ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Sunday, January 24, 2016
Ex-Newsmax Reporter Kessler Is Still A Trump Sycophant
Topic: Newsmax

We documented how Ronald Kessler, then with Newsmax, was an enthustiastic promoter of Donald Trump's presidential ambitions during the 2012 presidential campaign -- while failing to disclose he was a good friend (or at least a sycophantic hanger-on) of Trump, having slobbered all over the guy in a 1999 book he wrote on Palm Beach's social scene.

Now Trump is actually running for president, and Kessler remains a loyal sycophant.

The headline of a piece Kessler wrote for the gossipy British tabloid the Daily Mail -- "Truffle and ricotta ravioli, surf & turf, Trump's own bubbly and Secret Service agents struggling to open bejeweled clutch purses to search for weapons: My New Year's Eve dinner (and other good times) with Donald Trump" -- is as overstuffed as the article itself, dripping with praise for Trump as he lovingly documents the "black-tie New Year's Eve party, which my wife Pamela Kessler and I attended at Mar-a-Lago, his club and Florida home in Palm Beach":

First came hors d'oeuvres and champagne on the terrace overlooking the pool, always heated to 78 degrees, like the second pool right on the ocean.

Cocktail shrimp, stone crab claws, cold lobster, oysters on the half shell, sushi, and caviar dished onto blini were among the offerings.

After that, the guests swanned over to the ballroom for dinner and dancing. No one would be hungry for dinner, which included truffle and ricotta ravioli and filet mignon and scallops. The bubbly: from Trump's own Charlottesville, Virginia vineyard.

If Donald had wanted to invite them, he could have attracted some of the biggest celebrities in the country to the bash. But the guests were club members and old friends.

Donald's family, including nine-year-old Barron, sat with him watching the rocking event band, Party on the Moon. 

Kessler went on tell how "Like a proud maitre d', Donald went around greeting guests and posing for photos with his stunning wife Melania," repeat unsubstantiated allegations about Hillary Clinton's relationship with the Secret Service, quotes Trump emplpoyees about how awesome he is, then took a potshot at President Obama before fawning over Trump one more time:

In his book 'Dreams From My Father', Barack Obama admitted that as a community organizer, he got some asbestos removed from some pipes in one Chicago housing project but accomplished little else.

In contrast, Trump has amassed a fortune of $10 billion and employs 34,500 people. He didn't do that by being an idiot, a nut, or a bigot, some of the kinder terms that have been used to describe him.

Trump is running for president because he believes deeply in America. He symbolized that when he engaged in a protracted dispute with the town of Palm Beach over the American flag he erected on the front lawn of Mar-a-Lago on South Ocean Boulevard. 

That's the kind of writing that ensures Kessler and his wife keep getting invited to Mar-a-Lago. Appropriate, since Kessler gave up being a serious reporter years ago.

(Photo: Ronald and Pamela Kessler with Trump, from the Daily Mail article.)


Posted by Terry K. at 5:49 PM EST
Monday, December 14, 2015
Newsmax Advertiser Now Using Hawking, CNN To Sell Dubious Supplement Pills
Topic: Newsmax

Remember a week or so ago when we highlighted a Newsmax ad for "brain pills" that featured an obviously fake endorsement by Marco Rubio on an obviously fake news website? Well, our shady advertisers are back with a different fake endorser on a different fake website -- and Newsmax still doesn't seem to care.

This time out, the ad blurb on the Newsmax "feed network" reads, "Stephen Hawking Says This Smart Pill Is Proven to Double IQ." This time, readers are taken to a page that doesn't even really try to look like an actual CNN website page -- the URL readers "cmn.com--news.info" -- leading with this fake endorsement from Stephen Hawking:

The product's name this time is Geniux, which is probably the same thing as the "Accelerin" promoted in the Rubio ad. The page even ropes in CNN's Anderson Cooper for his own fake endorsement:

The ad repeats a fake endorsement from Denzel Washington, but also adds Bill Gates and Elon Musk. At the bottom of the page is a bunch of fake comments designed to look vague like a Disqus thread.

The actual product pageis even more vague than the Accelerin page about what, exactly, is in its little brain pills. There's a link at the bottom of the page that states "Click here to find evidence of a test, analysis, research or study describing the benefits, performance or efficacy of product ingredients based on the expertise of relevant professionals." But when you click on the link, it returns a listing of what it calls the "components of the nutraceutical formula found in The Geniux Brain Supplement," and that "one or more of the components in The Geniux Brain Supplement formula were present" in the referenced studies. It references bee pollen extract and tyrosine, neither of which are exactly known for their energy and memory-enhancing properties. And the two tyrosine-related studies examined their effects on phenylketonuria, an inherited disorder.

