the subpoena,” Corsi’s lawyer David Gray told the Times, adding that his client anticipated “it has to do with his communications with Roger Stone.”

A mainstay on talk radio and TV shows, including Newsmax TV, Corsi has claimed Mueller has overreached his legal authority. Corsi has stated that President Trump’s recent tweet that a “criminal deep state” is seeking to end his presidency emanated from evidence and charges he makes in his new book.

Despite touting his appearances on its TV channel, Newsmax failed to disclose that it published Corsi's book through its Humanix Books division. That lack of disclosure came as Newsmax used the article to promote the book. One promotion stated: "Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” was published last February and has been the #1 bestselling conservative critique of the Mueller investigation. [Editor’s Note: Get Jerome Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” at bookstores everywhere or get the FREE Offer – Go Here Now." That's your usual Newsmax loss-leader offer, in which it basically gives away the book and a free, short subscription to Newsmax's magazine in the hopes that people will like the magazine or forget to cancel it before the free offer ends to keep from automatically being charged $39.95 for a full year's subscription.

Newsmax also failed to mention that  since early 2017, Corsi has been employed by fellow conspiracy-monger Alex Jones at Infowars, where he served as its White House correspondent. According to the New York Times, which broke the news of Corsi's subpoena, he apparently no longer works there.

The article also gushed: "Corsi’s book has sparked serious interest among Trump’s most loyal supporters. And TV host Bill O’Reilly has stated that the left “hates” Corsi’s book because of its strong defense of President Trump." In fact, the book is full of Corsi's usual conspiratorial claptrap that has been his stock in trade for years.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Newsmax Columnist: Trump Endorsed A Black Candidate, So He Can't Be Racist
Topic: Newsmax

John James, a West Point graduate, stormed to victory in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate [in Michigan] this week and will now face three-term incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow for the seat November 6. His stature in conservative circles has been rising for months and his victory was fueled by an endorsement by President Trump who said James is a future star in the Republican Party. In his race with businessman Sandy Pensler, James secured nearly 55 percent of the vote with well above 500,000 ballots cast for him.

Where is the racist GOP we have all been told so much about? I mean after all John James is an outspoken conservative, combat veteran, and notably he is black.

The left has been trumpeting a message for a very long time that the president is a racist and is a supporter of white nationalists. How could that be true with his enthusiastic support for John James? It is just as likely that if the president had thrown his support behind Pensler the outcome would have been different, but he didn’t. The president lined up to push James to victory in what otherwise appeared to be a toss-up.

This should sink the notion that Trump is a racist but of course it won’t and the left leaning national media outlets will simply ignore James' impressive victory.

-- Steve Gruber, Aug. 10 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EDT
Monday, August 27, 2018
Newsmax's Ruddy Finds A Trump Action He Disagrees With
Topic: Newsmax

Apparently, even Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy -- who's been using his friendship with President Trump to raise his own profile and that of the news operation he runs, as well as serving as a Trump apologist -- has his limits on Trump sycophancy.

Ruddy declared in his July 29 column that "I strongly disagreed with the White House's decision this past week to remove a CNN reporter from the press pool covering the president," even though "the president is justified to be angry with the press. The billions of earned media in negative attacks on candidate Trump never ended upon his assumption of the presidency."

Still, Ruddy does offer some defense of Trump, as well as some surprising praise for President Obama:

As Jefferson predicted, President Trump has benefited by this overly aggressive media.

Informed citizens see through it and are making a "public judgement."

Trump's approval ratings are up and rising in the wake of these incessant media attacks. His strong record speaks for itself.

But it is never easy to turn the other cheek, especially when questioned about personal matters relating to close friends facing prosecution.

The president is much more empathetic than is acknowledged. His emotions and reactions can be raw.

The banning of the CNN reporter, however temporary, is not a wise move. In fact, it is potentially a dangerous step.

Early in the Obama administration, President Obama sought to permanently ban Fox News from the White House press room. The press corps, including CNN, banded together to oppose this authoritarian urge. [Obama, I believe was a patriot, and over time became less hostile to Fox and the press in general. He ended up being an exemplary role model as president, though I strongly disagreed with many of his policies.]

The CNN ban may seem small to some. Still, the press was right to sharply criticize the move by the Trump White House.

