Following a well-worn conservative strategy, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and others have been raising the specter of voter fraud in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate. In fact, actual examples of voter fraud are extremely rare, and previous claims by conservatives that elections have been stolen have proved to be utterly meritless.
In a January 18 Newsmax.com article, managing editor David A. Patten raises the prospect of a "stolen election" in the race for Massachusetts' open Senate seat by citing "fears that a close election could trigger the same type of recount process that saw former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman's lead over then-challenger Al Franken steadily evaporate in Minnesota." However, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that "[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either" Franken or Coleman, and experts reportedly said that there was a "lack of crookedness in" Minnesota that debunks claims that the Minnesota election was stolen.
And for all the heated rhetoric being thrown at him [President Obama] these days -- socialist, sellout, soporific, yadda yadda yadda -- I don't think anyone has accused him of a racial approach to politics. People want to know what he's doing about unemployment and health care and climate change. In a very real sense, he seems to have transcended race.
(I was going to make a Tiger Woods analogy here, but at the moment that seems like a decidedly bad idea.)
Kurtz isn't the first media figure to inexplicably link Obama and Woods:
And, of course, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd strained to find similarity between Tiger Woods and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, coming up with some drivel about both of them being entitled swans.
I'm still waiting for a media figure to compare a white political figure to Tiger. Maybe John Ensign? Both (allegedly) offered hush money to keep affairs quiet. But I guess some journalists think that's a bit of a stretch -- not like the obvious similarities between Woods and Rogers.
In addition to being an extraordinarily angry far-right blogger, Pam Geller is a columnist for Newsmax. While Geller seems to have slightly tempered what she writes in her Newsmax column, she's gone absolutely nuts on her own Atlas Shrugs blog, viciously smearing Obama.
From a Dec. 11 post:
Obama is pressuring Jews to "evacuate" from parts of Israel? And what Warsaw ghetto does the muhammadan president have in mind? I think I am gonna hurl.
The Jews will not go. The Jews will not submit to this century's nazis and Mansourian poser. No way, bloodsuckers. Not again. Never again.
From a Dec. 14 post:
It's as if the floodgates of hell have been thrown open. The moratorium on the holocaust is officially over and all the savages are free to incite, hate and destroy. Clearly those "Kick a Jew" days discussed here and here in schools are part of this growing evil Evil unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.
From a Dec. 15 post:
Obama is bringing his jihad to Illinois. Has anyone asked the people of Chicago if they want KSM's soul mates in their state? Obama's treachery is breathtaking. A killer's paradise.
After its experiences with other columnists making extreme claims over the past few months -- John L. Perry advocating a military coup against Obama, Pat Boone calling for a "tenting" of the White House to kill the "varmints" within -- is Geller really the kind of columnist Newsmax wants to have? Or is Newsmax willing to allow Geller to be as disgusting and hateful as she wants to be on her blog as long as she tones it down for her column?
In his Nov. 30 column, Newsmax president and CEO Christopher Ruddy declared that the "mainstream media" is" simply out of touch with ordinary Americans" and that "the major media establishment lives in a bubble." Ruddy's evidence for this: The media criticized Sarah Palin for reading Newsmax.
Ruddy touts the popularity of Newsmax's website, claiming it "has reached close to 4 million unique visitors monthly." He also promotes Newsmax's magazine, asserting that it has "a monthly readership of more than 800,000." But note that he said "readership," not paid circulation, which is the standard accepted metric for measuring a magazine's reach. Newsmax has previously indicated that it believes the magazine is read by four people for every copy sold, which is apparently where it gets that inflated "readership" number.
Ruddy writes: "The bottom line is this: Those who live in the Big Media Bubble can't comprehend the appeal of Newsmax -- or Sarah Palin." He's got us there. We have trouble grasping the appeal of a website that has published columns advocating a military coup against President Obama, calling for a "tenting" of the White House, blaming the Holocaust Museum shooting on Obama, and embracing the birther conspiracy.
Ruddy also touted how Palin's book "shot to the top of the best-seller lists, reportedly selling 700,000 copies in the first week after its Nov. 17 release." He fails to mention that a not-insignificant amount of those copies are the likely result of below-cost loss-leader deals from online retailers -- including Newsmax's own $4.97 deal for the book.
Lost in the shuffle of more pressing matters yesterday was the news that former New York police chief Bernard Kerik pleaded guilty to several charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials, as part of a plea deal to avoid an upcoming trial.
As we've detailed, Newsmax has been Kerik's biggest champion over the past several months, working to rehabilitate his reputation by giving him a regular column and penning fawning profiles that whitewash his deeds in order to portray him as a "American hero" victimized by "overzealous federal prosecutors."
However much it may have wanted to, even Newsmax couldn't put a positive spin on this latest Kerik news. A Nov. 4 article on initial reports of the plea deal told the story unusually straight, albeit failing to tell readers that Kerik is (well, was) a Newsmax columnist. Newsmax went with an Associated Press story on Kerik's court appearance.
Kerik, by the way, is the second Newsmax columnist to fall by the wayside in recent weeks. John L. Perry hasn't written a column since he infamously called for a military coup against President Obama, which Newsmax was forced to retract. It remains to be seen whether Pat Boone's column will continue after Newsmax retracted his call for a "tenting"-style fumigation, "figuratively, but in a very real way," of the "varmints" in the White House.
