Newsmax CEO says Trump's baseless voter fraud claims are 'great for news' in off the rails interview

Jake Lahut
chris ruddy newsmax interview new yorker
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy attends a dinner with the US president and business leaders in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 7, 2018. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy straight up said President Donald Trump's promoting of baseless voter fraud theories are good for his bottom line.

  • "At the end of the day, it's great for news," Ruddy said. "The news cycle is red-hot, and Newsmax is getting one million people per minute, according to Nielsen, tuning into Newsmax TV. I think it's good."

  • Even when reporter Isaac Chotiner pushed him on the effects Trump may be having on American democracy, Ruddy brushed that aside and tried to remove himself from any notion of responsibility.

  • "I didn't create the news cycle, Isaac. Donald Trump did. He created this whole thing. He could have accepted the results, but I'm saying, 'Look at the amazing stuff that's done for the news business.'"

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Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said the quiet part out loud in an unraveling interview with The New Yorker published Tuesday.

When asked by reporter Isaac Chotiner if he felt any responsibility for President Donald Trump eroding faith in democracy by running with baseless voter fraud claims on his TV network — which Trump has encouraged his supporters to watch instead of Fox News — Ruddy went straight for the bottom line.

"At the end of the day, it's great for news," Ruddy said. "The news cycle is red-hot, and Newsmax is getting one million people per minute, according to Nielsen, tuning into Newsmax TV. I think it's good."

"I think you made very clear what you're saying there," Chotiner replied.

"Well, I believe that Donald Trump's been great for the news business," Ruddy said. "And I think there's nothing wrong in saying that."

Chotiner then cut through any pretense that the issue at hand was the factual merits of vote counting, and instead the motivation of Ruddy to entertain theories with no evidence supporting them on his network.

"Look, you're a smart guy," Chotiner said. "You were defending things that you might not a hundred per cent believe, but the attention this is getting Newsmax, and what it's doing for the news business, is maybe where I should be focusing my questions, rather than the intricacies of the vote count."

Ruddy tried to extricate himself from any responsibility.

"Well, I would never do something that I thought was wrong or untrue," he said. "I didn't create the news cycle, Isaac. Donald Trump did. He created this whole thing."

"He could have accepted the results, but I'm saying, 'Look at the amazing stuff that's done for the news business.' People are more interested. And I think the debate's good. It is healthy."

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