Newsmax Hides Dick Morris' Abysmal Record of Punditry Topic: Newsmax
Dick Morris was a longtime fixture at Newsmax before jumping to Fox News -- and Newsmax manages Morris' mailing list -- so it's not a surprise that Newsmax would play down Morris' abysmal record of political punditry. It is surprising, however, to see ust how far Newsmax is taking it.
A Feb. 5 Newsmax article by Bill Green breathlessly declares that "all eyes are turning to Morris' upcoming appearance on CNN Wednesday night," where he will "discuss his mysterious disappearance from Fox since shortly after last November's election" and the news that Fox declined to offer a new contract to him.
Of course, there's nothing "mysterious" about Morris disappearing from Fox. After enthusiastically predicting that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama in a landslide -- one of many Morris statements that proved to be spectacularly wrong -- Fox News management declared after the election that anyFox show that wanted Morris (and similarly wrong Fox pundit Karl Rove) to appear would have to get special permission to do so.
To cap things off, Green concludes his article this way:
Fox's rating have fallen dramatically in the wake of last year's election. Press reports indicate the cable channel is re-evaluating its approach after President Obama's strong re-election victory, despite the fact a number of Fox hosts and analysts predicted otherwise.
That's right -- in an article about Dick Morris, Newsmax highlights how some Fox analysts predicted Romney would win without specifically stating that one of those people is Dick Morris.
It's not like Newsmax didn't know -- not only did Newsmax publish an article before the election about how Morris is "sticking by his prediction that Mitt Romney will win in a landslide," it published Morris' post-election mea culpa.
It seems that Newsmax has kicked off a reputation rehabilitation project for Morris the way it has done with other disgraced conservatives like Bernard Kerik.
'ObamaCare Survival Guide' Book Is A Newsmax Operation Topic: Newsmax
Over the past several weeks, Newsmax has been heavilypromoting a book called the "ObamaCare Survival Guide." Unsurprisingly, it's a negative view of Obamacare, as Politico notes. Newsmax, however, doesn't want to tell you just how closely involved it is with the book.
You may have seen the commercial for Obamacare911.com. You may not know that Obamacare911.com redirects to a page at the Newsmax store for its usual loss-leader "special offer" with a few free issues of Newsmax magazine and a health newsletter thrown in (in the hope that you fail to cancel them so they can charge your credit card $39 each for a yearly subscription).
But Newsmax is even deeper with this book that it will publicly admit: Newsmax owns the book's publisher.
The publisher of the "ObamaCare Survival Guide" is Humanix Books, which claims to have been "continuously publishing since 1969, making it one of the oldest publishing houses in the South Eastern United States." Humanix's website makes no mention of its ownership by Newsmax.
But if you look at the copyright page in the "ObamaCare Survival Guide," there it is: "Humanix books is a division of Newsmax Media."
Why doesn't Newsmax want to promote the fact that it has a publishing division? It's not like it's anything new -- WorldNetDaily has operated a publishing operation for several years. Of course, WND Books does carry the taint of its parent -- something Newsmax is perhaps trying to avoid by pretending Humanix is completely separate.
Still, as it publishes more conservative-leaning books, as one can reasonably expect, expect Humanix to get that conservative-publisher reputation. Can it avoid the WND taint? We shall see.
Newsmax Falsely Spins Reagan Home Story To Attack Obama Topic: Newsmax
Marti Lotman writes in a Jan. 30 Newsmax article: "The University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Ronald Reagan’s childhood home in Chicago into a parking lot for President Barack Obama’s library."
That's a complete, utter lie.
As Media Matters explains, while it is true that the University of Chicago Medical Center is planning to tear down a house where Reagan lived for a year when he was 4 years old, there is no evidence whatsoever that it would be torn down for an Obama presidential library -- in fact, a location for the library has not even been chosen -- and the university certainly did not "announce" it would do what Lotman said it did.
Even the Washington Times Communities article from which Lotman lifted her item never claimed that the university made such an announcement. Rather, it engages in a lot of baseless speculation and cites only unnamed "opponents of the demolition " as claiming it would be torn down for an Obama library -- which, again, has not even been awarded to the university as of yet.
Apparently, the idea of Obama trashing Reagan's legacy was too good for Newsmax to fact-check. Or even to double-check basic reading comprehension.
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily latched onto the bogus story as well, reproducing part of the Washington Times article, presumably without permission.
Newsmax Goes Into Radio, Hires Steve Malzberg Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 25 Newsmax article reports that Steve Malzberg has been signed to host a radio show that Newsmax plans to syndicate as well as simulcast on its website. Newsmax has even set up a new company for the venture, Newsmax Broadcasting LLC. Newsmax has more:
“The Steve Malzberg Show” will be the channel’s first live-streaming TV show. Newsmax plans to develop a cost-free 24/7 TV streaming channel over the next several months.
The Steve Malzberg radio and TV simulcast will be unique for talk, focused on breaking news and featuring fast-changing topics and guests, combined with cutting-edge viewer and listener interaction through the Internet.
Newsmax Broadcasting is building a terrestrial radio network of affiliated stations for the Steve Malzberg show. Stations that affiliate will be supported by Newsmax and its 10 million viewer audience across the nation.
Malzberg has been without a steady radio gig since being ousted at New York's WOR radio in September 2011. Malzberg has written a column for Newsmax off and on since 2001.
This isn't Newsmax's first broadcasting venture -- it bought time on CNBC in 2001 to air an infomercial-slash-news program that, near as we can tell, made only a single appearance despite plans to do it at least monthly.
Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter do the deed in a Jan. 15 article detailng an "exclusive interview" in which Keene is permitted to uncritically forward attacks on President Obama and his "rabid advisers" who are purportedly behind his alleged gun grab.
Meyers and Walter even got a second article out of the interview, in which Keene claims NRA membership is up afther the Newtown massacare "because the Obama administration’s gun control efforts are .scaring people." Meyers and Walter apparently never considered that the NRA's anti-Obama scare tactics might be what's actually scaring people.
Armstrong Williams Doesn't Want Lance Armstrong To Get The Public Forgiveness He Got Topic: Newsmax
In his Jan. 15 Newsmax column, Armstrong Williams bemoans the idea that Lance Armstrong will get a pass for his misdeeds:
Lance Armstrong should be held fully accountable and we shouldn’t be so quick to forgive the horrible offenses that he has committed. He can only look skyward for true forgiveness.
We owe it to today’s youth not to so quickly forgive Lance Armstrong and not to just sweep this whole sordid saga under the rug and let him move on with his life.
Americans are a remarkably forgiving society and everyone makes mistakes, but this is something altogether different. A lie of this magnitude cannot be permitted to be trivialized.
Lance is just the last in a string of public figures who let us all down and then are given a free pass. Bill Clinton violated one of the 10 commandments, inside the Oval Office and then lied under oath and to the public about it.
Today he has been redeemed, and is revered by the Democratic Party.
Tiger Woods admitted to a series of infidelities and, while his golf name has never returned to the same stratospheric levels, has largely moved on.
If we give Lance Armstrong a pass then the real message we send our children that you can make hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorships and achieve world-wide fame by cheating — you just have to make sure that you don’t get caught or you might be embarrassed.
Williams doesn't mention that he himself has benefitted from that very same "remarkably forgiving" American society.
Back in the previous decade, Williams accepted $240,000 from the Bush administration to promote its No Child Left Behind education policy on his syndicated TV show and in his columns, something he unethically failed to disclose to his viewers and readers. His career suffered a temporary setback, but today, not only is Williams continuing to write his column, he has a daily show on satellite radio.
As with Tiger Woods, the public has largely moved on from Williams' shady dealings. Why doesn't he want Lance Armstrong to take part in the benefit of public forgiveness that he received?
Newsmax Fearmongers About Obama's Executive Actions on Guns Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Jim Meyers turns up the fearmongering over President Obama's executive actions on gun regulations in a Jan. 16 article:
You’re visiting a doctor because you have flu symptoms. After checking your heart, pulse and other vital signs, the doctor says, “By the way, the federal government has authorized me to ask you: What type and how many guns do you have in your home?"
Sound like George Orwell’s 1984?
No. It’s 2013.
And if President Barack Obama gets his way by executive order, doctors across the country could play a key role in his new gun control initiative.
In fact, Obama's executive action does not require doctors to ask patients about guns, nor does it require doctors to report gun owners to law enforcement.
Newsmax promoted Meyers' story on its front page with this misleading graphic:
Not even Meyer offers any evidence to back up the suggestion that doctors will turn children into snitches against their parents.
The mainstream media initially gave little or no coverage to presidential candidate Barack Obama's failure to produce a birth certificate, then lambasted those who questioned his eligibility for the White House.
But the press is already bringing up the question of Cruz's eligibility for president — which suggests that Democratic sympathizers are worried about his possible run for the White House in 2016.
Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, although some questioned his Hawaiian birth. Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father who were working in the petroleum industry, and he lived in Canada for four years before his family moved to Texas.
Newsmax Columnist Baseless Claims Obama's 'Hollowing Out' Navy Topic: Newsmax
Herbert London uses his Jan. 3 Newsmax column (also posted at Accuracy in Media) to rehash Mitt Romney's campaign claim that President Obama is decimating the Navy:
In the World War I period from 1914 to 1918 the United States had a fleet level of 363, a fleet smaller than Germany, the United Kingdom and France. It remained at that level in the 1920’s (an average of 376) and during the ‘30’s till 1938 (an average of 339 ships).
