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Friday, August 26, 2016
Newsmax Pushes Slobbering Profile of Melania Trump
Topic: Newsmax

The new issue of Newsmax magazine, just in time for the election, has a slobbering tribute to Donald Trump's wife, penned by discredited right-winger Ed Klein. Heck, they've even declared her "First Lady" even before a single ballot has been cast!

As touted on  the magazine's latest promo page:

Here’s the Melania you don’t know.

In this exclusive report, New York Times best-selling author Edward Klein reveals the real Melania — one the media won’t report.

She soon could be America’s next first lady.

And, Edward Klein shows that she’s a sharp, driven, intelligent mother who would make a perfect first lady to a President Donald Trump.

Melania is a traditionalist — she stands behind her man!

Klein also reveals that Melania is an influential adviser to her billionaire husband.

In fact, it turns out she was instrumental in his decision to run for the highest office in the land.

The Newsmax report explains how Melania is the real deal: the embodiment of the American dream.

Born in Slovenia, she pursued a modeling career in Milan until she wound up on the shores of America, eventually steering a jewelry collection and beauty products line at the famed QVC.

Then she met The Donald.

With him, she found a new calling as part of a team that set out to “make America great again.”

She also decided to downplay her career to become a mother, having her and Donald’s son Barron.

Her flair for business and touch of style have led many to compare her to Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, and even Michelle Obama.

In short, author Edward Klein, former Newsweek editor, writes that she would find herself quite at home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Sucscribe now, and they'll even throw in a copy of Dick Morris' Hillary-hating (and Newsmax-published) book!


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 26, 2016 3:03 PM EDT
Monday, August 8, 2016
Dubious AAPS Doc Still Pining for (Ineffective) DDT To Stop Zika
Topic: Newsmax

Medical misinformer Jane Orient, president of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has hopped from WorldNetDaily, her usual home, to Newsmax, once again lamenting in an Aug. 3 column that we can't use DDT to wipe out mosquitoes and, thus, the Zika virus:

CDC and Florida are applying insecticides, but though they aren’t working very well, it is the height of political incorrectness to suggest trying DDT, which was used in effective vector-control programs up until the early 1970s, when the EPA banned it for overblown or even fabricated environmental concerns. DDT probably saved 500,000,000 human lives without killing anyone. Nor does it kill fish, birds, or cats. We might start with a head-to-head comparison of DDT with what we’re using instead for both effectiveness and hazard.

Orient doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that 1) DDT did, in fact, disrupt the ecosystem for fish and birds that eat fish, and 2) most mosquitoes are immune to DDT due to past overuse and bringing it back would do nothing.

Orient also complains about one particular commercial mosquito repellent:

The CDC-recommended strategy, with do-it-yourself prevention, is a step above nothing: Don’t have a baby (and here’s a condom), wear long sleeves and pants, and apply a mosquito repellent such as DEET.

It has taken an unprecedented action of warning about travel to an area in Florida, but what about those traveling from high-risk areas in the Caribbean and Central and South America?

Personally I have not found DEET under socks and long pants to be effective at keeping those ankle-biters from enjoying a meal. Maybe it wasn’t strong enough.

In fact, research has shown that DEET is a highly effective mosquito repellent. But then, Orient doesn't seem to be much interested in research.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Conflict of Interest: Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Dick Morris Book It's Promoting
Topic: Newsmax

Greg Richter writes in a July 28 Newsmax article:

Dick Morris’ new book "Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary" has soared to the very top of the Amazon.com bestseller list Thursday – making it the most purchased book in the country – trailing only an unreleased Harry Potter book.

That makes Morris' book the #1 non-fiction book in the nation.

"Armageddon" had already been #1 on several Amazon categories, but the Amazon top ranking confirms Wednesday's report that the book had debuted at No. 4 on the August 7 New York Times nonfiction list.

