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Monday, October 14, 2019
Pat Boone Hypocritically Rants About Anger And Name-Calling In Politics
Topic: Newsmax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You first, Pat.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. President, please pardon my friend Bernie Kerik.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sandy Fitzgerald writes in an Aug. 30 Newsmax article:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here comes the Nazi part (again):

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

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

Democrats are taking a page from the Stalin playbook.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:39 PM EDT
Monday, August 19, 2019
Alveda King Becomes A Pro-Trump Shill
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how anti-abortion activist Alveda King is sliding more toward the explicitly political and, specifically, becoming a pro-Trump shill. That slide has become more explicit in two recent columns.

In an Aug. 2 column published at Newsmax -- which still likes to give her the "Dr." honorific even though her doctorate is honorary and not earned -- King defended Trump against the accusation of being a racist following his attacks on the city of Baltimore, as had been suggested by the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., by denying that the concept of race even exists :

The words "racism" and "racist" are terms recklessly bandied about in the race card game; all of which is a deceptive, socially engineered decoy, creating oppressors and victims. This deception stirs the emotions while denying the much needed transformational civility, equality, justice, and freedom for all.

Sir, with all due respect, by scientific and spiritual definition, a racist is someone who denies scientific and spiritual evidence; that humans are one race.

As one who has encountered and resisted racism all of my life, I know a racist when I see a racist. I can assure you President Trump is not a racist.

Again, a racist is a person who doesn’t get Acts 17:26: Of one blood God made all people. I know President Trump understands that and prayerfully you do as well.

[...]

President Trump makes a fair case when he says: “We all bleed the same.” We should care about all people all over the world. That includes red blooded Americans, everywhere. We all need to acknowledge that Baltimore and other inner city areas across our country have problems. It is not racist to acknowledge these problems and President Trump is not racist for pointing them out.

King pushed a similar argument during a radio interview promoted in an Aug. 1 CNSNews.com article by Michael Morris.

Then, in an Aug. 8 column published at Newsmax and CNSNews.com, King her most pro-Trump statement yet by rehashing rote right-wing attacks on Democrats:

Meanwhile, in comparison, comments made by former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and former Vice President Joe Biden, both accusing President Trump of being a white supremacist, are untimely and unseemly.

Biden and his compatriots are not being truthful.

Here are seven instances where President Trump denounces White Supremacy.

Biden and his compatriots support immoral baby killers including Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby.

Race baiters fail to mention that George Wallace apologized.

[...]

Fake News refuses to cover President Trump’s accomplishments, including fighting for The Unborn, criminal justice reform, and aid to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Meanwhile they ignore Biden’s part in incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Blacks.

Shame on Biden and his compatriots. Race baiting while POTUS and FLOTUS pay respect to the grieving. PRAY FOR AMERICA.

To back up her claim that Trump "denounces White Supremacy" and has "accomplishments," King linked to a Trump campaign Twitter account and the Trump White House website -- both effectively propaganda operations.

Such blatant shilling for Trump is not good for King's credibility, and that's on top on her continuing to insist on being referred to with the unearned "Dr." title.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019 9:39 PM EDT
Monday, August 12, 2019
Bill Donohue's Bogus Double Standard
Topic: Newsmax

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue complains in an Aug. 2 Newsmax column:

Imagine the following scenario.

A cardinal in the Catholic Church knows that for 20 years a priest in his archdiocese has sexually abused hundreds of young persons, yet he never once reported his crimes to the authorities. When this is disclosed to the public, the cardinal stands fast, refusing to budge. When a protest of angry Catholics forces him to resign, he is allowed to teach at a local Catholic college and is awarded the title "distinguished professor."

There's more. Imagine the cardinal being charged by prosecutors with two felonies and with lying to the police. Imagine further that the archdiocese agrees to award him $2.45 million over three years; he is also given medical and dental coverage. But he has to agree not to sue the archdiocese first! He agrees.

Contrast this with what happened on July 30 when the Board of Trustees at Michigan State University awarded former president Lou Anna Simon about $2.5 million (of taxpayers' money), plus benefits, after she was forced to resign. According to the Detroit Free Press, she is charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of lying to the police about Dr. Lawrence Nassar. Nassar is in prison for sexually abusing young athletes when working as a sports doctor at the university; hundreds of young girls are believed to have been molested by him.

Simon's payout follows her refusal to resign — she did so under protest. The school then awarded her the title "distinguished professor."

Does Donohue really want to go there? OK, let's go there.

