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Thursday, February 1, 2024
Newsmax Columnist Thinks Discredited Russian Agent Will Help Take Down Hunter Biden
Topic: Newsmax

Gavin Wax wrote in his Nov. 28 Newsmax column:

With the prosecution of Donald Trump and his supporters in full effect, the deep state is ripping the mask off and going full Soviet-style totalitarian in preparation for the 2024 presidential election.

Foreign affairs are becoming messier and jumbled, with long-standing political alliances breaking down and the situation at hand becoming exceedingly difficult to navigate. The confusion only empowers the corrupt interests who are using the chaos to tighten their iron-clad grip upon the world.

Former Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach is one whistleblower with the credibility to cut through this fog.

Derkach has released damning evidence of influence peddling by President Joe Biden in Ukraine, offering the receipts showing the blackmailing of corrupt former President Petro Poroshenko to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. He also produced evidence of alleged shadow income given to the Bidens from Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.

Derkach stands out among other whistleblowers because of his credibility with the Ukrainian people, as a member of parliament for decades.

Wax's evidence for this is an anonymously written story at 21st Century Wire, a conspiracy and conjectiure site with with an affinity for Russia. And therein lies the issue with Wax's column: Derkach is actually a Russian agent who fed misinformation to Rudy Giuliani with the goal of disrupting the 2020 eleciton. In 2022, U.S. authorities charged Derkach with financial fraud and money laundering. That link to Russia means it's highly unfortunate that Wax is trying to tout Derkach's alleged "credibility with the Ukrainian people," given that Russia is currently waging war on Ukraine. Also, Shokin was fired because he wasn't doing his job of prosecuting corruption, not because he was.

But don't worry about any of that, Wax says, because Derkach is really a victim of the "deep state" and did absolutely nothing wrong:

The U.S. Treasury Department levied economic sanctions against Derkach in Sept. 2020 while Trump was still in office. The deep state smeared him as a Kremlin agent without evidence, and he suffered significant hardships as a result.

His Ukrainian bank accounts were shuttered, and his U.S. visa was canceled. Coordinated attempts to shut him down remain, with the 2020 presidential election around the corner as more sanctions are inflicted upon Derkach that Biden is in office, and internal barriers are holding back deep state overreach.

In 2022, Derkach was charged with treason for "undermining Ukraine's relationship with the United States” as part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s crackdown against dissent. The persecution of Derkach mirrors what is happening with President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Wax made no effort to actually disprove any of the charges against Derkach, or even that it was a "smear" to point out his links to the Kremlin. Instead, he concluded by huffing that "Derkach’s work will be vindicated, and the final stakes can be driven through the Russian collusion narrative. This is the great hope of any America First activist, as Derkach is the key to foiling the deep state’s agenda in 2024." In fact, there was plenty of evidence to support the narrative, and the investigation was ruled to have been justified.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EST
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Newsmax Cut Back Further On Debate Coverage, Again Touted Candidate Who Wasn't There
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax somehow managed to care even less about the fourth Republican presidential debate than it did the first three. There were a few preview articles, all of which were wire articles:

There were only a few articles on the content of the deabte itself:

Newsmax's original debate-related coverage was focused more on trashing the debate itself and touting the candidate who wasn't there (though it did let Ron DeSantis make a TV appearance to tout his "momentum" after the debate, which didn't age terribly well considering he'd drop out of the race a month or so later). Michael Katz did some creative math in a Dec. 7 article to bash the debate's ratings:

The fourth Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday suffered the worst ratings of all GOP debates this cycle, with the upstart network drawing only 1.6 million viewers.

The debate also aired on NewsNation's sister network CW, drawing an additional 2.5 million viewers, giving a total audience of 4.1 million, Nielsen reported.

Even with the combined number, the NewsNation debate had the lowest rating of any network hosting a GOP debate this year.

Just last month, the NBC-hosted Republican debate drew 7.5 million viewers. NewsNation also witnessed a huge drop of 68% in audience from Fox News' first GOP debate held in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. Fox drew 12.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Katz then took a couple shots at NewsNation itself:

The liberal NewsNation channel, formerly WGN America, has been struggling since its inception in 2021.

It drew just 60,000 viewers for a total day in 2023 — down 35% from last year — making it the lowest-rated cable news channel.

In fact, NewsNation is very much right-leaning, not "liberal."

A column by John Gizzi proclaimed Trump the debate's winner despite not bothereing to show up:

Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, the fourth of the year, was by far the best, a group of experts who spoke to Newsmax agreed.

The group said that each of the four candidates shined at different times in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, forum. But they also agreed that, as in the past three debates, former President Donald Trump was the winner simply by not being there.

A Dec. 9 article by Eric Mack let Trump bash the debate as well:

The lowest-rated GOP primary debate yet in "history" has left a trail of woe and losers, according to former President Donald Trump.

Trump mocked the low ratings of NewsNation and his primary challengers and even took a new shot at Megyn Kelly, who he temporarily suggested had come around.

"So many people are asking what I thought of history's lowest rated 'presidential' debate, & how would I rate the players," Trump wrote on Truth Social early Saturday morning. "It's so easy to be a critic, but who on this subject would be better than me."

Not only were the host and the moderators lowly rated in Trump's review, but the candidates were anything but worthy, he added.

When the Republican National Committee decided not to be invnolved in any further debates, a Dec. 9 article by Sandy Fitzgerald tried to frame it as beingdue to "dwindling ratings for the contests," not the more logical explanation that one candidate absolutely refused to participate, and that it was "giving broadcast rights to networks seen as hostile to former President Donald Trump, including Fox, NBC, and NewsNation," despite it being nonsensical to call Fox News "hostile" to Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EST
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Newsmax Lets Giuliani Bloviate About Losing Defamation Lawsuit
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax didn't have a lot to say about the defamation lawsuit two Georgia election workers filed against Rudy Giuliani -- it published a wire article in August when a judge found him liable for defaming the women, and an article a few days later let Giuliani portray it as among the "ridiculous lawsuits" he faces. But when Giuliani was ordered to pay $148 million to the women for defaming them, Newsmax finally had to devote some attention to the story involving the guy for whom it's running a legal defense fund.

