Newsmax Runs Away From Its Election Conspiracy Coverage Like A Scalded Dog

|
December 21, 2020 3:14 p.m.

Newsmax on Monday became the second television operation to air a lengthy fact-check-style segment rebutting the conspiracy theories it’s aired for weeks about the 2020 election, after a voting machine manufacturer threatened them with legal consequences. 

Newsmax, like Fox News, received a letter earlier this month from manufacturer Smartmatic threatening legal action unless the network retracted various “false and defamatory statements.” 

Over the weekend, three shows on Fox News and Fox Business Network aired the same surreal interview with a voting machines expert that contradicted numerous past statements made on the shows. 

Newsmax host John Tabacco, host of “Liquid Lunch,” did the dirty work himself on Monday. 

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The network would like to clarify it’s coverage, Tabacco said — “and note it has not reported as true certain claims made about these companies.”

What followed was an effective summary of the weeks of conspiracy theories that Newsmax and other fringe outlets have aired as consolation prizes to Trump dead-enders.

In quick succession, Tabacco said there was no evidence to support assertions that Smartmatic or fellow voting machine manufacturer Dominion were used to flip votes in the 2020 election, and noted that Dominion had denied any relationship to a number of Trumpy boogeymen — including the Feinsteins, Clintons, Pelosis, Chavezes, and George Soros.

Tabacco punctuated each name with a note of resignation: “Dominion has stated the company has no ownership relationship with the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, the Clinton family, Hugo Chavez or the government of Venezuela.”

He wasn’t done: “Neither Dominion nor Smartmatic has any relationship with George Soros,” Tabacco said.

Tabacco wound up again: “Smartmatic is a U.S. company and not owned by the Venezuelan government, Hugo Chavez, or any foreign official or entity.”

At the end of his public service announcement, Tabacco referenced an article published Sunday night, “Facts About Dominion, Smartmatic You Should Know” that used the same disclaimer Tabacco recited on air: “Newsmax would like to clarify its news coverage and note it has not reported as true certain claims made about these companies.” 

Comments below the piece reflected viewers’ frustration at the sudden change in tone. 

“You are caving to a COUP!!! STOP YOURSELVES NOW !!! Courage takes sacrifice…” one person observed. “Hold the Line..Don’t become a Commie Newsmax! We can leave you just as fast as we started to follow you!!!” 

Smartmatic also demanded retractions from One America News Network, which has also trafficked in wild conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines stealing Trump’s second term. And Dominion sent a similar letter to Sidney Powell, the former Trump campaign lawyer who popularized many of the Dominion/Smartmatic theories. 

Powell, a frequent guest on Newsmax, told the network in November: “The math just doesn’t add up for anything and we know Dominion has a long history of rigging elections, because that’s what it was created to do to begin with.”

“It was created so Hugo Chavez would never lose another election, and he did not after that software was created,” Powell added. “He won every single election and then they exported it to Argentina and other countries in South America, and then they brought it here.”

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: