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Sunday, April 22, 2018
Newsmax Profiles Eric Bolling, Ignores His Sexual Harrassment Scandal
Topic: Newsmax

The April 9 Newsmax item "5 Minutes With ... Eric Bolling" is as fluffy as they come:

You may know Eric Bolling from his time on TV as a financial analyst on CNBC and Fox Business, or maybe as a regular on Fox News shows like “The Specialists” or “The Five.”

The 55-year-old is also a New York Times best-selling author, and a familiar face of the opioid epidemic as he works to push awareness among parents and their children after losing his own son, Eric Chase, to an accidental overdose last year.

The commodities trader-turned-media commentator also counts President Donald Trump as a personal friend, and he’s been known to get the occasional shout-out on the presidential Twitter feed.

Missing from that description, as well as any of the questions that follow: The important fact that Bolling was fired by Fox News (euphemistically described as "amicably" parting ways) following allegations of sexual harrassment surfaced against him. The firing occurred the same day as his son's overdose.

The death of Bolling's son is sad and tragic, but it should not overshadow how Bolling lost his job -- espeicially since it appears that Bolling appears to be using this opioid awareness campaign as a way to rehabilitate his own image.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Newsmax Columnist Misleads on NRA's Lobbying Efforts
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Dorstewitz is eager to defend the National Rifle Association from the March for Our Lives in his March 26 Newsmax column:

Although no one can doubt the sincerity of their passion and resolve, their rage is misdirected. The NRA isn’t at fault for Parkland or any other shooting. Blaming the NRA for a firearm death is akin to blaming the AAA for auto accidents.

Although the NRA is primarily engaged in firearm safety and education, it also has a lobbying arm — the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). But it’s not nearly as powerful as gun control advocates would have you believe.

The NRA-ILA doesn’t appear on OpenSecrets.org’s list of top 20 lobbying firms. Nor does hunting and shooting sports appear on the organization’s list of top 20 sectors. How about gun control? Nope, not a top 20 issue. Finally, guns and arms is absent from the organization’s list of top 20 industries.

Dorstewitz is misleading about how the NRA spends money on influence. PolitiFact serves up the actual numbers:

The NRA’s biggest chunk of spending on politics came from "outside spending," consisting largely of " independent expenditures" — efforts "expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate." Often these take the form of campaign ads, but they are carried out without coordinating with the candidates they are supporting.

This type of spending vastly outpaces what the NRA spent on giving to candidates directly. The NRA spent $144.3 million on outside spending, such as independent expenditures, during that period.

In addition, the NRA since 1998 has reported spending a cumulative $45.9 million on federal lobbying, both for its in-house operations and the outside consultants it has retained.

If you add it all up -- candidate and party contributions, independent expenditures, and lobbying -- the NRA has spent $203.2 million on political activities since 1998.

So, yeah, it's pretty powerful.

Dorstewitz concluded his column by making another misleading claim:

The NRA receives nothing in federal funding and is responsible for zero deaths.

Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, received more than $500 million in funding from the 2018 Omnibus bill, and destroys more than 300,000 human lives per year.

As we've repeatedly pointed out, federal money to Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortion, as Dorstewitz suggests, because it is forbidden by law.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Monday, April 2, 2018
Newsmax Plays the Bestseller-List Game With Corsi's Book
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax complains in a March 30 article:

Jerome Corsi's red-hot new book "Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump" is a runaway bestseller — but you'd never know that from reading The New York Times.

"Killing the Deep State" debuted last week at No. 10 on the non-fiction hardcover list compiled by Nielsen BookScan, the book industry's only nationally recognized sales tracking list.

And yet, the influential New York Times Book Review inexplicably has not listed "Deep State" on its hardcover bestseller list, despite the fact it outsold many of the books that did make its list.

[...]

Now Newsmax has learned that the Times has snubbed "Deep State" on its April 8 bestseller list as well.

Its second week of phenomenal sales should have put "Killing the Deep State" in the No. 5 position on the Times' list. But you won't see it there, either, despite having sold more than double the amount of copies of many others that are listed by the Times.

What Newsmax isn't telling you: As we noted the last time some right-wing author tried to play this game, the Times list generally downgrades titles driven by bulk sales. Corsi's book most certainly is that, given that Newsmax is currently selling it at a deep discount as a promotional tool to boost subscriptions to Newsmax's magazine.

Surprisingly, Newsmax did disclose that it owns Humanix Books, which published the Corsi book. Which means that Newsmax basically sold a lot of those books to itself, and we're guessing Newsmax didn't pay itself the retail price on those books. Vox reports that the Times also downgrades books sold outside traditional sales channels; selling books to yourself is definitely that.

If you have to sell books to yourself to pump up sales, it's not really a bestseller -- and that appears to be the Times' justification for not including the book on its list. Newsmax will never admit that, of course -- otherwise, it would have to concede all the self-dealing it's doing to falsely jack up sales.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EDT
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Newsmax's Kerik Sneers At 'Ignorant, Entitled, and Disrespectful Brats' At March For Our Lives
Topic: Newsmax

Bernard Kerik -- the disgraced former New York City police chief and convicted felon whom, for some reason, Newsmax has graced with its own column -- is back to whine about those meddling kids taking part in last weekend's March For Our Lives:

Saturday as I watched the charade of marches against gun violence in Washington, D.C., I felt this overwhelming regret for the American people and our country.

Instigated and propped up by the political left and mainstream media, the march’s leaders were a group of ignorant, arrogant, and disrespectful teenagers, many below the age of eighteen. I watched an interview where one of these children, David Hogg, publically degraded and mocked his own parents in a vial diatribe, acting as a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.

[...]

Those kids are living examples of ignorant, entitled, and disrespectful brats whose views of this great country have been created by social media, Hollywood and the music industry, and a lack of parental, historical, and educational guidance. Sadly, many of the same traits responsible for violence, bullying, and yes… shootings in our schools.

Although most of the protesters were not old enough to remember or even know this: 50 years ago, hand guns and rifles were far more prevalent than they are today, and there were far less restrictions on how and who could purchase, possess or carry guns of any kind.

[...]

A blind man could see that Saturday’s march against gun violence was nothing more than an anti-Trump, anti-NRA rally, and sadly, anti-American rally. Of the thousands of signs, not one focused on the real cause of the Parkland massacre. I didn’t see one sign calling out the Broward County Sheriff’s department for their failed management and response, or the FBI, for their grave errors that unfortunately led to the shooting.

[...]

The kiddie protesters don’t get it and it’s unfortunate that their parents or a grown up with some common sense hasn’t taught them history or prepared them for the real world. These are the same kids that bawled over Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss and needed psychological counseling.

These kids don’t know the difference between an AR-15, M-16, M-4, or a hunting rifle. They don’t care that the statistics refute their arguments for stricter gun laws, Chicago being one example, and the fact that 98 percent of all mass shootings occur in gun free zones. As for the hatred for the NRA, just an FYI, not one of the mass shootings were done by an NRA member.

These are high school aged kids that the Democratic Party, mainstream media, and Hollywood have believing that they are the answer to a liberal socialist movement in this country, and I’m not sure what’s more frightening… their ignorance or naiveté, or the fact that the Democratic Party and members of the U.S. Congress have turned over their pulpit to a bunch of children.

It’s not the guns or gun laws that’s the problem, it’s a lack of discipline and respect for law and order, and an increasing society of self-entitled kids brain washed by everything and everyone but their parents. That’s what we need to address and be prepared for, because until that changes, school safety will be the least of America’s problems.

Does someone who spent years in prison for corruption really have the moral standing to criticize the behavior of others?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:33 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 1, 2018 11:43 AM EDT
Monday, March 19, 2018
Newsmax Is Publishing, Promoting New Book By Jerome Corsi
Topic: Newsmax

When birther and conspiracy theorist left WorldNetDaily a year ago to move further down the credibility spiral for a job at Alex Jones' Infowars -- where he has been peddling even wackier conspiracy theories -- we thought we were done with him, since that particular cesspool is too toxic even for us.

But Corsi is back -- and not at WorldNetDaily.

Newsmax has a promotion going on centered around Corsi's newest book "Killing the Deep State," which tries to sell the contents of the book and the author's credibility this way:

Secretly operating behind the curtain of “national security” in Washington, D.C., exists the real government of the United States — the Deep State. This is the story of the players who pull the strings, no matter who you voted for, who actually sits in the Oval Office, or even who controls Congress.

Now, the New York Times bestselling author of The Obama Nation, The Late Great USA, and Unfit for Command pulls the veil off the Deep State and the powerful agencies behind it — the FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, and the Federal Reserve.

In his latest bestseller, Killing the Deep State, Dr. Jerome Corsi reveals for the first time powerful evidence that the Deep State is seeking to remove President Trump from office.

Corsi argues that no government agency, department, or official inside Washington — including the president of the United States — is immune from the powerful grip of the Deep State.

It also includes this Corsi-esque quote from Corsi: "The Deep State will not care if Trump is removed from office by impeaching him, declaring him mentally incompetent, or in the final resort, by assassinating him, as long as he is removed from office before the completion of his first term."

The cover blurbs Newsmax includes in the promotion are a rogue's gallery of dubious fringe right-wingers -- discredited author Ed Klein, dirty trickster Roger Stone, and Corsi's former boss, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah.

Needless to say, Newsmax's promotion doesn't mention Corsi's deep involvement with bogus birther conspiracy theories -- so deep, he got himself to Joe Arpaio's bogus "cold case posse" on the subject -- or that Corsi is employed by conspiracy-crazy Infowars, or any other aspects of his sleazy history that ought to discredit him from being taken seriously by anyone.

Newsmax also doesn't mention that it's the publisher of Corsi's book. Humanix Books is listed as the publisher, which we've previously noted is a division of Newsmax.

Newsmax is also promoting Corsi on its website as well. A March 19 article let Corsi opine about the questionable firing of FBI official Andrew McCabe, and a rather lame article the same day notes that "The Barnes & Noble flagship store at Union Square in New York City is featuring best-selling author Jerome Corsi’s new book 'Killing the Deep State' on the front table of the store." The article doesn't disclose whether Newsmax paid for that front-of-store placement -- nor did it disclose that Newsmax published the book being promoted.

If Newsmax is trying to be taken seriously as a news operation, its current dalliance with Corsi will not help that effort.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:46 PM EDT
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Won't Explain Why Huckabee Left CMA Board
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen was in full outrage mode in his March 5 Newsmax column:

Left-wing hatred, in of all places Nashville, Tennessee has just politicized a country music institution. Rather than learn a lesson from the NFL and Hollywood, a small but highly vocal group of people in Music City has managed to pressure the Country Music Association (CMA) into having former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee withdraw as a board member from the group’s educational arm — the CMA Foundation. Last week the CMA announced two new members of the board of this charitable foundation, Huckabee and singer Chris Young.

Following the announcement, the CMA was the recipient of a hate-filled backlash over its choice of Huckabee because of the former governor’s political and religious views and solid support of President Donald Trump, as well as the fact that he is the proud father of President Trump’s current press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Despite the fact that Huckabee’s appointment to the board was completely separate and apart from his political activity and cultural views, some in the industry for which Nashville is best known targeted their personal animus directly at the former governor.

The most vicious public statement came from country music manager Jason Owen, who happens to own Sandbox, a management company representing Faith Hill, Little Big Town, and Kacey Musgraves. Owen co-owns, along with songwriter-producer Shane McAnally, the record label Monument Records. McAnally has written and produced songs for Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert.

Owen labeled Huckabee’s appointment "grossly offensive" and "a shameful choice" by the CMA and its leaders. The music industry manager withdrew the support of Sandbox and Monument, declaring that the artists he handles would not work on behalf of the CMA Foundation.

[...]

Being the consummate professional and gentleman that he is, Huckabee resigned a mere 24 hours after the announcement of his appointment in order to save the organization from having to deal with any potential turmoil.

Huckabee’s departure occurred a few hours after Owen published his screed on an industry website.

Weirdly, Hirsen never explains exactly what views of Huckabee's are being criticized, preferring instead to dismiss any criticism of Huckabee as "left-wing hatred." As an actual news outlet explains, Owen, who is openly gay, was specifically targeting Huckabee's anti-gay views. In the letter that Hirsen denounced as a "screed," Owen wrote that "This man has made it clear that my family is not welcome in his America. ... Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country."

Hirsen spends the rest of his column sucking up to Huckabee:

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has impeccable credentials as a public servant, and his involvement in charitable endeavors is highly commendable. As a former presidential candidate, Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses and finished in delegate count just behind John McCain and Mitt Romney. He additionally has to his credit the accomplishment of having hosted a successful television talk show on the Fox News Channel and currently hosts a television show on TBN.

[...]

The small but vociferous group that derailed Huckabee’s appointment to the board of the CMA Foundation has ended up depriving the organization of having a highly qualified member serve with distinction. Since music education is so central to the CMA Foundation mission, losing an individual of Huckabee’s caliber, someone who would have made germane and invaluable contributions to the CMA board’s primary objectives, is an outrage.

Through their actions and rhetoric, certain hate-filled individuals have provided the ugliest of illustrations of exactly what discrimination looks like.

[...]

The truth of the matter is Huckabee’s religious, political, and cultural views are shared by an enormous segment of the American population, many of whom were, up until now, country music consumers.

If only Hirsen had the courage to explain to his readers exactly what views of Huckabee's were offensive instead of penning a mash note to Huckabee.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2018 4:00 PM EST
Monday, February 26, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Develops Conspiracy Theory Over Russian Indictments
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax columnist James Hirsen has a conspiracy theory to share with you in his Feb. 20 column about special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 presidential election:

The timing of the recent announcement by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding the indictments of 13 Russians appears to be part of an effort to provide possible cover for the FBI, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the Democratic Party-aligned mainstream media.

The hasty public release occurred via a press statement by Mr. Rosenstein on an unusual choice of days, a Friday afternoon that was a lead-in to a three-day holiday weekend.

It is highly possible that the intention was to have the public focus on the headlines coming out of the press conference rather than zeroing in on the underlying facts of the matters at hand.

In other words, there may have been an attempt to employ a frequently used technique of diversion to direct public attention away from the admitted wrongdoing on the part of government, which was rapidly taking over the social media and conventional headlines.

In this case, it would be the effort to direct attention away from the FBI’s failure to investigate warnings that the man accused of the atrocious killing of 17 high school students had expressed a desire to kill innocent people and was in possession of a weapon to carry out his threat.

Like any good conspiracy theorist, Hirsen has a sub-theory to throw in as well:

The indictments helped to eclipse another inconvenient developing story, which would be a major embarrassment for the special counsel’s probe, and that is, that former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is likely to be set aside.

The judge who originally accepted Gen. Flynn’s plea for lying to the FBI has recused himself from the case, since he was also a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the very court that accepted from the Obama Justice Department the Steele dossier as evidence to support the issuance of a FISA warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

The new judge assigned to Gen. Flynn’s case has ordered Mueller to release to Gen. Flynn’s lawyers any exculpatory evidence in Mueller’s possession. The judge has also directed that any information which is favorable to Gen. Flynn be submitted to the court, even if the Mueller team believes that it is not material to the case.

This means that even if Mueller claims that his evidence is classified or not relevant, it still must be provided to the judge so that the judge can decide what can be released. This takes away the ability of the prosecutor to withhold or redact evidence on his own.

Just one thing, though: the judge's order is his standard one. So there's nothing new here.

You'd think that a guy who claims to be a lawyer, as Hirsen does, would have noticed that.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:59 PM EST
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Says Accused Sexual Harasser Losing His Job Is 'Tragic'
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax columnist James Hirsen is nothing if not a loyal right-winger, at least on thte sexual harassment front. He's still bashing Anita Hill after all these years, and he tried to slut-shame one of Roy Moore's accusers.

Hirsen's sympathy for accused sexual harassers -- the conservative-leaning ones, anyway -- continues in a Feb. 6 tweet, in which he links to an NBC News tweet announcing that casino mogul Steve Wynn was stepping down from his casino company after multiple accusations of sexual harassment. (He had previously stepped down as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee when the allegations first surfaced.) Hirsen's added reaction: "This is tragic."

Hirsen has yet to explain what he thinks is "tragic" about an accused sexual harasser losing his job.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Disgraced Ex-Cop Kerik Now A Newsmax Columnist
Topic: Newsmax

For some reason -- perhaps something having to do with serving as his image rehab consultant after he was busted on corruption charges that sent him to prison -- Newsmax appears to have given Bernard Kerik a regular column. And he has ended up being probably the last thing Newsmax needs: yet another pro-Trump cheerleader.

In his Jan. 5 column, Kerik cited his own experience in railing against the Trump-Russia investigation:

As someone that has run the largest police department (NYPD) and jail system (Rikers Island) in our country with unparalleled successes and achievements, and has also been the target of a selective and political prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, I cannot stress enough, the urgency for president Donald Trump to act and force the U.S. Attorney General to do the job he was sworn to do.

We would remind people that Kerik pleaded guilty to the several counts that sent him to prison -- mostly tax-related offenses -- which undercuts his argument that he was a victim of a "selective and political prosecution." Kerik of all people should know that those in law enforcement (Kerik was formerly the New York City police commissioner) face extra scrutiny when accused of wrongdoing.

Then, Kerik mounts a bizarre defense of, all people, Rod Blagojevich:

When you think of politically motivated and overzealous prosecutions, think for a moment of the case against Rod Blagojevich… conspiring to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat, an act that was never carried out. He gained nothing personally, professionally or financially… he just talked about it, and he was sent to prison for 14 years. We sent an American citizen to prison for 14 years for talking about something he didn’t do. He wasn’t talking about murder, a terror attack, or some violent act.

[...]

Blagojevich was talking about politics, like every member of Congress does every day of their career. They don’t pick their nose unless there’s some benefit to their office or career, yet we sent Blagojevich to prison for 14 years. Did the punishment fit the crime? Hell no! His case wasn’t about justice. His prosecution was as political as the investigation today, targeting the President of the United States and his family, by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel.

But as one writer points out, that was far from the only thing Blagojevich did:

It's important to remember that it wasn't just his giddiness over having the statutory power to appoint someone to Barack Obama's Senate seat and his alleged plans to use that authority as leverage for himself that landed him in the clink. Federal prosecutors also documented how Blago tried to shake down an executive at then Children's Memorial Hospital for a $50,000 campaign contribution in exchange for his providing $8 million in state health funds. So not only was Obama's seat "golden," but apparently reimbursements for treating sick kids were as well.

In his Jan. 12 column, Kerik defended Trump over his reference to "shithole countries" like a good Trump lackey:

I received about 25 texts and calls yesterday concerning President Trump's comments relating to a "s***hole country."

I cannot speak for the president, but I'm pretty confident he's talking about dictatorships, countries with crime rates that make Chicago look like Disney, and countries that have corrupt governments that steal their international support, causing mass starvation. Countries that have no religious, economic, press freedoms, and/or support for human and women's rights. Countries in which there are mass slaughters of Christians, and no rule of law, where you can be jailed or imprisoned at the drop of a dime with no due process.

The left and the president's personal and political critics are trying to make this about race, and it's not. It's about countries that are so sub-standard to ours that most Americans couldn't even imagine their existence, and none in their right mind would ever consider living there.

That's what I think a "s***hole country" is.

What's most annoying about all of this, isn't what the president said, it's the slimy coward and disloyal piece of garbage that was in that room and ran to the press with this non-sense.

This is what every American hates about Washington, D.C., and our spineless political leadership that's doing everything in their power to make this country fail, and not succeed.

The swamp can't get drained fast enough!

Also of note: Kerik's Newsmax bio highlights how he "has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service," but makes no reference to his prison stint.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 27, 2018 10:36 AM EST
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Newsmax's Ruddy on Damage Control Again: 'Donald Trump Is Not A Racist'
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has been aggressively parlaying his friendship with President Trump into media exposure for both him and Newsmax -- but that closeness also means he's found himself having to defend Trump from his various scandals.

Ruddy is compelled to do this again in the wake of reports that Trump referred to certain countries as "shithole countries." Let the damage control begin:

Over many years, I have been in the company of Donald Trump in public moments and many private ones.

I have been with him, on his plane for hours; I was there with him in Scotland when he opened his world-class club; I've been with him for the Miss Universe pageant and too many other times to count.

I don't know what President Trump said at the White House meeting. He may have made some inappropriate comments. But I know one thing for sure: Donald Trump is not a racist.

Inside this great man with a brusque exterior, you will not find a racist bone.

Even in his most off-guarded moments, long before he was running for president, I have never heard him utter any racist remarks, anti-Semitic comments, or ethnic slurs of any type. Sure, he has occasionally used profanity through the years, but it was very rare.

Truthfully, Trump has prided himself on his good relations with minorities. He is someone with a proven track record of developing racial harmony.

But these facts don't matter because we are in fantasy land; everyone sees their own reality. Clearly, people around the world have been hurt — whether accidentally, deliberately, or otherwise.

A simple beer in the Rose Garden won't make this one go away.

But the president can take steps to make the people of the world know that he and America stands with them, to make this place called Earth a better place, and to let them know the real Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for Ruddy, the vicious, profane, apparently racist Trump appears to be the real one as far as much of America is concerned.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 PM EST
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Pro-Trump Newsmax Writers Defend Trump's Sanity
Topic: Newsmax

As questions about President Trump's mental fitness began to swell in the wake of Michael Wolff's book, two of his biggest buddies and boosters -- both tied to Newsmax -- knew it was time to come to his defense.

First, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy went on CNN to vouch for Trump's sanity, while also humble-bragging about how much he hangs out with the president:

"I was with the president in early December, and I spent an hour and a half with him in the private residence, and the conversation was terrific," said Ruddy. "He was not repeating things."

Ruddy mentioned he also was joined by a mutual friend, a respected medical doctor.

"He had no belief and view that the president was mentally incompetent and unfit. This is just an absurdity and it's really trash, actually," Ruddy said.

Ruddy also noted that he first met Trump 20 years ago, and has been around him often this past year, adding that Trump is not "psychologically unfit or has 'lost it,'” as Wolff claims.

Ruddy added that he saw Trump "every other day" over a 10-day period during the Christmas holidays, and talked with him numerous times.

“He was remembering things, he was on point, he was following up on discussions," said Ruddy. "I brought to the golf club a well-respected New York Times reporter who had a half-hour sit-down interview with him, Michael Schmidt ... but I don't believe Michael walked out and said, 'This man is crazy, this man is unfit.'"

Then Ron Kessler -- who helped build the foundation for Trump's political ambitions as a Newsmax writer -- went on Newsmax TV (while once again failing to be identified as a former Newsmax employee)  to trash Wolff's book while promoting his own Trump-fluffing book:

My book is about unique access to Trump and his aides. In fact, I interviewed him last weekend the night before the Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve party and he was perfectly normal, on top of everything. He said that this interview he's giving me is the only interview he's doing for a book or will do for a book. And I obviously don't want to go into a lot of detail about my book coming out April 3 -- "Inside the Trump White House: Changin the Rules of the Game" -- oreven the Michael Wolff book, which I will be going into with the inside story of how that book was done, but I do have a personal experience that I can share with you about the book.

Kessler later claims that his book is "the real story of Trump and his presidency, and it's something that you can bank on." Given the absurd amount of Trump-fluffing Kessler has done over the past two decades, we somehow doubt that.

(Photo: Ronald Kessler and his wife, Pamela, with Donald Trump, from Kessler's 1999 book "The Season," in which he actually wrote of Trump: "His typical facial expression is to set his mouth in a moue, somewhere between a pucker and a pout. It says, 'I'm a handsome guy. I'm going to WIN.'")


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EST
Monday, January 1, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Repeats Old Smears of Anita Hill
Topic: Newsmax

The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet still seeking to smear Anita Hill 25 years after the fact for committing the offense of forwarding allegations of sexual harassment against a conservative icon.

Like the MRC, Newsmax columnist James Hirsen was outraged that Hill was chosen to head a panel examining sexual harassment in Hollywood, and he devoted his Dec. 18 column to rehashing those old smears:

The problem for Hollywood is that Hill failed to tell the truth. Her behavior was inconsistent with someone who had been a victim of sexual harassment. Hill followed Justice Thomas from one job to another, made numerous personal telephone calls to the man she claimed had sexually harassed her, and the calls continued even after she was no longer working for him. She denied having ever made the calls but changed her story after phone records were produced.

Hill initially asked that her name not be mentioned when the accusations were presented to Justice Thomas. The accusations referred to events that were supposed to have occurred when only she and Justice Thomas were in the same room, so if the allegations were true, Justice Thomas would certainly have known who had made them. The anonymity request only made sense if the charges were false.

Does Hirsen agree that all women to want to remain anonymous in forwarding sexual harassment allegations are lying? We don't recall being outraged when, as a Dec. 15 MRC NewsBusters post, a woman who accused NBC's Matt Lauer of sexual harassment was "terrified" that the network would leak her identity and cause her to be "hounded and harassed."

Of course, identifying the accuser would allow people like Hirsen to personally attack her, as he did with one woman who accused Roy Moore of perving on her as a teen. Then again, Hirsen would never try to smear one of Lauer's accusers, and he certainly never tried to attack any of the accusers of, say, Harvey Weinstein who chose to remain anonymous or demand that they go on record. There's also no evidence that Hirsen has held any woman making harassment allegations against a Hollywood figure to the same exacting standards of veracity he holds Hill.

It seems that, like the MRC, Hirsen just can't let go of his quarter-century-old anger.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 PM EST
Monday, December 25, 2017
Newsmax Columnist: Trump's No Hitler, Obama Is!
Topic: Newsmax

Right-wing radio host Chuck Morse has been preoccupied with portraying President Obama as a Hitler-like figure. While writing a column and serving as a source for WorldNetDaily, Morse regularly pushed this meme. Morse is over at Newsmax now, and he's still doing the same thing.