So, again, Newsmax is using its former syndicated news feed to promote a supplement of questionable value using fake celebrity endorsement. Are there no standards at Newsmax?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 PM EST
Friday, December 4, 2015
Newsmax Advertiser Uses Marco Rubio To Sell Dubious Supplement Pills
Topic: Newsmax

Last month, in the wake of questions about Ben Carson's involvement with the shady nutritional supplement maker Mannatech, the Washington Post's David Weigel reported on how conservatives are a key constituency for supplement makers. He notes that Newsmax is a major purveyor of such supplements and "features links to miraculous-sounding products next to original reporting." He then quotes Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy saying, “When I saw Mannatech being discussed at the debate, I looked up the company and said, ‘Reach out to them, they should be advertising this product on Newsmax.’ ”

That would explain the extremely low caliber of supplement firms that advertise on Newsmax.

Newsmax's "Top Stories" sidebar is a "feed network" that is also syndicated to numerous other websites with the promise of revenue-sharing. It used to contain headlines from Newsmax articles, but now is almost exclusively advertising for various and dubious products.

The other day, amid the other cheesy come-ons, we caught this headline on it: "Marco Rubio Shocks Country and Media With Latest Campaign News."

Like the sucker Newsmax believes us to be, we clicked on it. Which took us to this incredibly fake-looking "news" page under the fake-looking domain name "com--news.co" (we swear we saw an earlier version of this made to look like an equally fake-looking Fox News page).

As an apparent artifact to that fake Fox News page, the "news" article claims that "Marco Rubio shocks Bill O'Reilly by revealing his secret to working longer and more productive hours." IT goes on to serve up this terribly written "news" copy:

As a senator, Rubio is a big fan of reading books, the news, and doing puzzles but according to O'Reilly, he also credits his success to an IQ boosting, brain pill that helped him with memory, cognition and recall. This is the real magic says Rubio, referring to Accelerin Rubio wouldn't comment but when billionaire pal Warren Buffett said, "I had to tell Marco about (product name) I mean, this is something that I've used for years, it is in fact kind of a secret because you know, it's not heavily advertised but that's what's great about it, Accelerin puts all their money into finding the most organic, pure all natural ingredients and that it, it all goes into the formula, so you kind of have to be "in the know" to get your hands on it, but I tell everyone I meet my "secret" so I guess it's not really a secret anymore. 

So Accelerin is the product being shilled here. It's presented as a  and claims to be "the inspiration for the movie ‘Limitless'" and a "safe alternataive" to Adderall.

The article goes on to claim endorsements by Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Dr. Oz, and includes a sidebar with fake covers of National Geographic and Time magazines, the latter accompanied by a fake endorsement from Tiger Woods, saying things like "I feel like I have opened up extra space in my brain."

(Oddly, those fake magazine covers reference a completely different product, "Brain Storm Elite," which may or may not be the same thing as Accelerin.)

It also claims "MIT scientist Peter Molnar" said, "We tested Accelerin Vs. Adderall with 1000 subjects, over a 10 day period and the results were shocking... Accelerin - out performed Adderall and we concluded that it was 600% more effective and subjects doubled their IQ while taking Accelerin." There is a Peter Molnar who's a scientist, but he's an geological scientist who likely wouldn't be conducting research on nutritional supplements, and he left MIT in 2001.

The web page also asserts that Accelerin is "clinically proven" to:

  • Sky-rocket Concentration by 32%
  • Improve Creative Thinking
  • Boost Energy
  • Enhance Memory Recall
  • Increase IQ Scores by 47% 

The website concludes with an obviously bogus "verified real" comments section:

What is in Accelerin? We have no idea; the actual sales page for it linked in the fake "news" page claims it has "100% Pure Phosphatidylserine Complex," whatever that is. It also admits (in small type at the bottom of the page) that "The statements made on our websites have not been evaluated by the FDA."

