Former Trump Campaign Adviser Steve Cortes Debuts at Newsmax

Former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes will premiere at Newsmax and will host its last prime-time broadcast for the right-wing cable channel as early as next week, if not earlier, five sources familiar with the matter told The Daily. Beast.

Tensions between Cortes and the MAGA cable network have long been simmering, sources suggest, but it’s a vehement disagreement among Trump loyalists — which he’s not shy when it comes to public speaking—With Newsmax’s company-wide vaccine rules being the last straw.

Newsmax did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Newsmax introduced a requirement that all employees be vaccinated or submit a weekly COVID test. News of such a policy, in line with the Biden administration’s policy for businesses with more than 100 employees, prompted Cortes to explicitly state on Twitter that he would not be taking part in any part of the campaign. there.

“I will not follow any organization’s attempt to enforce Biden’s unscientific and capricious racist medical mission,” he exploded in a tweet. “I will not be forced to have an injection, nor will I disclose my vaccination status. No one should be pressured to choose between their medical and work privacy. “

Cortes publicly bashing his employer’s decision may be the last straw, but insiders say the former Trump campaign strategist and former CNN contributor has long been at odds with Newsmax.

“It’s been going on for a while,” a current Newsmax employee told The Daily Beast, adding that Cortes is “a constant risk” given his tendency to make controversial comments and objectionable.

“He is being delayed. Can’t trust him,” the employee added, claiming that Cortes’ nightly show uses broadcast latency to give the network an opportunity to moderate potentially inappropriate content.

Another Newsmax insider suggested that threats of lawsuits have sprung up between Cortes and the network, while another current network employee says it’s most likely his exit “because of ratings for the network.” [the Cortes] compelling display” and Newsmax is just looking to make a difference.

“He still claims the election was stolen,” the employee continued, pointing out that such claims were disclosed on the Newsmax broadcast because the network facing billions of dollars in lawsuits to amplify baseless voter fraud conspiracy theories. Vote for a technology company Smartmatic and Dominate Both have filed defamation lawsuits against Newsmax for “knowingly and repeatedly” selling a “false story about election fraud” after Trump lost voters.

Cortes ‘leaving the emerging Trumpist network to just six months after Newsmax announced it he will co-host a weekday 9 p.m. ET show with former One America News reporter Jenn Pellegrino. Cortes & Pellegrino seems to be part of keep trying by Newsmax to expose MAGA’s hardened audience, who had grown disgruntled with Fox News for allegedly not being loyal enough to former President Donald Trump.

While it is hoped that Cortes’ credibility with Trump’s fervent base will be enough to keep the disgraced former president’s followers on track, Cortes & Pellegrino averaging just 152,000 in total viewers per night last month, and 24,000 in the primary ad demographic of viewers aged 25-54. Share the same time with the cable news Hannity and The Rachel Maddow Show, the 9 p.m. show attracted only a fraction of its competitors’ viewership.

What’s more, the primetime show is one of the most underrated weekday offers out there, having seen its ratings drop back to earth after a brief post-war rally. election 2020. In October, Cortes & Pellegrino 9th in terms of viewership on Newsmax, lagging behind mid-afternoon shows like America’s Agenda and Eric Bolling: Balance. It also attracts 200,000 fewer viewers nightly than the highest rated show on the network Reporting by Greg Kelly, airs at 7 p.m. ET.

Cortes’ apparent ouster comes amid a host of other changes taking place at Newsmax. Last month, in a seemingly concerted effort to expand the newsroom’s operations and copying Fox News’ formula for separating its supposed “straight news” and opinion divisions, Newsmax hired two veteran Fox producers to become news directors and talent vice president of the network. The network is also in talks with former Fox News DC reporter James Rosen to take on the reporting role.

The former Trump adviser isn’t the only prominent figure Newsmax has shunned in recent weeks. After White House reporter Emerald Robinson – a far-right reporter with the long history of peddler conspiracy rhetoric—The publicly claimed COVID-19 vaccine contains a Satanic “bioluminescent” tracking device, the net pulled her out of the air and will probably never bring her back, many sources said.

And though Newsmax has long publicly embraced content-free right-wing commentary, Cortes’ rhetoric is a bridge too far for Newsmax executives behind the scenes, according to three sources familiar with the matter. believe.

Aside from its aggressive anti-vax stance — which irks Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy’s public support for vaccines and COVID-19 mitigation efforts — Cortes has long been a noisy 2020 denier who has protested Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud and a “stolen election.” ”

And even before Cortes relentlessly peddled “The Big Lie,” the hardline Trump had become known for his outlandish rhetoric.

For example, the campaign action then, lament in the summer of 2020 that Trump is not “more than a fascist.” On top of that, Cortes appeared on mainstream news program come push fake conspiracies about the Democratic presidential ticket at the end of the campaign.

—With additional reporting by Asawin Suebsaeng. Former Trump Campaign Adviser Steve Cortes Debuts at Newsmax


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