Newsmax's Ruddy Shoots Down Anti-Clinton Attack Book Topic: Newsmax
The new anti-Clinton book by conservative writer Peter Schweizer has been easy to dismiss for its bias and shaky claims -- so much so, in fact, that the ConWeb is not united in promoting it.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy -- who, over the years, has evolved from being a Clinton-hater to a Clinton supporter (though the Clinton hate has never disappeared from his website) -- devoted an April 27 column to defending the Clinton Foundation from the accusations in Schweizer's book, citing his evolution on Clinton as one reason he should be trusted on the issue:
In the 1990s I was described by both James Carville and George Stephanopoulos as the Clinton White House’s No. 1 press enemy. But after Bill Clinton left the White House, I came to admire him and his post-presidential work.
I was drawn to him largely for the very same reason he and his wife are being criticized today: the Clinton Foundation. Over time, I was impressed enough with its work that I even became a donor.
This may be difficult for many of the Clinton critics to stomach, considering the miasma of allegations now being made about them, largely due to a new book entitled "Clinton Cash" (HarperCollins) by Peter Schweizer.
A Fox News special that aired this past Friday detailed many of the allegations from the still-unreleased book. Fox said the book showed the "tangled" and "blurred" relationships between the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons' private or political activities.
After watching the Fox program, it became clear to me the only thing "tangled" and "blurred" are the numerous unsubstantiated, unconnected, and baseless allegations being made about them.
Ruddy goes on to note the corporate synergy going on between Fox News and the publisher of Schweizer's book:
I think the imperative for journalists is more appropriate: Follow the money. So let’s do that.
The sister companies of News Corp and 21st Century Fox own HarperCollins, which published Peter Schweizer’s book; they own The Wall Street Journal, which first raised the issue of the foreign donations; they own the New York Post, which broke the details about the Schweizer book; and they own Fox News, which gave the story oxygen and legs.
With so much media mojo from one company, there is no doubt they will be doing some pretty good "cashing in" from the many millions of dollars their new best-seller will generate.
That's something you won't read in the rest of the conservative media -- they're too busy trying to destroy the Clintons after 20 years that it still doesn't occur to them to be credulous about what they're promoting.
Newsmax deserves a little credit for evolving into a conservative outlet that is at least somewhat interested in fairly presenting views it might not disagree with. You won't see that at WorldNetDaily or CNS.
Newsmax's Hirsen Laments Bad Reviews For New 'Paul Blart' Film Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen uses his April 20 Newsmax column to ask where the love is for the new Kevin James film "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," declaring that the film's opening-weekend success "is particularly impressive when examined in light of the excessively brutal reviews that the mainstream film critic community has heaped upon it."
Well, not really. A film sequel generally has a good chance to do well in its opening weekend no matter its quality or reviews from critics. Hirsen works in Hollywood, so he ought to know that.
Hirsen went on to complain that no movie-review websites "paid attention to a positive review that appeared on Ted Baer's [sic] Movie Guide site, in which the film is characterized as 'the funniest family movie in many years.'" Hirsen doesn't explain why anyone should pay attention to right-winger Baehr, who thinks the "Harry Potter" books and films "teach rebellion against authority" because "Witchcraft means rebellion against God's authority in the Bible."
Hirsen pumps up James' supposed family-friendly bona fides, pointing out that he "is married, has four children, and is a committed Catholic believer," as well as "part of an expanding group of professionals in Hollywood who are committed to the goal of creating family friendly fare for the general viewing audience."
Hirsen also ought to know that box-office take is not directly proportional to a film's quality, yet he concludes his column by suggesting it is: "A quick look at the box-office results makes it clear that James has come through for his fans in a big way, and hopefully this portends that more wholesome Hollywood product is in store for the public."
Given that Hirsen promoted Mel Gibson and his film "The Passion of the Christ" -- and defended Gibson after unsavory rants went public -- for years without discolsing the close personal relationship with the actor makes us wonder if there's something between him and James he's not mentioning.
