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Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Where Is Kessler's -- And Newsmax's -- Moral Compass?
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 20 Newsmax column by Ronald Kessler accuses Barack Obama of 'lack[ing] a moral compass." We would argue that, by his flip-flop embrace of a candidate he despises out of an apparent desire to stay on the good side of his Republican buddies, Kessler has demonstrated the same lack of moral compass he accuses Obama of having.

Kessler cites Obama's "being 'friendly' with admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers" as evidence of Obama's purported lack of moral compass. The question thus arises: What's Ron Kessler's relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy?

There doesn't appear to be much of one. Kessler and Liddy appeared twice together on CNN in May 2005 to discuss the revelation that Mark Felt was the Watergate scandal's "Deep Throat," and while they didn't appear to agree on whether Felt was a hero, neither did Kessler take the opportunity to condemn Liddy for his actions in Watergate, as well as the murders and bombings he planned.  Liddy earned only a passing mention in Kessler's book on the FBI, "The Bureau."

But Kessler's employer, Newsmax, has had closer ties-- and even less criticism of Liddy's domestic terrorism:

  • A January 2003 article by Dave Eberhart sycophantically referred to Liddy as "the G-Man" and listed "Watergate fall-guy" among his accomplishments, even though there's no question about his guilt.
  • A June 2003 column by Humberto Fontova stated of an alleged "plan for 500 kilos of TNT to kill thousands of New Yorkers" hatched by Fidel Castro: "ortunately, we had a crackerjack FBI back then, J. Edgar Hoover's outfit, employing such as the 'G-man' Gordon Liddy."
  • An August 2003 article by Wes Vernon took Liddy's side as part of a "rising chorus ... vehemently rejecting the claim by onetime Nixon campaign deputy director Jeb Stuart Magruder that President Richard Nixon order the break-in at the Watergate Hotel in 1972."
  • Geoff Metcalf whined in an April 2005 column: "Gordon Liddy went to jail. Sandy Berger goes on the speaking circuit and waits for Hillary?"
  • A June 2005 article by Phil Brennan authoritiatively cites Liddy in an effort to rebut "myths" about Watergate.
  • Newsmax listed Liddy among its "top 25 most influential talk radio hosts.
  • Liddy contributed a blurb to Newsmax writer James Hirsen's book "Hollywood Nation."

None of these articles make mention of Liddy's terrorism and, indeed, seem eager to whitewash the criminal acts of Liddy's that they do mention.

It looks like Kessler's employer has lost its moral compass too. Does Kessler have the integrity call them out on it? History suggests he won't.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT

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