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Counting on Hypocrisy

Is it dirt-digging to reveal someone's background? Only when it happens to Republicans, NewsMax tells us.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 11/15/2000

NewsMax has been around a scant few years, but already it has a long tradition of hypocrisy, which it demonstrated in its Elian Gonzalez coverage and its views on the veracity of supermarket tabloids.

Thus, it's no surprise to see NewsMax's own special brand of hypocrisy rear its head again in its Florida election coverage. In a Nov. 14 article staunchly defends Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris as "the one individual whose commitment to the rule of law stands between Al Gore and his plan to hotwire the presidency and drive it off to Nashville."

The article alleges that "team Gore has distributed as much negative information as they could find on her, some of which turned up today on the front page of the New York Times and other Gore-friendly media venues" -- never mind there's no proof the Gore campaign had a hand in any of it. The article then warns: "In the coming days, as the White House attack machine trashes Harris as everything from a Bush partisan to a right-wing axe murderess, she's going to need all the support she can get." The article concludes by encouraging readers to e-mail their support to Harris.

The Bush campaign would probably be surprised to learn that the definition of political "trash" has expanded to pointing out that Harris was a co-chairman of the Bush campaign in Florida and that Harris joined a chartered flight with other Floridians to campaign for Bush in New Hampshire.

And the "murderess" remark is especially hilarious given the fact that NewsMax editor Christopher Ruddy made a video called "The 60 Minutes Deception" (available at the NewsMax store, naturally) with Pat Matrisciana, who made "The Clinton Chronicles," which trashed President Clinton as a murderer.

So, pointing out the backgrounds of officials is spreading "trash," according to NewsMax. But what are these other headlines we see?

"Vote Recount Judge A Gore Donor."

"Palm Beach Election Official Hobnobbed With Gore."

"The Corruption of Warren Christopher."

All of which discuss the backgrounds of people NewsMax doesn't like.

It appears background "trash" is in the eyes of the beholder. And NewsMax beholds it whenever the situation warrants, i.e. when they want to trash Democrats.

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