One important thing Richter doesn't mention: Morris' book is published by Humanix Books -- which, as we've previously documented, is a division of Newsmax Media. Which makes Richter's story an in-house advertisement, not a "news" article.

Needless to say, Newsmax is doing another one of its loss-leader giveaways to promote Morris' book, giving it away with a discounted subscription to Newsmax's magazine. The promo laughably claims that "Dick Morris is admired for his probing, insightful, hard-hitting, and clear commentary." That requires readers to ignore Morris' spectacularly wrong predictions in the 2012 presidential election, which forced Newsmax to do some heavy career rehab for him.

The promo also states that "Time magazine has dubbed him 'the most influential private citizen in America,'" without mentioning that Time did so 20 years ago or that it came just before he was forced to resign in disgrace from Bill Clinton's re-election campaign for dalliances with a call girl.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:25 PM EDT
Monday, August 1, 2016
Newsmax's 'Ben-Hur' Fail
Topic: Newsmax

The fail starts early in Robert V. Carl's July 29 Newsmax article on the upcoming remake of "Ben-Hur":

The first time "Ben-Hur" hit the big screen, the Cold War was raging and the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The film's themes of faith, social upheaval, and redemption resonated powerfully with the audiences of the day, who jammed into theaters to watch it.

No, the 1959 film was not "the first time 'Ben-Hur' hit the big screen." It was first filmed in 1907 (but just the chariot race), and it got a more elaborate silent production in 1925.

But facts aren't the point of Carl's article -- spin is. Much of his article is devoted to how "Distributors Paramount and MGM have been screening the movie for influential Christian leaders" to avoid the plight of "recent big-budget biblical films that took so much liberty with the source material that they failed to attract the faith-based audience they sought."

But the real purpose of Carl's article is unspoken: to respond to the negative buzz surrounding the film.

The Hollywood Reporter states that "Early tracking suggests Ben-Hur will open in the $14 million to $15 million range over the Aug. 19-21 weekend, a sobering start for the faith-centric ancient epic, which reportedly cost just under $100 million to produce," adding that the film's projected opening date has slid from February. And even the conservative PJ Media notes that "the director, Timur Bekmambetov, is known for what are more or less flops: Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)."

It's an interesting bit of Hollywood spinning reminiscent of another Newsmax writer, James Hirsen, who consistently championed the increasingly erratic and vile Mel Gibson without disclosing his insider relationship with the actor or his heading a foundation that worked to advance the ultraconservative Catholic faith of Gibson's father.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EDT
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Newsmax Highlights Negative News About Company It's Feuding With
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is currently embroiled in a dispute with Dish Network for the past couple months over the terms under which Dish carries Newsmax TV, which has meant that Dish has pulled the channel off its system for now.

That seems like the proper light in which to view Newsmax highlighting a July 22 Bloomberg article -- under the headline "Dish Network Loses Record-Setting 281,000 Subscribers" -- noting that Dish Network "lost a record number of TV subscribers in the second quarter as programming blackouts and price increases drove customers to seek cheaper online alternatives."

Newsmax failed to add a note to the article that it's in a dispute with Dish, which would seem to be a relevant disclosure.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EDT
Monday, July 18, 2016
Newsmax Still Won't Acknowledge Kessler Used to Work There
Topic: Newsmax

Poor Ronald Kessler. Even as Newsmax keeps featuring his latest work on its website, it still won't acknowledge he worked there for six years.

It happened again in a July 12 Newsmax article by Joe Crowe featuring Kessler's claim that "The FBI rarely prosecute officials for mishandling classified information,"effectively a rewrite of Kessler's column at the Washington Times.

Crowe describes Kessler only as "former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter." Presumably that gives Kessler more mainstream-ish cred at Newsmax than describing as a "former Newsmax chief Washington correspondent."

Of course, the bio at the end of his Washington Times column also omits his time at Newsmax, even though it's his most recent full-time position at a news organization.

