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Update: NewsMax Eats Itself

NewsMax can't be logically consistent within the same article, let alone refrain from denouncing activities it engages in. Plus: ConWeb columnists can't keep up with the excuse of the day for those missing explosives, WorldNetDaily thinks John Kerry is in league with Satan, and much more.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 11/1/2004

Ever deal with a person who's so angry that his words contradict themselves, that he ends up disproving the argument he's trying to make? That's the feel of an Oct. 31 NewsMax article, which criticizes the very same behavior NewsMax itself engages in.

That wasn't the goal, of course. The goal was to get in one last pre-election bashing of Michael Moore. "Apparently Moore's left-wing activism against this president knows no bounds," the article states. "He has made it clear he will stop at nothing to ensure his defeat. Election Day is mere hours away, and still Moore is working steadfastly to bring his defeatist message to as many potential voters as he can."

Well, let's see. Activism knowing no bounds? Check. Sounds a lot like NewsMax, which has expressed its pleasure at the idea that the Bush-Cheney campaign is using NewsMax "as its campaign playbook."

Working steadfastly to bring a defeatist message to as many potential voters as possible mere hours before Election Day? Check. NewsMax is spending thousands of dollars (not that NewsMax will tell you how much -- not willingly, anyway) to broadcast the discredited anti-Kerry film "Stolen Honor," as much of a "schlockumentary" as the article claims Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" is.

The NewsMax article then hammers Moore for offering "Fahrenheit 9/11" as a pay-per-view showing on the Internet: "Call Moore's effort 'activism for profit.' Can the same be said of the other side?"

Yes, it can, as NewsMax demonstrates a mere two paragraphs later. After noting that "Stolen Honor" is available as a free Internet broadcast, there is an offer to -- that's right -- buy a copy of "Stolen Honor" from NewsMax. The minimum price listed is $30 -- a lot more expensive than the $9.95 Moore is charging for "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Next logical consistency flaw test for NewsMax -- seeing if the organization that criticized Teresa Heinz Kerry for not public releasing her tax returns will disclose how much it spent airing "Stolen Honor" before the election.

* * *

A trio of ConWeb writers appear to be a few days behind on their Republican talking-points memos.

Les Kinsolving used an Oct. 30 column in WorldNetDaily to insist that an Oct. 25 NBC News report debunked a New York Times report that nearly 380 tons of high explosives disappeared from the Al Qaqaa military installation in Iraq after U.S. troops took control of the country. Michael Reagan did the same in an Oct. 29 WorldNetDaily column, as did Ed Feulner, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, in an Oct. 29 commentary. The NBC report stated that an embedded NBC reporter arrived at Al Qaqaa with U.S. troops, which didn't find any of the explosives in question.

The problem is that this defense became inoperative on Oct. 26, after it was made clear that the troops searched only a small fraction of the facility, then moved on to their assigned objective, which wasn't guarding the facility. The Bush administration and other defenders have since moved on to several other equally shaky defenses, such as blaming the Russians.

Plus, a video by another embedded news crew shows that storage bunkers at Al Qaqaa sealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency presumably containing the now-missing explosives were shown still sealed a week after the troops cited in the NBC report passed through the area.

Kinsolving, Reagan and Feulner need to keep up on those memos.

* * *

Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily tosses in the lamest defense yet of the Bush administration over the missing explosives. An Oct. 31 story by Aaron Klein notes that Saddam Hussein's troops removed weapons and ammunition from another storage facility in a different part the country, which "could indicate the southern al-Qaqaa facility was emptied at an earlier date as well, before U.S. troops arrived there." No mention, of course, of that video shot of sealed bunkers at Al Qaqaa.

You're trying a little too hard there to shill for the administration there, Aaron. Then again, that presumably is what Joseph Farah is paying you for.

* * *

WorldNetDaily seems to believe that the plethora of sixes surrounding John Kerry is a biblical sign that he is in league with Satan. (WorldNetDaily photo)

While we're on the subject of lameness at WorldNetDaily: It tries the most ridiculously lame smear ever with an Oct. 27 story that suggested John Kerry is in league with Satan.