So, we have an ad for a questionable product using wild, unproven (and unprovable) claims and almost certainly made-up celebrity and politician endorsements. (If the makes of Accelerin have proof to back up any of this, they are free to share it with us and the world.) It may sell some pills, but this and other shady supplement sellers that also peddle their pills on Newsmax -- which apparently has no advertiser standards it's interested in enforcing -- sure doesn't make Newsmax look like a credible place to get information from.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 4, 2015 3:24 PM EST
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Newsmax Is In Business With An Anti-Global Warming 'Scam Artist'
Topic: Newsmax

A recent promotion at Newsmax highlights what purports to be "A Breaking Report From Newsmax Media," with this scintillatingly written leadoff:

Imagine, for a moment, sitting at a prestigious steakhouse in Palm Beach, Florida, a hot spot for some of the wealthiest and most famous — Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, Rush Limbaugh, and hundreds more.

And, imagine dining with a handful of men you’ve only read about. Some of them are worth millions, others published best-selling books, and some have held prominent positions at the White House.

In essence, you’re sitting at a five-person table of VIPs.

Tom Luongo has worked extensively with the University of Florida on making crop yields more productive for third world countries, creating an intermetallic coating for gun barrels that dropped maintenance requirements on firearms by half, and assisting in the development of cures for diseases.
You’re about to take a bite of your New York strip when one of the men, a top U.S. intelligence agent, slams a 164-page document in the middle of the table.

This document, you soon find out, contains damning evidence that a network of politicians, corporations, and scientists have conspired together to promote the fear of “global warming” . . .

Despite evidence clearly stating no such “global warming” exists.

The motive: $22 billion per year.

That’s $22 billion of taxpayers’ money . . . to stop the “global warming” epidemic.

This overwrought prose, presented as being told by somebody named Tom Luongo, is all about the story of John Casey, described as "a former White House space program adviser, consultant to NASA headquarters, and space shuttle engineer. He is now one of America’s most successful climate change researchers and climate prediction experts." What follows are a bunch of discredited claims typically peddled by global warming deniers, such as "global warming reversed its rise in 1998."

The piece even touts how "a petition was signed by more than 31,000 scientists that states 'there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate'" -- a claim we've pointed out is more than a little dishonest.

There are numerous other false and misleading claims made in the promotion, many of which are debunked here.

But who is John Casey? He first surfaced several years ago spouting his denier claims as leader and sole employee of something called the Space and Science Research Center (whose website is currently defunct with the domain apparently for sale). Casey has no training in climate science and his never published a peer-reviewed paper in the field, which would seem to run counter to the Newsmax promotion's claim that he's "one of America’s most successful climate change researchers and climate prediction experts." Even a fellow global warming skeptic suspects him to be a "scam artist trying to get his hands in your pockets."

Well, now he's found a way -- by hooking up with Newsmax.

The whole point of this dishonest exercise is to sell you something -- in this case, a package of something called "The Cold Truth Initiative," which includes a book by Casey called "Dark Winter." Turns out the book is published by Humanix Books, which is the publishing division of Newsmax.

In a WorldNetDaily-esque move, there's also a film version of "Dark Winter." If you look at the spine of the cover image supplied in the pruple-prose promotion, it states that the film is a production of "Newsmax TV Original Films."

Since this is Newsmax, there's also the obligatory "four-month subscription to the award-winning Newsmax magazine" (which you must cancel prior to the subscription period ending to avoid being automatically charged for an entire year's subscription) and a three-month subscription to the "Resolute Wealth Letter" (same opt-out deal), which turns out to be written by Luongo and published by Newsmax, who calls Luongo "our gold expert."

Newsmax and Casey have been working together for a while. A November 2014 "news" article by Clayton Reid, for example, falsely touts Casey as a "climatologist" and promotes the "provocative" book "Dark Winter" while unethically failing to disclose that it was published by a Newsmax operation.

So Newsmax is on record teaming up with a thoroughly discredited "climate change researcher" for the apparent sole purpose of selling more Newsmax stuff. Given Newsmax's history of scammy dealings, we're not really surprised.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Scaife's Pittsburgh Papers Lay Off Workers, Align With Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Earlier, we highlighted how the Washington Times is adjusting to life without a deep-pocketed right-wing benefactor to cover literally billions of dollars in losses. Now, another right-wing newspaper heretofore protected from the free market is making a similar adjustment.

Trib Total Media, which operates the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other media holdings of right-wing financier Richard Mellon Scaife -- who died last year -- announced last week that it was laying off 153 people and will combine its three Pittsburgh-area properties into a single newspaper. It also claims that if two other papers can't be sold, they will be shut down, eliminating another 91 jobs.