Poor guy.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:55 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Newsmax Columnist Pushes False Claims Against Planned Parenthood
Topic: Newsmax

Is Newsmax getting back into the crazy-right-wing-commentary business?

You may recall Newsmax started toning things down on its website (or, at least, burying the crazy stuff as much as it could) after CEO Christopher Ruddy started making nice with the Clintons and a 2009 commentary by longtime columnist John L. Perry advocated a military coup to resolve America's alleged “Obama problem.”But it seems Newsmax is starting to let right-wingers let their freak flag fly again.

A few weeks back, Obama-hater Pat Boone appeared on Newsmax TV to declare that Obama is a Muslim and celebrates Islamic holy days in the White House. Now, in  June 29 Newsmax column, Michael Shannon lets fly with an unhinged rant against Planned Parenthood that starts with the falsehood that government money to Planned Parenthood is funding abortion:

Taxpayers opposed to having their money used to finance a procedure they considered an abomination and politicians afraid of them were assured “no federal funds sent to Planned Parenthood are used to pay for abortions.”

State and federal tax dollars are supposedly specifically earmarked by conscientious bureaucrats for use in only non-abortion related services, and are in no way allowed to facilitate Planned Parenthood’s industrial–strength disassembly lines.

It’s a complete and total lie that still poisons the abortion debate today.

The government can no more earmark money in a pool any more than you can earmark water in a pool. It’s as impossible as eating an entire chocolate cake and ordering it to avoid landing on your behind.

As Barbara Boland of CNSNews.com points out, almost half of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from federal, state and local government, a total of $540.6 million.

Pretending that enormous sum of money doesn’t free up other dollars to pay for killing the unborn is like telling the judge two of the four beers you drank had no effect while you drove the car into the ditch and shouldn’t count against your blood alcohol level.

Actually, Shannon's the one who's telling a "complete and total lie." the government can and does earmark money for various purposes, and the federal money that goes to Planned Parenthood is specifically earmarked for various services such as cancer and STD screenings and specifically prohibited from being spent on providing abortions.

Slate's Amanda Marcotte explains how, despite Shannon's insistence that  government funding to Planned Parenthood "frees up other dollars to pay for killing the unborn," that doesn't actually happen since medical services are billed and funded individually.

But here's where Shannon gets really crazy:

Planned Parenthood’s combined revenue from tax dollars, profit and private contributions was over $1 billion in 2013. Planned Parenthood claims 327,166 abortions during that year, but the figure is low.

It doesn’t include dispensing 1,590,000 doses of morning after pills that are the equivalent of a drive–thru abortion.

Um, no. As we've explained, morning-after pills mainly work by preventing ovulation, which is not abortion. It may also work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg, which is also not abortion according to the medical definition. Since more than half of a woman's fertilized eggs never implant, Shannon would have to declare that all women are "the equivalent of a drive–thru abortion."

Shannon's bio dexderibes him as a "commentator" and "researcher (for the League of American Voters)." The right-wing League of American Voters, headed by Michael Reagan, hasn't updated its website in two years (nor is he listed on the organization's staff list), so maybe he needs to go back there and do some more research on whether he actually has a job.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Newsmax Hides Scandals of Ariz. Sheriff Running For Congress
Topic: Newsmax

John Gizzi devotes a June 21 Newsmax column to a fluffy profile of Republican Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu, who's currently running for Congress. Gizzi touts Babeu's credentials as "a lawman and border hard-liner who has become a national hero to many conservatives." Even the fact that Babeu is gay is no big deal, according to Gizzi:

Babeu, a pro-lifer, former U.S. Army Reserve major, and a stalwart conservative also is gay.

"All of my friends and family knew it, and, although I never went around and advertised it, it was one of the worst-kept secrets in the county when I ran for sheriff," Babeu told Newsmax.

But Gizzi failed to report that Babeu's sexual orientation was, in fact, an issue in 2012.