Newsmax Promoting Rubio, Giving Him Campaign Advice Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is not only boosting Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, CEO Christopher Ruddy is trying to tell him how to run it.
On the promotion side, Newsmax is currently offering a copy of Rubio's "engaging autobiography," in which he "shares his gripping life story," for a loss-leader price of $2.95, plus the usual trial subscription to Newsmax magazine that one must opt out of in order to avoid being charged $39.95 for entire year. The promo adds: "Marco Rubio's story is America's story. His story gives hope. His story is one every American who cares about this country should read."
Meanwhile, Ruddy wants Rubio to adjust his campaign messenging. In an April 17 column, Ruddy complained about Rubio's rhetoric calling himself the future while implying that Jeb Bush is the past:
While I agree Marco Rubio is the future of the GOP and a breath of fresh air on the national scene today, he is not answering the real cry of conservative and independent voters.
Today, Americans — especially Republicans — are not interested in a generational change of leadership in Washington.
Americans are desperate, not for change as Rubio suggests, but for solutions.
This time they want to elect a problem-solver — someone who is experienced and has a track record of getting the job done. And Americans would prefer to have someone from outside Washington to clean house.
On the Republican side, we have several strong candidates who fulfill that requirement. They are experienced; they are outsiders; they are problem-solvers; and they get things done.
The first person who fits the bill is Jeb Bush.
I think Marco Rubio made a strategic error by focusing on the "future" and emphasizing his candidacy as a generational change. He should have focused more on his solutions for what he ails the nation, his own new frontier.
Still, he is a much more complex candidate than that alone, and will, no doubt, contribute to the upcoming debate. At the age of 43, he is also positioning himself well for the future. But for the moment, the country needs a Mr. Fix It, with a proven record of doing just that.
Newsmax was proud enough of Ruddy's advice that it published an article the next day citing how conservative talking head Lawrence Kudlow agrees with Ruddy.
Even if Ruddy is claiming to support Jeb Bush for 2016 -- Ruddy, like Rubio and Bush, is based in Florida -- he has been a cheerleader for Rubio in the past. Ruddy wrote glowingly about Rubio's outreach to Hispanics in 2012, and Newsmax donated $1,500 to Rubio's 2010 Senate campaign.
Ruddy is a player in Florida politics -- he's tried to playkingmaker for various Republican candidates there, and at one point was a possible candidate for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bill Nelson. He would almost certainly like to have a hand in picking the next Republican presidential candidate, especially since two major contenders are from Florida.That may be what's driving Newsmax's editorial and business decisions these days.
Of Larry Klayman And 'Demeaning' Remarks Topic: Newsmax
Poor Larry Klayman's feelings have been hurt. From an April 15 Newsmax article:
Mika Brzezinski's remark that Marco Rubio is a "little boy" next to Hillary Clinton in a presidential matchup is "outrageous" and "inappropriate," says Larry Klayman, founder of the government watchdog Freedom Watch.
"It's very demeaning, obviously," Klayman said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Everything's turned upside down in our political world these days. You can't speak out for fear of being called a racist or a sexist, but when the left does it it's acceptable …"
Klayman sure has a strange idea of what is "demeaning" and "inappropriate." After all, this is a guy who asserted (in a court filing, no less) that a judge who ruled during a divorce hearing that Klayman engaged in "grossly inappropriate" behavior with his children issued that ruling because she was Jewish and "resented" that Klayman "believes in Jesus Christ and considers himself a Jewish Christian." Klayman also claimed that another judge who ruled against him was "a woman scorned."
Needless to say, Malzberg was silent about Klayman's own history of demeaning remarks. If Klayman is the limit of the caliber of the guest Newsmax TV is able to attract, it has a long climb to be considered a legitimate "news" outlet.
Newsmax TV Running Another Program On JFK, For Some Reason Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax breathlessly announces in an April 8 article by Bill Hoffmann:
An explosive new documentary reveals how President John F. Kennedy's unquenchable sexual appetite was just days from being exposed by the press when he was assassinated in Dallas.
"JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed" — to be aired Saturday, 8 p.m. ET., exclusively on Newsmax TV — bares the truth behind the endless string of tawdry affairs involving the nation's 35th president.
From blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe to mob honey Judith Campbell to East German stunner Ellen Rometsch, Kennedy shamelessly and indiscriminately hopped from bed to bed with beauty after beauty.
Kennedy was so hooked on random sex romps that he was seemingly prepared to risk his political career in return for quick carnal thrills.
And Newsmax TV's unflinching look at JFK and the women he bedded is essential viewing for all Americans who want to know what really happened in Camelot.
"JFK's Women: The Scandals Revealed" adds to the diverse programming featured on Newsmax TV, America's fast-growing news and information channel, carried in more than 40 million U.S. satellite and cable homes.
Despite its suggestion, this film is not a Newsmax production -- it appears to be the same documentary that aired on Canadian TV in 2013.
This is the second show in a year Newsmax TV has aired on JFK. Last November, it ran a program featuring the less-than-credible claims of someone who claims to have been the man on the grassy knoll at JFK's assassination. It's unclear why Newsmax TV considers films about JFK to be a key component toward ratings success for its fledgling cable channel.
Newsmax Still Suggesting Kerik Really Wasn't Guilty Topic: Newsmax
Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik has a new book out about his incarceration on corruption charges and his new crusade for prison reform -- and Newsmax, the chief component of the crusade to rehabilitate Kerik's reputation, still wants to promote the idea he really wasn't guilty of what he did.
An April 1 Newsmax article by David Patten uncritically promotes Kerik's book -- he proclaims it "like a late-night alarm jangling down an abandoned street ... a warning to be heeded" -- and adds a little editorial comment about the nature of the charges that landed Kerik in prison:
Kerik very nearly became head of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. But he withdrew his name after it came to light that he did not pay payroll tax for his children's nanny.
He would ultimately become ensnared in a series of allegations that his defenders contended were politically motivated. Finally, after fighting a drawn-out, expensive legal battle, he pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges of tax fraud and making false statements.
Patten didn't explain who these "defenders" were, let alone that the chief defender is his employer.
In an interview with Kerik the previous day, Patten similarly asserted that Kerik "was battered by a flurry of allegations and probes that some saw as politically motivated." But he apparently never questioned Kerik about it in his interview -- perhaps because it would have clashed with the fact that Kerik put his "prison ID and inmate number right there on the cover of your book," as Patten also noted.
Kerik served his time and is owning his offenses. Why is Newsmax still trying to cover for him?
Newsmax has longhad a thing for Ed Klein, promoting his dubious, unsubstantiated claims attacking Hillary Clinton and President Obama despite his history of being repeatedly discredited.
Newsmax keeps the lovefest going in a March 14 article by Todd Beamon touting Klein's (unsubstantiated, of course) claim that the Obama administration is trying to stop Hillary Clinton from running for president in 2016. Beamon gave Klein a pass on the lack of substantiation, choosing instead to boost Klein's media cred by noting that he "Klein, who worked as the editor of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987 and as an editor for Newsweek" and where his previous Obama-bashing books placed on the New York Times' best-seller list (as if sales equated to crediiblity).
A March 16 Newsmax article by Jason Devaney regurgitated Rush Limbaugh's own regurgitation of Klein's claim that Obama is sabogaging Clinton's presidential campaign, though Klein's name is curiously absent from the article. Devaney doesn't explain why something is newsworthy merely because Limbaugh utters it, which is the tone of his article.
Ruddy's O'Reilly Defense Pays Off With Fox News Endorsement Topic: Newsmax
Remember Christopher Ruddy's enthusiastic defense of Bill O'Reilly in the face of his exaggerations and falsehoods? Well, it paid off in the publicity department.