As bad as that situation is, it could have been even worse. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (the Tribune-Review's competitor) reports that according to the Scaife estate's inheritance tax report, Scaife loaned the Tribune-Review $147 million, which the estate considers to be uncollectible, which would have the side effect of lowering the value of the estate for tax purposes.

And that's just what's documented by the estate in promissory notes. It's possible that Scaife may have given the paper even more money off the books.

The layoff announcement also contains this interesting tidbit:

We have taken steps over the past several months to build out our digital presence. First, through Mr. Scaife’s estate, our new affiliate, 535 Media, LLC, has acquired 40 percent of the stock of Newsmax Media which is a proven national leader in digital news. We also plan to launch a joint venture with Newsmax, through our affiliate, in early 2016 that will allow us to add to our digital offerings and to expand our national reach.

The Tribune-Review announcement doesn't state how a money-losing organization such as itself could afford to buy 40 percent of Newsmax. The Pittsburgh Business Times makes the connection clearer: That piece of Newsmax is what Scaife owned, and Trib Total Media was bequeathed those shares in Scaife's will. 

The Business times also quoted Trib Total Media president and CEO Jennifer Bertetto describing how Newsmax will help its online offerings: one plan is a website that will serve as "a local and national news source targeted to baby boomers that will have a local marketplace aspect and we plan to monetize it through various email marketing concepts that NewsMax has really mastered." Given that Newsmax's "email marketing concepts" tend to center around dubious fianancial schemes and even more dubious health schemes, that may not be the best approach.

Newsmax is affected by Scaife's will in another way: The Post-Gazette writes that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy was awarded $250,000 in the will.

All the cost-cutting demonstrates that Trib Total Media has to try to be a profitable business, even with having $147 million in debt apparently written off. Newsmax, as far as we know, does make money, and the question going forward will be how much the money-making parts of Trib Total Media, like that 40 percent share of Newsmax, will tolerate the money-losing parts.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EST
Monday, November 16, 2015
Newsmax's Ruddy Defends O'Reilly Over Reagan Book, Says Will Should Quit Fox
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax editor and CEO Christopher Ruddy has had enough of the feud between Bill O'Reilly and George Will over O'Reilly's book "Killing Reagan" -- and he taking O'Reilly's side.

In a Nov. 11 column, Ruddy notes that Newsmax has published criticism of O'Reilly's book from historians like Craig Shirley over O'Reilly's suggestion that Ronald Reagan was not fully engaged during the finalyears of his administration, but fawns over Reagan being "a lion, a great visionary who created the greatest economic boom in American history as he brought down the Soviet Empire" and adds, "I would take an 80 percent Reagan over a 100 percent Obama any day."

Ruddy then complains about Will's "seemingly personal jihad against O'Reilly":

Will has gone well beyond offering legitimate criticisms of the book. He has attacked O'Reilly’s integrity as a journalist. O'Reilly stated during their TV exchange last week that Will had agreed to speak with him by phone before he completed his article on the book.

Interestingly, Will accuses O'Reilly of not talking to people involved before publishing his book.

While I have disagreed with O'Reilly on numerous issues through the years, I don't think that there's any evidence he is a person that seeks to mislead people or is an “expert” in such activity, as Will asserts.

O’Reilly is probably one of the most highly-scrutinized media figures of our time. While he sometimes has strong and passionate opinions, he has always been a straight shooter and fair-minded.

[...]

Criticism of O'Reilly's book is totally appropriate. But Will’s primary assertion that O'Reilly is “something of an expert on willfully misleading people” and guilty of “extreme recklessness” is simply not substantiated by the contents of O'Reilly's book or his long track record as a media personality.

But O'Reilly has no "integrity as a journalist," and he does have a track record of misleading people. This is, after all, a guy who cited "The Paris Business Review," a publication that doesn't exist, to claim success in a boycott of France, and he has misled about reporting from a combat zone during the Falklands War. Further, O'Reilly's previous book on John F. Kennedy's death contains a false claim about the purported suicide of one of the figures in the case. Ruddy can read more about O'Reilly's actual track record here if he'd like.

Nevertheless, Ruddy concludes his column with how he would handle Will:

I run my own network. It's called Newsmax TV and we encourage a healthy dialogue among anchors, commentators and guests. Disagreements make for great television. But what George Will said crossed the line.

If George Will was a paid commentator on my network and made such claims about our lead news host, I would have promptly gotten Will on the phone.

Here's how the brief conversation would have gone: "George, you are a respected columnist and I respect your opinions. You have every right to criticize Bill and his book. He knows you do and he had the cojones to put you on his own show to hear them out. But you did something more than that.