Most of Ruddy's right-wing media comrades -- or even most other people at Newsmax -- would never concede the idea that Obama was a patriot.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:07 PM EDT
Monday, August 20, 2018
Newsmax Writers Rant About 'White Genocide' in South Africa, Ignore Black Genocide There
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Savage asserted in an Aug. 2 column:

There is a genocide going on in South Africa as its leaders are set to change their constitution to legally steal white farmers’ lands and throw them out of the country.

[...]

Unfortunately, the African people have not learned from history and they're repeating this travesty because they're kicking the whites off the land in South Africa. Behind this movement is a prominent and close associate of none other than the great Nelson Mandela, the god of gods to the liberal class.

Murders are increasing as they're slaughtering men, women, children, and infants in front of the mothers and mothers in front of infants. These criminals are raping the women in front of their fathers on the farms.

Now of course, you haven't heard any of this from CNN or MSNBC. Not even Fox News will run it, but I'll bring it to light because this is a genocide occurring in front of our eyes.

Wayne Allyn Root followed up in an Aug. 9 column by demonstrating just how afflicted by Obama Derangement Syndrome he remains. After a recitation of the fraudulent assertion that "over 90 percent of President Trump’s coverage by the U.S. mainstream media is negative" and short detour to rant about how "Obama's IRS tried to destroy my life," Root huffed:

This time it’s blatant discrimination, racism, and hate crimes by the black majority. This time it’s legal for blacks to steal the land of whites. This time it’s blacks murdering whites with impunity.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ruling ANC (African National Congress) have made it legal to forcibly take land from white farmers and property owners. That was the first step.

Now comes the next radical step. The president and his Congress are changing the Constitution to allow the South African government to forcibly take any white person’s land, this time without any compensation. Pure theft. Because of the color of their skin, white families are left in poverty. Left homeless. Left without a livelihood.

Worse, the president and several of his political allies have threatened to murder white property owners who refuse to hand over their property. They actually said they have no plans at the moment for a “genocide.” The inference being that if white farmers and property owners put up a fight, the next step will be a genocide.

An emboldened citizenry is already taking matters into its own hands. A UK newspaper reports one white farmer is murdered every five days in South Africa. Hundreds of white land owners have been killed or badly injured in mob attacks since 2016.

Yet the world says nothing. The media says nothing. Politicians say nothing. Hollywood celebrities say nothing. There are no protests, or calls for boycotts. Hard to believe.

Enter Obama. The former U.S. President recently accepted a speech in South Africa. He undoubtedly collected a fortune for that speech. That's called "blood money." Obama was paid with money tainted by racism, theft, and murder. How badly does an ex-president need money? Why would he accept this money?

Worse, he didn’t use that platform to say a word about the new apartheid.

Worse yet, he stood on that stage next to the president of South Africa, lending him credibility.

Then, worst of all, he praised the president who presides over a country stealing white owned land, murdering whites and threatening genocide.

[...]

Obama praises the president of a nation murdering and robbing white people because of their race. No one says a word.

What Obama did in South Africa should the biggest news in America. The fact that you never even heard about it, tells you everything about the fraud, deceit and fake news of the mainstream media.

Let's unpack this. Yes, South Africa is seizing farmland from white farmers, but they point to the fact that white farmers own or control between 23 percent and 73 percent of farmland in the country, depending on how you count it, compared to 1.2 percent for black farmers. Is that seizure a problem? Yes, especially since it's being done without what white farmers claim is adequate compensation.

Contrary to Root's wild assertions, Ramaphosa is seen as a moderate who is trying to slow down the rush by more radical political forces pushing accelerated land seizures without compensation.

From here, Savage and Root let their Obama derangement and sympathy for one particular race get the better of them. While Root baselessly speculates that Obama was paid a hefty sum of "blood money" for his speech, we could find nothing indicating what, if anything, he was paid.

Further, the whole "white genocide" appears to be severely overplayed. South Africa's largest commercial farmers union says there were only 47 white farmers murdered in the past year (an Afrikaner lobbying group claims 84). But as long as we're throwing around the "genocide" claim, that word appears to apply much more aptly to the black popuation in South Africa, as Australia's ABC reports:

No-one claims that there were more than 100 farm murders in 2017, a year in which the South African police recorded more than 19,000 murders in the country as a whole. Most of those victims, of course, are black.