When Babeu ran for a congressional seat the first time in 2012 (a run Gizzi makes no mention of) when Babeu's former lover went public with allegations that Babeu threatened him with deportation if he disclosed their relationship. (Neither Babeu nor his ex-lover were charged with anything related to the allegations.) It wasn't until that happened that Babeu publicly admitted he was gay, and he quit the race a couple months later (after donations plunged after the scandal went public) to focus on getting re-elected sheriff.

Needless to say, Newsmax quickly rushed Babeu into image rehab following the incident, which surely contributed to Babeu's current congressional run.

Gizzi also doesn't mention the fact that Babeu used to be headmaster of a school in Massachusetts that used extreme and abusive discipline  methods on special-needs students, and that he bragged about using such methods on video.

Gizzi is so in the tank for Babeu that he touts a poll conducted by his campaign that, unsurprisingly, found Babeu well in the lead. Bue he doesn't mention when the poll was conducted, or that it has remarkably similar numbers to a poll from January. Meanwhile, a more recent poll shows Babeu with lower numbers (though still with a solid lead) but nearly half of the electorate undecided.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Pat Boone Spews More Obama-Hate
Topic: Newsmax

Pat Boone appears perfectly content to continue to destroy his pleasant pop-singer legacy with his unhinged hatred for President Obama. From a June 20 Newsmax article:

President Barack Obama is a Muslim and celebrates Islamic holy days in the White House, actor Pat Boone told Newsmax TV.

Boone, a singer, actor, and TV host who appears in the recent film "God's Not Dead 2," told Steve Malzberg Monday night Obama is not the Christian he claims to be.

"He said during [his 2008 presidential] campaign, the sweetest sound in his memory is the Muslim call to prayer," Boone said. "He does make a perfunctory appearance at the presidential prayer breakfast, and he will come to a black funeral after one of these killings like Orlando, but he celebrates Ramadan in the White House.

"He is, I'm afraid, more Muslim than Christian. And he is certainly more protective of anything relating to Islam than he is anything relating to Christianity."

The fact that it's Pat Boone saying this doesn't make this any less crazy or hateful. But Boone is counting on you to think otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Newsmax TV Squabbles With Dish Network Over Carriage
Topic: Newsmax

The recurring battle between TV channels and the cable and satellite companies that carry them has now hit Newsmax.

A June 6 Newsmax article says that Dish Network has dropped Newsmax TV, and Newsmax is responding by askingviewers to "to call DISH and let them know you want Newsmax TV back!"

The article adds its own version of backstory:

We are disappointed by DISH Network's decision to stop carrying Newsmax TV.

By doing so, DISH has closed down an important and independent news voice.

It is unfortunate DISH would make such a move during this critical election period.

Newsmax is one of the most respected online news sources in the nation, reaching approximately 50 million online viewers monthly, according to comScore.

We have been an important source of news about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and much more.

In less than two years, Newsmax TV has become a popular cable news channel – drawing close to 5 million monthly viewers, up from fewer than 500,000 when we launched.

In the past DISH has been forced to remove channels that charge excessive fees that must be passed on to their customers.

We applaud DISH for standing up for their customers – but it is important to remember that Newsmax TV does not charge DISH!

In fact, we financially benefit them and their customers so there are NO pass-along costs!

Actually, that's not quite the full truth. As TVPredictions.com reports, DirecTV continues to carry Newsmax TV, as well as "several small cable and telco TV providers." Plus, it's available streaming online, so the channel hasn't been "closed down" at all.

Further, TV Predictions notes, the real issue seems to be about money. Newsmax pays both Dish and DirecTV to carry Newsmax TV, and "Newsmax has yet to issue a comment on the dispute, but it would appear that Dish is either asking the channel for more money, or Newsmax is seeking carriage now without having to pay any fee."

There may also be the issue of channel placement, given Newsmax's digression into the subject in its article:

When DISH launched Newsmax TV, we were placed among a suite of shopping channels, unrelated to our news content.