Bernard Law was the cardinal of the Boston diocese for 18 years. Over that time, he was found to have extensive knowledge of sexual abuse committed by priests in the diocese, but he simply moved the offending priests to other parishes rather than contacting authorities. Unlike Simon, Law never faced criminal charges. But after he resigned fro the Boston diocese in disgrace, Law was awarded what is argably better than being named "distinguished professor": a ceremonial position at the Vatican. When he did, he was given a funeral Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

In other words, Law appears to have been treated better than Simon.

When Law died, Donohue praised him as a "theological conservative" and virtually ignored his central role in the sexual abuse scandal. He didn't complain about a disgraced cardinal being given a funeral service in the revered St. Peter's. No wonder Donohue thought this was a good example to cite against Simon.

Instead, he whined that the Simon story didn't get the media attention the overall Catholic abuse scandal -- though he ignores the massive media attention given to Nasser, and despite the fact that even if Simon is foound guilty of lying to police (Simon's attorneys deny it, according to the article Donohue cites), it was only for a period of two years, compared with the 18 years Law mishandled numerous abusive priests and the 20 years in his hypothetical example.

This is ultimately just another example of Donohue trying to downplay the severity of the Catholic abuse scandal.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EDT
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Newsmax Pushes Ex-Employee As New DNI DIrector
Topic: Newsmax

When President Trump was in search of a new director of national intelligence in mid July, Newsmax helpfully suggested a replacement, in the form of a July 15 column by Peter Pry:

President Trump, according to recent press reports, is thinking of firing Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and replacing Coats with former National Security Council Chief of Staff — Fred Fleitz.

If it happens, and I pray it does, it will be a giant step toward making America’s Intelligence Community great again.

[...]

Fleitz has extensive national security experience with the executive and legislative branches of government. His work for the CIA included serving as a political analyst, military analyst, analyst of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and intelligence collection officer (spy).

[...]

Fred Fleitz appears frequently on TV and has the gift — crucial in a DNI — of being able to easily and eloquently explain complex strategic and technological concepts to policymakers and the American people.

Perhaps most importantly, having known Fred Fleitz for many years, he is the worst enemy of “political correctness,” utterly unafraid of facing facts, and a lion for truth.

What Pry didn't mention: Fleitz used to work for Newsmax.

As we've noted, Fleitz used to head something called LIGNET, Newsmax's attempt to create a "global intelligence and forecasting" operation to which Newsmax readers could subscribe for a fee. It didn't last long; according to Fleitz's Wikipedia profile, he ran it from 2011 to 2013, when he jumped ship to the Center for Security Policy, and LIGNET apparently didn't survive much longer beyond that.

Anyway, Trump ended up choosing someone else as DNI, Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe -- but that nomination collapsed in a few days amid concerns about his lack of intelligence experience and charges that he padded his resume.For Newsmax, that meant it could once again push Fleitz as the next DNI.

An Aug. 2 article by John Gizzi touted how "Fleitz’s resume, several supporters told Newsmax, presents a striking contrast to that of Ratcliffe" and that Fleitz "was increasingly heard on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the likely successor" to outgoing DNI Dan Coats.

The same day, Newsmax posted a column by C.R. Anderson gushing over Fleitz, calling him an "ethical professional" and adding, "It doesn’t take Fox News, National Review, or Lou Dobbs Show excerpts to glean Fred Fleitz has the depth in service to assume the role of Director and hit the ground running. He has no learning curve; policy catch-up isn’t required."

Then, Ken Timmerman -- a onetime Newsmax regular who dabbled in Obama birtherism -- weighed in with an Aug. 3 column aggressively touting Fleitz:

The president doesn’t need someone who will grow the DNI, or who will become its defender in the White House. He needs someone who will tell him the truth about the perils our nation faces.

After its horrible — and possibly, treasonous — behavior during the 2016 election, the intelligence community needs to earn the trust of this president.

Fred Fleitz is someone this president knows he can trust. He is the best man for the job — not just for the president, but for our intelligence professionals who through him will have a chance to rebuild their reputation.

None of these writers disclosed that Fleitz used to work for Newsmax.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Fleitz has also been popping up on Newsmax TV -- we counted three appearances in the past month.

Oh, and Fleitz also has one more quality that should make him an attractive candidate: he's a Trump sycophant. We've noted a January 2017 Newsmax column in which Fleitz effectively demanded that the intelligence community should be loyal to Trump over the good of the country.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 8, 2019 2:33 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Newsmax Hands Dershowitz Even More Space To Defend Himself
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has an odd habit of giving Trump-friendly lawyer Alan Dershowitz space to defend himself (and offering its own defense of him) regarding links to convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, for whom he served as a defense lawyer. That hasn't stopped.