According to Gareth Newham, head of Justice and Violence Prevention at the internationally-respected Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, there has been a 40 per cent increase in all kinds of armed attacks since 2012 — hold-ups of armoured security vans, home and business invasions, street muggings.

"We have a real problem with violence," Newham says.

"And so for us, sitting in South Africa looking at these 19,000 murders — suddenly there's international attention on the murders of white farmers, it just seems completely disproportionate.

"There is evidence that attacks on white farmers in South Africa are largely driven by criminal intent, greed."

Strange that neither Savage nor Root mention the fact that murders of blacks in South Africa are a much greater problem than that of white farmers.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Caught Sending Article to Kobach Before Publication
Topic: Newsmax

For a journalist, letting a source see your story before it's published is a tricky issue. While it can be acceptable to double-check a quote with a source, letting that source see the entire article beforehand is generally frowned upon.

So it's worth noting that ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman -- while looking into recently released documents from the failed voter fraud commission convened by President Trump then disbanded when many states refused to cooperate with it over its apparent bias -- found an email from commission head Kris Kobach showing that Newsmax correspondent John Gizzi had sent an article he wrote to him that was, according to Huseman, "asking for his thoughts." That story ultimately appeared at Newsmax in July 2017.

Gizzi responded that because he doesn't record his interviews, "it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid 'corrections' & 'retractions' from subbject [sic] later." But as Huseman pointed out: "You didn't just run the quotes. You sent the entire article to Kobach for approval. That's not normal.

Gizzi then admitted that he sent his entire article to "election law experts" Jay O'Callaghan and Hans von Spakovsky. O'Callaghan is with the conservative Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, and von Spakovsky is with the conservative Heritage Foundation and was a member of the voter fraud commission. Huseman responded: "Thanks for this clarification. It's interesting that Hans didn't turn that email over to the commission."

In that article, Gizzi highlighted that "Andrew Spieles, a James Madison University student, pled guilty to charges he submitted 18 fraudulent voter registrations last year. Spieles, who worked for the Democratic Party-affiliated organization Harrisonburg Votes, was sentenced to up to 120 days in prison." But as the fact-checkers at Snopes report, Gizzi apparently got his information about Spieles' alleged partisanship from the Department of Justice; it could find "no website, Twitter account or Facebook page currently listed" under the "Harrisonburg Votes" name, and Virginia voters are not registered by party affiliation.

Gizzi cited the Spieles story in an attempt to undercut the only non-conservative he quotes in his story, then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He doesn't try to contradict any of the claims he quotes from Kobach and von Spakovsky.

Still, submitting the entire article to Kobach is not a good look, especially given how unlikely it is that Gizzi would report uncritically on him. After all, Newsmax is a pro-Trump website whose CEO considers himself a close personal friend of the president.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 PM EDT
Monday, August 13, 2018
Newsmax's Kerik Moves Closer to Right-Wing Fringe With Anti-Media Rant
Topic: Newsmax

Convicted felon (and friend of Newsmax) Bernard Kerik has apparently found his new calling as a right-wing ranter -- part of Newsmax's continuing image rehab of the guy, apparently. He moves further to the fringe with an Aug. 6 column attacking the media in order to defend President Trump:

The media may be putting out some fake news but their primary goal is to be an anti-state propaganda machine for the new Democratic party and its growing number of socialist supporters.

They are no different than state run television in China, Russia, Iran and Iraq, during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Think about it. The mainstream media aggressively promotes anti-American political activism daily, while at the same time attacking the president, his family and supporters, and intentionally diminishing or outright ignoring all of this administration’s successes and achievements.

Kerik then devolves into an attack on socialism, smearing one particular candidate as "anti-American" for not holding the same views he does:

The New York Times and other outlets work feverishly to turn the administration’s success into negatives, at the same time spewing incendiary propaganda.

They make a far-left New York congressional candidate like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the poster child for the Democratic Party, a woman who has called on protesters to "occupy" airports, border crossings, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices nationwide — clearly criminal conduct.

Everything that comes out of this woman’s mouth is anti-American and based on the same socialist and communist ideology we’ve seen in Cuba, Venezuela, and other poverty-stricken nations, where socialism has failed.

These media outlets aggressively target the president with allegations racism, and bigotry, with their socialist and communist following cheering to their rhetoric.

