Flashback: Newsmax's First Foray Into TV Topic: Newsmax
So Newsmax has been getting attention for the upcoming launch of its new TV news channel as a rivel to Fox News for the conservative audience. But we remember Newsmax's first attempt to get into the TV business.
In 2001, Newsmax produced a show called "NewsMax.com Reports." As we detailed at the time, it starred Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy and then-columnist Barry Farber (now with WorldNetDaily) and promised to be "the start of a new effort to reach millions of Americans with news and information the major media won't report."
It was also essentially an infomercial, airing as paid programming on CNBC on a Saturday. Newsmax also created something called the "Off-The Record Club," designed to "help NewsMax to buy national TV air time to expand our reach." For $25 a month, members were promised a monthly "special audio tape briefing from a top expert, insider or VIP – giving you an insider's perspective you won't get from the major media."
We don't know if more shows were produced beyond the one that aired, or if anyone actually signed up for the club. We assume not, because we never heard from either again.
Meanwhile, in its article on the new TV venture, Bloomberg Businessweek offers some interesting tidbits about Newsmax:
It had revenue of $104 million in 2013 -- $46 million of it in subscription revenue from its 17 newsletters and $6 million more from the sale of vitamin supplements.
The average age of Newsmax’s audience is 54.7, which makes it a prime target for things like newsletters and vitamin supplements.
It was Amway founder Richard DeVos who suggested to Ruddy that Newsmax could sell supplements to his middle-aged audience.
Newsmax has 260 employees, with plans for 300 by summer. It's moving into a new 50,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Boca Raton.
Ruddy's friendship with the Clintons could pose issues down the road: “I’m already torn by a Hillary Clinton candidacy,” he says. “I actually think she would make a good president. Generally, I would align myself with the Republican candidate, so there could be some bumps coming down the road.”
She said, disparagingly, that he “believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness. When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”
Is he wrong about that?
They were once united as one country. They do share much of their history. In fact, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is often referred to as the mother of Russian cities and the cradle of Rus civilization.
And is it wrong for a leader of a modern state to seek to restore greatness to his own country?
This might seem like an obtuse idea to Hillary, but what’s wrong with that objective?
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if Hillary’s party took such an attitude toward their own country?
So according to Farah, Putin is just a patriotic Russian whose patriotism should be an inspiration to Americans. No wonder nobody believes WND.
Logrolling In Our Time, Jim Fletcher Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've previously noted, warning flags should go up whenever WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher reviews a WND-published book -- not only is it the very definition of a conflict of interest, WND editor Joseph Farah has turned in a positive blurb for one of Fletcher's books and is selling said book at the WND store.
Fletcher's Feb. 27 WND column is a review of the WND-published book "The Rabbi Who Found Messiah," by birther Carl Gallups. To the surprise of exactly no one, Fletcher loves it, calling it a "blockbuster book" and adding: "Gallups has an uncanny ability to mention a breathtaking array of topics, and his new book doesn’t disappoint. From discussions of Kaduri and Messianic fervor, to Ariel Sharon and Christian eschatology, Gallups provides the reader with plenty to think about."
At no point does Fletcher mention that Gallups' book was published by the same company that prints his column.
Meanwhile ... Topic: Media Research Center
Right Wing Watch wonders why conservatives had a fit over an atheist group at CPAC but appear to be perfectly fine with the white nationalist-linked group ProEnglish having a presence there.
Obviously, Obama does not care if his detractors declare that he is weak or inept at foreign policy, any more than he cares if they believe he is a poor economic manager or leader on domestic issues. His policies, which have been detrimental to America on every front – economic stability, national security, domestic tranquility, foreign policy – are the sabotage of an enemy operative, not the careless acts of a ham-handed politician.
But Rush is also jumping on the pro-Putin bandwagon being steered by his fellow WND columnists:
The Western press as well as Republican leaders are beating the drum of Putin wishing to “restore the Soviet Union,” being an international bully, a retrograde dictator and so on. We know that Ukraine has been a contested area for centuries. We also know that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and that Putin is an authoritarian leader. However, he is also dealing with factions (in the neighboring Ukraine, Dagestan, Chechnya and Armenia, to name but a few) that are replete with those who hold anti-Russian sentiments, including militant Islamists, some of whom have very recently carried out suicide bombings within Russia. This was precisely the reason for widespread safety concerns at the Winter Olympics at Sochi.
