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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From a September 29 article on the conservative website Newsmax.com:
Media phenomenon Glenn Beck recently sat down with Newsmax for an exclusive interview offering his take on everything from President Obama, to the threat to talk radio and even a worry that our Constitutional government may disappear after a "Reichstag" event takes place.
Beck, who is also thriving on the radio, in bookstores and on the comedy circuit, sat down with Newsmax magazine's Editor in Chief Christopher Ruddy and voiced his concerns about a coming attack on talk radio.
But his real worry is that many Washington elitists really don't like our form of government and want to see it abolished.
"I fear a Reichstag moment," he said, referring to the 1933 burning of Germany's parliament building in Berlin that the Nazis blamed on communists and Hitler used as an excuse to suspend constitutional liberties and consolidate power.
"God forbid, another 9/11. Something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced."
Yesterday, we highlighted a Newsmax column by John L. Perry essentially advocating a military coup to resolve the "Obama problem" (while, of course, claiming he was advocating no such thing). It's just the latest example of extreme right-wing rhetoric directed at President Obama.
Now, it appears that Newsmax has removed the column from its website; the link to it defaults to Perry's main column page. Fortunately, we made a copy.
As of this writing, Newsmax has posted no explanation or apology on its website -- arguably par for the course for Newsmax when it gets caught screwing up. But Media Matters has received the following statement from a Newsmax spokesperson:
In a blog posting to Newsmax John Perry wrote about a coup scenario involving the U.S. military. He clearly stated that he was not advocating such a scenario but simply describing one.
After several reader complaints, Newsmax wanted to insure that this article was not misinterpreted. It was removed after a short period after being posted.
Newsmax strongly believes in the principles of Constitutional government and would never advocate or insinuate any suggestion of an activity that would undermine our democracy or democratic institutions.
Mr. Perry served as a political appointee in the Carter administration in HUD and FEMA. He has no official relationship with Newsmax other than as an unpaid blogger.
Interesting that Newsmax makes a point of highlighting that Perry worked in the Carter administration, as if it somehow proves he's not really a right-wing nut. And its dismissal of Perry as nothing more than an "unpaid blogger" is a tad disingenous since Perry has been writing for Newsmax since 1999 and Perry's Newsmax bio touts how he "contributes a regular column to NewsMax.com."
From John L. Perry's September 29 Newsmax column:
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.
Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.
Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.
Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."
In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.
For months, Newsmax has been running a campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of Bernard Kerik, the former New York police chief and would-be Homeland Security secretary currently under indictment on numerous corruption charges -- indeed, Newsmax loves Kerik so much it made him a columnist. That campaign moved to an absurd level with an article in the September edition of its magazine, hyperbolically headlined "Bernie Kerik: The Trial of an American Hero." Newsmax thought so much of this piece that a PDF of it was created and posted on the Newsmax website. But writers Dave Eberhart and Jim Meyers hide facts in order to portray Kerik is the victim of "overzealous federal prosecutors."
Eberhart and Meyers allow Kerik's attorney to criticize "government tactics in this case, especially the recent third indictment in a new jurisdiction, Washington, D.C." But they fail to accurately explain why those charges were filed in the first place, repeating a claim in an earlier article by Eberhart that the dismissal of certain charges in the New York-based indictment against Kerik "apparently irked the prosecutors, who decided on May 26 to open up the new indictment against Kerik in D.C., including charging him with crimes [Judge Stephen] Robinson had dismissed."
In fact, those charges were dropped specifically so they could be filed in D.C. The judge essentially told prosecutors to do exactly what they did -- as Newsmax itself reported at the time.
Eberhart and Meyers also obfuscate about what exactly Kerik is charged with doing, selectively citing charges that they feel can be easily rebutted. There's no mention, for example, of what The Washington Post described as a $250,000 loan allegedly granted to him on an interest-free basis by an Israeli businessman that Kerik allegely failed to disclose on federal tax returns and when he was nominated by President Bush to be Homeland Security secretary in 2004. There's also no mention of Kerik's alleged failure to report $500,000 in income to the IRS or falsely claiming tens of thousands of dollars in tax deductions.
