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Monday, February 18, 2019
Newsmax's Hirsen Pretends Extortion Isn't Extortion
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen, who claims to be a lawyer, did a lawyerly job doing a little pro bono work for the National Enquirer in his Feb. 11 Newsmax column in attempting to insist that the apparent extortion attempt the Enquirer's parent, American Media Inc., is using against Amazon chief and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos really isn't extortion at all.

AMI threatened to publish compromising photos of Bezos if, as Hirsen tells it, "he did not publicly state that the tabloid’s reporting on his affair was not motivated by political concerns." But even as Hirsen admits, "David Pecker is the CEO of AMI, and he is known to be an associate and friend of President Donald Trump," and that Bezos "cited ways that the president and Pecker had cooperated in the past." It would seem, then, that AMI is demanding that Bezos state something that appears to be a lie.

He even concedes that the story "illustrates the hunger on the part of many in the mainstream press for anything that can be weaponized against the president and used to ratchet down his poll numbers" -- inadvertently acknowleging that it's legitimate for Bezos to breing up the Trump angle.

Hirsen insists that a "superficial read" is leading to claims of extortion. But, he adds, this is merely a business negotiation:

In analyzing this email, it is important to focus on the context within which both parties are seeking to settle a dispute.

In settlement negotiations, it is common practice for the parties to propose that each side will release the other from any potential claims. This is what was communicated through its legal counsel in the subject e-mail by AMI, along with a proposal that Bezos would agree to tell the public that AMI's coverage of Bezos was not politically motivated.

In return, AMI would agree not to publish the texts and photographs.

Outside of the settlement discussion context, criminal extortion would exist in a case such as this if money was demanded as payment for not making public an embarrassing secret. However, in this instance the key difference revolves around the settlement backdrop.

Why would the two sides be negotiating a settlement? It is clear that Bezos has been raising potential civil legal claims against AMI, while AMI has suggested that Bezos’s Washington Post planned to publish a false news story about AMI.

These cross assertions are arguably the basis for both parties to be pursuing a settlement of their respective claims. A settlement agreement would mutually release the claims of both parties.

[...]

Prosecutors would have an uphill battle in attempting to use these facts as a basis for a criminal extortion case. Additionally, the First Amendment creates further problems for the prosecution, since Bezos is a very well known influential public figure and a power player in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and Hollywood.

Hirsen is incorrect in claiming that it's only extortion if money is involved. As Slate detailed, the federal extortion statute prohibits communication "containing any threat to injure the … reputation of the addressee" in order to extort "money or other thing of value." The statement of exoneration AMI is demanding from Bezos is clearly a thing of value, and the compromising photos it's threatening to print if it doesn't get that statement are clearly intended to injure Bezos' reputation.

(Hirsen curious doesn't mention that other prominent people have also been on the receiving end of AMI's sleazy tactics.)

Further, Hirsen does not supply any evidence that this was an actual "negotiation." If Bezos' telling is correct, AMI made demands of Bezos, and when he "didn’t react to the generalized threat with enough fear," it raised the ante by bringing up the compromising photos.

If this was really a First Amendment issue based solely on Bezos' newsworthiness as a "very well known influential public figure and a power player in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and Hollywood," AMI would not need to negotiate with Bezos --  it would simply publish the photos. Every other legitimate news organization would do that.

Hirsen's column reads more like an audition as an attorney for AMI than a serious look at the legal issues involved here.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:31 PM EST
Monday, February 4, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Joins Snowflakes Triggered By Challenges to Toxic Masculinity
Topic: Newsmax

The message I see in this ad is that men need to stop being men and that men’s default position is bestial. I think that’s outrageous.

I am not surprised that ad executives have fallen prey to the "men are bad" narrative, which is the extreme and ridiculous response to the equally extreme and ridiculous “women are victims” narrative that has become conventional wisdom in the wake of the sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein. Madison Avenue has about as much of a social conscience as Wall Street.

Unfortunately, the executives at Gillette aren’t the only ones who think that men are a problem.

This month, the American Psychological Association (APA) released its first-ever guidelines designed to help psychologists work with men and boys to address the so-called epidemic of “toxic masculinity.” According to the APA’s research, "traditional masculinity - marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression - is, on the whole, harmful.”

