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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 3: A Double Dose of a Double Standard

NewsMax works hard over the weekend to provide all the hypocrisy that's fit to print.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 5/8/2000

It was a busy weekend for NewsMax: They came up with not just one but two examples of wild-eyed hypocrisy.

First, they use a New York Times report on Rudy Giuliani's possible affair with another woman as yet another excuse to bash the Clintons about their alleged sex lives (but if there wasn't Clinton-bashing, it wouldn't be NewsMax), arguing that focusing on Giuliani's alleged extramarital affairs means NewsMax can drag out once again all those rumors about Hillary Clinton's affair with Vince Foster and quote tabloids about a "3-Way Sex Video -- With Suicide Pal and Another Gal!" Not that they weren't planning to anyway, of course, but now they have a cover.

" believes that a politican's private life is indeed relevant," the article asserts. So why has NewsMax said virtually nothing about Newt Gingrich's divorce?

A search of the NewsMax site using its search engine for "gingrich divorce" turned up only four articles generated by NewsMax (articles by syndicated columnists were not counted) that even mention Gingrich's messy divorce. And only one, a column by John LeBoutillier, makes any value judgment on Gingrich (and it's a harsh one -- "womanizing, cheating liar"). But LeBoutillier only makes the comment in passing in a column about how Elian Gonzalez has no right to be with his father because he's from Cuba.

Most recenty, an April 17 story that focuses on Gingrich's comments about the New York Senate race mentions Juanita Broaddrick but not Gingrich's divorce, which was becoming final about that time.

But we're used to NewsMax burying or ignoring news that doesn't advance its agenda. Another example of that could be found Sunday in a Jack Thompson story asserting that Donato Dalrymple, "the man who rescued Elian Gonzalez from the sea," has received death threats. He briefly compares it to death threats "allegedly" made to Betty Mills, the INS officer who, in Thompson's words, "abducted little Elian from his Miami home."

Sure, let's compare. The Donato story was the No. 2 story on NewsMax on Sunday. The Betty Mills piece appeared in the 20th position on Sunday in the form of a story from the formerly prestigious wire service UPI. An ad for long-distance phone service -- that looked a lot like a story -- ranked higher. Were NewsMax a real newspaper, they would be accuse of burying the Mills story. Apparently some death threats are more equal than others.

And then Thompson plows straight into conspiracy-theory territory. "Donato appears to be a major target of the U.S. government," he writes. "Soon after the abduction, the Washington Post did a page-one story on Donato that read more like a character assassination hit piece than a feature story." Well, as Kendall Coffey is quite aware, Thompson knows a thing or two about "character assassination hit pieces."

Thompson then writes, "Some observers (Chris Ruddy? John LeBoutillier?) believe the government wanted to knock Donato out of the box early for several reasons." Who knows? Just more unsubstantiated speculation from NewsMax.

There are some reasons, however, to question that Donato's devotion to Elian is anything more than a publicity stunt. The Miami New Times reports that not only has Donato been married four times (twice to the same woman), Donato's brother served seven years in prison for killing his 4-year-old son after weeks of abuse -- a boy about whom Donato has said he never cared much about when he was alive and wouldn't have known him "if he showed up on my porch."

Yet another thing you'll never read in NewsMax.

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