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The Great Circle Jerk of Life

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This is an amusing article about Christopher Ruddy, the conservative publisher/conspiracy nut who faces some legal jeopardy because hs network routinely and falsely accused deep-pocketed corporations of stealing the 2020 presidential elections for Hugo Chavez. Needless to say, Newsmax is basically a loss-leader for an array of scams to bilk people who make the mistake of providing Ruddy with their email address out of as much money as possible while advancing his own profile:

Yet Newmax’s core business model would eventually be centered on email marketing. Visitors to the site — primarily older readers — would log on to certain features by entering an email address that Newsmax would then use to market Ruddy’s other businesses, selling annuities, life insurance, investment products and newsletters. The company currently offers nine finance newsletters and five health-related ones.

“That’s where all his power and money come from,” said a Newsmax television host, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid alienating the boss.

The newsletter business begot books targeted to “real” or “heartland” Americans — titles such as “Fight Back: Beat the Coronavirus” and “Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win” — as well a line of vitamins and dietary supplements.

It was unglamorous stuff. But it paved Ruddy’s path into higher levels of politics, as Republican operatives began tapping into his data-rich email lists to target potential voters. Between 2013 and 2020, more than a dozen campaigns or PACs paid Newsmax to rent email lists or use them for fundraising or solicitations, even as Newsmax’s journalism operations covered their campaigns.

The article also reminds us that Ruddy made his bones asserting that Hillary Clinton had murdered Vincent Foster, and guess who makes an appearance in that whole saga:

Long before the Trump era, Ruddy was best known as the young New York Post reporter probing the 1993 suicide of Clinton White House aide Vince Foster — and exploring the wilder, false claims that he had been murdered. His work made its mark: Brett M. Kavanaugh, then working for Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the Lewinsky affair, circulated Ruddy’s articles to lawyers who joined the team.

Remember when substantial parts of the liberal legal world pretended to believe that this chain-email-forwarding wingnut uncle was actually a person of Great Intellectual Distinction? Good times!

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