I believe this hostility toward men is dangerous, but I also know that it’s nothing new. As the second and third wave feminists gained momentum over the last 50 or so years, they bolstered a narrative that has become accepted wisdom: Men, the patriarchy, and masculinity in general have been the source of women’s suffering. Women are taught to blame men for everything bad that has ever happened to them. The #MeToo movement is just the next generation of this.

The new guidelines put a negative spin on characteristics that have traditionally belonged to the male of the species.

[...]

The people who support the APA’s new guidelines and praise Gillette’s message are pretending to care about the welfare of boys and men, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe they are mistakenly trying to protect women from a patriarchy that they deem to be harmful.

Masculinity is not toxic. It’s normal, it’s human, and it’s good. We need to remember that, despite what Madison Avenue or #MeToo wants us to believe.

-- Christine Flowers, Jan. 22 Newsmax column

(Flowers joins writers at WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center who were similarly triggered by the Gillette ad and the APA guidelines.)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2019 8:07 PM EST
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Newsmax's Ruddy Still Defending Trump
Topic: Newsmax

As a good friend of Donald Trump, Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy has been a staunch apologist for the president. Now he's venturing toward ridiculous-defense territory.

Ruddy's Dec. 29 column is devoted to trying to shoot down the idea that Trump is acting like a mob boss. He insists that "Over many years of speaking privately with the president, in the most unguarded of moments, I don’t recall him ever referencing" mob-related films like the "Godfather" movies or "Goodfellas." He then tells us all the reasons Trump mob-esque behavior are really just the opposite:

If he emulates guys in movies, I think he sees himself as more John Wayne in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” or George C. Scott in “Patton.”

Trump does value strength. And loyalty.

But I don’t see the president’s view here as too different than other business and political figures I have known that value the same.

The president does like to vent against critics and old enemies.

Much of it can be over-the-top. He would rise higher in the polls if he kept such resentments to himself.

But that’s not Trump. He likes the shtick.

Remember that more than half of the senior staff in the White House and the Cabinet have, at one time or another, said critical things about the president.

Is this the government of a mafia don?

[...]

Or what about after 9/11?

When most folks in New York were evacuating the city, Trump raced down to the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attacks.

He asked Trump Organization staff to join him and help first responders.

As others fled to safety, Trump ran to danger. I talked to people that were at Ground Zero and saw him up close.

Is this mobster behavior?

[...]

OK, so I give you permission big media. Accuse Trump of many things, but admit he isn’t a mafia man.

Because if he really was, you wouldn’t be talking.

Ruddy spun hard again in his Jan. 28 column, insisting that Trump's cave on the border wall during the government shutdown he forced wasn't a cave at all:

The press spin these days is that President Trump lost to Nancy Pelosi on the government shutdown.

But Trump has a way of winning when he loses, and this will prove to be one of those cases.

[...]

So, did he get wall funding?

No.

But he has moved the needle.

By the end of the shutdown, the Democrats were signaling they would give him the full $5.7 billion in border security funds he asked for, though they don’t want the word “wall” used in the appropriation.

OK, let’s call it a “protective barrier.” That works for me.

[...]

My view is that Schumer and Pelosi are starved for deals they want to see happen.

The president is actually sitting quite pretty.

The White House should not tie border funding to the CRs.

But tying border funding to any and all legislation is fair game.

Those betting against President Trump on border funding should take their chips off the table.

Ruddy clearly knows on which side his bread is buttered.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EST
Monday, January 14, 2019
Mitt Romney Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax

Borrowing several of the tropes from the Democrats, writing an op-ed in The Washington Post, the house journal of the liberal establishment, Romney virtue-signaled his approval of some of the president’s policies, but curiously lambasted Mr. Trump’s failure to live up to the "mantle" of the presidency.

Romney cited Trump's "words and actions."

Sen. Romney was rather unspecific in his smearing of the president, though he did claim that "A president should unite us and inspire us to follow 'our better angels.'"

The implication seemed to be that Donald Trump has not done this, but one sympathetic to the president and his promise to "Make America Great Again," along with his administration’s superb economic accomplishments, could certainly see where the Lincolnesque appeal to "our better angels" was a part of Trump’s appeal.

Say what one might about Donald Trump, he does follow the rules. He has not ignored adverse court rulings or administrative pronouncements, and he has only sought to implement his policies through adherence to the traditional prerogatives of his office, and working with Republicans in Congress to obtain his legislative goals.