Due to this unfair and inappropriate placement, DISH has made it difficult for their subscribers to find Newsmax TV.

Newsmax TV continues to be available on DirecTV 349, Verizon FiOS115, and more than 40 cable systems around the nation — all of which put Newsmax TV in their news channel lineups.

It might help if Newsmax publicly explained exactly why Dish dropped Newsmax and under what terms it would return.

Also of note, Newsmax illustrated its article with this picture:

The fellow on the left is Dick Morris, who just signed on as a political correspondent with the National Enquirer. (Apparently, all the post-2012 image rehab Newsmax did for Morris, following a slew of aggressively wrong predictions about the 2012 election, has gone for naught ... or has it?) The Washingtonian hilariously noted how Morris claimed he was impressed with the Enquirer's "willingness to tell the truth" ... "But when asked what that 'truth' is, Morris said he wanted out of the interview and ended the call."

You'd think having a top Newsmax analyst also be associated with a dubious tabloid would not exactly make Dish Network terribly eager to keep the channel. Perhaps Newsmax should explain that one too.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Newsmax's Gizzi: Brazil Needs A Repression-Loving Dictator
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax Washington correspondent John Gizzi, apparently responding to the current turmoil in Brazil, tweeted: "Brazil needs Emilio Medici, president from 1969-74 whose reign was called 'years of lead & torture' again."

Well, that may be because that's exactly what it was.

History student Colin Snyder details how Medici was installed as president by a military junta, and while economic growth occurred under his regime, it was better known for repression and torture:

With the economic and athletic success, many Brazilians were blissfully unaware of just how brutal repression had become. Future-president Luís Inácio “Lula” da Silva, who in the early-1970s had just begun his career as a metalworker, later commented that, if there had been a popular and direct election in 1970, Médici would have won in a landslide. He also enjoyed close relations with the United States, drawing on his time spent there as a military attache. In 1971, he made an official state visit to the Nixon White House, where the two men discussed possible ways to overthrow democratically-elected Chilean president Salvador Allende. And to build up support, Médici relied on propaganda in new ways, spending millions of cruzeiros on advertising campaigns designed to drum up patriotic support for the regime through slogans such as “Brazil: Love it or leave it” (“Brasil, Ame-o ou deixe-o“). He finished his mandate in March 1974,  leaving office just as Brazil’s economy started to show subtle signs of weakness that would come to plague the country throughout the rest of the decade and into the 1980s and 1990s. As he left office, he enjoyed a massive amount of popularity, seen as the man who finally “stabilized” Brazil, even while many of the economic policies that had created the “miracle” preceded his administration.

While he was popular while serving as president, his popularity quickly faded away. The growing economic turmoil of the 1970s, which proved increasingly difficult to curb, led more and more people to question the policies of his administration. In the 1980s, the Catholic vicariate of São Paulo and Protestant ministers managed to secretly obtain thousands of classified documents that detailed the use of torture in Brazil during Médici’s government; the documents, ultimately compiled and published as Brasil: Nunca Mais (“Brazil: Never Again,” translated into English as Torture in Brazil) shocked millions of Brazilians who had been unaware of (or had chosen to ignore) the extensive use of torture in the 1970s. Though at the time people referred to the Médici years as the “economic miracle,” these years ultimately became known as the “Years of Lead,” due to the regime’s heavy repression.

The New York Times reported that "According to the Brazilian Amnesty Committee, 170 opponents were killed and many were tortured in army and police cells" under Medici's rule, adding: "For many Brazilians, the principal memory of the Medici years was the pervasive fear of being caught up without documents and vanishing during a police sweep."

Y'know, maybe Medici isn't the kind of guy Brazil needs after all. 


Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EDT
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Newsmax Maintains Silence on Kessler Being A Former Employee
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Ronald Kessler's recent appearances on Newsmax TV omit the fact that Kessler was Newsmax's chief Washington correspondent from 2006 to 2012. That streak is continuing.