In his Dec. 11 Newsmax column, Morse does some mind-reading by taking a vague allusion from an Obama speech and turning it into a specific allegation that Obama likened President Trump to Hitler:

Echoing a meme that has become a worldwide article of faith for the authoritarian-oriented, Trump-hating left, former President Barack Obama has compared his successor, President Donald J. Trump, to Hitler.

Speaking at the Economic Club of Chicago, Obama noted that the U.S. has survived tough times before and will again, offering as an example of tough times the days of communist fighter Joseph McCarthy.

“The danger is grow[ing] complacent,” Obama said. “We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly.”

“That's what happened in Germany in the 1930s,” Obama opined. “Sixty million people died. So, you've got to pay attention. And vote.”

In a major case of projection, Obama deflected from the unprecedented economic success of President Trump’s first year in office, hardly tough times for working people, while he avoided the stark contrast between Trump’s tremendous first year and his lackluster and economically torpid previous eight years. Obama’s reference to Senator McCarthy, juxtaposed with his comparing Trump to Hitler, is ironic given the fact that the main work of Senator McCarthy was to investigate the real agents of Hitler, secret communists working within the FDR Administration who were pro-Nazi during the Hitler-Stalin Pact years, 1939-1941, the first 2 years of World War II.

Morse doesn't provide any support for that latter claim, let alone explain how one could be both communist and pro-Nazi, given that Hitler declared war on the communist Soviet Union. But then, he's back on his old smear that Obama -- and, really, any liberal -- is the real Hitler:

We should recall that it was Barack Obama who, in 2008, developed a cult of personality that was unprecedented in American history.

Reminiscent of the cult that developed around such socialist leaders as Hitler, Fidel Castro, V.I. Lenin, and Mao tse Tung, Obama, in a subtler context made palatable to an American audience, was worshipped by the liberal establishment, by the press, academia, and various cultural institutions. I recall, for example, a second grader that I knew informing me that her teacher had the students keep a diary of each day of Obama’s presidency starting on the first day. Women were reported to have fainted at his rallies.

Obama’s style of speaking, as illustrated by these recent remarks to the Economic Club of Chicago, is classic demagoguery, what French historian and former communist Alain Besancon described as “the language of ideology…the official language.” Obama speaks with indirection, innuendo, double-speak, and sophistry. His style is almost a form of code for the liberal establishment. His dishonest attempt to manipulate emotions without naming the target of his ire is a classic form of socialist agit-prop. Indeed, an English translation of a Hitler speech is filled with such innuendo and if the word “Jew” in one of those vile speeches were to be replaced with a word like “corporate interest” the speech would almost resemble the type that might be delivered by the likes of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Has Morse never noticed the cult of personality around Trump? Apparently not, since he seems to be a full-fledged member. Writing like a full-fledged sycophant, Morse then unironically writes:

President Donald Trump, in contrast, speaks plainly, perhaps a bit too plainly at times, and honestly. Trump’s speeches contain no guile or hidden agendas. He says it like he sees it, warts and all. It may not always be pretty, like the suave Obama, and it may make us cringe from time to time, but Trump is honest and he is who he is. And that is, unlike Obama and his ilk, a man who supports and who seeks to advance genuine American ideals and principles. Trump, unlike the socialist demagogues of history like Hitler, speaks plainly because he has nothing to hide.

Trump has nothing to hide? Two words for Morse: tax returns.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 PM EST
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Newsmax Touts O'Reilly's Views on Sexual Harassment Without Mentioning He Was Fired For It
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's courting of Bill O'Reilly for its own little TV network is starting to turn into a full-fledged image rehab campaign, like it has done for other scandal-tarred conservatives. But in order to do so, Newsmax has to withhold certain information from readers.

Cathy Burke wrote of an O'Reilly appearance on Newsmax TV in a Dec. 1 article:

President Donald Trump will be the target of a "hellacious amount of accusations" by the "hate Trump media" if Congress passes a tax cut and the economy continues to grow, commentator and author Bill O'Reilly predicted Thursday.

In an interview with "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman on Newsmax TV, the best-selling author of "Killing England" said Trump "needs to prepare" for the attacks, especially if they "resurrect" allegations of sexual misconduct.

"The women thing is hot now," he said. "That's the big thing. They're going to resurrect that. They'll find more women. That's not hard to do in our society today. . . . So it's going to get very nasty, and I think President Trump himself needs to prepare for this."