Eberhart and Meyers reference an inquiry into "whether he aided a New Jersey construction firm in gaining city permits in return for a lowball price on the home work" on Kerik's house without mentioning that, as the Post also reported, the construction firm in question was under investigation by four government agencies for ties to organized crime at the time it did the work for Kerik.
The writers also falsely suggest that one of the charges Kerik faces involves wiretapped phone conversations with then-Westchester County District Attorney (and current TV judge) Jeanine Pirro, who "asked him to conduct surveillance on her husband, whom she suspected of marital infidelity. According to published sources, the tapes indicate Kerik had tried to talk Pirro out of the surveillance." But since Kerik apparently did nothing wrong, he was apparently never charged in that particular incident; the recordings came to light as part of the corruption probe of Kerik.
(Just as Newsmax enthusiastically touted Kerik's DHS nomination at the time, it promoted Pirro's abortive Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2005, declaring any and all unsavory claims against her -- and there were many, largely centering around her two-timing, out-of-wedlock-siring, tax-cheat hubby -- to be "old news" even though most people weren't aware of them.)
Eberhart and Meyers are much more interested in burnishing Kerik's credentials. For instance, they note that "Kerik worked for the Interior Ministry in Baghdad training police recruits," but not that, as the Post reported, the stint "has been widely judged a failure" because Kerik abruptly quit after two months -- or, as Sen. John McCain put it: "Kerik was supposed to be there to help train the police force. He stayed two months, and one day left, just up and left."
The writers cranked up the melodramatic aspect of Kerik's purported victimhood:
Today, Bernard Kerik is fighting for his innocence with a criminal guillotine hanging over his head. Cut off from most of his business and media access, his income has withered.
Despite depleting his entire personal wealth, Kerik is going into the final rounds a wounded, but not beaten, man.
In other words, Eberhart and Meyers aren't doing reporting -- they're writing a hagiography.
One almost has to admire Matthew Vadum, senior editor at the right-wing Capital Research Center, for the sheer audacity of admitting that he doesn't have the facts to support his smear of President Obama, yet going ahead with the smear anyway.
In an Aug. 13 Newsmax article suggesting that an advertiser boycott campaign of Glenn Beck's Fox News show spearheaded by the group Color for Change, co-founded by current Obama administration official Van Jones, is "being orchestrated with some high level help from the Obama White House," reporter David A. Patten quotes Vadum as saying, "I don't have proof that the White House asked Color of Change to help it fight back against Glenn Beck ... But I wouldn't be surprised to learn it had. Van Jones has the president's ear. It's a few hundred feet from his office at the Council on Environmental Quality to the Oval Office."
That's it. The relative proximity of Jones' and Obama's offices -- a mere football field length away from each other! -- plus Vadum's baseless speculation are all the evidence Patten offers of this purported scheme.
It's hard to tell who's more foolish here -- Vadum for making such a boldly empty claim or Patten for building an article around it.
Several media conservatives have criticized President Obama for creating an "environment" and "climate" that helped foster the recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum.
Hours after the Holocaust Museum shooting, Newsmax.com published a column by Rabbi Dr. Morton H. Pomerantz headlined, "Obama Breeds Climate of Hate Against Jews." From the June 10 column:
Our new president did not tell a virulent anti-Semite to travel to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to kill Jews, but he is most certainly creating a climate of hate against us.
It is no coincidence that we are witnessing this level of hatred toward Jews as President Barack Obama positions America against the Jewish state.
While Obama acknowledged that "six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today" - his discussion about the Holocaust was followed by this statement: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."
"On the other hand . . . "?
Obama's clever construct comparing the mass genocide of six million Jews to the Palestinian struggle will not be lost on the estimated 100 million Muslims who tuned into to hear him.
Perhaps it was not lost on James W. von Brunn, the 88-year-old white supremacist identified as the alleged attacker Wednesday at the Holocaust Museum. He apparently felt that he could easily take retribution against the Jews for the atrocities Obama implies they are guilty of.
The column is promoted at the top of Newsmax:
Some prominent media conservatives have harshly criticized President Obama's speech in Cairo, while others offered praise for Obama's address.