Romney’s op-ed made clear that he cannot be counted on to aid this president’s efforts.

[...]

By now seeking to cast obloquy on Mr. Trump, Sen. Romney has not only engaged in the kind of mendacity routinely employed by the President’s Democratic critics, but he seems to be putting his own desire for notice and purported integrity ahead of his loyalty to his party and his president.

Blind adherence to a leader is, of course, not always wise, but where, as is true of President Trump, he is doing the very things he promised.

Where those very things gained him an Electoral College majority, one would think the senators of his own party would support him, as Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., former senatorial critics, now appear to be doing.

Mitt Romney’s op-ed is profoundly disappointing, unwise, and disloyal. It can only please Mr. Trump’s enemies.

-- Stephen B. Presser, Jan. 7 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 6:35 PM EST
Monday, January 7, 2019
Newsmax Touts Kudlow's Economic Predictions, Censors How His Old Ones Failed
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten enthusiastically writes in a Jan. 4 Newsmax article:

Larry Kudlow, director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Friday that the economy’s addition of a whopping 312,000 jobs last month means “we’re in a boom” and there is no recession on the horizon.

“There’s way too much pessimism out there, probably because of the stock market correction,” Kudlow told Newsmax. “But sometimes stocks depart from the economy.”

He added: “We’re hitting on all cylinders. The Trump plan is working: Low tax rates for large and small businesses and individuals, the biggest regulatory rollback in decades, and sponsorship of American energy dominance.

“This is working. It has led to great confidence, particularly among small business owners.”

Patten, however, doesn't detail Kudlow's record on predicting non-recessions -- or anything, really:

“Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S. economy continues moving ahead,” Kudlow wrote on Dec. 7, 2007, in National Review, predicting that gloomy forecasters would “wind up with egg on their faces.” Kudlow, who previously derided as “bubbleheads” those who warned about a housing bubble, now wrote that “very positive” news in housing should “cushion” falling home sales and prices.

“There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen,” wrote Kudlow. “ . . . The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.”

[...]

When the economy didn’t rebound and housing continued its collapse, Kudlow pronounced, in a CNBC column on July 24, 2008, that he saw in the data “an awful lot of very good new news, which appear to be pointing to a bottom in the housing problem; in fact, maybe the tiniest beginnings of a recovery.” Stocks lost nearly half their value in the coming months.

Patten seems to have let his "exclusive interview" excitement overrule the idea of reporting the full story.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EST
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Newsmax Still Won't Disclose It Published Corsi's Book
Topic: Newsmax

We've seen before that as conspiratorial writer Jerome Corsi gets deeper into trouble as part of Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation, Newsmax is reluctant to admit that it, under its Humanix Books division, published his most recent book, "Killing the Deep State."

And so it is again in a Nov. 12 Newsmax article by Jason Devaney noting that Corsi "revealed in a new interview he expects to be charged with a crime stemming from the Russia investigation." Regarding Corsi's book, Devaney vaguely wrote only that "His most recent book, 'Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,' is a New York Times bestseller." It did, however, link to an offer promoting the book.

On Nov. 23, though, Newsmax followed up with a message to its mailing list under its "Moneynews" banner exploiting Corsi's legal troubles to sell his book:

We told you this would happen. Now he’s terrified — afraid for his life.

Look, they’re after him big time — the Deep State.

America’s shadow government is gunning hard for the man who exposed the truth...

The highly respected author and commentator who revealed the dark money trail in Washington — from Clinton to Obama to Comey to Lynch and scores of others in the highest-ranking positions in Washington.

[...]

What are you waiting for? This is, quite possibly, the most explosive book on Washington ever written.

It’s so shocking and so revealing we decided to foot the bill and just GIVE IT TO YOU — FREE.

Listen, you’d better get it here now because Corsi is at the very epicenter.

Mueller’s team says he knew too much... 

What exactly does Corsi know?

[...]

It was only a matter of time something like this would happen — surely a travesty of justice.

One thing’s for sure…

Mueller’s office has emails and phone records.

As Corsi has insisted…

He just put all the pieces together, connected all the dots.

Seriously — it’s what he does best and anyone who follows Corsi knows this.

Corsi’s only “crime” was putting them in a tell-all book.