In an April 15 Newsmax TV interview, in which Clinton-hater Kessler insists that Hillary Clinton will be indicted over her mail server, host Steve Malzberg does not mention that Kessler used to work at Newsmax. And the accompanying article describes Kessler as a "veteran journalist" and "a former Washington Post reporter and author of "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents," published by Crown Forum" -- but not as a former Newsmax correspondent.

There's also another level of nondisclosure going on here. Crown Forum, the imprint that published Kessler's book, began life as Prima Forum, a joint venture with ...  Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 AM EDT
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Newsmax Columnist Forgets That Waterboarding Doesn't Work
Topic: Newsmax

Fred Fleitz writes in an April 12 Newsmax column headlined "Here's What CIA's Brennan Forgets About Waterboarding":

CIA Director John Brennan is in the news lately because of comments he made over the weekend that he will not permit CIA officers under the next president to use "waterboarding," a controversial enhanced interrogation technique that has been successfully used to extract information about potential terrorist attacks from al-Qaida members.

Brennan's comments came in response to statements by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump that they may use waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods against terrorist suspects to protect the American people and the U.S. homeland.

Actually, waterboarding was not "successful" against al-Qaida members. A Senate report found that the waterboarding used against three al-Qaida captives in the wake of 9/11 yielded no useful intelligence and lots of fabricated information. One captive, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times in one month, and the Senate report disputes CIA claims that he was a senior al-Qaida official and that he provided actionable information as a result of the waterboarding.

But never mind the facts: Fleitz goes on to sneer that Brennan is "partisan tool of the Obama administration" and his comments that he would not permit waterboarding again "are an obvious attempt to keep his job if Hillary Clinton wins in November."

Fleitz used to be managing editor for LIGNET, a "global intelligence and forecasting" service operated by Newsmax that appears to have gone defunct; the group's website is currently inaccesible.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Newsmax Still Doesn't Want To Admit That Kessler Used To Work There
Topic: Newsmax

The last time Ronald Kessler appeared on Newsmax TV, nobody seemed to want to admit that Kessler served as Newsmax's Washington correspondent for six years. That's holding up for another recent appearance.

On his March 28 show, Newsmax TV host Ed Berliner introduced Kessler as a "New York Times bestselling author, veteran American journalist who has written extensively about security from the perspective of the CIA, Secret Service and FBI" -- but not as a former Newsmax correspondent. The accompanying Newsmax article promoting Kessler's appeaerance also omits Kessler's former employment there.

If Kessler is on good enough terms with Newsmax to appear on its TV shows, why isn't he good enough for Newsmax to admit he used to work there?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:12 PM EDT
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Kessler Comes Back to Newsmax to Fluff Trump
Topic: Newsmax

When he worked for Newsmax, Ronald Kessler was a huge Trump-fluffer and feeder of Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, to the point that he's possibly the person most responsible for establishing Trump as a plausible presidential candidate.

Not only is Kessler still heavily in the Trump-fluffing business, he has come back to Newsmax to do it.

A March 2 Newsmax article by Greg Richter highlights a appearance by Kessler on Newsmax TV, in whichhe explains that "Republican front-runner Donald Trump is very different in private than his public persona on television that has been seen so far in his presidential campaign" and that "Trump will transition away from that persona if he wins the nomination."

Kessler was on to promote an article he wrote for the Daily Mail in which he gives a fawning depiction of how Trump runs his Mar-a-Lago private club, asserting that he "the same management techniques that have made him so successful as a businessman: hiring the best and the brightest, holding department heads accountable, firing employees when necessary and insisting on quality and cost cutting." (The above photo of Kessler and his wife hanging with Trump is from that article.)

Curiously, neither Richter nor the Newsmax TV segment mentioned that Kessler is a former Newsmax employee, which he was for a good six years.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 PM EST

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