"You went after him personally and said he's a liar, and that he's made a career of misleading the public. You have used other outlets to attack him. If you feel so strongly about our lead news host, shouldn't you just do the honorable thing and resign from the network?"

After that I would expect Will would do the decent thing and resign from a network where he collects a nice paycheck, in part, thanks to the very host he is crusading against. If he didn’t quit, I would terminate his contract, killing George Will.

End of story.

Interestingly, Ruddy doesn't say he would investigate the veracity of the claims before reflexively defending his host and firing Will.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 AM EST
Monday, October 26, 2015
Newsmax Wants To Remind Right-Wingers It Still Kinda Hates The Clintons After All
Topic: Newsmax

It seems that Newsmax wants to regain some of its right-wing Clinton-hating cred.

Newsmax publisher Christopher Ruddy has become buddies with Bill Clinton and his foundation, which has caused some backlash in certain right-wing circles where Clinton-hating is an unshakable tenet and who remember that Ruddy founded Newsmax in no small part as an outlet for anti-Clinton forces during his presidency.

Newsmax has apparently decided it wants some of that Clinton-hating mojo back. Its latest loss-leader book offer (for which you surrender your credit card number to receive a few "free" months of Newsmax's magazine, which you have to cancel before the end of the free period to avoid being charged for a full year's subscription) is Ed Klein's new Hillary-bashing book "Unlikeable." The promotion for it includes this fanciful text:

Hillary’s house of cards is crashing around her.

First she screamed at Obama in the Oval Office, “Call off your f---ing dogs!” 

Now Ed Klein is blowing the whistle on other stunning details of her shady political dealings and bitter feud with Barack Obama in a new book that just hit the streets.

Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary hammers the final nails into the coffin of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s flagging presidential aspirations.

Highly regarded journalist and political analyst Ed Klein has thoroughly documented HRC’s decades-long trail of lies, deception, and conniving.

She even dropped an f-bomb on the president of the United States!

Hillary simply won’t be able to talk her way out of this one.

Especially considering the airtight sourcing and impeccable fact-checking Ed Klein has employed in what some are calling the must-read political book of the year.

You can claim your copy for FREE from the limited quantity Newsmax magazine has secured exclusively for our preferred readers.

In fact, the truth about on Klein is very much the opposite of what Newsmax claims. Far from being a "highly regarded journalist" who uses "airtight sourcing and impeccable fact-checking," Klein is considered a joke by actual journalists who point out his heavy use of anonymous and untraceable sources, factual errors and distortions, and lazy "cut and paste" writing.

There's no reason to believe this isn't also the case with Klein's new book, but don't expect Newsmax to tell you that.

Newsmax is also running an odd little poll of the opt-in kind (and, thus, scientifically meaningless)which it claims it will offer to "major outlets" at some undetermined point in the future. Here are the first two questions:

1) In your opinion, did Hillary Clinton violate the law by storing State Department and classified emails on her personal server?

2) Did Hillary violate the law by deleting all emails from her personal server?

But the determination of what is or is not legal isn't a poll or popularity contest, it's based on what's written in the law -- which means the poll is even more meaningless than usual.

Newsmax also doesn't mention that fact-checkers have determined that while Clinton's use of a private server is questionable, it's a legal area that's murky at best and it is unlikely she will ever be found to have violated the letter of any law regarding its use.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Newsmax's 'Top 100 Health Blogs' Includes Quacks
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's new list of "Newsmax Health's Top 100 Health Blogs" includes most of the usual suspect. Plus, as you'd surmise with the task of coming up with enough entries to fill the list and Newsmax's own dubious health advice, a couple of quacks.

Located prominently at No. 6 is "Mercola.com — Alternative medicine news from Joseph Mercola, D.O." If that name sounds familiar, it should -- WorldNetDaily promoted Mercola's fearmongering about the HPV vaccine. According to Quackwatch, Mercola is a seller of health supplements who opposes immunization, fluoridation of water, and mammography; claims that amalgam fillings are toxic; and makes many unsubstantiated claims in recommending dietary supplements. 

Coming in at No. 34 is Newsmax's own favorite doctor, Russell Blaylock. We've documented how Blaylock -- who has partnerd with Newsmax on a health newsletter -- fearmongers against vaccines and claims NutraSweet and MSG cause brain damage.

Newsmax's mixing of quacks into its list casts a dubious shadow over the rest of the list, even if most of them are offering sound medical advice (which they appear to be doing).