Jim Meyers happily writes in a March 4 Newsmax article:
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly offered up praise for Newsmax on his show Tuesday night, calling our website's fact-based reporting "refreshing."
"Last night we had a segment on how nasty the upcoming presidential campaign is likely to be because of the defamatory websites," O'Reilly told viewers.
"Well, there are some exceptions to the sewer. Check out Newsmax.com. It had some very interesting political analysis. Chris Ruddy and the guys actually try to gather facts, which is refreshing.
"That's the tip of the day."
Meyers does admit that "O'Reilly was no doubt subtly responding" to Ruddy's defense of him. But if O'Reilly didn't mention he was endorsing Newsmax because it defended him, doesn't that actually further the idea that O'Reilly is dishonest?
O'Reilly's endorsement would also seem to contradict Fox News' stance against Newsmax, which operates that TV news channel that directly competes with Fox. Last week, Fox attacked Ruddy for being friends with Bill Clinton and donating to his foundation.
But O'Reilly effectively negated that attack with his endorsement, which is all that matters to Newsmax.
The conservative media continues to line up behind Bill O'Reilly. Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy adds his whitewash in a March 2 column, declaring the controversy about O'Reilly's fabrications and exaggerations to be "much ado about nothing." Ruddy did try to go into specifics, unlike the Media Research Center.
While Ruddy says that NBC's Brian Williams was punished to severely for his exaggerations, he's fully on board with the right-wing meme that criticism of O'Reilly is a liberal conspiracy:
So why the targeting now of O’Reilly on very flimsy accusations?
For one thing, media outlets and liberal groups are upset about conservatives' criticism of NBC anchor Brian Williams.
Perhaps the O’Reilly brouhaha is a case of professional jealousy at work.
David Corn, who wrote the Mother Jones story, is a former Fox News contributor who didn't have his contract renewed, according to Joe Concha, columnist for Mediaite and host of "The Daily Wrap" on Newsmax TV.
O'Reilly has also been at the very pinnacle of cable news for so long — more than 15 years — it must infuriate his detractors.
He has also become a fantastically successful best-selling author. His latest, "Killing Patton," is currently No. 6 on The New York Times list of best-selling nonfiction books.
Then there is the fact that O'Reilly has always been somewhat of a maverick who doesn't play the establishment media game. But the attacks on his credibility have gone far enough. Some attacks are so ridiculous they are close to joke status.
After presenting video evidence to back up his reporting on one of the so-called fabricated stories, O'Reilly told viewers of his cable show: "I want to stop this now. I hope we can stop it. I really do."
Yes, stop all of this horseradish.
But isn't the idea that O'Reilly is the victim of a liberal conspiracy just as much a load of horseradish?
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple interviews Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy about his $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation that Fox News attacked him for. Ruddy points out something that Fox News didn't: another Clinton Foundation donor is James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and chief of Fox News owner 21st Century Fox.
The Ruddy-Clinton partnership has reached a new level -- and Newsmax's competitors are taking notice.
Au unbylined Feb. 19 FoxNews.com article notes what it calls Ruddy's "strange philanthropy" in pledging $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, adding that Bill Clinton gave a eulogy at the memorial service for Richard Mellon Scaife, funder of Ruddy's early anti-Clinton efforts and co-founder of Newsmax with Ruddy. Scaife underwent a similar rapproachement with the Clintons.
The real reason this article exists comes in one brief paragraph: "Last year, Ruddy launched 'NewsmaxTV,' a 24-hour cable news channel that had previously streamed online." It seems that Fox News doesn't like the competition -- with it now apparently sees as a threat -- and wants to undermine Newsmax's conservative credentials in order to keep the right-wing TV audience for itself.
The Fox attack on Ruddy got some traction in the right-wing media. For instance, WorldNetDaily -- who was once a direct competitor of Newsmax but has since descended into conspiracy theories and mindless Obama-hate while Newsmax has moderated its views and jettisoned most of its extreme writers to become more popular -- picked up the Fox story. WND editor JOseph Farah has long been insanely jealous of the success of Ruddy, whose anti-Clinton attacks Farah promoted in the 1990s through his Western Journalism Center.