"During his presidential campaign in Iowa today, Democrat John Kerry was surrounded by a sea of handheld signs displaying the number six on them," WND earnestly reported. The reader who brought this to WND's attention added: "The imagery of 666 appearing everywhere was too much to be ignored. I had to rewind my TIVO and shoot these photos of the TV screen."

The signs, by the way, were part of a final-week campaign countdown and read: "6 More Days To A Fresh Start." WND at least noted that. Nevertheless, it's a return to form for WND, who once decided that a picture of a copy of Hillary Clinton's autobiography in a bookstore's science fiction section was newsworthy.

The story is ultimately revealing -- about WND's audience and about WND itself, which apparently is so desperate to smear Kerry that crap like this is considered "news."

* * *

WorldNetDaily was forced to retract a story -- though it managed to bury the lead in doing so.

An Oct. 26 WND story begins: "An Internet image purported to be a seemingly confusing presidential ballot in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, turns out to be either bogus or misinterpreted." According to the article, "the ballot image appeared to suggest that voters choosing Democrat John Kerry would simply punch the hole adjacent to his name, but those voting for President Bush would have to punch a hole much further up from his name on the card." After all, WND would not have done this story at all had it involved a suspected irregularity in voting for Kerry.

But it's not until the final paragraph of the 10-paragraph story that you read the real reason WND is doing this in the first place: "WorldNetDaily regrets initially reporting the MensNewsDaily story, which turned out to be false."

In passing the buck, though, WND gets the source wrong. While conservative site MensNewsDaily (which claims that its primary mission is "fearless expression and the relentless pursuit of the truth") did run the story, it originated at the even more conservative Talon News (which claims to "concentrate on news that conservatives care about without putting a liberal spin on it"). As of this writing, the original, false article is still live and uncorrected at both of those sites.

A search of WND's archives shows that WND reporters or columnists have referenced Talon News at least eight times since 2003. Anyone believe this little hiccup will keep WND from using them in the future?

* * *

What is with WorldNetDaily's obsession with bogus polls?

An Oct. 27 story complains that "The results of today's WorldNetDaily presidential poll have some readers crying foul, saying both the high number of voters and strong showing of John Kerry point to Democrat "hijacking" of the unscientific survey.

"Hijacking," of course, is a relative term; in this case it meant that as of the time the WND story was written, Kerry had 25 percent of the vote. This is indeed unusual, since the last WND opt-in poll had Kerry at a mere 1.63 percent. By the time that latest poll had expired, Kerry had fallen to somewhat more acceptable 17 percent.

Gosh, WND wouldn't want anyone to think any of its readers actually supported Kerry, now would it?

Yet, in all of its reporting on an America Online opt-in poll that had Bush winning overwhelmingly despite every legitimate poll calling the race close, WND never called that poll "hijacked."

* * *

Like any other Bush-positive, Kerry-negative piece of writing no matter where it came from, NewsMax happily regurgitated on Oct. 26 an article from the hated New York Times, that paragon of the liberal media, that claimed that President Bush has a higher IQ than John Kerry.

The article's sources, however, are a tad on the dubious side. The source for this information was "IQ expert" Steve Sailer, who claims to be "adept at estimating a person's IQ," and was "called credible" by Linda Gottfredson, "an IQ expert at the University of Delaware."

As Media Matters for America has noted, Gottfredson has previously received a $174,000 research grant from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has in the past funded research into eugenics and which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a "hate group." The SPLC noted that the Pioneer Fund's original charter called for the pursuit of "race betterment" for descendants of "white persons" who "settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution." Other recipients of Pioneer Fund money include Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, a "racialist" whose activities ConWebWatch has previously noted, and Richard Lynn, who wrote in an article for American Renaissance that "blacks are more psychopathic than whites."

Sailer, meanwhile, hangs out at, an anti-immigration web site, and has previously defended the Pioneer Fund.

While we'd expect NewsMax to eat something like this up, it's a bit disconcerting to know that NBC's Tom Brokaw passed it along to his viewers, too.

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