And, you know, perjury. But Newsmax won't tell you that -- or, again, that it published Corsi's whacked-out conspiracy book.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EST
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Herbert London, R.I.P.
Topic: Newsmax

Herbert London, called a "conservative thought leader" by Newsmax, where he wrote a column for several years, died last week. Newsmax's John Gizzi gushed that he was a "renaissance man of the right" whose death "was a devastating blow to conservatives in his home state of New York and nationwide." Newsmax columnists Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon touted "Herb’s prowess as a thinker, a teacher, and an institution builder" who was "always gracious, always open, always decent." London even got a farewell from CNSNews.com columnist Bill Donohue, who called him "a brilliant and courageous professor, writer, and activist, one who inspired everyone around him."

We touched on London a few times: He endorsed anti-gay conversion therapy, he freaked out over President Obama reiterating the general U.S. policy toward Israel by likening it to giving Hitler the Sudetenland, and he's approvingly quoted by WorldNetDaily columnist Kent Bailey calling Hillary Clinton "the embodiment of evil."

But we also caught London whitewashing his own history. In a 2009 Newsmax column, London claimed he was "reluctant to challenge" his opponent in a race for New York state comptroller when, in fact, he tried to smear his opponent as an anti-Semite in a campaign ad that was so nasty that even London's fellow Republicans distanced themselves from him.

That's a "conservative thought leader" in action, apparently.  We hope Herbert has found peace.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 AM EST
Monday, November 5, 2018
Newsmax's Softball Article on Rep. King Downplays His White Nationalist Sympathies
Topic: Newsmax

John Gizzi kicks off his Nov. 4 Newsmax article about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King with a bit of soft gushiness:

With several polls showing a closer-than-ever race for Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the controversial Republican assured Newsmax that he was in strong shape to win a ninth term.

As national Democratic money pours into Iowa’s 4th District, King dismissed media claims he was facing a defeat.

“Things aren’t as bad for me as you’re hearing,” King told Newsmax. King is best known for his outspoken opposition to illegal immigration.

A new Emerson Poll shows him leading Democrat J.D. Scholten by 51 to 42 percent.

This then becomes full-blown misleading:

King has long been under fire from national media over his hardline stand against illegal immigrants. 

This year, the “Des Moines Register” abandoned King and gave its endorsement to Democrat Scholten. 

In addition, political action committees, including Land O'Lakes dairy company, have switched from King to Scholten.

Gizzi is falsely portraying King as being nothing more than merely "against illegal immigrants" and that the newspaper and Land O'Lakes abandoned King solely because of that stance.

The Register summed up its decision to endorse King's opponent without once mentioning his stance on "illegal immigrants" (unless you count a reference to King's "virulent xenophobia"): "In his almost 16 years in Congress, King has passed exactly one bill as primary sponsor, redesignating a post office. He won’t debate his opponent and rarely holds public town halls. Instead, he spends his time meeting with fascist leaders in Europe and retweeting neo-Nazis."

Similarly, Land O'Lakes withdrew its support for King after it was pointed out to the corporate entity that King "is the member of Congress most openly affiliated with white nationalism. He has retweeted a Nazi sympathizer and has displayed a Confederate flag on his desk."

Curiously, Gizzi never details any of King's white nationalist ties and sympathies, let alone admit that this is the reason for the current growth in criticism of King. It's only alluded to when Gizzi quotes a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee, tweeted that King’s “actions, comments and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy" -- not that Gizzi ever describes the actions the person is referring to -- then allowsKing to play off the criticism by saying that "The NRCC hasn't backed me since 2012."

Gizzi's article is nothing more than a lame puff piece by a reporter who's more than willing to overlook the actual story.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EST
Monday, October 22, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Can't Describe The Tweets That Got Roseanne Barr Fired
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen's Oct. 15 Newsmax column largely repeats a claim forwarded by the factually dubious UK Daily Mail that anonymous ABC executives were experiencing "doubts and trepidation" over continuing "Roseanne" as "The Connors" after firing Roseanne Barr over a pair of racially inflammatory and conspiratorial tweets.

Curiously, though, Hirsen never gets around to describing the content of the tweets that got Barr fired. He called them "controversial" and "career-changing" for Barr, but didn't repeat what she said.

In case Hirsen has forgotten, Barr described former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is black, as what you get if "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby." Barr also tweeted the false right-wing narrative that liberal bogeyman George Soros is a Nazi. (She also tweeted the utterly false claim that Chelsea Clinton was married to Soros' nephew.)