As I’ve recently reported in this space, the close ties between Islamists and Hitler’s Third Reich are a matter of the historical record, as are the ties between the Svoboda Party’s progenitors and the Nazis of World War II. So not only does Putin see himself fighting anti-Russian sympathies and factions in the region, he may even see himself potentially fighting neo-Nazis.
More significantly, Putin is fighting the efforts of the Obama administration, which has dedicatedly supported not only Russia’s enemies in Ukraine, but the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadists globally.
While the nationalist and borderline neo-Nazi Svoboda Party is a faction in the coalition that overthrew the Russian-backed government in Ukraine, as Slate notes, it's inaccurate to paint all Putin opponents in Ukraine as neo-Nazis, as Rush is trying to do.
As with his fellow WNDers, Rush is relying on pro-Putin propaganda. Timothy Snyder in the New York Review of Books points out that before the overthrow, then-President Viktor Yanukovych's regime was denouncing the opposition as not only Nazis but Jews as well.
There seems to be some cognitive dissonance there. But Rush will ignore that since he got in his minimum daily requirement of Obama derangement.
The March 5 column by the two is posted at NewsBusters with both Bozell and Graham credited. But the same column posted at the MRC's "news" operation CNSNews.com once again lists only Bozell as author.
Bozell and Graham's March 7 column similarly carries only Bozell's byline at CNS.
It's coming up on a month ago now that Graham was revealed to have served as Bozell's ghostwriter for years. Not only have Bozell, Graham and the MRC refused to speak about it publicly (despite Bozell making several appearances on Fox News in the following days), the MRC still can't properly credit Graham on all its platforms.
How hard can that possibly be? Very hard, apparently.
Michelle Obama was not elected to office, and while, by definition, her husband did not usurp the position he dishonors, his bigoted, racialist wife is usurping authority and inflicting additional financial injury upon an already suffering people.
It would be barely tolerable if Michelle Obama would stick to doing jumping-jacks and writhing around on the floor of Ellen DeGeneres’ set, much to the delight of DeGeneres. After all, who wouldn’t want the first lady of the United States wallowing around on the floor of their nationally televised talk show? It proves that you can make a black woman the first lady, but that doesn’t mean she will have any class.
American families do not need the additional financial burden her labeling edict brings. The American people need for the Obamas to be gone.
MRC Writer Wonders Why An Author Didn't Get Honored At Oscars Topic: Media Research Center
Kristine Marsh devotes a March 3 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item to pondering why the late Tom Clancy didn't get honored at the Oscars. This being the MRC, she can only come up with one possible reason:
It’s not surprising that Hollywood ignored Clancy at the Academy Awards though. His pro-military politics certainly didn’t make him a contender for the Hollywood elite. According to CNN’s obituary, Clancy’s books were very popular with the military, so he had access to confidential information that he used as inspiration for plotlines to his stories. However, he was no whistleblower, and was very careful to not put anything in his novels that he thought would endanger the troops or national security.
It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that Clancy was an author and not directly involved in the movie business. According to IMDb, Clancy had no direct involvement in the movies made from his books beyond providing the original source material, except for serving as an executive producer on "The Sum of All Fears."
Marsh offers no evidence of an author with similar contributions was honored by the Academy. Perhaps that's because she started with an answer and worked back toward the question.
Shorter Colin Flaherty: I Wanted To Hornswoggle O'Reilly! Topic: WorldNetDaily
Colin Flaherty begins his March 3 WorldNetDaily column by declaring, "Never in the history of hornswoggling has anyone been hornswoggled quite as badly as Bill O’Reilly last week."
As the rest of his column demonstrates, that's only because Flaherty didn't get a chance to hornswoggle O'Reilly first.
Flaherty's rant focuses on O'Reilly's participation in an Obama administration initiative aimed at boosting young black men:
The president also sprinkled words like “personal responsibility” into his remarks.
When this crowd talks personal responsibility, what they really want is for people like Bill O’Reilly to take personal responsibility for everything he has done to create and perpetuate the white privilege that causes so much relentless white racism … that causes all the disparities.
The key to this crowd is watching what they do, not how they justify it.
This is the same president who said because he believed in free enterprise, he had to seize control of General Motors. The same president who said you could choose your doctor, as long as it was the doctor he chose for you. The same president who says unemployment is just another recreational opportunity.
Because Flaherty can't do anything without race-baiting, his column quickly degenerates into a tirade against "Critical Race Theory" (and Obama, of course):
The most visible symbols of Critical Race Theory and white racism were also in attendance at this meeting, starting with the parents of Trayvon Martin. They have made a career out of appearing before national groups like the NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists to talk about how racism polluted their son’s upbringing; how racism caused Zimmerman to stalk and shoot him; how racism caused the jury to acquit him. And how racism causes people to write columns like this, reminding others that Trayvon was a thug with a history of violence, lawlessness and drug abuse – and tolerance because school officials do not like “criminalizing” young black men.
That is pure Critical Race Theory.
Even a cursory reading of the larger black websites – Grio, The Root, Huffington Post Black Voices, Ebony, Jet and hundreds more – shows how deep and wide these beliefs are. Or on TV every day, where Toure of MSNBC is their perfect spokesman: “The accumulated impact of historic discrimination and the advantages of white privilege and the systems perpetuating” it are responsible for widespread black dysfunction, said Toure. “Not personal responsibility.”
Flaherty also said of Department of Justice Civil Rights Division nominee Dego Adegbile: "Adegbile’s major claim to fame is pleading for the innocence due to racism of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. The president chose him not in spite of his work, but because of it." Actually, Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence was not an issue in the appeal Adegbile worked on; it involved Abu-Jamal's sentence, and the appeal successfully turned a death sentence into life imprisonment.
Flaherty concluded: "Bill O’Reilly is usually pretty good at keeping this out of his No Spin Zone. But not this time." Well, O'Reilly has kept the all-spin Flaherty away from him, so that must count for something.
WND Climbs In Bed With Another Dictator Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is there an authoritarian dictator WorldNetDaily won't rush to defend? First it was Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, then it was Syria's Assad, now it's Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Michael Savage set the tone in a March 3 WND column, declaring that the "rebel forces" in the Ukraine are "fascists" and "spearheaded by Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Chechen Islamist radicals. Putin, by contrast, "is not the villain in this" because he's not killing Jews, and he was "forced to deploy military assets to Crimea" because "Russia cannot afford to let the Crimean region fall into the hands of the insurgents who are trying to take over Ukraine."
In a March 4 article, Michael Maloof uncritically repeats a claim by a Russian official that "ultra-nationalist Ukrainians could attack ethnic Russians" and that "the West has sided with the ultra-nationalist groups, which he calls neo-Nazis, resulting in the violent government takeover." Maloof also cited "A knowledgeable Ukrainian source in Stanford, Calif," who claimed without evidence that the "real power in Kiev and much of Western Ukraine today belongs to several rival neo-Nazi factions whose masked, well-armed adherents are busy looting abandoned properties and shaking down businesses for money to support their ‘revolution.'"
Neither Maloof nor Savage report any countervailing views on the Ukraine opposition. But Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid notes that Putin himself has made similar claims, and identifies it has part of a pro-Russian propaganda campaign. Kincaid also notes that an Israeli news agency has reported that a Jewish-led militia force that actually participated in the revolution in Ukraine.
The next day, Maloof claimed that "Russian troop movements on the Crimean Peninsula are permitted under a 1997 Partition Treaty signed between Russia and Ukraine, as long as there are not more than 25,000 Russian troops."
Maloof doesn't say where he got his information from, but elsewhere in the article he cites Russia Today -- presumably this article. Maloof doesn't mention that Russia Today is operated by the Russian government -- which is to say, Putin -- and its objectivity, particularly on Russian actions in Ukraine, has been called into question. Indeed, a Russia Today TV reporter resigned on air, criticizing the invasion and her network for whitewashing Putin's actions.
WND must have a huge bed for all the dictators it crawls in there with.
NEW ARTICLE: Bozell vs. CPAC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center chief has been spending much of the past several years at war with the annual conservative gathering, with his MRC employees caught in the middle. Read more >>
Kant's March 4 WorldNetDaily article on Stockman's ill-fated challenge of John Cornyn for his Senate seat is a train wreck starting with the supremely uninformative headline: "Texas Republican primary: Who survives? Season begins with a bang as firebrands take on GOP incumbents."
It's sad that WND couldn't be bothered to follow the standard journalistic practice of putting the election results in the headline.
Kant's opening was even more of a joke:
This time, Goliath beat David.
A long-shot bid by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, to unseat the second-most powerful man in the Senate has come up short.
Stockman’s strategy was to try to force Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, into a runoff by keeping him below 50 percent of the vote in the Texas GOP primary on Tuesday.
But, underfunded and targeted by GOP strategist Karl Rove, Stockman fell short, as Cornyn captured 61.6 percent of the vote at 17.1 of precincts reporting.
That's right -- Kant stopped counting before even one-fifth of the results were in. Kant was also too lazy to report just how badly Stockman did: He received only 19 percent of the vote.
Talk about lazy journalism.Apparently, Kant simply lost interest in the race after his boy was completely stomped and the results were called early.
Then again, he may as well been on Stockman's payroll. Kant rehashed all his pro-Stockman talking points (since he won't be able to use them again for some time), including the "startling poll results showed Cornyn had fallen from 50 percent to 43 percent." Kant doesn't mention that the poll was so flawed that it didn't include the six other Republicans, and that the undecided vote was outpolling Stockman.
Kant also touted how stockman filed a lawsuit against a Cornyn aligned super PAC for “numerous false statements” without mentioning the fact that the statements in question are, in fact, true.
And Kant is still sucking up to Stockman:
“It’s not what we wanted, but he had $14 million,” Stockman told WND just minutes after polls closed. “I don’t think we could honestly compete with that. We tried, though.”
Asked if he would have done anything differently, he said, “I wish we had more money. [Cornyn] saturated the radio in Houston with $2 million in ads calling me ‘Shady Stockman.’”
In fact, Stockman could have done numerous things differently -- like actually campaigning. Even Fox News noticed:
Famous for outlandish comments in support of gun rights and calls to impeach President Barack Obama, Stockman began his campaign with more debt than cash-on-hand. He also was dogged by accusations of ethics violations -- only to see things get worse. He attended almost no major campaign events. And he even dropped out of sight for weeks in January, ignoring reporters and missing almost 20 votes in the House before explaining he had been part of an official overseas delegation at least part of that time.
Last week, leading conservatives suggested in an open letter to Stockman that he ran "the laziest statewide campaign to date" and added: "There is nothing about your conduct that represents the spirit of grassroots conservatives in the Texas tea party."
Kant won't mention that, of course. Nor will he mention that Stockman has threatened with imprisonment anyone who publishes a 1977 police mugshot of him after his arrest on drug possession charges. Because that's not what a public relations agent does.
The fact that Kant turned WND into Stockman's PR shop is just the latest reason why nobody believes WND.
CNS' Jeffrey: CPAC Must Censor Atheists Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey continues to do his boss' bidding -- specifically, his war on CPAC for inviting an atheist group to take part -- by turning an earlier blog post into a full-fledged column explaining how good an idea is that CPAC (and its operator, the American Conservative Union) censor views it doesn't agree with because Reagan:
Are atheism and promoting atheism consistent with American — let alone conservative — values and principles?
The operational policy of the American Conservative Union now appears to contradict Ronald Reagan's view on this.
Reagan believed atheism was not merely wrong, but the enemy of freedom. The ACU has functionally adopted the position that groups promoting atheism can be featured at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference — so long as they promote godlessness with civility.
Strange to see the head of a so-called "news" organization advocate censorship of viewpoints.