A bigot is a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions, but, there is no one more intolerant than the socialist media, and some members of the Democratic Party, that loath the president because he believes that America should come first before all other nations; that we should secure our boarders and people entering our country should do so legally or be held accountable for breaking the law, or that we should have global fair trade and no longer be taken advantage of by other nations.

Kerik concludes by huffing: "Every day, this movement, the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party are attempting to destroy our Founding Fathers' creation — and what Donald J. Trump is trying to restore." Kerik is sadly mistaken ifhe thinks Trump believes in anything beyond his own ego enough to "restore" it.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Newsmax Joins In Post-Putin Damage Control for Trump
Topic: Newsmax

The Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin press conference was such a disaster for Trump that Trump sycophants from all over (i.e. CNSNews.com) had to go into damage control mode. Even Newsmax had to rush to defend Trump in the aftermath.

David Patten cranked out a piece hidden behind its "Platinum" paywall titled "Sanctions Galore! The 22 Times Trump Has Slapped Down Putin," in which he insisted that Trump "already has been much tougher on the Russians than Barack Obama was during his entire presidency."

Meanwhile, Newsmax chief and Trump buddy Christopher Ruddy made a TV appearance making the same point, effectively arguing that whatever Trump said during the presser doesn't matter:

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Sunday that President Donald Trump drew on his 50-year experience in business, where “words are not so much important as concrete actions,” in his summit with Vladimir Putin, and likely got “huge concessions” from the Russian leader.

In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter, Ruddy, a longtime friend of Trump, lamented the relentless criticism by the mainstream media of a president who is “new at his job.”

“I think the president made missteps, he admitted he misspoke,” Ruddy said of Trump’s controversial remarks about Russian meddling during a joint news conference with Putin. “But the idea I've heard on your program for the past 40 minutes, [columnist] Max Boot saying [Trump] was colluding in open daylight, he's engaging in treason, this is beyond belief.”

Trump’s a “relatively new president” who for 50 years has “been a business guy.”

“As a business guy, words are not so much as important as the concrete actions of the deal,” Ruddy said. He added that although he didn’t speak to Trump about his one-on-one Putin meeting, “my guess is [Trump] got huge concessions, the meeting went better than anyone expected. He thought ‘I’m going to be overly nice to this guy.’”

Ruddy noted “we'll see in the next coming months” if his guess is correct, but declared that Trump “didn’t want to go into meetings having a weak nuclear arsenal,” and before the summit, got NATO to increase military spending and has increased U.S. military spending.

“This is not a friend of Russia,” Ruddy said.

And when pressed why he seemed to talk like a friend, Ruddy explained it was because of his “negotiating style.”

“Go beyond the words and look at his concrete actions,” Ruddy said, asking: “Why would he put people like [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, [national security adviser] John Bolton, and [Defense Secretary] James Mattis, who are all Russia hawks, in key positions?”

Spoken like a true Trump believer.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EDT
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Another Newsmax Writer Offers Sycophantic Defense of Trump Foundation, Baselessly Attacks Clinton Foundation
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Reagan's July 14 Newsmax column, co-written with Michael R. Shannon, is so slavishly devoted to following in the footsteps of Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy in defending the Trump Foundation over allegations of impropriety that he actually quotes Ruddy:

After state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace his placeholder Barbara Underwood took up the cudgel and continued bashing the president. She accused the president’s Trump Foundation of “persistent illegal conduct” continuing for more than a decade.

Proving that the lawsuit is simply a political strategy dressed up in a statute book, the trial is scheduled for a date just prior to the November mid-term election. What’s more, the attack and the timing has the total support of the judge in charge of the show trial. The New Yorker reported that when a Trump Foundation lawyer asked that the case be delayed due to the trial’s proximity to the election, the judge thought the request was funny.

“Judge Scarpulla laughed in response [to the Trump request], did not change the trial date, and hinted that she is likely to require the president to testify.”

These shenanigans caught the attention of Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy who has known the president for a number of years.

Ruddy points out the Trump foundation is almost unique in that it donated more money than it received in contributions: $19.2 million in donations after receiving $18.8 in contributions.

As we pointed out when Ruddy went into defense mode, the point of the investigation is not whether the foundation paid out more than it took in -- it's about apparent self-dealing in receipt and distribution of funds.It appears much of the foundation's money came from people and organizations that did business with Trump, foundation money went to settle legal disputes with his businesses, and some donations went to organizations that rented out his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

Reagan then made an apples-and-oranges comparison to the Clinton Foundation:

Compare that to the Clinton Foundation, which vacuumed up $500 million in contributions from 2009 to 2012 and only donated $75 million to unaffiliated charities.

The “persistent[ly] illegal” Trump Foundation was also strange in that it spent not one thin dime on salaries and its overhead costs can be measured with an electron microscope. While the Clinton Foundation serves as the Human Resources department for Hillary’s various campaigns and spent $110 million on salaries during the same time period. And another astounding $290 million went to “other expenses.”

We agree there is a foundation based in New York State that deserves close scrutiny from the AG’s office, but it is not the foundation named after Trump.

Reagan apparent got his numbers from the right-wing Federalist website and Rush Limbaugh, which is an indicator of how they are designed to mislead. But the Clinton Foundation is a global public charity, compared with the family-run Trump Foundation. As a group that actually cares about facts reports, the Clinton Foundation conducts most of its charity in-house and doesn't need to donate to outside groups, and the salary money mostly pays for people actually doing the foundation's charity work. Experts on charities say the Clinton Foundation's spending is not out of line with other charities in good standing.

Reagan concludes by calling the Trump Foundation investigation a "kangaroo prosecution." But that's exactly what he wants against the Clinton Foundation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
Monday, July 16, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Tries To Put Positive Spin on Chaos-Laden Anti-Abortion Film
Topic: Newsmax

In his July 10 column, Newsmax's James Hirsen does his best to put a positive spin on an anti-abortion film whose shooting is beset with chaos -- and, like a good right-winger, blames it all on a Hollywood conspiracy:

When it comes to subject matter that is outside the leftist box, Hollywood just can’t endure any factual information coming to light, as witnessed by the massive overreaction by the entertainment elite to a pro-life project that is currently in production.

But Hirsen proves no "overreaction." He claims that producer and director Nick Loeb "initially attempted to be low key about the project, cast and crew so as to forestall the backlash that would inevitably come." But as the Daily Beast reported, Loeb also hid the nature of the film from the crew and from the owners of real-life locations where he tried to film.

Hirsen asserted that "The Beast is apoplectic that the narrator of the story is Dr. Bernard Nathanson (portrayed by Loeb)," a onetime abortion doctor who became an anti-abortion activist. But the Beast article shows no apoplexy over the film's use of Nathanson; it is apoplectic, however about the screenplay's obvious falsehoods (which Hirsen didn't acknowledge other than to complain that the Daily Beast noted the lies in its headline). For instance:

The year is 1966, and elderly Margaret Sanger, the world’s preeminent birth-control activist, is speaking to Larry Lader on her deathbed. Just before she passes, her dying words to Lader are as follows: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she says. “Larry, they can’t see this coming.” The reproductive rights movement is thus framed by the film as a racist plot on a par with Hitler’s Final Solution.

This oft-repeated conservative falsehood, shared by everyone from Herman Cain to Ben Carson, stems from the willful misinterpretation of a 1939 letter Sanger wrote wherein she outlined her plan to connect with prominent leaders in the African-American community and allay their possible fears concerning family-planning clinics.

[...]

Rather, “Sanger’s correspondence shows this sentence advocates for black doctors and ministers to play leadership roles in the Negro Project to avoid misunderstandings. Lynchings and Jim Crow laws gave blacks good reason to be wary of attempts to limit the number of children they bore. In Harlem, [Sanger] hired a black doctor and social worker to quell those fears,” explained PolitiFact. “She attracted an impressive roster of supporters, including Du Bois; Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of National Council of Negro Women; and the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Eleanor Roosevelt also backed the effort. For Sanger to launch a genocidal plot behind their backs and leave no true evidence in her numerous writings would require powers just shy of witchcraft.”

“After reading the script, you realize no, this isn’t opinion, this is lies and propaganda that they’re trying pass off within some historical context,” a crew member on the film, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Daily Beast. “With the Margaret Sanger quote, they twisted it and used it to discredit everything that she possibly did. It’s similar to what the right-wing media is doing now: they take one thing that someone said—or even half-said—and then they turn it into something that isn’t true in order to discredit everything they’ve ever done.”

