Presumably in order to get more presidential candidates to take part in its Donald Trump-moderated debate, Newsmax is scrambling to get prominent conservatives to endorse the debate over well-founded fears that Trump is nothing more than a publicity-seeking reality TV star. So Newsmax has been cranking articles like these:
- Grover Norquist Endorses Trump Debate
- Rep. Steve King Backs Trump 'America' Debate
- CPAC’s ACU Endorses Trump Debate, Says GOP Candidates Should Attend
- Palin Endorses Trump Debate, Urges Candidates to Join
- Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition Backs Trump Debate
Newsmax columnists are also contributing to the effort. Richard Viguerie encouraged encouraging Ron Paul to take part. Taking aim at Mitt Romney's refusal to enter the debate, Matt Towery tried the shame route, declaring without evidence that Romney's refusal "has sealed his fate in Florida, where the Newsmax/Trump world dominates." Really? If there's any domination of that "world" anywhere in Florida (and we can't see how that could happen), it's pretty much limited to their Palm Beach base.
Dick Morris weighed in as well; a Dec. 8 article claimed that "those who skip the debate are misjudging the broad reach such a debate would have." The article didn't mention Morris' extensive business relationship with Newsmax, which includes management of Morris' email list and his shilling for Newsmax's financial products.
Newsmax's credibility campaign, however, is already showing signs of straining to find conservatives willing to back it. One article declares:
Republicans should “jump at the opportunity” to share the stage with property mogul Donald Trump in the Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate, says former Ronald Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord.
Trump’s record as a job creator makes him precisely the kind of person the GOP should embrace, Lord writes in an article for the American Spectator.
But Lord has a history of making false and strange claims:
Lord falsely asserted that former Obama administration official Kevin Jennings "was sought out by a 15-year-old boy asking for advice about an affair with an older adult male." In fact, the boy was 16.
Is that the kind of person Newsmax is down to so early in this campaign? It doesn't exactly bode well.