Posted by Terry K. at 4:14 PM EDT
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Logrolling In Our Time: Trump and Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is already all in on Donald Trump's presidential bid -- has been since 2011, actually. Now there's a new form of logrolling going on between the two: Newsmax's Trump-loving audience votes Trump the winner in post-debate polls -- the opt-in polls are not scientific -- Newsmax gives the results to Trump, Trump cites that poll in public, and Newsmax touts Trump's citing of Newsmax.

This first happened after the Aug. 6 GOP debate, when Trump touted the Newsmax poll claiming Trump won, and Newsmax touted how "Trump pointed to the Newsmax poll while blasting RedState leader Erick Erickson for revoking an invitation for Trump to speak at the conservative group's gathering in Atlanta.

It happened again after the Sept. 16 debate, as Greg Richter is more than happy to inform you in a Sept. 17 Newsmax article:

Presidential front-runner Donald Trump drew cheers on Thursday from a New Hampshire town hall audience when he touted his dominance in the post-debate online polls.

Among them was the Newsmax poll, in which Trump took 46 percent. Carly Fiorina was a distant second at 20 percent.

"Time magazine, they did votes as to who won the debate last night," Trump noted. "114,000 votes as of 6 p.m. Trump 56. Carly Fiorina, 19, Rubio 7, Ben Carson 4. The rest not doing too good."
Special: New Probiotic Fat Burner Takes GNC by Storm
The Drudge Report poll found Trump favored by 66 percent.
Latest News Update

"Second Fiorina much less, like much," he said. "And then Rubio, then Cruz. I'm not going to mention the next name because I don't like him very much."

"Then Newsmax, way up ahead, Newsmax. You like Newsmax? The great Chris Ruddy. I like it, too. Donald Trump, first place by a lot."

The fact that both Newsmax polls are still open for voting (here and here) testifies to the utter meaninglessness of the results.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EDT
Monday, August 24, 2015
Newsmax Serves Up Another Trump-Fluffing Promotion
Topic: Newsmax

A while back, we caught the Trump-fluffers at Newsmax offering a Donald Trump book as one of the loss-leader promos in its ongoing efforts to sell a Newsmax-published newsletter. Now it's serving up another Trump trinket: a hat with Trump's campaign slogan on it, a common-looking trucker cap Newsmax insists has a "$25 value." Here's the hard sell-slash-Trump campaign commercial (bolding is theirs):

The cap that Donald Trump has been wearing at campaign stops — blazing out his "Make America Great Again," slogan — has become a sensation.

In fact, sales of the Trump cap are off the charts.

Now you can get your very own Make America Great Again cap (a $25 value) FREE with this offer, just pay shipping & handling.

The “Make America Great Again” cap is being worn by Americans who stand with Trump in securing America’s border with Mexico – and cleaning up Washington.

Ronald Reagan first used the slogan “Make America Great Again” — which buoyed the hopes of a nation after four disastrous years of Jimmy Carter.

Now, after eight years of Obama’s failed presidency, Americans are finding renewed hope with Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

Wear this cap with pride — show your friends at the golf course, gym, beach — anywhere outdoors you stand for a strong America. And drive your liberal friends nuts too!

This cap retails for as much as $25 — but you can get it with our FREE Offer today!

Of course, you get "free" issues of Newsmax's magazine, which are "free" only if you remember to cancel after the last "free" one arrives -- otherwise, Newsmax will automatically charge you $39.95 for a full year's subscription.

It must be hard for Newsmax to pretend its news coverage is fair when it's trying to make money from its longtime association with one of them.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Newsmax Is Still Giving A Forum to Anti-Vaxxers
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has long been a promoter of the anti-vaccine movement. And despite the fact that anti-vaxxers have been discredited, that promotion will continue.

An Aug. 4 Newsmax Health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard touts Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s conspiratorial claim that "money is the reason Congress is delaying hearings on accusations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hid a link between the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism," because the pharmceutial industry's lobbying dollars "buys a lot of influence." Hubbard continues:

Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey has called on his colleagues to investigate charges that the CDC covered up data that showing a strong link between autism and the MMR vaccine.

Rep. Posey referred to last summer's admission by Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, that he helped the CDC hide data that showed giving a child the vaccine before the age of 36 months increased the risk of autism by 69 percent, and giving it to an African-American child increased the risk of autism by 240 percent. So far, Congress has refused to hold hearings.

