Hometown News -- Not!
NewsMax still can't get it in gear to cover its home base in the Florida election recount.
By Terry Krepel
Most news organizations, when a major story happens in the town in which they are located, will immediately throw people and resources to cover the story on the scene, because typically the best reporting on the story will come from the news organization closest to the action.
NewsMax is turning into the exception to the rule.
After Day 2 of the presidential election recount in Florida, NewsMax seems unenthused about sending its own people to report on the electoral goings-on in its home of Palm Beach County.
Three stories posted Thursday bear this out. The first is about a Thursday rally in West Palm Beach -- the town where NewsMax offices are located -- demanding a revote in the county due to more than 19,000 votes being thrown out because the ballot was marked twice, which many have blamed on voter confusion about the ballot. The story was the only acknowledgement of the rally on NewsMax's front page Thursday night.
What's the first thing one notices at the top of the story? The letters UPI. It's a wire story!
On the other hand, there does seem to have been an attempt at "localization" on the part of NewsMax, because the second and third paragraphs have a decidedly different tone from the rest of the story: "And while the mainstream media are reporting the event as all pro-Gore, employees of NewsMax.com, which has its main offices in West Palm Beach, reported that pro-Bush counterdemonstrators were also there. It was obvious from the Gore/Lieberman signs, and from the usual array of suspects labor unions, government employees, pro-abortion types, retirees, etc. that the Gore campaign orchestrated the rally." Uncut opinion without supporting evidence -- that's the NewsMax way.
The second story describes an incident in which a Palm Beach County describes what NewsMax readily interprets as voter fraud. The source: NBC, as quoted on the Rush Limbaugh website. NewsMax got this story third-hand.
And a third story about a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County contesting the election came from Conservative News Service.
Interestingly, NewsMax sent out e-mails to members of its mailing list Thursday morning titled "NewsMax.com Breaks South Florida Story." Inside, it boasts that it is "at ground zero for the Election story of the century" -- sounds suspiciously like somebody's headline posted eight hours previously, perhaps? -- and includes three stories it says it broke first. The 19,000 tossed ballots in Palm Beach County is not among them.
Meanwhile, the rest of the ConWeb is busy slandering the folks who say they were confused by the ballot. Ann Coulter leads the way at Jewish World Review: I love these jackasses claiming they meant to vote for Gore but -- whoops! -- slipped and pulled the lever for Buchanan instead! Oh really. ... Sorry, but that's one of the disabilities of being a political party that preys on the stupid. Sometimes your "base" forgets it's Election Day, too. Live by demagoguing to the feeble-minded, die by demagoguing to the feeble-minded."
WorldNetDaily's Joel Miller adds: "... unless Tuesday's voters were either completely careless, absentminded or stupid, this ballot should have been cake."
Even the Media Research Center's Brent Baker joins in the insult-fest: "My calculation: Number of Palm Beach County Buchanan votes (3,407) minus number of people who genuinely meant to vote for Buchanan = number of stupid liberals in the county. Not casting aspersions here on most liberals since 268,000 in the county figured out how to follow an arrow."
And WorldNetDaily's Jon Dougherty expands the list of the insulted to all Gore voters: "The problem is this. Though a generally honest guy (Bush) ran a campaign based on reducing the real (not imagined) burdens Washington places on real, working Americans, only 49 percent voting chose him. Forty-nine percent. That means over half of us have no idea of the limitless benefits smaller, cheaper, and less intrusive government could mean in our lives. No idea."
In an column titled "Are Democrats Too Stupid To Vote?" NewsMax's Chuck Noe writes: "I say that if we can't have even a basic literacy or intelligence test for voters, make the ballot as challenging as possible to figure out. That might help weed out the lazy and incompetent."
"Lazy and incompetent" may end up becoming the best definition of NewsMax.