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Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Newsmax Won't Fact-Check Trump Speech's Election Claims
Topic: Newsmax

Eric Mack cheerfully wrote in a July 24 Newsmax article:

Delivering a speech on election integrity in the battleground state of Arizona amid a forensic audit, former President Donald Trump told supporters Democrats cannot "win elections without cheating; there's no way."

"The preliminary numbers are a total disaster, and we're going to go over those numbers," Trump said Saturday night at the Turning Point Action conference in Phoenix, Arizona, which aired live on Newsmax.

"The facts are coming out. The truth is being uncovered and the crime of the century is being fully exposed."


Trump picked up his rebuke of the mail-in ballot boxes that were disproportionately used in Democrat strongholds throughout the country in the 2020 presidential election under the guise of COVID-19, and in many cases not approved by the state legislatures.

"How about those drop boxes," Trump said. "Where they were coming in? And Biden was getting 97% of the vote? No, I don't think so."

Trump outlined many of the audit allegations of examples of election fraud, or at least irregularities that require answers and information from Maricopa County, Arizona.

Note how Mack has written this in a way that made Trump's allegations vague so he doesn't have to fact-check them. Heeck, he won't even tell readers that Trump has a history of pushing false claims about the election, which ought to be standard reporting for any Trump claim.Mack didn't even acknowledge what most observers have in pointing out that the Republican-led Arizona ballot audit is a total mess.

By contrast, an actual news outlet did fact-check the election-related claims in Trump's speech and, unsurprisingly, found numerous false and misleading claims. But Mack's job here is not actual reporting, it's Trump stenography. He wrote another article on the speech in which Trump ranted about various other things -- again, with no fact-check in sight.

Meanwhile, Trump did an interview with Newsmax before his speech, which generated three more articles:

Again, no fact-check of anything, even though Trump referred to his never-proven claims of a "rigged election." Perhaps that's because Newsmax's real target here is not its readers but a certain one-man audience. Which would seem to explain a July 27 article by Bill Hoffmann touting its ratings for the  Trump speech:

Newsmax’s live coverage of former President Donald Trump’s Phoenix rally Saturday was a solid ratings smash — beating every other major cable news network in America.

New Nielsen data shows that Newsmax was No. 1 in key coverage ratings, winning in all demos and easily walloping Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business Network and CNBC in the 7-9pm ET time slot.

According to media analytics giant Nielsen, Newsmax drew a total household coverage rating of 1.31, with Fox News taking a lackluster second place with just 1.02.

In terms of total viewers, Newsmax drew a coverage rating of .71, compared to Fox’s .49.


But the Nielsen data tells only half the story. Newsmax estimates that an additional million-plus viewers tuned in to watch Trump’s rally through OTT streaming devices and its smartphone app.

Unlike Fox, Newsmax is free on most major OTT platforms.

Interestingly, Nielsen’s figures for the Phoenix rally’s pre-show coverage from 5-7 pm ET, show Fox with a slight lead over Newsmax — 0.83 vs. 0.65. That indicates that once the actual rally began, audiences abandoned Fox and flocked to Newsmax.

Newsmax is still trying to present itself as the Trumpiest news channel, with some not-so-good consequences -- and even as overall ratings for Newsmax have tanked since peaking earlier this year.

Newsmax clearly does not want to admit that -- or that its insistence on treating Trump as a golden calf who can't be criticized or even fact-checked might be playing a role in its ratings dive.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT

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