By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
If you were to judge Newsmax’s views about Facebook by what its hosts say on-air, you would probably be under the impression that the right-wing channel sees the social media company as an enemy of the conservative movement.
Greg Kelly has described Facebook as a “liberal group” that is “trying to skew the next election” and engaging in what he believes should be “illegal” behavior. Steve Cortes has said the company is “manipulating voting procedures.” And Diamond & Silk have said “white liberals” like chief executive Mark Zuckerberg are trying to “censor” their content.
But, behind the scenes, Newsmax is quietly doing significant business with Facebook, forking over millions to use the social media network as a promotional tool.
In the last 90 days, Newsmax has purchased approximately $1.5 million in ads from Facebook, according to records available publicly on the social media company’s website. And since 2018, the right-wing network has spent a total of $3.7 million with Facebook.
The staggering amount in advertising spent over the last 90 days has gone toward more than 2,300 Facebook advertisements — many of which promote the very hosts who describe the platform in diabolical terms.
For instance, while Sebastian Gorka as recently as Sunday was condemning “censorship of Big Tech on social media” on Newsmax’s airwaves, the network has in the past 90 days run more than 100 advertisements promoting his show. Dick Morris might knock “Big Tech cancel culture” on the channel, but Newsmax has run at least 90 ads promoting him this year.
Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, did not respond to a request for comment.
It’s unclear how much the advertising has helped Newsmax grow on Facebook over the last 90 days, but the channel’s official page boasts nearly 3.3 million followers.
And while it has spent heavily on advertisements, its competitors in the right-wing television business have not.
Facebook’s advertisement records revealed no spending by the far-right network One America News. And while Fox News spent $219,000 in advertisements in the past, it hasn’t purchased any since May 2019.