Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is very tight with David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which operates the annual CPAC conference for conservatives. He has repeatedly interviewed Keene for his column and fawningly promoted CPAC, and Keene has returned the favor by awarding Kessler the inaugural "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" at last year's CPAC.
So why is Kessler not covering the current controversies surrounding CPAC?
Newsmax rival WorldNetDaily has been repeatedly attacking CPAC over the past few months -- as we noted, in apparent retaliation for CPAC refusing to allow WND editor Joseph Farah to put on a birther panel at last year's convention. (Farah essentially admitted as much in his Jan. 15 column, relating how his animus was motivated by CPAC officials "boasted publicly about turning down my private request in an interview with the Los Angeles Times – using insulting and degrading language in an apparent effort to ingratiate themselves with the media elite.") WND has been touting how some right-wing groups are refusing to take part in this year's CPAC due to the participation of the "homosexual activist organization" GOProud and playing guilt by association by attacking CPAC board member Suhail Khan as an "Islamist" who is "infiltrating" CPAC.
WND, interestingly, has also suggested that Keene's ex-wife, who WND says was the bookkeeper for the ACU, embezzled "hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor money" from the group.
If ever there was a time for Kessler to run to the rescue and do some fluffy interviews of Keene -- as he loves to do -- this would be it. But Kessler hasn't written a word about the controversies. Instead, he's been focusing on such weighty matters as Donald Trump's presidential prospects and the "secrets" of a long-retired Washington restauranteur.
Why won't Kessler get involved on behalf of his friend Keene? This seems like the perfect opportunity to flex those "Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award" muscles and get at the truth.
Is Kessler simply too close to CPAC and Keene that he won't bite the hand that gives him awards?