In his first Newsmax column since January, Dershowitz spent a July 12 column complaining that "The View" co-host Meghan McCain said he shouldn't be allowed to appear on  TV until the Epstein sex-related allegations against him are resolved. Needless to say, Dershowitz spun this comment into a complaint that he was being "censored" and going into full victim mode: "Imagine what America would be like if McCain’s rule became the norm. Every accused person would be presumed guilty and shut down. Our traditional presumption of innocence would be reversed and a presumption of guilt would be substituted. That is the norm in today’s China, Iran, Venezuela, and other totalitarian nations that do not operate under the rule of law."

Dershowitz penned a July 17 column that was essentially a prebuttal to a longform piece the New Yorker was doing on him, insisting without evidence that editor David Remnick commissioned the "hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel." As he has before, he vehemently denied allegations that he had sex with an underage girl in Epstein's orbit.

Of course, he didn't mention his admission the previous week that he did indeed receive a massage at Epstein's mansion (though he insisted he was massaged by an adult woman and he kept his underwear on).

After the New Yorker article came out -- which included revelations such as his advocacy for reducing the age of consent and his history of discrediting any sexual assault accuser that passed in front of him -- Dershowitz cranked out another lengthy defense in the form of a letter to the New Yorker that Newsmax published on July 26, once again denouncing the "hit piece" as an attempt "to silence my voice on issues – Trump, Netanyahu and Israel – on which we disagree." He didn't address the age-of-consent stuff.

Dershowitz concluded his column with this appeal: "Finally, a word to my readers: if you read The New Yorker article, please compare it to this letter and see what they included and excluded. Please also ask yourselves how you and your family would feel if you were falsely accused with no evidence of horrible crimes of which you were entirely innocent.

Newsmax also gave Dershowitz space on its TV channel. In a July 18 appearance, Dershowitz repeated an attack on the lawyer representing the woman accusing him as "a genuinely evil man" who "has a very questionable sexual history himself, while ""I have never done anything wrong sexually. During the relevant period of time, I had sex with one woman: my wife."

On July 29, Dershowitz was given a nearly 6-minute-long segment on Newsmax TV to repeat his attacks on the New Yorker piece, whining: "If they falsely accuse me and I never met them, I'm the victim now, they're not the victims. I'm going to continue to call them liars and perjurers. That's the truth. It's not victim shaming. It's criminal shaming. They are criminals. They belong in jail."

In between his two New Yorker-related pieces getting published on Newsmax, Dershowitz appeared on Newsmax TV in an 18-minute segment discussing Robert Mueller's congressional testimony, in which he served up a reliably pro-Trump talking point that "a "radical Democrat" winning the White House could go after Trump like a "banana republic." (Nerver mind that Trump indicated he would act in the exact same way against Hillary Clinton.) Dershowitz was never asked about his connections to Epstein during this segment.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:54 PM EDT
Monday, July 22, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Somehow Blames Obama For HIV Among Gay Black Men
Topic: Newsmax

Former NFL player Jack Brewer goes on a weird little tirade in his July 12 Newsmax column:

I’m all for equal rights for gays and lesbians, but I think the large campaign donations hypnotized Obama to prioritize gay marriage over bringing quality education and criminal justice reform to the ancestors of our ailing former slave population. I’m sure both were important issues to him at some level, but in politics you have to prioritize as all presidents know they are on a short timeline.

The debate is still out there as to whether the Obama years brought the country farther from our Christian foundation.

I applaud President Obama for openly saying Jesus and quoting powerful scripture on many occasions. I was just a little bothered by his policies, which too often went against the word of God.

Obama stuck to his commitment to the LGBTQ community when he backed unprecedented legislation that expanded the sacred biblical “marriage” characterization to gay and transgender couples. I just think we could have given all Americans their deserved equal rights without challenging the biblical definition of marriage. Now homosexuality is on super speed in the black community where you see a surge in gay black males particularly in urban communities like Atlanta, LA, and throughout the south.

The CDC recently reported that 50% of black gay men will contract HIV, which is scary given the growing gay lifestyle promotion as a result of the Pride movement. Despite being only 12% of the population, blacks make up 43% of those infected with HIV in America. This epidemic can’t be ignored and we can’t deny the results of a culture that promotes sex and homosexuality as things that are publicly glorified.