Now the U.S. Navy is a mere shadow of itself. During the recent presidential debate, candidate Mitt Romney noted that naval capability had shrunk to a level lower than World War I. Technically he was correct since naval forces are now at 287.
President Obama glibly responded by suggesting this is irrelevant; after all, we don’t rely on bayonets or horses either. His implication is that our ships are more sophisticated than their predecessors at sea so the numbers do not carry the same logistical weight they once did.
By any standard this is questionable. Numbers matter. If one third of our ships are in repair and one third are in port for the rest and relaxation of sailors, there are approximately 90 vessels available to patrol the seven seas protecting American interests. This is not only an historical record, it is a number inadequate for the task at hand.
An active and assertive blue water Chinese navy is intent on challenging U.S. naval superiority in the Pacific. In the past, challenges of this kind were met by a show of force, an aircraft carrier force or joint military maneuvers with an allied nation. At the moment, we do not have the fleet strength for a symbolic act or to engage in joint training with say, Japan.
The Obama administration has simply hollowed out U.S. capabilities.
That's simply not true. The U.S. controls 50 percent of the world's naval power, compared to just 11 perdent in 1916, and fact-checkers agree that Romney (and London's) obsession with comparing Navy ship numbers over decades is meaningless.
London also misses the fact that there wasn't an Air Force in 1916, which reduces the need for a massive number of ships.
London goes on to lament that "Military spending is 4.5 percent of GDP, a far cry from World War II levels and a fraction of domestic spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security." London ignores that this is a large increase from the late 1990s, when military spending was 3 percent of GDP. Current declines in military spending are mostly tied to the winding down of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Newsmax Cherry-Picks Data To Downplay Gun Violence Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 3 Newsmax article by Stephen Feller regurgitates a Breitbart post claiming that "more people in the U.S. were killed with hammers and clubs, or with hands and fists, than with rifles" in the past seven years.
Of course, that's an absurd bit of cherry-picked data. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, guns are the leading cause of violence-related death (homicide and suicide) for most age groups, as well as all age groups above the age of 15.
But when you're regurgitating the work of others as your own "news," as Feller is, further research isn't exactly high on the priority list.
TPM's Ryan J. Reilly reports that Ronald Kessler is leaving Newsmax due to "editorial changes." We haven't seen any other confirmation of this yet, but it seems to be a reliable report, and it ends six years of largely hacktastic work.
Kessler joined Newsmax in 2006, where he set the tone of his Newsmax tenure by writing fawningly about the Bush administration and bashing Democrats. He cranked that up for the 2006 election, to the point where he essentially blamed then-Rep. Mark Foley's dalliances with congressional pages on the pages, not Foley.
For the 2008 presidential campaign, Kessler was Mitt Romney's man, writing fluff pieces and being kinda creepy toward Romney's wife. But when Romney lost the nomination, he was a good Republican soldier and promoted John McCain, despite having spent the previous several months bashing him to boost Romney's prospects. He also attacked Barack Obama by obsessing over Jeremiah Wright.
Once it was clear that Trump would not run despite Kessler's best efforts, Kessler returned to his once and future presidential love, Mitt Romney, going so far as to declare that Romney would beat Obama in a landslide.
If this is truly the end of Kessler at Newsmax, we bid him a sad farewell, if only because his brand of biased, obsequious reporting is one of the reasons ConWebWatch exists.
Newsmax's Hirsen Pushes Dubious Link Between Video Games, Violence Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen writres in his Dec. 17 Newsmax column on the Newtown massacre:
The time has come for industry figures to take the lead in examining the violent content of entertainment product. Empirical data now exists that links violent content in a variety of media forms to overly aggressive behavior in individuals.
The video gaming industry, however, is of the most pressing concern and deserves particular scrutiny due to the unique characteristics inherent in video game products and the greater potentiality for negative societal consequences as a result of active engagement.
Video games are distinctively interactive and have actually been shown to have addictive qualities. Many of the games are laden with highly charged content.
In November 2012 an Australian National University psychology researcher confirmed the addictive nature of video games, discovering that frequent gamers had “attentional bias,” i.e., individuals were unable to stop thinking about gaming when attempting to focus on other tasks, a phenomenon that also occurs in alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions.
Hirsen doesn't mention that the study also portrays video game addiction as more of a symptom, rather an cause, of other issues:
"Addicts were also more likely to have psychological traits associated with avoiding problems and difficulties rather than actively dealing with their problems....According to Victoria University researcher Daniel Loton, the correlation suggests that excessive computer gaming may be a symptom of possibly unrelated mental anxieties as gamers seek to avoid their problems through immersion in gaming. He said the suggestion that excessive gaming may be a "coping mechanism" is reinforced by the finding that excessive gaming didn't appear to be damaging a gamer's success or satisfaction at work or study. "In fact, excessive players showed marginally higher success in their studies, failing fewer subjects and scoring higher grade averages than they had intended,'' said Mr Loton, a PhD candidate at VU's school of education.
"The excessive gaming may be a coping mechanism for dealing with pre-existing mental health problems," he told the HES."
Further, the Washington Post compiled data showing there appears to be no direct correlation between video game consumption and gun violence, and that countries with higher video game spending per capita than the U.S. have lower rates of gun-related murders.
Newsmax's Kessler Still Unhappy That Jews Support Obama Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is still trying to pry Jews away from President Obama.
In his Dec. 3 column, Kessler complains that American Jews care more about the economy and health care than they do about Israel, and that they also still like Obama. "Advertisements criticizing President Obama on Israel backfired with Jewish voters and more often solidified support for the president," Kessler wrote, citing polling from the pro-Israel group J Street:
Confirming the results, national surveys conducted by Gallup have found that American Jews have approved of Obama’s job performance throughout his presidency by an average of 14 percentage points more than the rest of the American electorate.
The new poll shows that those who think Obama’s policies toward Israel are hurting him with Jews in America are deluding themselves.
In his Dec. 7 column, Kessler features a spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition who took issue with the J Street poll results. This time around, Kessler labels J Street as "left-leaning," a descriptor he did not apply in his earlier column, and attacks it for being unclear about whether it had accepted money from "left-wing activist" George Soros.
Kessler then touts how the RJC's polling has found that "the Republican share of the Jewish vote jumped nationally in the presidential election from 22 percent to 32 percent."
Meanwhile ... Topic: Newsmax
Media Matters details how Dick Morris' Super PAC for America raised $3.7 million in the month before the election -- and paid $1.7 million of that to Newsmax Media, some of which appears to have made its way back to Morris in the form of renting Morris' mailing list (which Newsmax administers) to his super PAC.
Ronald Kessler feels the need to defend Grover Norquist and his quest to cut gtovernment in his Nov. 27 Newsmax column:
Rather than focus on how to reduce government spending, Democrats and many in the media are busy demonizing Grover Norquist and his pledge politicians agree to sign promising never to raise taxes.
In their effort to portray the president of Americans for Tax Reform as sprouting horns, Norquist’s critics rarely mention what is behind his crusade. While Norquist believes we are paying too much in taxes, it’s not because he has an ideological aversion to supporting legitimate government functions. Rather, he believes that in too many cases, we are paying for waste.
Kessler quickly moves on to denigrating government workers:
As noted in my story The Real Problem With Government Spending, those of us who have dealt with the federal government for decades have an impression that in most agencies, half the workers could be cut without impairing output or services.
Lacking a profit motive, workers in the government by and large have a different work ethic from those in private industry. When they could make one call, federal workers take a meeting. When they could find an answer on the Internet, they form a study committee. Instead of appointing one supervisor, they appoint five.
To be sure, there are exceptions. FBI agents, CIA officers, and the military work incredible hours and risk their lives to protect us. But even within those agencies, there are unnecessary levels of supervisors and support staff who could perform their work in half the time.
Only when you are self-employed do you fully realize how much more efficient you become when your output directly correlates with how much money you make. But instead of looking for ways to save money, government agencies actually look for ways to spend more near the end of the fiscal year so Congress won’t reduce their outlays in the next budget year.
Then it's back to defending Norquist with warm and fuzzy anecdotes about his family, slobbering over his wife, and revealing that he's so close to Norquist that he can't be objective about him:
Nor does Norquist fit the caricature of the right-wing nut the media and Democrats have conjured up. Married to Samah Norquist, a Muslim Palestinian born in Kuwait, Norquist stands up to those who portray all Muslims as terrorists.
Every year during the Islamic month of Ramadan, Norquist co-hosts Iftar, when Muslims break their fast. The inter-denominational event is held at the Alexandria home of Rafat (Ray) Mahmood, a Pakistani ambassador at large. The other co-host is Michael Chertoff, the former secretary of Homeland Security. Chertoff is Jewish; his father is an orthodox rabbi.
At the last Iftar, I was honored to be asked by Norquist to talk about my Newsmax story quoting former FBI Director William Webster denouncing as “morally wrong” those who portray all Muslims as threats, thus undercutting the war on terror.
Besides being gorgeous, Samah is, according to Norquist, “very good on taxes.”
Does Ann Romney know that Kessler is cheating on her with Norquist's wife?