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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Newsmax Whipsawed Over Massa
Topic: Newsmax

It's been a tidal wave of emotions at Newsmax over Eric Massa over the past few days.

On March 5 Newsmax happily touted the Democratic congressman's resignation over allegations of harassment from male staffers under the headline "Rep. Massa: 'I Am Guilty' and Will Resign." But when Massa alleged that he was forced out by Democratic leadership over his opposition to health care reform and would go on Glenn Beck's Fox News show to dish the details, Newsmax went all giddy:

Just a day after triggering a political firestorm with accusations he was forced out of office because he rebelled against his fellow House Democrats’ healthcare plan, former New York Rep. Eric J.J. Massa will take his story to "The Glenn Beck Program" on Fox News tonight.

Beck said Monday he will devote a full-hour to an interview with Massa. The show airs at 5 p.m. EST and 2 a.m. on the Fox News Channel.

"I'm not saying he's, you know, pure as a driven snow. I don't know. I don't know the guy," Beck said of Massa in a video clip from Fox News. "But this is a moment that will decide the course of this nation, possibly."


Massa was the talk of Washington Monday after he made allegations Sunday on a Hornell, New York radio station that he was "set up" to fall so that House Democrats would have an easier path to passing healthcare reform.

Any denials of that, of course, were buried at the end of the article, all the better to push Massa's newfound embrace by conservatives.

After Massa's appearance on Beck, however, the bloom came off the rose. The headline of Newsmax's post-interview article carried the sympathetic headline "Massa Fumbles in Glenn Beck Interview," but the story itself was much less so:

Fox News host Glenn Beck apologized to his viewers for “wasting your time” Tuesday after an interview in which former New York Rep. Eric Massa seemingly backtracked on his allegations that he was forced to resign over his opposition to Obamacare.

“We learned a lot I think, but what we learned I don’t think affects you at all,” Beck said, shaking his head and laughing at the conclusion of his hour-long interview with Massa, who resigned his office Monday after it became public that he was the subject of a House ethics committee investigation for possible harassment.

Staring into the camera after Massa seemingly contradicted himself on many points and refused to disclose any alleged corruption Beck suggested he had promised to disclose in a private pre-interview phone call, the conservative host apologized.

"I have to shoot straight with you. I think I’ve wasted your time," Beck said. "I think this is the first time I’ve wasted an hour of your time. I apologize for that. Because I think we could have spent a lot less time backtracking a lot....”

“I’m not backtracking,” Massa responded. “I wasn’t forced out. I forced myself out. I failed. I didn’t live up to my own codes... I own up to my misbehavior.”

Newsmax still clung to hope, though, that Massa could still be portrayed as a victim of those mean Democrats. A separate article noted that "new, leaked details of his ethics probe were hitting the website," and that "Drudge was quick to point fingers at the culprit for the leaks, featuring a picture of Rahm Emanuel with the headline “Slime” – which linked to the Post story." Never mind that Newsmax cites no evidence directly implicating Emanuel or anyone else.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:11 PM EST

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