From a commercial that aired on November 4 on Fox News Channel:
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Newsmax has now completely removed Pat Boone's "tenting" column, in which he called for, "figuratively, but in a very real way," a fumigation, or "tenting," of the "varmints" in the Obama White House. This comes after Newsmax took the half-measure of removing links to the column from its website but keeping the column itself live. Newsmax has thus far not explained to its readers why it deleted Boone's column, which it similarly failed to do regarding the John L. Perry column advocating a military coup against Obama.
Meanwhile, Boone's column is still alive and kicking at WorldNetDaily. But given that WND writers have repeatedly likened President Obama to both Nazis and the Antichrist (and even defends such smears) -- not to mention restored an attack by Ann Coulter on Helen Thomas that Coulter's syndicators edited out -- Joseph Farah and Co. likely see nothing particularly egregious in Boone's eliminationist rhetoric.
Perhaps Farah might want to explain why he allows Boone's column to remain on his website when his fellow right-wingers have determined it to be too offensive.
Newsmax has apparently learned nothing from the controversy over columnist John L. Perry calling for a military coup against President Obama. It has followed WorldNetDaily by publishing a column by Pat Boone calling for a "tenting" of the White House.
As we noted, Boone describes the current residents of the White House has "social and political voracious varmints" who need to be dealt with, "figuratively, but in a very real way," through tenting: "Experts come in, actually envelope the whole dwelling in a giant tent -- and send a very powerful fumigant, lethal to the varmints and unwelcome creatures, into every nook and cranny of the house. Done thoroughly, every last destructive insect or rodent is sent to varmint hell -- and in a day or two, the grand house is habitable again."
Newsmax actually showed some responsibility by removing Perry's column (though not to the point where it apologized to its readers for publishing it in the first place). Will Newsmax show the same quasi-responsibility here by curbing Boone's eliminationist rhetoric?
As for Boone, his eliminationist rhetoric pretty much destroys his nice-guy reputation, much more than his heavy-metal album did.
UPDATE: Newsmax seems to have placed Boone's column in some sort of stealth mode -- the link is still active as of this writing, but it's been removed from Boone's article archive.
Ever wonder how so many right-wing books become "bestsellers"? This may help explain it:
Normally you have to wait until the public displays pretty strong disinterest in a book before you can pick up the hardcover for $4.97. But thanks to Richard Scaife's right-wing Newsmax.com, you can get Sarah Palin's book for that low price -- and it hasn't even been released yet.
Just keep this in mind if the media starts breathlessly reporting Palin's strong sales numbers.
From an interview with Newsmax.TV:
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From an interview with Newsmax.TV:
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From the October 1 edition of Glenn Beck's email newsletter:
In a Sept. 30 post at Publius' Forum (copied at TheRealityCheck.org), longtime NewsBusters misleader Warner Todd Huston concedes that John L. Perry's Newsmax column advocating a military coup against President Obama "really does not add to the national debate" (yet defends the guy by asserting that it was "all speculation and phrased as a question, not asserted as fact or presented as imminent"). But then he writes:
But there is one tiny, little, bitty fact about this story and its author that every single one of these lefty sites that are railing about this story have left out.
The fact of the matter is that John L. Perry is not a conservative. In fact his bio page says that he's worked for Jimmy Carter, a Democrat governor of Florida and other Democrat Party institutions.
With all that background as a liberal democrat, Perry does not fit the normal image of a "right wing conservative." Yet not on eof the lefty sites going nuts on this story have mentioned this.
Warner curiously fails to mention that all of these "liberal democrat" connections occurred well over 30 years ago.
Further, Warner's claim is evidence that he has never read anything written by Perry, who has written for the right-wing Newsmax since 1999. In addition to his orgy of hatred against Obama, Perry has repeatedly demonstrated his right-wing credentials, and is particularly enamored with Sarah Palin. Sept. 1, 2008:
When you buck the local political establishment and stand up for honesty in government, people know what you're doing. In Alaska, they remember and adore Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin for that. They know her job was a lot harder than being mayor of a big city where you are a stranger to most constituents.
Those qualities do qualify this strong woman to be a heartbeat away from the presidency - a condescending Barack Obama to the contrary notwithstanding.
Voters need not be predictable, stereotyped herds as Barack Obama cynically sees them. They can become their own independent mavericks, standing apart from the herd. Sarah Palin gets this. So does John McCain, who chose her.
People can identify with parents like Sarah and Todd Palin, who are not, thank God, embarrassed to be seen loving God's children. That difference is what is driving political elites crazy with fear -- fear that she will win and they will lose.
The Republican road back to the White House in 2012 looks a whole heck of a lot clearer and brighter now that it leads right through downtown Wasilla, Alaska (known also as Hometown, USA).
Only the losing vice-presidential aspirant, Sarah Palin, and her accidental, de facto running mate, Joe the plumber, spoke the middle-class language with believability. It came too late in the game.
Unless Huston can prove there's a huge "liberal Democrat" base Palin has tapped into, we can safely say without fear of contradiction that Perry is, in fact, a conservative.
From the September 30 edition of MSNBC's Countdown:
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