Newsmax Censors de Borchgrave's Conservatism Topic: Newsmax
It's unsurprising that Newsmax would play up the death of Arnaud de Borchgrave -- after all, de Borchgrave was an original member of Newsmax's board of directors. But there's something about de Borchgrave Newsmax isn't eager to tell you.
David Patten writes in his lengthy Feb. 15 Newsmax obituary of de Borchgrave:
When de Borchgrave took over the newsroom of The Washington Times in 1985, Reagan called to offer his congratulations. At the Times, de Borchgrave's tireless work ethic was soon on full display. He knew his mammoth competitor The Post, his former employer at Newsweek, could outspend his newsroom many times over. To compensate, he labored tirelessly to single-handedly reverse the newspaper's fortunes, often sleeping overnight on the convertible sofa in his office.
In an effort to motivate the Times staff, shortly after taking the helm he recounted his experiences in the Royal Navy. "My skippers seldom left the bridge," he told them. "I see myself as your new captain on the bridge."
By 8 a.m., according to New York Magazine, he would clip his way through five newspapers, and a staff member would sift through a dozen other publications for him as well. The New York Magazine article on his arrival at the Times referred to him as "the last of the world-class reporters."
Notice what's missing in that passage. Patten doesn't mention that the Washington Times is a conservative operation funded by the cultish Unification Church.
Indeed, the word "conservative" doesn't appear anywhere in Patten's obituary, though he leaves enough clues as to de Borchgrave's ideology that it can be inferred.
In 1985, he became editor of the recently launched Washington Times. The conservative newspaper was backed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a religious group often described as a cult.
The newspaper had a loyal following inside President Ronald Reagan’s administration but at times made unusual editorial decisions. For instance, its editorial page lobbied Reagan to pardon Moon, who was convicted of tax evasion, according to the Post.
Patten's boss, Christopher Ruddy, took a similar tack to his employee. In an appearance on Steve Malzberg's Newsmax TV show, Ruddy eulogized de Borchgrave but at no point explained that he was a conservative.
Newsmax Pushes More Anti-Vaxxer Fearmongering Topic: Newsmax
It's apparently not enough for Newsmax to have an anti-vaccine fearmongerer like Russell Blaylock on staff. Its Newsmax Health website is also rife with anti-vaxxer rhetoric as well.
A Feb. 10 Newsmax Health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard features the claims of "holistic physician" David Brownstein attacking the MMR vaccine and defending Andrew Wakefield, whose research linking vaccines to autism has been discredited. Hubbard fails to mention that Brownstein is affiliated with Newsmax, which sells his "Natural Way to Health" newsletter.
Hubbard goes on to uncritically promote an overbroad claim by Brownstein that "The MMR vaccine is produced using a cell line that originated from aborted fetal lung cells." While it is true that two specific cell lines from which vaccines are derived have been cultured from cells taken from two abortions (in 1966 and 1962), to use this an excuse to oppose vaccination is dangerous, as physicist Jay Wile, a Christian, writes:
Anti-vaccination advocates play on a person's proper moral indignation about abortion, claiming that if a person gets vaccinated, he or she is supporting the abortion industry. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not you get vaccinated, the same number of abortions will be performed, as abortions are not necessary to make new vaccines. In addition, you are actually dishonoring the memories of those two precious babies if you refuse vaccination, because you are refusing the one good thing that has come from their murder. At the same time, you are putting your life and the lives of your loved ones in jeopardy by refusing one of the greatest protections that medicine has ever developed! How could anyone call himself pro-life if he dishonors the memory of those who have been murdered while risking the lives of those he loves?
