The Aug. 12 edition of NewsMax's "Insider Report" does something unusual for the ConWeb: it comes to the defense of a reporter in the dreaded "liberal media." That's because the reporter has done some of NewsMax's work for it through misleading reporting on John Edwards.
The "Insider Report" item focuses on an Aug. 4 Alternet column (which NewsMax erroneously calls "Alter.net") by Alexander Zaitchik attacking Washington Post reporter John Solomon's articles on Edward, in particular Edwards' hedge fund work, real estate dealings and the infamous $400 haircut. NewsMax states:
Zaitchik goes on to cite numerous Solomon stories dealing with Edwards, all accurate and well-researched and all legitimate criticisms of some of John Edward's activities such as his less than savory role in his consulting work in 2005 and 2006 for a hedge fund, his sale of his Georgetown home for $5.2 million or $1.4 million more than he paid for it in 2002.
"Accurate and well-researched"? Not exactly. As Media Matters points out, Solomon's article on the sale of Edwards' house suggests without evidence that the sale was somehow shady without noting that the profit Edwards made on the house was not out of line with the state of the real estate market and the improvements Edwards made to the house while he owned it. In an online discussion about the article, Solomon went even further, baselessly suggesting that Edwards broke campaign finance law in the the sale of the house.
And even Post ombudsman Deborah Howell criticized the tone of Solomon's reporting on Edwards' work for a hedge fund for implying "that consulting for a hedge fund, whose offshore tax havens he has decried, is incompatible with caring about the less fortunate."
Beware when NewsMax praises your work -- that means you're adhering to the conservatives' agenda.