It ran a Dec. 15 wire article on the verdict, but it rewrote the original AP article to give greater prominence to Giuliani's whining that the “absurdity of the number merely underscores the absurdity of the entire proceeding” and added a statement from him to Newsmax that "It bore no resemblance to a trial in a country with the rule of law. Newsmax also trotted out a Republican congressman to denounce the verdict later that day, as Michael Katz wrote up:

A jury's verdict that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani must pay $148 million to two former Georgia election workers who claim he defamed them was "pathetic" and Newsmax on Friday.

The workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, sued Giuliani for defamation regarding the 2020 election that they said upended their lives with racist threats and harassment. Giuliani was helping former President Donald Trump contest his narrow loss to Joe Biden in Georgia in that election.

"It's just ridiculous, the amount," Burchett told "Eric Bolling The Balance." "I read what he was accused of, but $148 million, that's just pathetic. Everybody knows that. They're just trying to ruin folks.

"This is a political game within our court system. It's so political that our own Justice Department hasn't even lifted a finger to look at Hunter Biden when the $30 million that have flowed through that family, their crime family, and probably not paid any taxes on it. I don't know if Rudy Giuliani is guilty or not, but it's not in the hundreds of millions of dollars guilty. I just find that offensive."

Newsmax also had on Giuliani himself that day to rage about the verdict, as Eric Mack dutifully wrote up in a Dec. 16 atticle:

Vowing to appeal the $148 million defamation damages verdict delivered Friday, Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax the "absurd" amount shows the trial is bigger than the two claimants, as Biden lawyers are actually seeking to silence former President Donald Trump.

"It's not a trial," Giuliani told Friday night's "Greg Kelly Reports," just hours after the ruling. "I never had a trial.

"This is way beyond them. And my desire to move on with this case, it's really to save the republic. Trials like this do not happen in a country that's ruled by law. Trials like this happen in a country that's ruled by a regime, which is what the Biden machine is, it's a regime.

"And this is not the only desecration of justice in this regime. It's one of many. It has to stop."

Giuliani, Kelly and Mack all failed to mention that the reason Giuliani "never had a trial" is that Giuliani refused to take part in the trial process. He failed to take part in the discovery process despite repeated efforts and court orders to get him to, and he effectively conceded that he made defamatory statements about the women. Giuliani has no one but himself to blame for how things turned out, but Kelly and Mack won't discuss that fact. Instead, they let him spout a conspiracy theory that the Bidens were behind all this:

"Also, the lawyers here were Biden lawyers. These women could not have afforded these lawyers. Is it a coincidence that the chief lawyer worked with Hunter Biden and represented the crooked Burisma?

"Who's the guy who revealed that? Who? Me. Why do you think they're coming after me? Because if it wasn't for me, nobody would know about Joe Biden."

The ties to President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are far too direct to be coincidental, according to Giuliani.

Neither Kelly nor Mack pushed back on those claims.

Mack got another article out of Giuliani's appearance on Kelly's show in which he actually touched on some of the relevant issues:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani set up the basis for his appeal of the $148 million defamation ruling against him Friday, saying the Democrat, anti-Trump judge forced excessive personal discovery of his finances and ruled against him for failing to comply fast enough with the unusual request.

"How can you not be so sad for the country?" Giuliani told Friday's "Greg Kelly Reports" on Newsmax hours after the jury verdict ruled on the amount and not Giuliani's guilt or innocence. "Here I am in the District of Columbia: The first time I came here I got goose bumps; I'm going to leave here thinking that this District of Columbia court is a fascist court."

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2010, in August found Giuliani civilly liable for two Georgia election worker's claims of "defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and punitive damage" before the trial began because he did not turn over personal financial documents in a timely manner to the defense.

"I knew when she was assigned to the case, I knew we were dead," Giuliani told host Greg Kelly. "I didn't realize we were that dead.

Mack didn't explain how that discovery request was supposedly "unusual," nor did he question the fact that Giuliani apparently failed to comply with all discovery requests, not just that one. Instead, he let Giuliani whine in the third person that ""The jurors never saw a single defense from Giuliani" without explaining that the reason that happened is because Giuliani absolutely refused to provide one.

When Freeman and Moss brought a new action against him seeking a gag order to stop him from continuing to defame them, Giuliani whined about that in a Dec. 18 Newsmax TV appearance:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax on Monday the new federal lawsuit seeking a permanent gag order against him is "un-American."

Giuliani joined "Rob Schmitt Tonight" to talk about the second lawsuit brought against him by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, days after they won a $148 million defamation lawsuit against him.

"That sounds kind of un-American, doesn't it? That's prior restraint," Giuliani said.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, seeks to "permanently bar" Giuliani from "persisting in his defamatory campaign against the plaintiffs."

Schmitt did not apparently ask why Giuliani could not simply shut up and not defame the women further.

When Giuliani filed for bankruptcy a few days later in a ploy to avoid having to pay the women, Newsmax ran a wire article, then invived him on TV to whine some more:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax on Thursday that he had to "protect myself" and other "normal creditors" in the wake of a $148 million defamation judgment against him, saying, "I'm destroyed."

Giuliani appeared on "Rob Schmitt Tonight" hours after filing the petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"I'm very hopeful the entire case is going to be reversed but I can't be sure of that," Giuliani told Schmitt.

Further, Giuliani took issue with Judge Beryl Howell's ruling on Wednesday to dissolve the standard 30-day grace period for enforcement of judgment. The judge said her ruling was due to "several considerations" citing the "risk that Giuliani may attempt to conceal and dissipate [his] assets" during the 30-day period.

Schmitt apparently did not ask Giuliani about the possibility he might hide assets or ask any challenging questions about the defamation to which he admitted.

Meanwhile, Nesmax has given Giuliani a show on its streming channel, Newsmax2, called "America's Mayor Live," where he ramble at will, so he's got a little money coming in to help pay off that defamation judgment, not to mention his other legal issues.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024 6:20 PM EST
Friday, January 26, 2024
Newsmax's Reagan Mad That Pope Won't Hate Transgender People As Much As He Does
Topic: Newsmax
Michael Reagan began his Nov. 25 Newsmax column by raging that Pope Francis doesn't viciously hate transgender people like he does:

The satirical The Babylon Bee, not surprisingly, had the best analysis of the latest shocking "innovation" to emanate from the Pope Francis papacy: "Men Pretending To Be Women Go To Lunch With Man Pretending To Be Catholic."

New Ways Ministry — where the "ways" evidently don’t include Christianity as it’s been practiced for centuries — had a glowing description of the event, "Pope Francis welcomed a group of transgender women, with whom he has formed an ongoing relationship, to a luncheon at the Vatican last week marking the church’s World Day of the Poor."

The Associated Press had more detail regarding the guess list, specifically "one notable group of luncheon guests: trans women from just outside Rome, many of whom are sex workers and migrants from Latin America."

So, under this papacy it’s no longer "go and sin no more,” rather it’s go have another helping!

Reagan then denied the humanity of transgender people:

It’s no surprise the AP and New Ways Ministry refer to these creatures as "women," since both organizations have been captured by the secular culture, but for the pope to play along is breathtaking.

Instead of offering dinner and applause, the pope should have offered mental health counseling and a pathway out of the sin and degradation of prostitution.

Pope Francis is embracing heresy and rejecting God’s divine plan that created two immutable sexes: man and woman.

He is endorsing the secular view that God can make mistakes. Francis is endorsing body mutilation. And Francis is rejecting the clear evidence of science.

Worse, he is misleading confused Catholics by endorsing sexual practices the Bible clearly forbids and welcoming unrepentant sinners inside the church.

Reagandidn't explain why itis "heresy" to not spew hate at transgender people.He then whined when Francis asserted that the church should care about people instead of offering the hate-spewing that Reagan demands:

The Pope says, "When I say "everyone, everyone, everyone," it’s the people.

"The church receives people, everyone, and does not ask what you are.

"Then, within the church, everyone grows and matures in their Christian belonging. It’s true that today it’s a bit fashionable to talk about this. The church receives everyone."

But Christianity isn’t a numbers game. The denomination with the largest attendance doesn’t win. Christianity is a soul saving crusade and telling sinners the truth goes against our culture.

Pope Francis current indulgence of sexual sin is as dangerous and damaging as the selling of indulgences was in the past.

There is no accommodation with this culture where orthodoxy survives.

Reagan closed by stating: "We’ve quoted Auron MacIntyre before and he is particularly apt in this instance. He warns, 'Progressivism will hollow out your religion and wear its skin like a trophy.'" MacIntyre is a right-wing podcaster who thinkts there should be statues of Richard Nixon and Kyle Rittenhouse, so maybe he's not much of an authority on anything.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:36 PM EST
Thursday, January 25, 2024
Newsmax Columnist: Sure, Trump Would Be A Dictator ... Like George Washington And The Romans
Topic: Newsmax

With the 2024 U.S. presidential election fast approaching and Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in the polls, the media's hysteria is reaching astronomical levels.

The Economist Magazine recently named Trump as the biggest danger facing the world in 2024, while The New York Times and Washington Post breathlessly warn that he is running on a nakedly authoritarian platform.

Of course, authoritarianism, like so many other such terms these days has been rendered all but meaningless, as it now simply describes anything the political left opposes, or which threatens their power.

But as evidence, the media cites Trump's plans to mass deport illegal immigrants, reshape the federal bureaucracy, lock up violent criminals and deranged lunatics, and teach patriotism again in American schools.


Furthermore, despite the media's characterization, what Trump is proposing is hardly out of line with past American leaders, including those enshrined upon Mount Rushmore.

The father of the nation himself, George Washington, would likely have handled today's mass illegal immigration much in the way that Trump is proposing with large scale deportations, as indeed did another great American general turned president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Nor is what Trump is proposing unlawful; to the contrary, much of what he seeks is merely the enforcement of existing laws, which the current administration refuses.

But given the growing direness of the situation, there is also a significant segment of Americans today that view more extraordinary measures as necessary and warranted to correct the madness destroying their great nation.

In that respect, there are those that do perhaps desire for Trump to become a dictator, though in the original Roman sense.

When Rome was gravely threatened, it would empower a single individual, a "dictator" to assume full powers to set things right again.

This emergency lever was pulled when the usual political mechanisms, much like today, proved inadequate.

It also came with an expiration date, a set term, after which the appointed dictator had to step down and relinquish his powers.

In a sense, that is precisely what Trump is offering Americans.

Four years to clean up America; four years without the restraints of running for reelection; four years of not being beholden to outside donors or special interests; four years to simply do what needs to be done to address the nation's problems.

After which like the ancient Roman Cincinnatus, Trump would retire into the sunset, and a long well-deserved rest at Mar-a-Lago with the blessing of a grateful nation.

It's an attractive offer to many and one given how closely America was patterned after Rome that is not without some precedent.

-- Lee Steinhauer, Nov. 30 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2024 9:49 PM EST
Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Newsmax Still Being A Good Benefactor To Rudy Giuliani
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been a staunch supporter of Rudy Guiliani -- even starting a legal defense fund for him and giving him his own show on Newsmax's streaming channel -- and it continues to have his back even as he continues to ruin his life by running his mouth. A Nov. 10 column by Mark Schulte, for instance, played the Giuliani greatest-hits card:

Since the recent Newsmax interview with the indomitable Republican fighter Rudy Giuliani occurred 30 years after his election as mayor on November 2, 1993, in which he narrowly unseated the serially incompetent Democratic Mayor David Dinkins (I voted for Rudy), a recounting of several of the former mayor’s greatest achievements is timely.

Between Jan. 1994 and Jan. 2002, Mayor Giuliani made the nation’s largest city great again, as annual murders plunged a phenomenal 66%, between Dinkins’ last year in office in 1993 when there were 1,927, and Giuliani’s last year in 2001, with 649.


During Giuliani’s first term between 1994 and 1997, murders averaged 1,123, or a remarkable 46% decline.

Former Mayor Giuliani’s second historic achievement is the city’s robust 9% population growth, between 1990 when it was 7,323,000, and the 8,008,000 in 2000.

By contrast, NYC’s population in 2022 was 8,336,000, or a puny 4% increase in 22 years.


Rudy Giuliani’s third historic accomplishment occurred in 1995, when he evicted arch-Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat from a Lincoln Center concert, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the U.N.

Unquestionably, Rudy Giuliani ranks as one of NYC’s greatest mayor during the last century, alongside Fiorello La Guardia (1934-1945), whose mother, Irene Luzzatto-Coen, hailed from a prominent Sephardic Italian-Jewish family.

Newsmax has also given Giuliani ample space on its TV channel to spout right-wing opinions about the issues of the day:

Note that a number of those involve Giuliani attacking Hunter Biden. That's because Hunter filed a lawsuit against Giluiani over his dissemination of the contents of Hunter's laptop. A Sept. 26 article by Jeffrey Rodack summarized the lawsuit. That was followed by an Oct. 4 TV appearance in which Giuliani not only whined about the lawsuit but touted his own lawsuit against President Biden because he said during a 2020 presidential debate that Giuliani was acting like a Russian pawn (whichNicole Wells promoted in an article earlier that day):

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, calling President Joe Biden the "biggest liar we've ever had in the White House" insisted on Newsmax that he must pay damages for referring to him as a "Russian pawn" during remarks made in the final 2020 presidential debate against then-President Donald Trump.

"I can calculate, honestly, millions of dollars in damage," Giuliani told Newsmax's Greg Kelly on Wednesday night about the lawsuit he filed against the president earlier in the day.


"[Trump's] Rudy Giuliani, he is being used as a Russian pawn," Biden said at the time. "He is being fed information that is Russian, that is not true."

Giuliani's lawsuit claims that Biden knew his remarks would discredit and marginalize the former mayor, who was a Trump attorney, and that Biden falsely depicted him "to our nation as a liar."

Of course, Giuliani ranted about Hunter too:

Giuliani's lawsuit comes after Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against him and another attorney, claiming that they caused "total annihilation" of Biden's digital privacy regarding the laptop that was reportedly left at a Delaware repair shop.

"Now, here's how I know he was lying," said Giuliani. "We only had the solid proof of that recently, and that's because the FBI validated that hard drive back in December of 2019."

Giuliani's complaint about his reputation being besmirched by Biden is ironic given his enthusiasm for spreading malicious false claims about others. More on that soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 10:09 PM EST
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Newsmax Still Parroting False And Biased Attacks Against NewsGuard
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax continued its parroting of right-wing attacks against website-rating service NewsGuard witha Dec. 9 article by Eric Mack featuring another right-wing outlet complaining that their shoddy work was called out:

The Biden administration could not get around the First Amendment in silencing dissent, but it has effectively found a way through the State Department paying NewsGuard to defund conservative media, according to a trio of researchers from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).

The First Amendment is "is so clear that only a politician could manage to miss the point," AIER senior researchers Phillip Magness, James Harrigan, and Ryan Yonk wrote in the New York Post this week.


The Post and AIER have been targeted by NewsGuard — founded by Steven Brill, a Democrat activist and donor, in 2018. Newsmax has reported it has been, too.

NewsGuard's rankings have since been used by advertising agencies to target and block conservative media from obtaining advertising revenue.

The complaints from Mack and AIER are generalized as to subject but don't get too deep into specifics,  suggesting that it's simply playing a partisan game rather than engaging in any sort of good-faith criticism.

A Dec. 13 article -- which was later deleted from the Newsmax website without explanation, though it lives in the Internet Archive -- featuring one of NewsGuard's most dishoenst critics, the Media Research Center (which posted its own version of the segment):

NewsGuard, the ensorship giant self-tasked with rating media outlets on reliability, has “for years been silencing conservatives, directing ad revenue to liberals instead,” said Dan Schneider, vice president of Media Research Center’s Free Speech America.

The biased company has been "choking off the life blood of conservative media outlets, all because of their zeal to defeat Donald Trump and any conservative that wants to stand for basic American principles," he told Newsmax.

“NewsGuard has one standard, that is defeat conservatives, promote liberals,” Schneider said Wednesday during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s “Chris Salcedo Show.”

Media Research Cente [sic] on Tuesday released a study that found that NewsGuard “overwhelmingly favored left-leaning outlets over right-leaning ones.”

Using AllSides, an organization that classifies media outlets by their “right” to “left” bias, “MRC researchers determined that NewsGuard provided a stellar average ‘credibility’ rating of 91/100 for ‘left’ and ‘lean left’ outlets (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vox),” wrote MRC researchers. Meanwhile, “right” and “lean right” outlets, such as Fox News, the New York Post, and The Daily Wire, were given “an outrageously abysmal average score of 65/100.”

Schneider also criticized left-leaning news outlets for covering up the Hunter Biden probe “because he’s part of the Biden bribery scandal.”

“This is how Joe Biden and his family have been making money for a long time. And NewsGuard is covering for it. NewsGuard is not going to go back and re-rate all those media outlets that said the Hunter Biden laptop was a hoax. … Their bias is so extreme that the left is willing to give our taxpayer dollars, millions of our taxpayer dollars, to NewsGuard and other outlets just like it.”

Newsmax did not allow anyone from NewsGuard to respond to Schneider.

A Dec. 11 article by Mark Swanson hyped a Republican attack on NewsGuard:

House and Senate Armed Services committees last week concluded their negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Republicans have won a significant victory opposing woke censorship programs that impact Pentagon recruiting.

The Democrat-led Senate has agreed with Johnson’s demand the annual defense spending bill not allow Pentagon dollars to be spent with ad agencies that use "misinformation" media monitors.

Left-wing groups such as NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) have been used by major advertising agencies to block military recruitment ads on many conservative media outlets.

The new NDAA provision expressly prohibits any advertising agency the Defense Department contracts with from using services that engage in "determinations of misinformation."

The new law would also require the Pentagon to inform the House and Senate Armed Services committees any time the recruitment division directly contracts with NewsGuard, GDI or a similar entity.

Swanson did let NewsGuard respond -- though it took him three days to update his story to include that response -- but he continued to attack the group anyway, engaging in nitpicking over Hunter Biden's laptop:

In an email to Newsmax, NewsGuard disputed that it “was not a ‘vocal advocate’” of claims that the Hunter Biden’s laptop “represented Russia misinformation.”

However, the New York Post reported that NewsGuard CEO [Steve] Brill was a leader in declaring the Hunter Biden laptop story a “hoax.”

Also, NewsGuard’s board adviser, General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA, was a principal advocate for asserting the laptop was Russian disinformation, and was one of 51 signatories to a now discredited letter made public in October 2020 making such a claim.

Despite the false claims about the laptop being a “hoax,” neither Brill nor NewsGuard has offered a retraction.

swanson offered no evidence that either Brill or Hayden were speaking on behalf of NewsGuard when they made those statement, and he failed to disclose that the New York Post offered no independent verification of the laptop at the time it introduced the story on it that would have addressed reasonable concerns about its authenticity.

Newsmax parroted the MRC again in a Dec. 14 article by Michael Katz:

NewsGuard, the left-wing media ratings group, continues to target conservative news outlets, a new study by the Media Research Center (MRC) finds.

In its annual review of NewGuard's rankings, an MRC Free Speech America study found that for the third year in a row NewsGuard continues to significantly outrank liberal and far-left news outlets over conservative ones.

"NewsGuard is just another leftist group trying to censor conservatives," MRC President Brent Bozell said in a statement. "We have the proof."

Note that Katz put a "left-wing" label on NewsGuard but no ideological label on the MRC despite its  clear right-wing bias.

Katz did let NewsGuard repsond -- then let the MRC respond to the response:

"The analysis in question is highly flawed, relying on a cherry-picked sample of just 66 ratings out of more than 9,500 NewsGuard has issued, less than 0.7%.," NewsGuard's Matt Skibinski told Newsmax.

"In fact, NewsGuard's apolitical process has resulted in many conservative publications outscoring similar left-leaning publications and vice versa — for example, The Daily Caller outscores The Daily Beast, The Daily Wire outscores the Daily Kos, and outscores"

MRC told Newsmax that these "outscores" have not always reflected the rankings for conservative media like The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, and Fox News.

It also noted that outspoken conservative critics of NewsGuard, like Newsmax and The Federalist, have also been targeted for extremely low scores.

Neither Katz nor the MRC offered evidence that NewsGuard downgrades a media outlet solely for criticizing it. Swanson returned to tout another right-wing attack on NewsGuard in a Dec. 21 article:

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis announced a consumer protection bill Thursday that would prevent state agencies from using taxpayer funds to contract with media censorship companies like NewsGuard.

Florida HB 939 mirrors similar federal legislation that moved to strike the Pentagon from contracting with advertising agencies that use NewsGuard to blacklist conservative publications.

"We've got state agencies throughout Florida trying to reach the public to provide critical services, and we need to make sure advertisers who partner with the state are doing their very best to reach the specific groups," Patronis said in the announcement.

"NewsGuard's technology, however, is working its way into the advertising world, and effectively blacklisting media outlets who don't measure up to their ratings."

The legislation comes on the heels of Patronis' letter to NewsGuard in March, warning then he would "not hesitate to use the full force of my office to shed light on the organization you're running."

Swanson is lying by calling NewsGuard a "media censorship companies," and later in the article he falsely called NewsGuard "far-left."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2024 10:58 PM EST
Monday, January 22, 2024
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Cheerleads For RFK Jr., Part 2
Topic: Newsmax
After heavily (and ironically) touting Robert Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign, Newsmax started losing interest when he moved from running as a Democrat to an independent. But it found a new Democratic candidate to tout in Dean Phillips. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EST
Friday, January 19, 2024
Newsmax Columnist Whines That It's Pointed Out That Islamophobia Exists
Topic: Newsmax

Dennis Kneale followed in the Media Reserach Center's footsteps and spent his Nov. 17 Newsmax column pretending that Islamophobia is nothing to worry about, and perhaps should be actively encouraged, after Hamas attacked Israel:

We live in an upside-down world lately, where wrong is right, common sense is trumped by "feelings," and facts no longer matter. And so it is that the Biden White House, in the wake of the worst Islamic terrorist attack on Israel in the 75-year history of the Jewish State, has declared a first-ever National Strategy to Counter . . .

Islamophobia. "For too long," the White House says, Muslims in America "have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks and other discriminatory incidents." This is patently and hilariously false.

"Not a joke," as President Biden might put it. Though it does sound like a punchline from the late Rodney Dangerfield and "I don't get no respect."

Kneale insisted that acknowledging Islamophobia exists is some sort of nefarious political strategy:

So, where is this supposed scourge of anti-Muslim hate?

This is a Democrat strategy, as I point out on my podcast, "What's Bugging Me." Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked it off by tweeting on X on October 21st: "The United States Constitution is clear: Muslim civil rights are American civil rights. There is no exception. Hate has no place in America. Islamophobia has no place in America. We will not be silent."

This was so totemic it got her a new nickname on Pocohamas. By the way, the U.S. Constitution says nothing about "Muslim civil rights."

It says nothing about "Jewish civil rights" either, but Kneale didn't mention that. He went on to whine that "White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, asked about antisemitism in the U.S., instantly pivots to Islamophobia" -- but he offered no reason why it should not be discussed along with anti-Semitism. Unless, of course, Kneale is all in favor of exploiting the Hamas-Israel war to push hatred of Muslims, even though he offers no evidence that every single Muslim in America is pro-Hamas.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Newsmax Columnist Joins The ConWeb's Free-Derek-Chauvin Bandwagon
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Dorstewitz joined the ConWeb bandwagon to pretend that Derek Chauvin is innocent of killing  George Floyd in his Nov. 20 Newsmax column:

Few multi-racial police encounters are based on race, despite the claims coming from the left — especially since the Obama presidency.

And recently released evidence suggests that the death of George Floyd, prompting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and widespread violence and billions of dollars in property damage, was not what it appeared.

New evidence suggests that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin did not murder George Floyd in 2020 — that he died instead as the result medical complications — possibly due to drugs.

What’s more, many of the prosecuting attorneys refused to participate in the trial, knowing that Chauvin and the three other officers were innocent.

Alpha News, a Minnesota-based publication, disclosed this new evidence, adding that prosecutors were under “extreme pressure” to indict the officers at the scene.

Note how Dorstewtiz benignly describes Alpha News as "a Minnesota-based publication"; actually, it's a far-right website that promotes conspiracy theories and lacks credibility. Still, he continued:

This was according to recently-released transcripts of depositions taken over the summer of former Hennepin County prosecutor Amy Sweasy, as part of an unrelated civil action she filed against her former boss.

She said that medical examiner Andrew Baker confirmed to her that Floyd had not been murdered. "He told me that there were no medical findings that showed any injury to the vital structures of Mr. Floyd’s neck. "There were no medical indications of asphyxia or strangulation," Sweasy swore under oath.

Nevertheless, Chauvin was found guilty of second degree murder, and the other three officers either pled to, or were found guilty of, aiding and abetting a manslaughter.

Dorestewitz omitted that, as a fact-checker noted, "Sweasy was clear in her deposition that she agreed with the decision to charge Chauvin in the death of Floyd," adding that Sweasy's deposition merely showed "there was internal strife within the prosecutor’s office and disagreement about which charges to level against Chauvin, not whether he should be charged." Nevertheless, Dorstewitz persisted:

Newsmax host Carl Higbee also addressed the autopsy report on "Frontline."

"Derek Chauvin wrestled Floyd to the ground," and "he used a department-approved method of restraint by placing his knee at the base of his neck," he said. [emphasis added]

"There was never any medical evidence that Derek Chauvin’s knee caused any trauma to kill George Floyd, according to section 3 of the autopsy report, quote, 'no life-threatening injuries identified.' Pretty clear."

So what was the cause of Floyd’s death? Higbee addressed that also.

"In section 6 of the same report from George Floyd’s blood work, he had a combined 16.5 milligrams of fentanyl in his system," he said. "Now according to the DEA, folks, just two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a lethal dose."

As the fact-chcker also pointed out, the medical examiner never determined that Floyd died of asphyxia or strangulation; it was a cardiac arrest caused by Chauvin's neck constraint.

Dorstewitz then changed to subject to Barack Obama commenting about police killings of black suspects:

Obama commented on Floyd’s death at a virtual town hall, saying, "I want to speak directly to the young men and women of color in this country, who . . . have witnessed too much violence and too much death.

"And too often some of that violence has come from folks who were supposed to be serving and protecting you."

Contrary to Obama’s preconceptions, a Crime Prevention Research Center study released during his last full year in office, using FBI data, found that white police officers are less likely than their black counterparts to use deadly force against black suspects.

But Obama did not specifically reference white police officers in the transcript Dorstewitz is referencing, meaning that Dorstewitz is dishonestly trying to change the subject. Meanwhile, the fact remains that black suspects are much more likely to be killed by police.

Dorstewitz concluded by whining that people complain about racially motivated police killings: "As long as race-baiters like the Rev. Al Sharpton, MSNBC's Joy Reid, and The Nation's Elie Mystal are given a platform every time a police officer has to use deadly force, we’ll never return to that 'shining city upon a hill' described by Ronald Reagan." But it's not "race-baiting" to suggest that black people killed by police deserved it?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:28 PM EST
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Newsmax Promoted Pro-Musk Takes On His Lawsuit Against Media Matters
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax may have at least somewhat balanced in reporting on Elon Musk's battles with the ADL and the exposure of his own anti-Semitism, but it was quite happy to revert to form in pusshing his narrative after Media Matters exposed Twitter (well, X) placing ads from major advertisers next to anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi content.

A Nov. 17 article by Nicole Wells noted growing criticism of Musk and Twitter's condoning of anti-Semitism on its platform, as illustrate in part by the Media Matters report:

The left-leaning nonprofit Media Matters for America published a report on Thursday that found Apple ads were being placed next to pro-Nazi content on the platform. Other affected brands reportedly included Bravo, IBM, Oracle and Xfinity.

In response to the report, X "did a sweep on the accounts that Media Matters found and they will [no] longer be monetizable," an executive at the social media company told Axios Thursday. The specific posts mentioned will also be labeled "Sensitive Media."

"The X system is not intentionally placing a brand actively next to this type of content, nor is a brand actively trying to support this type of content with an ad placement," the executive continued in the emailed statement.

Newsmax published a Nov. 18 wire article on Musk's threat to file a "thermonuclear" lawsuit over it -- b ut it changed the headline from the Reuters original "Elon Musk, under fire, threatens lawsuit against media watchdog" to "Elon Musk Vows 'Thermonuclear Lawsuit' Against Liberal-Biased Media Matters." In fact, the wording "liberal-biased" appears nowhere in the Reuters article, which described Media Matters only as a "liberal watchdog group." That was followed by a Nov. 20 wire article in which Newsmax did not add editorial comment, as well as a another article (unbylined but credited to Newsmax at the end) on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton planning to investigate Media Matters on behalf of Musk.

A Nov. 22 article by Eric Mack played damage control for Musk, claiming he was by donating to good causes in the Middle East:

Democrats and liberal activist group Media Matters have attacked X owner Elon Musk, alleging he is profiting from a platform for free speech, including for antisemites, but Musk is undercutting their narrative.

"X Corp will be donating all revenue from advertising & subscriptions associated with the war in Gaza to hospitals in Israel and the Red Cross/Crescent in Gaza," Musk wrote Wednesday on X.


X sued the watchdog group Media Matters on Monday, alleging it defamed the platform after it published a report that said ads for major brands had appeared next to posts touting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.

That was followed by Newsmax guests trying to justify Musk's attack on Media Matters. First up was a Nov. 21 article by Nick Koutsobinas:

Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell stated on Newsmax that Media Matters' legal entanglement with Elon Musk was a "real gift" because it would reveal the organization's corruption to the public on a mass scale.

"Look, I think it's a real gift to have somebody like Elon Musk be the target of this lawfare because he personally begins to know just how ridiculous it is," Grenell tells "Rob Schmitt Tonight."

Grenell explains that what Media Matters does is "they target you, they lie about you, and then they really, really peddle this information to all of the news outlets that support them, and so it becomes this self-fulfilling prophecy within the press newsrooms, and it's all just a big lie."

There was no explanation of how, if true, this is any different than how right-wing groups like the Media Research Center operate.

A Nov.23 article by Luca Cacciatore promoted another Trump lackey uncritically repeating Musk's talking points:

Matthew Whitaker, a former acting U.S. attorney general, applauded X owner Elon Musk and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for going after Media Matters.

Appearing Thursday onNewsmax<'s "Rob Schmitt Tonight," Whitaker laid into the left-leaning media watchdog group for targeting members of the conservative movement and trying to get them fired.

"I think it has a lot of merit," Whitaker said of X's defamation lawsuit against Media Matters, alleging that it engaged in deceptive practices to make the social media platform look like it was boosting pro-Nazi content.

"The evidence that Media Matters created was completely manufactured," he continued, adding that the indicting images it produced are "not what's being seen by ordinary users. They had to manipulate the algorithm."

Cacciatore offered no evidence, if any, Whitaker had to back up his attack, but he did surprisingly add a comment from the other side of the story:

While Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have defended the suit, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone characterized it Monday as "frivolous" and "meant to bully X's critics into silence."

"Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court," Carusone said.

A Nov. 28 article by Cacciatore noted that a judge recused himself from the lawsuit.When another state attorney general started his own partisan probe of Media Matters, Michael Katz wrote it up on a Dec. 11 article:

Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Monday accused left-wing media outlet Media Matters for America of fraudulently soliciting donations from Missourians in its efforts to target X, formerly Twitter, and is launching an investigation.

"We have reason to believe Media Matters used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to trick advertisers into pulling out of X, the last platform dedicated to free speech in America," Bailey said in a news release. "Radicals are attempting to kill Twitter because they cannot control it, and we are not going to let Missourians get ripped off in the process.

"I'm fighting to ensure progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets cannot manipulate the marketplace in order to wipe out free speech."

Katz claimed to have tried contacting Media Matters for a response:

Newsmax reached out to Media Matters for comment. But in response to Musk's threat of a lawsuit, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said Nov. 18 in a statement on the company's website: "Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate.

"Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win."

(Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EST
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Newsmax Devotes Multiple Articles To A Single Trump Speech
Topic: Newsmax

As a reliably pro-Trump website, Newsmax loves giving all the free publicity it can to him. Not only does it regularly air his campaign speeches, it devotes several articles on its website to each speech -- coverage it does not usually give to other Republican presidential candidates (ones that aren't buying airtime on Newsmax TV, anyway). Let's take a look at a few examples of how this has played out at Newsmax over the past several months:

Faith & Freedom Coalition, June 24

Pickens, S.C., July 1

South Dakota Republican convention, Sept. 8

Republican Jewish Coalition and later rally, Las Vegas, Oct. 28

Claremont, N.H., Nov. 11

New York Young Republicans, Dec. 9

Durham, N.H., Dec. 16

IN a normal news operation, Trump's speeches would warrant one article at most, since they're largely stump-style speeches filled with his usual trash talk. But because Newsmax is such a big Trump booster, it feels it must generate multiiplearticles from a speech -- whether or not its news value justifes doing so -- to have a block of Trump headlines on its website.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EST
Friday, January 12, 2024
Newsmax Columnist Complains That Haley Fought The Confederacy
Topic: Newsmax

Jeff Crouere's Nov. 20 Newsmax column attacking Nikki Haley isn't as extreme as that of fellow Newsmax columnist Paul du Quenoy -- who demanded that people not vote for Haley becuase she purportedly hates men -- but Crouere is mad that that Haley worked to erase symbols of insurrrectionists and traitors to the U.S.:

One issue that is important to many conservative voters is preserving our nation’s history. Conversely, liberals want to erase our history in the name of fighting "racism."

As Governor of South Carolina in 2015, Haley became a national political figure when she successfully pushed for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house grounds. This was done in response to the murders of African American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina by a racist killer.

Haley said she was "proud" of her actions, which catapulted her political career.

While removing the Confederate flag did not make South Carolina a more racially unified state, it did inspire other politicians to pursue similar actions.

Haley started a national movement which has continued to this day. A recent report by the far-left group, Southern Poverty Law Center, noted that 482 Confederate "symbols" have been removed since the murders in Charleston. Yet, countless other monuments of previous U.S. Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, and Founding Fathers, have also been removed across the country.

To protect our history, President Trump signed an executive order on June 26, 2020 to prevent "American Monuments, Memorials and Statues "from being vandalized or removed."

Crouere offered no evidence that Haley had any non-Confederate monument or statue removed, nor did he explain why getting right of Confederate monuments is a bad thing. Arguably, Confederate statues and monuments are not covered under Trump's order since they are not, but definition, "American." 

The rest of Crouere's column is boilerplate right-wing talking points, largely focused on how Haley is allegedly "in sync with the big military and business powerbrokers and is extremely comfortable with big government."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:22 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 12, 2024 5:40 PM EST
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Newsmax Writers Try To Spin Eleciton Results In Va.
Topic: Newsmax

Things did not go well for Republicans in off-year elections in Virginia, and Newsmax struggled a bit to figure out how to spin it. A Nov. 8 column by John Gizzi admitted that one casualty of the election was Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's presidential ambitions:

Two years after his dramatic capture of the Virginia governorship, Glenn Youngkin already was being boomed as a late-starting candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 — speculation about which he did little to dampen.

But on Tuesday, after his party failed miserably in a drive backed personally by Youngkin to capture the state senate — the Old Dominion State governor's dreams of a White House bid seemed to have evaporated.

Worse, Youngkin even lost Republican control of the lower House of Delegates to the Democrats.

The governor now faces two years of a legislature with Democrat [sic] majorities in both houses and thus very capable of thwarting his conservative agenda on issues ranging from abortion to taxes.

Indeed, later that day, an article by Solange Reyner confirmed that Youngkin "says he won't be running for president in 2024 after Republicans narrowly lost both state legislative chambers in Tuesday's election."

Pro-Trump pollster Jim McLaughlin, meanwhile, admitted that Republicans messed up by obsessing over abortion in a Nov. 8 Newsmax TV appearance:

Virginia's Republicans "made a mistake" by going on defense against Democrats' General Assembly campaigns that focused on abortion rights instead of going on offense on issues that the voters "really care about," said Jim McLaughlin of McLaughlin and Associates, who is also a pollster for former President Donald Trump's 2024 campaign.

"There's no question that Republicans underperformed in Virginia, but I saw one analysis that said the Democrats outspent them by almost $8 million," McLaughlin said on Newsmax's "National Report" about Tuesday's election, in which Democrats in Virginia won full control of the General Assembly.

McLaughlin acknowledged that "every race is different," but said that in Virginia and other places, making the race a "referendum on abortion" hurt Republican candidates.

Gizzi, however, returned for a Nov. 14 column in which he tried to spin results as not so bad after all:

In the week since elections in Virginia, the national press has made much political hay about the outcome — in which Democrats control both houses of the state legislature and are sure to lock horns with Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

To no one's surprise, Youngkin has since ended widespread speculation he would jump into the GOP presidential sweepstakes. Moreover, there is now ubiquitous analysis that the governor's support of a ban on abortion 15 weeks before birth — reasonable by virtually all standards but used as a "dog whistle" by many Democrat candidates to charge a Republican-ruled legislature would ban abortions under all circumstances.