"The CDC scheduled meetings to try to destroy the documents that demonstrated children were getting autism from the vaccine by literally dumping them in a trashcan," Kennedy charged."Congress only seems to act when a congress person has been affected directly by vaccine injury."

In fact, there is no such conspiracy (which Newsmax doesn't even get correct -- the claim was that there was a 340 percent increased risk of autism among African-American boys). As ScienceBlogs details about the purportedly suppressed data promoted by Thompson and fellow anti-vaxxer Brian Hooker:

[T]here’s no biologically plausible reason why there would be an effect observed in African-Americans but no other race and, more specifically than that, in African-American males. In the discussion, Hooker does a bunch of handwaving about lower vitamin D levels and the like in African American boys, but there really isn’t a biologically plausible mechanism to account for his observation, suggesting that it’s probably spurious. Finally, even if Destefano et al is thrown out, it’s just one study. There are multiple other studies, many much larger than this one, that failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism.

[...]

Even if Hooker is “right,” he has just undermined the MMR-autism hypothesis and proven Wakefield wrong, with the possible (and unlikely) exception of a single group, African American males. Given the dubiousness of his analysis and background, he hasn’t even demonstrated it for them, either, particularly given the copious other studies that have failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism. What he has done, apparently, is found grist for a perfect conspiracy theory to demonize the CDC, play the race card in a truly despicable fashion, and cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the CDC vaccination program, knowing that most of the white antivaccine activists who support hate the CDC so much that they won’t notice that even Hooker’s reanalysis doesn’t support their belief that vaccines caused the autism in their children.

Hubbard makes sure to note that "Kennedy says he isn't anti-vaccine," but the fact that he's promoting a discredited anti-vaccine conspiracy theory suggests otherwise.

(h/t Dr. Lee Hieb, an anti-vaxxer who thought we wouldn't write about this because Newsmax featured RFK Jr.)

(Image: UC-Berkeley)


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Newsmax Attacks Fox Anchor on Trump's Behalf, Finds Haters To Back It Up
Topic: Newsmax

Already heavily in the tank for Donald Trump, Newsmax does the billionaire's bidding once again with a smear piece on Trump's new bete noire, Fox News' Megyn Kelly.

Reading like something sent straight from Trump oppo research, an Aug. 9 article by Greg Richter recounts a 2010 interview Kelly did in which she was "rollicking with Howard Stern, discussing her breasts and her husband's penis size and engaging in some graphic sex talk." This, Richter posits, makes Kelly a hypocrite for being "turned off by Donald Trump’s sexist remarks."

Richter then digs up, of all people, Walid Shoebat to pile on Kelly for talking to Stern, highlighting a blog post in which Shoebat and his son Theodore highlight the Stern interview and declare that "Meghan [sic] Kelly is a wretch and a vulgar low life."

Walid Shoebat, as we know, has made a career out of claiming to be a reformed Palestinian terrorist-turned-far-right Christian, though evidence of any actual terrorist acts committed by Shoebat is scant at best. WorldNetDaily has allowed Shoebat to peddle dubious and false anti-Muslim claims.

Theodore Shoebat, meanwhile, is a rabid homophobe who advocates executing gays as well as anyone who issues "opinions expressed in favor for homosexuality."

This is who Newsmax thinks is a good character reference for Trump and a credible critic of Kelly. That's how far in the tank Newsmax is for Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Newsmax In Full Trump Promotion Mode
Topic: Newsmax

As one might expect given their history together, Newsmax is doing what it can to boost Donald Trump's presidential bid. Here are three of the most obsequious ways it's doing so.

1) The book promo. Newsmax loves giving away books to gin up subscriptions to its magazine, and this time it's using Trump's 2010 book "Time To Get Tough" as its loss leader. The promo copy is positively fawning:

Donald Trump officially put his name in the ring for the 2016 elections, and he touched down like a tornado with his presidential announcement at the Trump Tower in New York.

The well-known entrepreneur and American success story is brazenly taking a stab at real change for our country, with a solid plan to do away with the “losers” who run what was once the most powerful nation in the world.

His announcement speech exposed the flaws of the nation’s leaders and recalled strong elements from his best-selling book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.”

[...]

“Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again” is a pointed reflection on America today. It’s a face-the-facts profile of the damage the Obama administration has done and the concrete solutions needed to stop our decline. 

As per usual, the book comes with a three-month "free" subscription to Newsmax magazine and a financial newsletter, which must be canceled before recipients  are charged $39.95 for a year's subscription to the magazine and $49.95 for the newsletter.

