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WHAT HAS NOW CHANGED?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 6, 2016) — In a syndicated column dated August 23, 2013, National Review Online (NRO) editor Rich Lowry called Sen. Ted Cruz a “traitor to his class” for the “unforgivable offense” of following the alleged unwritten Senate rule to “initially be seen and not heard.”
Cruz was then approximately eight months into his term in the U.S. Senate, having been elected in November 2012 by strong Tea Party support.
Lowry’s column was published by NRO, Politico, The New York Post, HotAir, Jewish World Review, and the LaCrosse Tribune, the latter of which changed the title to “Liberals love to target Sen. Ted Cruz.”
On January 22, 2016, a number of media figures and writers contributed to an edition of NRO titled “Against Trump” aimed at convincing the public prior to the first primary vote in Iowa that businessman Donald Trump should not become the next president. Two contributors’ endorsements of Cruz were published at the conclusion of their columns, including that of L. Brent Bozell, III, president of the Media Research Center (MRC), which reportedly does not endorse candidates.
At the conclusion of Bozell’s column, he stated, “We conservatives should support the one candidate who walks with us,” just under which is a statement about his outside activity and his endorsement of Cruz, which was expressed as “unconditional” in a July 2015 statement.
MRC’s mission statement reads, “MRC’s sole mission is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media. This makes the MRC’s work unique within the conservative movement.”
On February 1, MRC noted, including supportive data, that “For months, one of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s major advantages has been the establishment media’s decision to cover his candidacy to the near-exclusion of his Republican competitors. A new analysis by the Media Research Center finds Trump continued to receive the vast majority of TV news coverage throughout the month of January, leading up to tonight’s crucial Iowa caucuses.”
MRC’s top story on its website on Saturday is titled, “Crushing Cruz: The Media’s Worst Attacks on the Texas Senator.”
It is unclear as to whether or not National Review Online converted to non-profit status and therefore could have engaged in impermissible political activity under IRS regulations by campaigning for or against a candidate for public office by issuing its “Against Trump” edition. According to a March 2015 article published by Politico, Lowry affirmed that “the move to nonprofit status officially recognized ‘what has always been the case: We’re a mission and a cause, not a profit-making business.'”
Commentator and radio host Glenn Beck has endorsed Cruz, along with Iowa “Family Leader” founder Bob Vander Plaats; “Duck Dynasty” actor Phil Robertson; and Tea Party “co-founder” and author Dana Loesch.
In an NRO column dated February 5 titled “Don’t Discount Donald Trump,” Lowry wrote that Trump’s “loss in Iowa wasn’t just a victory for conservatives, but a loss for the mogul’s routinely low and dishonest style of campaigning.” Lowry added that Trump’s questioning of Cruz’s constitutional eligibility was “disgraceful.” Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban-citizen father and an American mother, but many, including those who have filed ballot challenges and lawsuits, believe he is not a “natural born Citizen” as required by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.
In his piece, Lowry described the allegation by the Carson campaign and later by Trump, that the Cruz campaign had used “dirty tricks” last Monday in Iowa to garner votes from Carson by spreading the false rumor that Carson was exiting the race, as “ridiculously unfounded.” Focusing on Trump, Lowry failed to mention that Carson had first leveled the accusation. Although accepting an apology from Cruz, Carson then expressed that he did not believe it rectified the result.
Breitbart exclusively posted the audio from a voice mail that was sent out on Monday night from a Cruz staffer before voting commenced in addition to an email stating that Carson was suspending his campaign. The following day, Cruz supporter U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa issued an apology and attributed “any miscommunications” to a report from CNN which said that “After the
#IAcaucus, @RealBenCarson plans to take a break from campaigning http://cnn.it/Iowa.”
On Thursday, MRC’s “Newsbusters” division reported that ABC News’s Tom Llamas aggressively questioned Cruz about the “dirty tricks” allegation, to which Cruz responded, “Is it a dirty trick to pass on your news stories? You’re in the business. Would you think it was if I forwarding an ABC story or just a dirty trick to pass on CNN stories?”
However, CNN did not report that Carson was suspending his campaign, nor that he would be “making a big announcement next week,” which was contained in the staffer’s email.
At the bottom of the Newsbusters article is a poll titled, “Which Candidate Has More to Hide?” picturing four presidential candidates: Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
A link on NRO to a New York Times editorial titled “The Plausibility of Ted Cruz” reveals a column which begins, “It’s rare for a politician to be overshadowed in victory, and even rarer when that victory is actually an upset. But Ted Cruz managed that trick in Iowa: Despite pulling out a victory when almost everyone expected Donald J. Trump to win, he found himself overshadowed twice in the coverage that followed— first by Trump’s unexpected flop, and second by Marco Rubio’s unexpectedly strong third-place finish.”
On Wednesday, well-known elections analyst Karl Rove told Bill O’Reilly on his show that the Cruz tactic was done intentionally to hurt Carson’s campaign. During the interview, Rove claimed that the improper messaging from Cruz supporters caused both Carson and Trump to lose votes. Trump had been predicted to win by an average margin of approximately five points.
In his February 5 article, Lowry did not reference the “Violation” mailer the Cruz campaign sent out prior to the Iowa caucuses which attempted to convince residents to vote in the caucuses by assigning a poor “grade” to their districts. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office condemned the mailers as “misrepresenting Iowa election law.
On Friday, NRO featured an article titled “Iowa’s Transparently Dishonest Democratic Caucus,” but Cruz’s alleged “dirty tricks” and voter “violation” mailer are not mentioned.
Bozell justified the mailers as “just another attack” on Cruz, stating that the Obama campaign had done the same in 2008 (see video in upper-right corner).
The Post & Email has contacted Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to inquire as to whether or not his office will be investigating, although as of press time, there is no indication on his website that an investigation has been launched.
Beck claimed when endorsing Cruz that Cruz “stands on his principles relentlessly.” His contribution to the NRO issue decried Trump’s suitability for the presidency, as did Loesch’s.
In late December, Cruz was reportedly confident that he would win the Iowa caucuses.
In a January 18, 2016 editorial, writer David French observed:
Two weeks ago, I assumed that — as candidates such as Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich floundered — the GOP establishment would migrate to Marco Rubio and then Ted Cruz before coalescing around Donald Trump if and only if he emerged as the inevitable nominee. I may be wrong. Simply put, I keep underestimating establishment distaste for Cruz. In conversations with establishment figures I respect — people who love this country and have nothing substantial to lose from either a Trump or Cruz presidency — I’m detecting a preference for Trump…
To be clear, this growing preference for Trump is born of deep despair. The establishment doesn’t want the race to come down to Trump and Cruz…
We’re two weeks from the first votes, and — though hardly inevitable — a simultaneous, seismic defeat of both parties’ establishments seems more possible than ever. But defeat won’t force party insiders to walk away; it will only mean they have to pick new sides.
Trump has survived everything the establishment has thrown at him. Can he survive its support?
If Cruz was a “traitor” to the institutions where he obtained his education, what is he now?
On Saturday morning The Post & Email discovered that National Review is now giving away the “Against Trump” issue. We did not investigate to see if conditions apply.