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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Newsmax Scaremongers About Health Care (And Wants to Sell You Something)
Topic: Newsmax

ewsmax has decided it wants to scare its readers about health care reform, and it has enlisted perhaps the biggest scaremonger on the issue to do it -- all in the service of selling stuff.

In the grand tradition of Newsmax, it’s throwing out a loss leader as bait for something that could bring in some real revenue. This time, it’s the “two-part book” of Newsmax’s fearmongering about health care. As per usual, the book is free (except for a “nominal shipping charge” of $4.95), and includes trial subscriptions to two of Newsmax’s health newsletters, which must be canceled before the trial subscription ends to avoid being automatically charged for a full year’s subscription.

On the a web page (PDF) for this latest promotion, Newsmax health publisher Travis Davis states that among “the Nation's Top Minds in Law and Medicine” he has assembled for this scaremongering mission is “constitutional scholar and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey,” who is apparently this promotion’s Dick Morris. You may remember McCaughey as the person Media Matters named as its 2009 Health Care Misinformer of the Year, and it appears McCaughey will be repeating some of her misleading attacks for Newsmax:

  • Newsmax’s Davis attacks Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as a “staunch supporter of the National Health System (NHS) in Great Britain” who is “just one of the dangerous ‘fixers’ pulling the strings on the state of American healthcare.” McCaughey issued similar false smears of Berwick in June.
  • Davis criticizes Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel for “championing his ‘Complete Lives System,’ " which “uses an arbitrary measure called ‘social usefulness’ “ to “determine who gets treatments, surgeries, and access to doctors.” This “really means” that ‘At certain ages, one life is more valuable than another,” and that the elderly rank low on Dr. Emanuel's ‘social usefulness’ scale.” McCaughey has misleadingly bashed Emanuel too.

Newsmax has already added the discredited McCaughey as a columnist.

Among those joining McCaughey in the fearmongering, according to Davis, are Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of a Newsmax-distributed “wellness report” who in a 2009 Newsmax email advised people to not get swine flu vaccinations because they “contain a full dose of mercury, the most toxic substance known to man,” not to mention that the vaccination will “Damage Your Brain!” In fact, as Newsweek detailed, some versions of swine flu vaccine didn’t contain thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, and the Centers for Disease Control states that even vaccines with thimerosal pose no danger to children.

Another “top mind” recruited by Newsmax is C.L. (Clare) Gray, an anti-reform physician published by right-wing outlets who gave a speech at a anti-health care reform rally in which he attacked Ezekiel Emanuel. The rally was co-sponsored by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a conservative-leaning group that holds numerous controversial and conspiratorial views. (Blaylock is also associated with AAPS.)

Newsmax claims the book will expose “the half truths, lies, and coverups buried in Obamacare,” but the people with a record of telling half-truths and lies are the ones writing the book.

Davis used the web page to show off the scaremongering that McCaughey and crew will likely be bring us. It’s presented as “An Urgent Newsmax Health Warning” with a headline that screams, “Are You Prepared to Survive the Obama Pandemic?”



Later on, another headline announces the purported existence of “Obama's Iron Curtain . . . The Creation of Two Americas -- Which Side Are You On?”



Davis also laughably insists that his band of serial misleaders are “unbiased experts,” concluding, “It's never been more important to get the real story on Obamacare.” That may be true, but it’s not what anyone will be getting from Newsmax.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:31 AM EDT

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