Missing from Burke's article: the inconvenient fact that O'Reilly was fired from Fox News after he and it spent millions of dollars to settle allegations of sexual harassment against him. Indeed, at no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned, beyond obliquely mentioning that Matt Lauer "was pretty tough on you when he interviewed you when 'Killing England' came out." Instead, Bachman proclaimed O'Reilly to be "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time" and plugged O'Reilly's latest book as "the perfect gift for Christmas." Not exactly a hard-hitting interview.

Burke did it again, and at length, in a Dec. 6 article:

O'Reilly said the growing sex harassment scandal in the nation has become, however, a "witch hunt."

"I think that you have to want one thing in all of these cases and that's justice, and each case is different," he said.

"We do have in this country now a witch hunt, no question about it," he said. "And the lawyers know it, so if somebody comes in and say 'I was abused' . . . lawyers know they can get a lot of headlines sympathetic to their client."

He added if someone is sexually abused and steps forward, "that takes an act of courage."

But, he said, "you can't say that everyone who lodges an accusation is a victim. That has to proven."

"The media is certainly not looking for the truth, they're looking for the headline, the sensationalism. The media doesn't care really what happened unless they don't like you, then they want to put you out of business.

"So the American people, they need to be cautious when evaluating these things and it comes down a lot along party lines . . . But I think, to be fair, if you want justice, you have to step back and evaluate each situation differently."

O'Reilly also weighed in on the sexual misconduct scandal enveloping Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, predicting if the former judge gets elected Dec. 12, he will "walk right into" an ethics investigation in the upper chamber.

"In the meantime, he does vote Republican, which is why the [Republican National Committee] and President [Donald] Trump did what they did," he added. "They want the 52 Republican senators to stay intact. . . . But I do believe at this point it hurts the Republican Party in general to ally itself with Roy Moore."

Again, no mention was made of the fact that O'Reilly was fired for sexual harassment.

A clip on the segment featured an gushy introduction by Newsmax host Bill Tucker calling O'Reilly "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time, and you can catch Bill here once a week here on Newsmax TV, but you can catch him every day at billoreilly.com." At no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and host John Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned -- not even obliquely.

Yep, a total image rehab operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017 3:24 PM EST
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Newsmax's Gizzi Takes Roy Moore's Side, Bashes Opponent
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax "political columnist and chief Washington correspondent" John Gizzi has made it clear whose side he's on in the Alabama Senate race.

After the Washington Post reported on allegations of Moore perving on teenage girls as a thirtysomething man, Gizzi pussyfooted around at first with a Nov. 10 column that highlighted how "almost to a person, Republican leaders in Alabama who spoke to Newsmax rallied behind their already-controversial nominee and denounced both his accusers and the Post." A Nov. 14 column noted concerns from other Republican senators about Moore but added that "keeping Moore out of the Senate would be difficult to imagine" because the procedure has been done so rarely.

Gizzi made his bias crystal clear, though, in a Nov. 20 column dedicated to attacking Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, for the purportedly "radical" positions of opposing Obamacare repeal and trusting in science:

Jones, 69, has showed no sign of distancing himself from his party’s national platform — an inarguably radical, Bernie Sanders-influenced document that calls for raising the minimum wage to $15, a tough pro-climate change stance, a surtax on millionaires, and abortion-on-demand.

Jones strongly opposes any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Jones strongly disagrees with the administration’s position on climate change (“because I actually believe in science”) and has sharp differences on immigration with opponent Moore.

Gizzi then branded as "outrageous" the idea that the American judiciary should look more like America:

At times, Jones’ comments to the press as a private attorney border on the outrageous. In a feature by the Associated Press entitled “Experts Say Alabama Needs More Black Federal Judges," Birmingham attorney Jones endorsed the view that “the federal bench is identified with discrimination laws [and] It would seem the minority population has to be well-represented.”

Gizzi didn't explain why that view is so "outrageous."

Finally, Gizzi found it outrageous that Democrats in Alabama should have any sort of voice in government:

Perhaps Doug Jones’ most telling comment came earlier this year. Noting that he felt the election of 2016 was “very disturbing,” he acknowledged that Alabama voted “overwhelming” for Donald Trump. But, he quickly added, “there were about 37 percent of the people who did not, and they need a voice too.”

Based on his comments on many issues and political associations, it is clear Jones wants to be that voice — and with a very left-of-center tone.

Gizzi doesn't seem equally offended at the related idea that Moore wouldn't be a senator who would represent all Alabamans.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 3, 2017 7:03 PM EST

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