Hirsen also claims: "The untold story includes Planned Parenthood’s scheme to recruit a pregnant girl to file a lawsuit that would create a right to an abortion. According to the film’s description, Nathanson, Betty Friedan and Planned Parenthood searched "the country to find a pregnant girl" that they could "use to sue the government for her right to have an abortion."

But as attorney Hirsen surely knows, finding a plaintiff for the purpose of testing the legality of a law is common, even on the conservatide side. For instance, Dick Heller, the plaintiff in a case that overturned a District of Columbia law restricting gun ownership, plotted for years to mount a legal challenge to the law and eventually hooked up with a libertarian lawyer who "needed plaintiffs" in the form of "media-friendly, law-abiding D.C. residents to serve as the public face of the case."

So desperate is Hirsen to suck up to Loeb and others involved in the film that he touts its executive producer as "Dr. Alveda C. King" even though King's doctorate is honorary, and claimed a cameo by Milo Yiannopoulos merely offers "left-wing discomfort" while not mentioning the fact that he has been shunned by most conservatives (but apparently not Hirsen) for effectively defending pedophilia.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Trump Buddy Ruddy Serves Up A Defense for Trump's Foundation
Topic: Newsmax

When you start out your column by treating the National Enquirer as a source of sage knowledge, you're in the hole already. Yet that's what Christopher Ruddy does in his June 28 column, in which the Trump buddy defends the Trump Foundation:

The recent New York State Attorney General’s legal action against the Donald J. Trump Foundation sparked my interest.

In the years I have known the president, one thing about him is true: he’s quite generous and charitable.

Iain Calder, the long-time editor of the National Enquirer told me the story that in the 1980s, when the paper did a story about Trump’s quiet charitable giving, the rising billionaire called him to complain.

For the Sinatra generation, publicity about your charity was not a good thing.

So we're likening Trump to Sinatra now? Whatever.

Ruddy then complained that "the phrase 'no good deed goes unpunished' seems to apply to our president," claimed that the investigation of the foundation by the New York attorney genera was political and launched a lengthy defense of it:

So what’s the deal with the Trump Foundation?

Without having conducted a forensic review, the allegations seems to be the legal version of Fake News.

Although the Donald J. Trump Foundation accepts funding from outside donors, as a private, non-operating foundation, it’s primarily a vehicle to distribute grants from Donald Trump and his family.

A glance at its IRS form 990 filings reflects this. The foundation pays no salaries and its total expenditures each year are at zero or nearly so. Its charitable distributions each year are at or near 100 percent of what it takes in.

This is highly unusual. We have all read stories of celebrities who “pad” their foundations with salaries for family and hangers-on. Foundation funds are often used as a personal slush fund.

This has never been the case with the Trump Foundation.

The State’s case is largely based on nonsense.

Well, actually, not so much. As a real news organization notes, Trump did not donate any money to the foundation between 2008 and 2015 and most of its money was not actually his, and he used foundation money to settle legal disputes with his businesses. And Ruddy's hometown newspaper has reported that "Nearly all of the $706,000 in donations made by the Donald J. Trump Foundation in Palm Beach County since 2008 went to charities that hosted lavish fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago," which certainly looks suspicious (though the charities deny any quid pro quo). Further, the alleged use of foundation assets to help Trump's presidential campaign violates federal tax law.

Ruddy takes the "so what?" approach, literally, to addressing these allegations:

They note that since 2009 the Trump Foundation received little money from Trump himself but instead donations from friends and business partners.

So what?

If Trump was offered money and suggested the other party donate to his Foundation instead — so money could be distributed directly to charities — why is this bad?

Another allegation is that the Foundation made donations to some charities that paid for facilities at Trump golf clubs, hotels, or Mar-a-Lago.

The State implies the donations were used as an inducement for business.

Typically such donations were $5,000 to $10,000. Hardly an amount that could be considered a “bribe” to get a charity to spend $250,000 or more at one of his properties.

And considering the sheer number of groups using Trump properties, those who received donations were just a tiny fraction. Hardly a pattern of misconduct here!

Ruddy concludes by concluding there's "no evidence" to support the allegations, just like with "Trump-Russian collusion."

That's the kind of toadying that will keep Ruddy in Trump's inner circle.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« October 2018 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL