Posted 53 days ago
NEW YORK (AP) — Now that his largely invisible network has suddenly been flooded by fans of President Donald Trump, Newsmax television personality Grant Stinchfield is puffing out his chest.
“They don’t know what to do with all of us,” Stinchfield said on the air Monday night. “We’re killing it here on Newsmax with a tactic they’ve never tried. It’s called the truth, the stone-cold truth, and once you get a taste of it, you will never tolerate being lied to again.”
The conservative network’s critics suggest the opposite is true, that Newsmax’s viewers are being presented discredited stories such as a voting system that changed or deleted votes, questions about how closely Republicans were able to monitor vote-counting and the volume of absentee ballots being accepted.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.
Newsmax’s burst, whether or not it lasts, has been astonishingly swift and could foreshadow significant competition to Fox News Channel’s dominance with conservative viewers in two decades.
“We’ve really cornered Fox from the right,” said Chris Ruddy, Newsmax founder and friend of Trump. “They’ve never had that.”
From the beginning of July to the week before Election Day, Newsmax averaged 58,000 viewers from 7 to 10 p.m. on weekdays. That jumped to 568,000 the week after the election, the Nielsen company said. In the same period, daytime viewership increased from 46,000 to 450,000.
For the same dates, Fox News averaged 3.6 million viewers in the evening, Nielsen said. Fox’s prime-time viewership during the two weeks after the election was up 50 percent over last year.
“We love competition. We have always thrived on competition,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on an Election Day earnings call.
Ruddy traced much of Newsmax’s increase to Trump supporters angered by Fox’s election night call that Democrat Joe Biden had won Arizona — ahead of any other news organization. While that call proved correct, for the president’s backers it was an ill-timed sign of insufficient loyalty from their favorite network.
Trump, who criticized Fox throughout the campaign, has driven the point home with repeated tweets suggesting his followers check out Newsmax or a smaller rival that also presses a conservative viewpoint, One America News Network.
“There’s a large part of the country that wants to have a voice, the same people who gave birth to what turned into a very robust Fox News,” said Michael Clemente, Newsmax’s CEO until last April and a former Fox News executive. “Now, more than ever, they want to be heard, and have influence equal to their peers on the coasts. Their loyalty is to that voice and not to any place or another.”
Newsmax says it has an editorial staff of 70, including those attached to its website, which at midday Wednesday led with stories about Trump’s press secretary calling restrictions on Thanksgiving gatherings “Orwellian,” and ... (Read more)