But in the end, were the results in the Old Dominion State were a "wipeout" for Republicans? Hardly.


Much has been made in the press about many School Board candidates in Virginia endorsed by the pro-parents rights Moms for Liberty group falling short of an across-the-state sweep. There was considerable coverage devoted to the defeat of Meg Bryce, a daughter of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, losing a bid for the Albemarle County School Board to Allison Spillman, a liberal and mother of five (one of whom her campaign brochure describes as "a proud member of the LGBTQ community").

But another conservative, pro-family group, the Middle Resolution, endorsed 28 winning School Board candidates throughout the state.

Only 7 Middle Resolution-backed candidates lost.

All told, November 7 was not a day Virginia Republicans want to remember. But it wasn't a bad day, either.

Gizzi's only glimmer of hope was that Repubilcans appeared to have won a seat in the state Senate, though Democrats would still hold a three-seat advantage.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EST
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Newsmax Continued to Dabble In Ray Epps Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax appears not to have pushed Ray Epps conspiracy theories as much as, say, WorldNetDaily, but that doesn't mean it didn't dabble in them. It did some of that early on, and has continued to dip its toe into them. A Dec. 31, 2022, article by Eric Mack hyped Donald Trump's invoking of Epps conspiracy theories:

Buried in the release of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee transcripts is the interview with Ray Epps, the un-indicted man who was urging supporters of then-President Donald Trump to "go into the Capitol" the day before and the day of the protest.

The unusual interview featured anti-Trump Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tossing Epps softball questions, if not treating him like they were his defense lawyers, according to some conservative critics on Twitter.

It caught Trump's eye, too.

"The Unselect Committee doesn't explain Ray Epps, Sullivan, or the 'other' ringleaders," Trump posted early Saturday morning on Truth Social. "Gee, I wonder why?"

"Sullivan" was a reference to the panel's report omitting the references to Jason Sullivan, who independently urged supporters to protest at the Capitol days before Jan. 6, 2021, according to The New York Times.

Mack further attacked Epps by cherry-picking responses from his deposition:

Epps' responses were framed to suggest he had no involvement in the breaching of the Capitol.

"What I meant by 'orchestrate,' I helped people get there," Epps responded.

Earlier in the transcript, Epps had suggested he was there to watch Trump's speech and look after his son Jim, but reality is neither happened and Epps never tried.

Epps broke away from Jim, never attended the speech, and according to video, was nearby urging people to the Capitol and pointing the way.

Epps told the committee he was "proud" to have been there, although he left immediately when the breach of the Capitol had begun. This has led to suspicion that he might have started the lawlessness but left when it reached a dangerous crescendo.

"Yeah, I took credit for it, but I didn't know what I was taking credit for," Epps told an interviewer whose name was redacted in the transcript.

"'Orchestrating' is the wrong word," Epps would say later in the interview, adding his wife scolded him for using that word.

Mack further whined that "Early this year, the House committee rejected claims Epps was a 'fed,'" boasting it brought him in for this interview," but he offered no proof to the contrary.

When Epps ultimately was charged -- blowing up the conspiracy theory that he was a "fed" -- Mack leaned into it anyway in a Sept. 19 article:

After years of consternation among former President Donald Trump's supporters, the Justice Department has brought a charge against the man that urged Jan. 6 protesters to "go into the Capitol."

Ray Epps was charged Tuesday with a count of disorderly or disruptive conduct on restricted grounds, court records show.

There was no attorney listed in the court docket in the criminal case filed in Washington's federal court. The Associated Press' messages seeking comment from an attorney representing Epps in his lawsuit against Fox were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Epps was featured by Republicans and conservative media as having been an alleged face of the Jan. 6 protest, urging Trump speechgoers to storm the Capitol during the debate of election fraud allegations.

Mack weirdly didn't elaborate any further about Epps' "lawsuit against Fox," whic, of course, is about Fox spreading the lie that he was a "fed."

Theodor Bunker did explain it, though, in a Sept. 20 article on Epps entering a guilty plea:

Ahead of the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon denied claims that Epps had been a federal informant, saying he wanted to enter into the record because of the "unusual nature of the case" that Epps "was not before, during or after" Jan. 6, 2021 "a confidential source or an undercover agent for the government, the FBI, DHS or any law enforcement."

Epps has filed a lawsuit against Fox News for spreading "destructive conspiracy theories," and his attorney said on Wednesday that "Today's hearing and the plea agreement reached with the Department of Justice is further proof of that. It is also powerful evidence of the absurdity of Fox News' and Tucker Carlson's lies that sought to turn Ray into a scapegoat for January 6."

Mack brought up Epps again in a Nov. 9 article discussing Jack Smith's case against Trump:

Special counsel Jack Smith's case will attempt to tie former President Donald Trump to the Jan. 6 plot to "go into the Capitol" – as pushed by Ray Epps on Jan. 5, 2021 – arguing it was a plot to stop the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.


This week's filing contains no reference to Epps, who has denied working for the FBI, but admitted in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview the night before Tucker Carlson was fired this spring that it was a mistake to text on Jan. 6 that "I orchestrated it," as revealed by the anti-Trump House Jan. 6 select committee.

That Democrat-run committee ended before 2023, when Republican leadership was set to take over.

Trump has publicly the Epps "I orchestrated it" text, saying, "Gee, I wonder."

But Gaston's filing suggests there is evidence of the plot to enter the Capitol, without mentioning Epps, who is on video on the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 urging demonstrators, "We have to go into the Capitol."

Some Trump supporters shouted back "No!" and repeatedly chanted "Fed! Fed! Fed!" suggesting Epps was working for the government in opposition to Trump's desire to have Congress debate the allegations of election fraud in key battleground states and have Vice President Mike Pence send the constitutionally contested Electoral College votes back to state legislatures for review after Jan. 6.

The Constitution has language that requires Congress to confirm the president-elect by the specific date Jan. 6.

When Epps was sentenced to probation for his actions, Newsmax relegated it to a Jan. 9 wire article that pointed out in the headline that Epps the "target of conspiracy theories and noted that he "was driven into hiding by death threats" because "Fox News Channel and other media outlets amplified conspiracy theories that Epps, 62, was an undercover government agent who helped incite the Capitol attack to entrap Trump supporters."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:28 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 10, 2024 6:37 PM EST

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