The Man Behind Newsmax’s Leftward Turn

News: US News
by Martina Moyski  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 5, 2021   

Producer Gary Kanofsky source of trouble

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - An anti-Trump producer is behind Newsmax's more liberal slant, according to reliable sources.

Church Militant has confirmed that Gary Kanofsky, a senior producer at Newsmax, was behind the censoring of Mike Lindell Tuesday when he appeared as a guest with Bob Sellers, host of American Agenda, and Heather Childers. The segment did not go smoothly, with Sellers talking over Lindell and abruptly walking off the set when Lindell tried to discuss election fraud as the reason he was banned on Twitter.

The incident caused widespread outrage among followers of Newsmax, with thousands on social media vowing to ditch the network for its treatment of pro-Trump conservative Lindell.

Inside sources have confirmed with Church Militant that the prepared statement from which Sellers read on air was provided by Kanofsky, and that it was Kanofsky who insisted that Lindell not be permitted to discuss the topic of election fraud.


 

Kanofsky was formerly chief content officer and executive vice president of news at RFD-TV. Before that, he was a senior producer at Al Jazeera America, known for its reportedly anti-American content. Al Jazeera is owned and funded by the government of Qatar, which has also funded the Islamic extremist group Muslim Brotherhood.

According to a description online, Kanofsky boasts of having "lifted editorial quality, production, on-air look, performances"; of being an "experienced negotiator with talent and vendors"; and of being a "congenial, inclusive manager."

But insiders tell a different story, saying he creates drama and causes trouble behind the scenes among anchors, policing scripts, deleting content deemed too "controversial," and nixing conservative guests who do not meet his approval.

Kanofsky reportedly holds sway with Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, who allows Kanofsky free rein to determine the direction of content.

Ruddy himself has come under scrutiny, after reports show he donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

After Kanofsky was outed, hundreds of commenters on social media platform Gab slammed the producer, with some insisting that Newsmax fire him.

"I'm deleting and boycotting until they fire that guy," said one commenter. "Isn't that the liberal way? Fight fire with fire."

"He should cost them millions," said another. "Everyone should should boycott."

"We the People say fire Kanofsky!" said yet another.

Church Militant contacted Newsmax for comment on Kanofsky's role at the organization but received no response as of press time.

A Half-Hearted Apology

Meanwhile, after backlash, Sellers issued a public apology for his behavior during Lindell's segment. 

Sellers claimed in his apology that Lindell is "a friend of the network" and that he will be back.

He then explained why he walked off the set: "Mike thought that we were to talk about vote fraud in the recent election. It's a topic we have covered extensively on Newsmax. I was frustrated that we couldn't focus on the current very pressing issue of free speech and cancel culture."

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Mike Lindell

But social media users were not buying it. One user tweeted: "Of course it didn't go well. The guy in the middle [Sellers] is following his instructions that journalism and investigation are not allowed at Newsmax. The man in the middle made it clear they only go by what is 'official,' and the 'official' narrative is we cannot entertain opposing views."

And on Gab, a user commented, "I quit watching them and deleted my app." Hundreds of other comments expressed similar sentiments.

The drama of Tuesday's segment came after Childers asked, "What happened with your Twitter account and the company page?"

Lindell answered: "Well, first [it] was taken down because we have all the election fraud with these Dominion machines. We have 100% proof."

Sellers shot back: "Mike, Mike, you're talking about machines that we at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those kinds of allegations. We just want to let people know that there's nothing substantive that we've seen."

Reading from the disclaimer ready in hand, provided by Kanofsky, Sellers said: "While there were some clear evidence of some cases of voter fraud and election irregularities, the election results in every state were certified and Newsmax accepts the results as legal and final. The courts have also supported that view." 

"So we wanted to talk to you about canceling culture, if you will," he entreated.

Lindell repeated: "They [banned me from Twitter] because I'm reviewing all the evidence on Friday of all the election fraud with these machines," Lindell continued. "So I'm sorry if you think it's not real. It's real."

"Okay, Mike. Can I ask our producers, can we get out of here, please?" he retorted. "I don't want to have to keep going over this. We at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those allegations ... ."

In an unusual turn, Sellers got up and left the Newsmax set, leaving the camera with a shot of his empty seat.

Not a First Unnerving

This is not the first time Newsmax got jumpy about voter fraud allegations. In December, Business Insider reported that Newsmax had recently aired "a nearly two-minute video ticking through items it had 'not reported as true'" regarding, as Business Insider phrased it, "President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated election-fraud theories." 

Newsmax, along with other media, were — and still are — concerned with defamation lawsuits from a pair of voting-system companies, including Dominion, The New York Times reported.

Newsmax viewers were taken aback by Seller's antics with many seeing a déjà vu of Fox News' heel turn on Election Night. 

But Sellers' — and Newsmax's — reaction to Lindell's position on voter fraud runs counter to the weight of Peter Navarro's three damning reports on election fraud released in December and January. Navarro, President Trump's trade advisor, released "Yes, President Trump Won," the final volume,  less than a week before Joe Biden's inauguration.

The 14-page report, including 52 references, "provide[s] the most up-to-date statistical 'receipts' with respect to the potential number of illegal votes in each battleground state," Navarro explained. 

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Bob Sellers

For Navarro, "receipts" — a term Steve Bannon has made famous on his War Room podcast series — refers to the overwhelming evidence of fraud revealed in thousands of affidavits attesting to voting irregularities, proof of tens of thousands of illegal votes cast in battleground states and audits of voting machines showing statistical discrepancies, even impossibilities.

Newsmax viewers were taken aback by Seller's antics, with many seeing a déjà vu of Fox News' heel turn on Election Night. 

Self-described anti-Trump conservative and radio host Joe Walsh said he was overwhelmed with reactions from Trump voters.

"I've been bombarded so far this morning by Trump supporters telling me they're done with Newsmax because of how Newsmax treated the My Pillow guy yesterday," Walsh tweeted Wednesday. "I kid you not."

"People are ticked at the way Sellers treated Lindell and are vowing to drop Newsmax," one observer told Church Militant. 

Another viewer asked, is it "Newsmax or News Minimum?"

Yet another rued, "For video news, that pretty much just leaves Church Militant and One America News Network who haven't sold out."
 

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