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The Trump Stenographers At Newsmax: (Fourth) Indictment Edition

After lots of foreshadowing, Newsmax went into is usual defend-and attack mode as Donald Trump faced his latest indictment out of Georgia -- and got a cross-promotional interview with Trump for its trouble.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/14/2023

Newsmax spent the days after Donald Trump's third indictment preparing for his fourth indictment, this one out of Georgia. The foreshadowing began as early as Aug. 9:

But when a draft indictment document was posted on the Georgia court's website (then quickly taken down), that opened up the floodgates for complaining. Eric Mack parroted the Trump camp's whining in an Aug. 14 article:

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump fired back at Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' office for leaking the charges being put before the grand jury targeting Trump this week.

"The Fulton County District Attorney's Office has once again shown that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process," attorneys Drew Findling and Jennifer Little wrote in a statement to Newsmax.

The statement came just hours after reporters picked up a grand jury court docket outlining the case and charges against Trump. The document was on the court's website briefly – apparently mistakenly – before it was deleted.


"This was not a simple administrative mistake," the Trump attorneys' statement continued. "A proposed indictment should only be in the hands of the District Attorney's Office, yet it somehow made its way to the clerk's office and was assigned a case number and a judge before the grand jury even deliberated.

"This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception."

Newsmax's focus on the Georgia happenings intensified after that:

When Trump's indictment was made official later on Aug. 14, Newsmax began with a wire article on the charges, then quickly moved to its usual defend-and-attack mode throughout the rest of the day:

Just a single article of non-Trump rah-rah appeared in that time: "Hillary Clinton: Ga. Indictments 'Terrible Moment' for US."

Unsurprisingly, Newsmax ramped things up the next day, Aug. 15:

As usual, there was only a small smattering of articles that told a fuller story:

In the midst of all this apparent criminality, an Aug. 14 column by Larry Bell argued that it was somehow worth it for people to donate money to Trump:

Democrats are bound and determined to bury their leading political adversary, Donald Trump, in debt through publicly funded lawsuits to redirect money, media attention, and surging momentum away from his 2024 election campaign.

John Lauro, a Trump attorney, said on Fox News within minutes of a third indictment being made public, that the former president is "being forced to spend money on legal defense, which should be spent on the discussion of critical ideas and critical issues."

Recent financial reports gleefully released by a gloating New York Times analysis of federal records show that about 30 cents of every dollar raised by Trump’s various political committees and super PAC this year have been spent on legal-related costs.


Any good news in this it is that the strategy to bleed Donald Trump’s campaign and personal finances dry with transparently political legal charges energizes his online donor support at a rate that dwarfs all rivals: nearly $46 million in the first half of the year, with an average donation of under $35.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung accused President Biden and the Justice Department’s special counsel, Jack Smith, of using the government’s "unlimited resources" to try "to force the Trump campaign to spend, spend, spend to defend innocent Americans who have been targeted."

Nevertheless, Cheung added, "As President Trump has said, he will spend whatever it takes to defeat the Deep State and Crooked Joe Biden."

I’ll add that whatever this cost, it will be money well spent.

Bell did not raise the question of why a self-proclaimed billionaire is not spending his own money to defend himself but instead begging for money from others.

This is what Newsmax published in Aug. 16 and 17, a few days after the indictment was announced:

There were a few more articles noting the other side of the story than usual:

Newsmax slowed the pace a bit over the next few days, focusing more on highlighting Trump's whining about the indictment. It did, however, publish a wire article noting that members of the Georgia grand jury that handed up the indictment of Trump and his cronies were facing threats. But it also published an article touting how "A new Newsmax/McLaughlin national survey shows former President Donald Trump maintaining his strong national lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary" while failing to disclose that McLaughlin is Trump's campaign pollster -- which would suggest a certain amount of bias in the polling.

As arraignment time arrived -- which coincided with a Republican presidential debate Trump refused to take part in -- defend-and-attack mode returned:

Newsmax also upped the number of more balanced articles it published as well:

On Aug. 24, the day Trump traveled to Georgia to turn himself in and have his mugshot taken, Newsmax did its usual ramping up of attacks (with the occasional smattering of more balanced accounts):

The cross-promotion interview reward

Newsmax got rewarded for its defend-and-attack strategy: It scored an interview with Trump after he turned himself into Georgia authorities following the indictment. Of course, Trump helpfully plugged Newsmax during the interview, as detailed in an Aug. 24 article by Luca Cacciatore:

Former President Donald Trump believes that one reason he is being unfairly targeted is because he told people to watch Newsmax in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Appearing Thursday on " Greg Kelly Reports," the former president said that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy would be "thrilled" to know that the fastest-growing cable news channel was his go-to network.

"One of the things is I tell people — Newsmax. Did you know that? That was one of my tabs. I told people to watch Newsmax," Trump explained. "I got charged for telling people to watch Newsmax!"

The former president then jokingly warned host Greg Kelly: "I hope you don't get charged. You'll probably get charged because I mentioned your name, but I think you'll be OK."

"I think it's a badge of honor, quite frankly," Kelly replied.

Newsmax then squeezed seven additional articles out of the roughly 20-minute interview:

The following day, Aug. 25, Newsmax kept up its attack-and-defend strategy, with the occasional more balanced piece:

Ultimately, promotion was the name of the game. As Newsmax uncritically promotes Trump, he has no problem logrolling in return.

A dissenting voice

But there was also a dissenting columnist in the midst of all this. Michael Reagan took a break from saying crazy things by spending his Aug. 18 column trying to warn people that Trump is not doing himself any favors as a presidential candidate by continually getting indicted:

But when the indictments keep rolling in — aren’t we up to four now? — it’s time to stop thinking with your heart and start thinking with your head.

In 2024 instead of being on the campaign trail, Trump is going to be spending a great deal of his time in the courtroom trying to stay out of prison.

That’s a DEFCON Level One distraction.

Rallies and news conferences on the courthouse steps do not a campaign make.

Another huge distraction are the legal bills entailed with his effort to stay among the free.

Trump must hire four different legal teams in four different jurisdictions.

That is a Ukraine-summer-offensive-level expense right there.


The best strategy for people who love Trump and/or who feel Trump is being persecuted is to nominate a candidate who can actually convert the 53% anti-Trump voters into pro-GOP voters in 2024.

A viable Republican candidate, without all Trump’s baggage — fair and unfair — has a chance to win undecided voters who will never pull the lever for our naion's 45th commnader in chief.

That victory spares the country four more years of disastrous leftist rule and allows Trump to devote all his attention to this, unprecedented, third world variety legal persecution targeting him.

On the other hand, a Trump nomination means gloom was the correct response.

We all lose. Trump, Republicans, and the United States of America.

Needless to say, the pro-Trump management at Newsmax felt the need to stick an editor's note at the top stating that "The following column does not constitute an endorsement for any political party or political candidate on the part of Newsmax."

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