Hubbard also suggests a government conspiracy to suppress the purported dangers of vaccines:
There are accusations that the CDC has deliberately suppressed evidence of a link between vaccines and autism. "The Centers for Disease Control altered a 2004 study, hiding data that supported Dr. Wakefield’s research," says Dr. Brownstein. "The report stated there was no link between vaccines and autism, but a CDC whistleblower and author of the paper came forward to announce that the paper was a fraud. He said the CDC hid data in the paper which showed a clear link between the early administration of the MMR vaccine and autism."
The whistleblower was CDC senior scientist William Thompson, who issued a statement through his attorney: "I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism."
As the mythbusters at Snopes details, the data claiming African-American males have an increased risk of autism from the MMR vaccine is flawed. Hubbard omits the part of Thompson's statement where he states: "I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits."
Instead of telling her readers that, Hubbard rants about "the consensus of the conventional medicine community" that supports vaccination.
Newsmax Lets Dubious Doctor Fearmonger About Vaccines Topic: Newsmax
We've detailed the questionable medical advice of Newsmax-promoted doctor Russell Blaylock, not the least of which is fearmongering about vaccines.
With the current concern about non-vaccinated Americans contributing to a measles outbreak, Newsmax TV gave Blaylock a platform to peddle more fear about vaccines, as described in a Feb. 3 Newsmax article by Bill Hoffmann:
Childhood vaccinations for viruses like measles and chicken pox should not be mandatory and, in fact, may cause serious health problems, says board certified neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, editor of The Blaylock Wellness Report.
"Absolutely not. It takes away one of the fundamental rights of people, individuals and families and certainly parents — and that is the protection of their children," Blaylock said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"You should not have the right to force my child to receive a vaccine when I think that that could cause severe damage to my child.
"There's compelling scientific evidence that vaccines are not as safe as they're being proposed. In fact, there [can be] significant, serious problems, including death, seizures, encephalitis and severe brain damage. This is well documented in medical literature."
"If you could demonstrate that vaccines never caused serious neurological damage or caused serious health issues, then fine, that's one thing.
"But they can't demonstrate that and what we're seeing is a dramatic increase in autoimmune diseases since they've added so many vaccines to the vaccine schedule. Those include increases in neurological damage and impairment in learning, memory and speech.
"So we're seeing a dramatic increase in all of these disorders as the number of vaccines increased," he said.
Hoffmann didn't mention that Blaylock has defended Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor who penned the notorious, now-retracted study linking vaccines and autism.
In an article on the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola -- a anti-vaxxer and peddler of health supplements who has been sanctioned by the FDA for overstating their effectiveness -- Blaylock claimed that criticism of Wakefield is "unjustifed" and that he was "singled out" because of "bias in academia and government regulatory agencies."
One plus for Newsmax, though: Hoffmann disclosed Newsmax's business relationship with Blaylock in his article.
Newsmax Promotes Trump's Presidential Ambitions -- Again Topic: Newsmax
Sandy Fitzgerald writes in a Jan. 24 Newsmax article:
Real estate mogul Donald Trump insists he could have defeated President Barack Obama in 2012, and regrets that he didn't run for office.
"I was leading in every poll...I regret that I didn't stay in," Trump told The Des Moines Register on Friday, a night before he was to speak on Saturday's Iowa Freedom Summit, an event attracting numerous GOP presidential hopefuls.
"I would've won the race against (President Barack) Obama," Trump continued. "He would've been easy. Hillary [Clinton] is tougher to beat than Obama, but Hillary is very beatable."
Fitzgerald neglected to mention that the main driving force behind egging on Trump's presidential ambitions in the 2012 election cycle was Newsmax.
We've documented how former Newsmax reporter Ronald Kessler -- a longtime Trump suck-up -- used Newsmax to tout the idea of Trump running for president, even proclaiming that his Trump-pumping secured Trump a speaking slot at the 2011 CPAC conservative confab.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy is a Trump buddy as well, having partied with him and once declaring, "In my book, Trump’s a giant. He’s a 'big picture' visionary."
Kessler may be gone, but it looks like Trump can count on Newsmax to promote his latest round of teasing a run for president.