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Update: Oops! They Did It Again

NewsMax sneaks in another Judicial Watch press release -- and they try to build up steam on the Larry Patterson gravy train.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/27/2000

The learning curve of the NewsMax editor seems to be a long one.

After showing some redemptive promise on the Judicial Watch press-release issue, NewsMax fell off the wagon July 22 when it ran a Judicial Watch press release on the Waco investigation virtually unedited as a story with a NewsMax byline.

For those counting at home, that brings the total to at least six since May.

No lecture this time -- just pointing out the facts as more proof that NewsMax cares more about scoring political points than reporting the news fairly.

* * *

And speaking of scoring political points, NewsMax is trying to maximize its investment in Larry Patterson by placing an ad in the July 24 New York Post pointing out that he made allegations of Hillary Clinton making racial slurs to NewsMax nine months ago.

The ad isn't all that remarkable -- it features a flipped-negative photo of Patterson in his state trooper garb (a no-no for any news organization, especially if it renders any typography in the photo backwards, as it does here on Patterson's arm patch and collar pin) and a coupon to order Patterson's interview with Christopher Ruddy from NewsMax. It also features a call to "Break the Big Media Cartel" by reading NewsMax.

What's more interesting is the horn-tooting NewsMax story, trumpeting that is has broken what it calls the "media blockade" on the story with the ad. An ad in the Monday edition of the No. 3 newspaper in New York City is hardly a break in the "media blockade."

Mainly, it expresses puzzlement that Patterson has been ignored by the "mainstream press" -- or, more to the point, annoyance that NewsMax hasn't gotten any credit for promoting Patterson's allegations.

"Except for Fox News Channel and alternative alternative media sources on talk radio and the Internet, Trooper Patterson's testimony has been deliberately ignored," the story complains. Left unsaid, of course, are anything linked to Patterson's credibility problems and the fact that by selling tapes of Patterson's interview -- and one must assume part of the money from every tape sold goes to Patterson -- NewsMax, the "alternative media source," has a financial stake in promoting his statements.

It includes an excerpt from the Jerry Oppenheimer book from which the allegation leaped into the mainstream media that describes Patterson's interview with a "conservative group." NewsMax takes offense at this: "It was no 'conservative group,' but rather to whom Patterson made the startling revelation."

(Another fact overlooked by NewsMax: Oppenheimer's book is published by a firm owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Fox News Channel and the New York Post.)

That sentence shows how completely NewsMax has deluded themselves. An organization that has links to Richard Mellon Scaife, ignores rumors about Republicans and promotes gossip and rumors about Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular would be a "conservative group" in the eyes of most people.

The story sums up: "If there was ever a compelling example of the mainstream press trying to keep the lid on an explosive story, Hillary's Slur-gate is it." And if ever there was an example of gossip-mongering for profit pushed ahead of news value, NewsMax is it.

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