As one might expect given their history together, Newsmax is doing what it can to boost Donald Trump's presidential bid. Here are three of the most obsequious ways it's doing so.
1) The book promo. Newsmax loves giving away books to gin up subscriptions to its magazine, and this time it's using Trump's 2010 book "Time To Get Tough" as its loss leader. The promo copy is positively fawning:
Donald Trump officially put his name in the ring for the 2016 elections, and he touched down like a tornado with his presidential announcement at the Trump Tower in New York.
The well-known entrepreneur and American success story is brazenly taking a stab at real change for our country, with a solid plan to do away with the “losers” who run what was once the most powerful nation in the world.
His announcement speech exposed the flaws of the nation’s leaders and recalled strong elements from his best-selling book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.”
“Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again” is a pointed reflection on America today. It’s a face-the-facts profile of the damage the Obama administration has done and the concrete solutions needed to stop our decline.
As per usual, the book comes with a three-month "free" subscription to Newsmax magazine and a financial newsletter, which must be canceled before recipients are charged $39.95 for a year's subscription to the magazine and $49.95 for the newsletter.
2) Trump campaign-esque PR. The July 25 Newsmax article is listed as being written by Jim Meyers, but it may have just as well come directly from the Trump campaign's media shop:
Donald Trump has consistently been outpolling all announced Republican presidential candidates despite a barrage of lies in the media about the business mogul.
Here's a look at some of the more prominent untruths the media have reported about Trump:
Meyers has to really finesse the facts to go after some of these "untruths," like this:
The Washington Post reported that Trump said "McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese." But Trump immediately modified his statement by saying, four times, that McCain is a war hero, including: "He is a war hero" and "he is a war hero because he was captured."
But doesn't the fact that Trump "immediately modified" his statement on McCain mean that Trump actually did say McCain wasn't a war hero? You'd think so, but Trump -- er, Meyers feels differently.
3) Kessler's Trump-fluffing. Ronald Kessler -- a Trump-fluffer who did all he could to set the billionaire up for a presidential run in 2012 when he was still a Newsmax employee -- comes back to do some serious sucking-up to the guy in a July 27 article:
The "real Donald Trump" is not the brash, outspoken presidential candidate we're seeing but instead is a sound businessman with smart ideas, says a best-selling author.
During an appearance on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Prime," Ronald Kessler tells host J.D. Hayworth that if Trump makes it to the general election, he'll know what to do.
"I interviewed his longtime assistant and vice president Norma Foerderer, who went back to when he didn't even have an office," says Kessler, who has written 20 nonfiction books about the Secret Service, CIA, and the FBI."
In a 2006 Kessler article titled "The Real Donald Trump," she revealed, “Donald can be totally outrageous, but outrageous in a wonderful way that gets him coverage. That persona sells his licensed products and his condominiums. You know Donald’s never been shy, and justifiably so, in talking about how wonderful his buildings or his golf clubs are.”
The private Donald Trump, on the other hand, is “the dearest, most thoughtful, most loyal, most caring man,” Foerderer said. That caring side inspires loyalty and is one of his secrets to success.
Kessler is so obsequious to Trump the guy might as well be paying him, if he isn't already.
4) Defending the indefensible. The Trump-fluffing has gotten so bad, Newsmax on Aug. 3 gave its Trump stories its own sycophantic section title, "Donald Trump Stays Strong":
Note the last story in that list, the only one that approaches being negative. It's about Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who had to be fired after offensive writings, including about Al Sharpton's daughter, surfaced. But the story itself, by Courtney Coren, desperately tries to spin things, quoting her boss trying to sweep the controversy under the rug by saying wonderful things about Nunberg:
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said that "Sam has played a terrific role in connecting the Trump campaign with the major media and grassroots organizations that have been key to Trump's success. I hope the investigation of this matter shows it is much to do about nothing."
That's the sound of a guy who is putting trying to stay in Trump's good graces above providing fair and balanced journalism.