Why doesn't Hirsen want to remind his readers exactly what Barr tweeted that got her fired? Because he's trying to soften her image of Barr and turning her into merely an enthusiastic Trump supporter in order to bolster the case -- again, based on anonymous speculation from a news source known for caring little about the truth -- that "it is likely that ABC executives are experiencing regret over another hasty decision that was made by the television network." He goes on to tout about how the first episode of "Last Man Standing" on Fox after moving from ABC got good ratings; stars conservative comedian Tim Allen, who like Barr is "also a supporter of President Trump."

This isn't the first time Hirsen has taken Barr's side. In his June 4 column, he pooh-poohed the idea of a Roseanne-without-Roseanne reboot because "Barr had built a sizable reservoir of conventional fandom during her syndication run of 25 years" as well as "the bond that she shares with millions of people, many of whom voted for President Trump, who were chiefly responsible for the phenomenal ratings of the show and who managed to transform a television debut into a cultural event." He refused to detail the content of Barr's tweets then too, vaguely referring only to an "ill-fated tweet."

In a July 23 column, instead lamented that "a single tweet posted during personal non-working hours" cost her her career. He wouldn't repeat the actual language Barr used but instead euphemistically insisted that "Roseanne used a common hip hop term for a woman in reference to the former White House aide under President Obama." Somehow, we doubt Hirsen is sufficiently down with the street to know whether a "Planet of the Apes" reference in describing a black woman -- or is it the Muslim Brotherhood reference? -- actually is "a common hip hop term."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2018 9:04 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Play the Emmitt Till Card on Kavanaugh Accusations
Topic: Newsmax

As a black American, I have a particular sensitivity to the importance of the concept of the presumption of innocence and due process of law.

Few Millennials and modern journalists know of the famous Emmett Till murder case in Mississippi in the 1950’s. It was one of the first major national civil rights murder cases.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old black boy visiting Mississippi from Chicago. He was beaten beyond recognition, shot, tied with barbed wire, and thrown into Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River.

Why?

Because of an accusation — a mere accusation — that he flirted with a white woman.

Till was only one of the more well known of the many thousands of blacks in the old American South who were tortured, castrated, burned alive, or lynched based only on an accusation of flirtation or sexual assault — they were presumed guilty.

There was no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process!

With this despicable history as backdrop, it is more than disgusting to see Democrats in the United States Senate trample the basic principle of presumption of innocence and apply the old South standard of presumption of guilt once applied to blacks to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

For Kavanaugh, just as was the case for black males in the old South, there is no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process by his enemies.

Yesterday, blacks’ enemies were Democrat segregationists and their shock troops in the Klu Klux Klan.

Today, Kavanaugh’s enemies denying him due process and presumption of innocence are progressive and liberal white Democrats and their friends on the left — who disrupted confirmation hearings — and forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife from a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

[...]

Are there no Democrats in the United States Senate with a sense of decency unwilling to sit by while their colleagues attempt to destroy a man’s career, life, and family?

Apparently not.

-- Clarence McKee, Sept. 27 Newsmax column

(McKee overlooks the inconvenient fact that both Kavanaugh's and Christine Blasey Ford's side got a hearing, Kavanaugh did not get lynched, and racism was not involved. Oh, and the Ku Klux Klan was never the "shock troops" of the Democratic Party, which had no military arm then or now.)


Posted by Terry K. at 4:06 PM EDT
Friday, October 5, 2018
Conspiracy Theory: Newsmax's Hirsen Thinks Ford Is Trying To Profit From Kavanaugh Accusations
Topic: Newsmax

Among the conspiracy theories peddled by the right against Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their prep-school years we can now add Newsmax columnist James Hirsen's claim, in his Oct. 1 column, that Ford is making her accusations in order to profit from crowdfunding:

In a September 2018 appearance on "CBS This Morning," a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris, D-Calif., opined that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had "nothing to gain" in stepping forward with allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

A few days later in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin, D-Ill., stated in the form of a question to the host a similar opinion.

"What in the h*** did she have to gain by doing this?" Durbin queried.

History suggests that there are a host of significant gains that may indeed be awaiting Ford. One has already surfaced via a digital platform. It arrived in the form of "crowdfunding," i.e., the practice of financing a venture or cause by raising money from a large number of people utilizing specialized websites on the Internet.

