In a Dec. 4 article, Newsmax announced that "A prestigious team of some of the top producers in network and cable television news ... which collectively has more than a century of experience in managing major network coverage of U.S. presidential debates and elections" has been assembled to produce Newsmax's debate featuring Donald Trump.
What Newsmax didn't mention: the team -- with previous experience mostly at CNN and CBS, are part of the dreaded "liberal media" that is supposed to be anathema to conservatives.
The head of Newsmax's team is a particularly surprising choice. The executive producer will be Eason Jordan, the former chief news executive at CNN.
In February 2005, Newsmax published a column by Michelle Malkins attacking Jordan for "incurable anti-American pandering" for supposedly claiming that American troops have deliberately targeted and killed journalists in Iraq. Jordan denied making such a claim, but the right-wing furor over the supposed remarks led to his resignation from CNN.
That was not the only criticism Newsmax had forwarded of Jordan. In an April 2003 column, Michael Glueck and Robert Cihak bashed Jordan for his admission that CNN had failed to report on atrocities committed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein. They wrote, "CNN and other so-called 'news' organizations have ignored the screams of children in favor of their own personal, ideological and business agendas or interests," adding, "Will Mr. Jordan be hearing these screams in his dreams for the rest of his life? He should – unless he's anesthetized his own conscience."
The Media Research Center predictably howled about Newsmax's selection of Jordan to lead its debate coverage -- Scott Whitlock declared in a Dec. 5 item that Jordan "accused U.S. troops in Iraq of attempting to murder reporters." He then wrote: "The question must be asked: Why are Ion, Newsmax and Donald Trump giving Jordan a platform?"
Whitlock wasn't concerned, however, that Newsmax and Ion were giving a right-wing birther like Trump a platform.