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Friday, August 25, 2023
As Newsmax Bashes Ramaswamy (Who Didn't Buy Airtime On Newsmax), Newsmax Hypes Perry Johnson (Who Did)
Topic: Newsmax

In contrast to its negative treatment of Vivek Ramaswamy after he revealed an alleged pay-for-play demand for better coverage, Newsmax has given much more positive coverage to Perry Johnson, a Republican presidential candidate who's doing worse in polling than Ramaswamy. John Gizzi hyped Johnson in a May 23 article:

With Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis presently sucking the wind out of the Republican presidential sweepstakes, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to distinguish others further back in the GOP field.

There's South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who drew swatches of publicity with his announcement for president on Monday. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been on the hustings for months. And entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has been a fixture on Sunday talk shows of late.

Then there's another entrepreneur, who may break out of the pack. Widely known in Michigan as the "quality guru," Perry Johnson has blitzed Iowa and New Hampshire in recent weeks, and he has signed on a campaign team that includes operatives in both of those states that are so crucial to nomination.

Todd Cheewing, former political director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, is Johnson's top agent in the Granite State. And, in what is almost a nod to Trump and his decade-plus hosting "The Celebrity Apprentice," Johnson has begun the filming of his own reality show for cable TV as he commences on the campaign trail.

Gizzi didn't mention that Johnson is paying Newsmax for airtime to broadcast his reality show.

After Johnson finished a distant second behind Trump in a straw poll at a conference of the far right Turning Point USA,  Eric Mack wrote a July 17 resume-hyping article under the headline "Perry Johnson Is 2nd to Trump, but Who Is He?":

Johnson, 75, is a Michigan multimillionaire who self-styles himself a "quality guru."

The Republican presidential candidate boasts he helped save the auto manufacturing industry in the U.S. by "writing the book on the quality controls."

Johnson seems to click with grassroots conservatives, having placed third in a CPAC straw poll earlier this year.

Johnson is running on his "Two Cents to Save America" plan, which he outlined in a book that has become his campaign mantle.

"Two Cents" also bears a foreword from Art Laffer, the famed Reagan-era economist who is the father of supply-side tax cuts.

Unlike Gizzi, Mack did disclose the financial link between Johnson and Newsmax (though he turned it into a promotion):

In the presidential campaign, Johnson has been reaching out to younger voters in a Ross Perot-like campaign — albeit this one in the Republican Party. That strategy appears to be paying off with the strong support at the youth-oriented Turning Point.

Johnson positions himself as a businessman with a reality TV show following his campaign bus tours in early primary states Iowa and New Hampshire.

The reality show airs on social media and he has purchased air time for it on Newsmax, typically broadcasting on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST.

Over the following month or so, Newsmax has published numerous positive articles promoting Johnson, largely focused on his claims of being eligible for the first Republican candidate debate:

When Johnson ended up not making the cut for the debate after all, Newsmax gave him space to complain: 

While two of these articles referenced Johnson's reality show and that it appears on Newsmax, neither disclosed that Johnson pays Newsmax to air it.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 28, 2023 2:51 PM EDT

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