In an overly self-congratulatory Aug. 15 column, NewsMax editor Christopher Ruddy tells two lies, one big and one small.
The small one: In a little dig at WorldNetDaily and its regular pleas for cash even though it's ostensibly a for-profit company, Ruddy claims that "Already NewsMax.com is the leading online news site with a conservative perspective. And we have accomplished this in a short time, without asking for donations, while building a profitable media enterprise."
That's not quite true. In an abortive 2001 attempt to establish a TV presence via informercials, NewsMax went the public-TV route of giving trinkets in return for donations, as ConWebWatch has noted. It created something called the Off-the-Record Club, in which donors -- er, members received "a special audio tape briefing from a top expert, insider or VIP – giving you an insider's perspective you won't get from the major media" in exchange for $25 a month to "help NewsMax to buy national TV air time to expand our reach." NewsMax also sought donations to buy airtime the weekend before the November 2004 election to air the anti-John Kerry film "Stolen Honor" on TV stations across the country (NewsMax has refused to disclose how much this airtime cost, which may be in violation of election law since airing "Stolen Honor" was clearly a partisan election activity).
The big lie: Ruddy claims NewsMax has done "comprehensive coverage of the new book on Sen. Hillary Clinton by author Edward Klein, 'The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President.'"
Wrong. If you report only good news and ignore the bad news (like Klein's multiple factual errors), and are in fact lying to your readers about the book, you're not providing "comprehensive coverage."
On the other hand, Ruddy reveals where the four-readers-per-copy figure for its magazine was pulled from: "in our estimation."