Newsmax is positively giddy that Donald Trump is name-dropping the website.
An April 19 article by Jim Meyers happily highlighted that Trump referenced Newsmax's meaningless, Trump-centric poll in a Time magazine interview, as well as that he speaks regularly to Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy.
Of course, it was plenty clear that Newsmax was collaborating with Trump even before this admission. As we detailed over at Media Matters, Newsmax has been heavily promoting Trump's presidential prospects for months.
The Trump-Newsmax connection was made even more clear in an April 20 U.S. News & World Report article:
So is there a Trump-Newsmax conspiracy? "Yes," cheers Ruddy. "Trump realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it" says Ruddy from the Newsmax HQ in Florida.
"He's been really responsive to our news team here," says Ruddy, who calls Trump a "friend."
Recently, the potential 2012 GOP primary candidate dropped by Newsmax's West Palm Beach HQ and even chose it as the place to reveal his American birth certificate, part of his effort to call into question President Obama's birthplace. Ruddy doesn't back the birther movement and says he told Trump that he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.
Media Matters last week put a spotlight on the news site's coverage of Trump, calling it an "early and enthusiastic promoter of Trump's presidential ambitions."
Ruddy has no problem with that description. "Media Matters is right," he says.
It's always nice to have our reporting validated, even if Newsmax still refuses to let us add its Twitter feed to our big ConWeb tweet list.
The U.S. News article does point out the truth about Newsmax's meaningless poll:
Newsmax has also won national attention for its Trump coverage because it's been advertising a Trump poll on several sites. So far some 800,000 have voted online. But Ruddy says that there is no formal or business relationship with Trump. "He did ask if he could change the name of the place to 'Trumpmax' I said no," joked Ruddy. "To us it's just a great news story in a very boring Republican Primary right now."
At this point, fawning coverage is all the relationship Trump needs from Newsmax.