Fack in February, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy decried the idea of "fratricide" within the Republican Party, claiming that "a civil war in the party will do more harm than good." Ruddy seems to have changed his tune, for Newsmax has set its sights on taking down a fellow Republican. And not just any Republican -- the target is Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee.
Newsmax has never particularly liked Steele -- Ronald Kessler declared back in Janaury that "Steele is not ready to lead the Republican Party" and that he "seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at fellow Republicans." But the story that the RNC spent $2,000 at a lesbian bondage club appears to have spurred a much more concerted effort by Newsmax to get rid of Steele.
A March 30 article by David Patten highlights "a growing insurgency seeking to remove" Steele, noting a major donor -- who "served as Christian-community liaison for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign" -- who said he would stop donating to the RNC. (It's worth mentioning that Kessler has a fetish for Romney.) This was followed by an April 5 article by Patten noting that the RNC's top fundraiser had resigned over the controversy. An April 7 unbylined Newsmax article repeated "key excerpts" from a New York Times article reporting claims that Steele has become a "distraction."
Kessler weighed in again with an article asserting that "Steele slapped his own party in the face with his contention that being African-American is a factor in criticism of him and of Barack Obama." Kessler added, "Given Steele’s self-destructive tendencies, he will likely continue to poke his finger in the eyes of his fellow Republicans. The question is how long they will put up with it."
Newsmax then highlighted more criticism: a request from "GOP strategist and CNN contributor" Ed Rollins for Steele to step aside, and a rehashing of conservative writer kathleen Parker's Washington Post column stating that Steele "needs to face the truth and set himself — and his party — free." Then came an reprinted Washington Times article noting that the Democratic National Committee collected more contributions than the RNC last month.
Expect Newsmax to keep the agitation up until Steele is gone (or until Kessler gets tired of writing about it).