2) Trump campaign-esque PR. The July 25 Newsmax article is listed as being written by Jim Meyers, but it may have just as well come directly from the Trump campaign's media shop:

Donald Trump has consistently been outpolling all announced Republican presidential candidates despite a barrage of lies in the media about the business mogul.

Here's a look at some of the more prominent untruths the media have reported about Trump:

Meyers has to really finesse the facts to go after some of these "untruths," like this:

The Washington Post reported that Trump said "McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese." But Trump immediately modified his statement by saying, four times, that McCain is a war hero, including: "He is a war hero" and "he is a war hero because he was captured."

But doesn't the fact that Trump "immediately modified" his statement on McCain mean that Trump actually did say McCain wasn't a war hero? You'd think so, but Trump -- er, Meyers feels differently.

3) Kessler's Trump-fluffing. Ronald Kessler -- a Trump-fluffer who did all he could to set the billionaire up for a presidential run in 2012 when he was still a Newsmax employee -- comes back to do some serious sucking-up to the guy in a July 27 article:

The "real Donald Trump" is not the brash, outspoken presidential candidate we're seeing but instead is a sound businessman with smart ideas, says a best-selling author.

During an appearance on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Prime," Ronald Kessler tells host J.D. Hayworth that if Trump makes it to the general election, he'll know what to do.

"I interviewed his longtime assistant and vice president Norma Foerderer, who went back to when he didn't even have an office," says Kessler, who has written 20 nonfiction books about the Secret Service, CIA, and the FBI."

In a 2006 Kessler article titled "The Real Donald Trump," she revealed, “Donald can be totally outrageous, but outrageous in a wonderful way that gets him coverage. That persona sells his licensed products and his condominiums. You know Donald’s never been shy, and justifiably so, in talking about how wonderful his buildings or his golf clubs are.”

The private Donald Trump, on the other hand, is “the dearest, most thoughtful, most loyal, most caring man,” Foerderer said. That caring side inspires loyalty and is one of his secrets to success.

Kessler is so obsequious to Trump the guy might as well be paying him, if he isn't already.

4) Defending the indefensible. The Trump-fluffing has gotten so bad, Newsmax on Aug. 3 gave its Trump stories its own sycophantic section title, "Donald Trump Stays Strong":

Note the last story in that list, the only one that approaches being negative. It's about Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who had to be fired after offensive writings, including about Al Sharpton's daughter, surfaced. But the story itself, by Courtney Coren, desperately tries to spin things, quoting her boss trying to sweep the controversy under the rug by saying wonderful things about Nunberg:

Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said that "Sam has played a terrific role in connecting the Trump campaign with the major media and grassroots organizations that have been key to Trump's success. I hope the investigation of this matter shows it is much to do about nothing."

That's the sound of a guy who is putting trying to stay in Trump's good graces above providing fair and balanced journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Pictures You Never Thought You'd See
Topic: Newsmax

Sure, Christopher Ruddy is trying to present Newsmax as something of a mainstream operation, and his rapproachement with the Clintons was a tad unlikely, but how do you explain this, from Ruddy's Twitter account?

Yes, that's Ruddy at the premiere of the film "Southpaw" posing with (apparently bankrupt) rapper 50 Cent. That may be even more unlikely than buddying up to the Clintons.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Trump's Candidacy Gets A Newsmax TV Special
Topic: Newsmax

The mutual lovefest between Newsmax and Donald Trump goes way back -- it was the lead cheerleader for a Trump presidential candidacy in 2011, and the two attempted to host a Republican presidential debate together. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has no problem with this, saying at one point, "Trump realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it."

Newsmax has been touting Trump's presidential ambitions again for this election cycle, and Ruddy hung out at Trump's house to watch the Super Bowl. So with Trump actually declaring a presidential run, it's no surprise to see Newsmax give a little extra love. As a June 16 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon explains, Trump's announcement is getting its own special on Newsmax TV:

Newsmax TV will feature a special presentation on Donald Trump's 2016 Republican presidential announcement Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.

This special edition of "Newsmax Prime" will feature host J.D. Hayworth and analysis by former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey.

In a rousing, no-nonsense speech at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York earlier Tuesday, the billionaire developer and businessman declared: "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.

"I will bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places," Trump said.

Correct us if we're wrong, but we don't recall Newsmax TV giving the "special presentation" treatment to any other Republican presidential candidate.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 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

« February 2016 »
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

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