In short: Brewer is mad that Obama didn't hate the LGBT commmunity as much as he does, and he offered no evidence that ceasing to hate gay people has created more of them or caused an increase in HIV infections. Also, allowing gays to marry does not "challenge the biblical definition of marriage"; it expands it. Further, there are numerous reasons that gay black men are at a higher risk of HIV that don't involve "promotion" of the "lifestyle."

Brewer also complained:

The Obama administration chose to pour food stamps on our most underserved with few effective programs to incentivize our impoverished to go to work. Obama ironically boasted about giving out more food stamps than any other president in U.S. history. You can’t make this up.

Brewer didn't mention that the country was recovering from a recession for much of Obama's presidency, and he doesn't explain how cutting off food stamps to those who needed them would have helped things.

Though Brewer proclaimed himself to be a "lifelong Democrat" who supported Obama (until he stopped hating gays, apparently), he's basically a pro-Trump shill here. In praising Trump for signing the First Step Act, he bashed Bill Clinton and Joe Biden for supporting the "evil" 1994 crime bill, ignoring that the bill had the support of many black officials at the time, as well as bipartisan political support. He also didn't mention that the First Step Act had bipartisan support too.

And, lo and behold, on July 21 Brewer tweeted thanks to Trump "for taking so much time to meet with me this weekend to discuss tackling the critical issues affecting blacks in America." If the reason Brewer sucked up to Trump was to get a meeting with him, he succeded.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EDT
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Takes 'True Name' Credit Cards From LGBT to Terrorism
Topic: Newsmax

Lauren DeBellis Appell began her June 24 Newsmax column complaining that Mastercard will it will do away with legally binding names on cards, and instead let customers pick the name that goes on their card" through the True Name card "to affirm the LGBTQ community by offering a card that reflects their true identity."

Appell managed to avoid gratuitous LGBT-bashing in her column, which is a refreshing change. She did express concerns about security:

Problem solved -- not so fast. While that all sounds lovely and affirming and sensitive to one group of people, in the race to be politically correct we’re ignoring the glaring elephant in the room. One that has the potential to, at best, raise several serious, unaddressed questions and, at worst, breed a whole other litany of problems.

What are the safety and security implications? What about the potential for fraud? How about ID theft? Has anyone thought any of this through at all? Bueller… Bueller… anyone? All signs point to no, they have not.

After a detour about the legal hurdles she faced in changing her name (adding her married name and dropping a first name she didn't use and that "felt completely foreign and didn't represent me"), she concluded by leaping to the worst-case scenario:

Mastercard’s eagerness to show they’re sensitive to the LGBTQ community with the “True Name” card begs the question: when people are allowed to use differing forms of conflicting personal identification, what could possibly go wrong?

Has anyone thought through the obvious temptation for organized crime? Has anyone thought through the obvious temptation for terrorists — either those from abroad or people here who’ve been radicalized; all of whom are hell bent on destruction?

We shouldn’t, in the interest of being politically correct, wait until it’s too late to find out.

As if credit card companies wouldn't be fully thinking through security issues before implementing the card.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Drag Queen Story Hour Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax

No child should be forced to confront radical ideas and controversial social movements before they are able to use the potty by themselves. We are talking about children who are settling in at the library to hear about Peppa Pig and Horton hearing a Who. This is a time when the little ones should be held in their mothers’ laps, sipping chocolate milk or juice from their sippy cups as they become mesmerized by the magic of carefully chosen words.

This is not a time when some man in spandex, tulle, and glitter should be confusing them with the sight of a dude with an Adam’s Apple and well-developed biceps touching up his makeup and hitching up his brassiere.

There is a concerted effort afoot to normalize the whole idea of gender fluidity.

[...]

Bill Lorraine, a physician and resident of Haverford Township, said he became very concerned when he first heard of Drag Queen Story Hour.

“Gender dysphoria is a serious psychological condition. It is not genetically determined, but rather is influenced by environmental factors,” Lorraine said. “Therefore exposing young children to something like drag queen story hour can predispose them to the development of gender dysphoria and the many negative consequences that go with it.”

[...]

Reading the web page of Drag Queen Story Hour, it is clear that this whole program is designed to normalize gender fluidity and make “drag queens” just one of many accepted expressions of our “identity.” To me, that is nothing more than adults trying to shove their agendas down the throats of little kids.

-- Christine Flowers, June 10 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT

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