Two crowdfunding accounts on the GoFundMe website, which were made on behalf of Ford, have raised approximately $740,000. For reasons unknown, at present the two GoFundMe accounts are no longer accepting donations.

[...]

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley recently expressed concern that crowdfunding may be being used in a manner that enables legal testimony to be purchased.

"You can buy a witness effectively by funding them as long as they’re saying the type of thing that you want them to say," Turley cautioned.

The notion that money could potentially be used to purchase testimony from favorable witnesses poses a threat to a functioning legal system and the fundamental precepts of due process.

In the end, it is not merely about what an individual has to gain, but rather what our country and her people have to lose.

Needless to say, Hirsen offers no actual evidence to back up his speculative conspiracy theory.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:14 PM EDT
Friday, September 28, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Promotes Kavanaugh Doppelganger Theory
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's John Gizzi, as befits a reporter for a conservative website, is doing what he can to support the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. That means the questionable theory that Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their high school years, was actually assaulted by someone else. And he found someone to promote it. From Gizzi's Sept. 19 article:

An attorney who specializes in cases of sexual assault among college students told Newsmax she believes Professor Christine Blasey Ford did experience the assault of which she has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

However, Lynchburg, Virginia, attorney Margaret Valois, whose speciality is Title IX (the law guaranteeing equality between males and females) violations, also believes Ford's charge against Kavanaugh might easily be a case of mistaken identity. 

"I have no doubt [the assault] happened — something happened to her in 1980," Valois told us. "These are terrible situations and not unlike situations I deal with now among college students. But given all the testimony to Judge Kavanaugh's character as a young student and today, I have doubts that he was the one who assaulted her."

Thus, Valois concluded, Ford might well be naming the wrong person in pointing a finger at the former Bush White House official and U.S. Court of Appeals judge on the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

"My gut says Professor Ford was assaulted when she was 15, but not by Kavanaugh," Valois said. "She made a claim and deserves to be heard," she said, adding she felt the hearings were "a good thing."

But Valois also pointed out she felt the statements of exemplary character – by people who are well-acquainted with Kavanaugh from his days at Georgetown Prep and Yale University to his stint in the White House – "certainly count for something."

A week later -- following Ford's Senate testimony about the attack and Kavanaugh's rebuttal, as well as conservative attorney Ed Whelan's attempt to push a similar doppelganger theory that went so horribly wrong that he was forced to take a leave of absence from his day job as the head of a conservative think tank -- Gizzi called on Valois once again to tout the theory anew:

Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony Thursday that she was "100 percent" certain it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her when they were both in high school 35 years ago, attorney Margaret Valois — who specializes in sexual assault cases among college students— still believes Ford's charge against the Supreme Court nominee is dealing a case of mistaken identity.

"I don't think she can be certain that it was Judge Kavanaugh," said Valois, who first advanced the "mistaken identity" theory with Newsmax a week ago.

"How can she be certain if she cannot address the other circumstances with certainty—location, date, time, and the other people involved?" Valois told us.

Curiously, Gizzi made no mention of Whelan's doppelganger fiasco. Nor did he mention that Valois takes a decidedly right-wing approach to Title IX, filing a lawsuit against Tulane University for purportedly discriminating against men.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Monday, September 24, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Does A Weird Tribute to Paul Manafort's Dad
Topic: Newsmax

The news that Paul Manafort has decided to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller prompted Newsmax reporter John Gizzi to do a little mstiy-eyed reminiscing. About Manfort's dad. No, really.

From Gizzi's Sept. 19 article, deceptively headlined "The Paul Manafort I Know":

Official Washington was jolted Friday by the news that former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had decided to cooperate with the Department of Justice—including Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The sartorial splendor of Manafort, his vast collection of horses and luxury homes in New York, and his schemes to avoid paying taxes on his foreign income—all will probably be rehashed in the media when the famous political consultant’s name comes up in the weeks ahead.

But, for those of us who are older and grew up in or near the Hardware City of New Britain, Connecticut, the name “Paul Manafort” evokes other memories.  

Paul Manafort, namesake-father of the current Manafort, was the three-term Republican mayor of New Britain. Growing up next door in a close suburb, New Britain was an urban mecca to me — blue collar, industrial, and ethnic.

[...]

In 1981, Manafort’s name appeared in headlines when he was charged with two counts of perjury. He had insisted he did not know that an envelope he was given by New Britain’s personnel director contained answers to exams for promotion to sergeant on the city’s police department (which two Manafort family friends were vying for). A jury subsequently acquitted the former mayor.

When Paul Manafort died in 2013 at age 89, that final black mark on his life of public service was barely mentioned in obituaries. His funeral was one of the biggest New Britain had ever seen.

Today the name Paul Manafort evokes a lot of negative feelings. But to this reporter, who grew up on the New Britain border, it generates quite different memories.

Gizzi made no mention of what exactly Manafort the younger did to generate those "negative feelings."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Monday, September 17, 2018
Newsmax Plugs Kerik Novel (Which It Published)
Topic: Newsmax

Bill Hoffman gushes in a Sept. 4 Newsmax article:

Bernard Kerik has lived an extraordinary life by any standard. Abandoned at age 2 by his alcoholic mother, he dropped out of high school, became a military policeman and martial arts specialist, then rose through law enforcement from patrolman to become a highly-decorated undercover narcotics officer in New York and then the city’s top cop before it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Drawing on these incredible experiences, the 63-year-old former commissioner has just penned an explosive new thriller, "The Grave Above the Grave."

"I’ve spent 30 years in policing and security, 10 of which was in the Middle East, and people constantly ask me what are my fears, and whether I believe we could suffer another 9/11 attack," Kerik tells Newsmax. "Writing this book gave me the opportunity to educate people in a fictional way what rolls around in my head daily."

In "The Grave Above the Grave," published this month by Humanix Books, Kerik tells the story of NYPD Commissioner Rick Raymond who, while battling a cop killer with Islamic terror ties, uncovers a plot to launch another devastating attack on the city. As he races against the clock, Raymond also must juggle the pressures of a grandstanding mayor, a disreputable reporter and a secret love — who just happens to be the district attorney.

What Hoffman doesn't mention: Humanix Books is a division of Newsmax -- which makes his article an in-house promotion, not "news."

Hoffman dismissed Kerik's criminal record in a single paragraph as nothing more than book fodder: "Kerik has had his share of scandals, including a stint in federal prison for tax fraud. That became the basis for his 2015 nonfiction best-seller, 'From Jailer to Jailed.'" Then he quickly returned to the business of plugging Kerik's new book and touting his pro-Trump, right-wing views, which presumably would help sell his book to Newsmax's core audience.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Corsi's Book
Topic: Newsmax

When right-wing conspiracy theorist and former worldNetDaily writer got subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury looking into Russian election interference, Newsmax was quick to exploit it:

Jerome Corsi, author and investigative writer, has been served papers to appear before the Mueller grand jury in Washington this Friday to answer questions about his longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, according to a report in The New York Times.

Corsi is the author of “Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,” a New York Times bestselling book that has been harshly criticial of the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller.

“He fully intends to comply with the subpoena,” Corsi’s lawyer David Gray told the Times, adding that his client anticipated “it has to do with his communications with Roger Stone.”

A mainstay on talk radio and TV shows, including Newsmax TV, Corsi has claimed Mueller has overreached his legal authority. Corsi has stated that President Trump’s recent tweet that a “criminal deep state” is seeking to end his presidency emanated from evidence and charges he makes in his new book.

Despite touting his appearances on its TV channel, Newsmax failed to disclose that it published Corsi's book through its Humanix Books division. That lack of disclosure came as Newsmax used the article to promote the book. One promotion stated: "Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” was published last February and has been the #1 bestselling conservative critique of the Mueller investigation. [Editor’s Note: Get Jerome Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” at bookstores everywhere or get the FREE Offer – Go Here Now." That's your usual Newsmax loss-leader offer, in which it basically gives away the book and a free, short subscription to Newsmax's magazine in the hopes that people will like the magazine or forget to cancel it before the free offer ends to keep from automatically being charged $39.95 for a full year's subscription.

Newsmax also failed to mention that  since early 2017, Corsi has been employed by fellow conspiracy-monger Alex Jones at Infowars, where he served as its White House correspondent. According to the New York Times, which broke the news of Corsi's subpoena, he apparently no longer works there.

The article also gushed: "Corsi’s book has sparked serious interest among Trump’s most loyal supporters. And TV host Bill O’Reilly has stated that the left “hates” Corsi’s book because of its strong defense of President Trump." In fact, the book is full of Corsi's usual conspiratorial claptrap that has been his stock in trade for years.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 AM EDT

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