Heartlanders this week were unshakable. Some states locked down festivities on the biggest week for social gatherings, but defiant and belligerent flyover folks boarded planes, traveled miles, and gathered anyway. What they decidedly did not do was listen to the hysterics emanating from Swamp dwellers or the talking big-box media bosses – except for the man who just may have killed his golden goose for Thanksgiving.
How many synonyms for “faux pas” are there, you might ask? Well, conservatives in middle America accepted the challenge. As fast as Newsmax Media’s ratings have risen since Election Day, they may soon be plummeting to earth because of some odd and head-scratching comments from CEO Christopher Ruddy.
Perhaps Ruddy should have countered the request for an interview by such a solid leftist publication as The New Yorker with a bit more circumspection and forethought? Be that as it may, author Isaac Chotiner called and the Newsmax CEO apparently answered, though the upshot does not bode well for Mr. Ruddy. Here are a few pearls that have some conservatives hopping mad:
Chotiner: You and I both know that, regardless of what happened, Trump was going to claim that there was voter fraud, even if there was no evidence. We both know that. Let’s be honest.
Ruddy: No, I think that if Biden won by the numbers that we were told that he was going to win by, Donald Trump would not have had much of an argument to claim voter fraud. It would have been better for the country if the election had been decided with more of a mandate. I’m not a big fan of the Electoral College. I think the Electoral College is a mirage for conservatives. Someday, when Texas goes, and/or Florida, it’s going to be a nightmare for Republicans. I think that it’s better if the President is popularly elected, and that Republicans should start thinking in terms of appealing to a national vote, and not trying to get smaller groups and smaller states.
With regards to the recent election, Ruddy was quoted as saying, “I didn’t create the news cycle, Isaac. Donald Trump did. He created this whole thing. He could have accepted the [election] results, but I’m saying, ‘Look at the amazing stuff that’s done for the news business.’”
Well, the backdraft was as swift as kerosene on the smoldering embers of a whacky election. Holy moly, you could almost hear a million remote controls changing the channel each minute.
North Carolinian Brandon Lacy weighed in with “Newsmax… not actually in the ‘news’ business.” And in Benton, IL, Susan Townsend bid a swift adieu: “Goodbye, Newsmax.” Jennifer, a North Dakota gal, let this gem fly: “What kind of idiotic, inane, nincompoopish, oaf supposedly in the media business claims he is not reporting the news? Halfwit.” She said she turned the channel.
Before Fox News chewed its own arm off in a panic over election returns in Arizona and started calling winners out of the starting gate, conservatives were alarmed at repeated movements to lean left by the network and its many anchors and pundits. After all, they hired Donna Brazile, the woman who handed Hillary Clinton the questions ahead of the 2016 debates, so flyover folks were already on edge. As Fox began to disappoint its base, Newsmax Media began its foray into the big leagues.
Newsmax TV does boast some highly respected anchors, such as Greg Kelly, formerly of Fox’s Good Day New York. His latest program, Greg Kelly Reports, remains a clear favorite among conservatives despite the network CEO’s seeming bombast. The Newsmax line-up also includes former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Dallas radio host Chris Salcedo. As CNN’s Brian Stelter recently commented, Spicer & Co. has posted a 750% audience increase since before the election.
But will the impressive numbers hold out in the wake of Ruddy’s interview, which is widely being circulated with headlines like this one from Yahoo! News: “Newsmax CEO says Trump’s baseless voter fraud claims are ‘great for news’ in off the rails interview”?
A Once Bitten Hand Is Twice Shy
Ruddy has been around for a while, having worked for the New York Post during the Clinton years, as well as rubbing shoulders with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. On the books he is a smart cookie, building Newsmax with an original $25,000 personal investment, but as recent events show, he is no stranger to self-made firestorms.
All things aside, the star that was on the rise a month ago could be in serious danger of shooting to its death. Perhaps the angry masses will now be hitting the One America News Network a million times a minute. Stranger things have happened.
Without a doubt, the leftist media is more than a little consternated by places like Newsmax and Liberty Nation. When they come calling – as they inexorably will do as our numbers rise and theirs fall – we should expect them to do a good job at making us look bad. Ruddy is not a neophyte; perhaps he should have anticipated this and declined The New Yorker opportunity in favor of, say, having to clean his sock drawer.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.