“Your eyes do not deceive you, I’m Lara Trump in for Eric Bolling,” began the September 1 edition of Newsmax’s Eric Bolling The Balance.
Thus far in the 2024 election cycle, we have already seen Newsmax air weekly paid infomercials for one Republican presidential candidate and run a legal defense fundraiser for the lawyer of another. Adding to its unashamed indifference toward any semblance of journalistic ethics, the network can now also call former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law a guest host.
Lara Trump previously guest hosted Eric Bolling The Balance in June and sat behind the desk for the September 8 edition of Rob Schmitt Tonight. Trump’s three guest hosting gigs raise obvious questions about the depths of Newsmax’s favoritism toward the Trump campaign.
Although she appears not to hold any official position on Donald Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign, Lara Trump did serve as an advisor to her father-in-law’s 2020 campaign and still makes many media appearances in support of his candidacy. (It's worth noting that Fox News -- far from a paragon of journalistic ethics -- cut ties with Trump as an official contributor after her father announced his reelection campaign.)
On her recent episodes of Eric Bolling The Balance and Rob Schmitt Tonight, Lara Trump made sure to quickly push two of the Trump campaign’s core arguments against President Joe Biden, essentially calling him senile and corrupt in her opening monologues. Attacks like these are common on Newsmax and throughout right-wing media, though they take on a different light coming from shows helmed, however temporarily, by a member of the Trump family.
Above chyrons like “How far is too far gone to be president?” and “Biden’s mental state should concern everyone,” Lara Trump began her latest episode of Eric Bolling The Balance with a monologue about elderly politicians. Though Trump also mentioned Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), she focused primarily on Biden.
“Joe Biden seems to look more and more unable to hold the highest office in all the land,” Trump warned. “I don't know about you, but I'm seriously concerned about the state of the man sitting in the White House. … The fact is, as we get older, virtually all of us slow mentally and physically.”
However, Trump said there are “exceptions” to this rule — her father-in-law conveniently among them. “Let me tell you,” she reassured viewers, “Donald Trump is a very young 77 years old, proving that there are different situations and that yes, for some, age is just a number.”
Trump asked her guest, former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, if Biden’s “decline of some variety” is proof that we need “some sort of a mental acuity test” for presidential candidates.
“We in the medical profession are very aware of what the early signs of cognitive decline are,” Carson replied, before insinuating that Biden is not “functioning at a significant cognitive level,” and agreeing that a cognitive test “certainly should be required” to run for president once candidates “reach a certain age.” The chyron below Carson declared outright what he would only suggest: “Biden is getting older and mentally unstable, he can’t change that.”
On September 8, Trump returned to Newsmax to guest host another prime-time show, Rob Schmitt Tonight, where the first topic she addressed was “Democrats and their friends in the media” who she claimed “constantly dodge all of the evidence pointing to Joe Biden’s involvement in the Biden family influence-peddling business.”
In the ensuing monologue, Trump went on to defend Republican investigations of the Biden family, which grew out of the same right-wing media smears that led to former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment over attempts to extort Ukraine into investigating then-candidate Biden. “The walls are closing in on Joe Biden,” she declared.
“We don’t know if the guy in the White House is making decisions based on what's good for the country,” claimed Trump, “or what's good for his obligations related to the family business. … We may have a compromised president.”
“As a citizen of this country, I’ll tell you,” said the daughter-in-law of the twice-impeached, quadruple-indicted former president, “I am deeply concerned, and I sure hope to see movement on this.”
A right-wing media segment about Biden’s alleged corruption would be arguably incomplete without a back-and-forth discussion of how different things might be “if you replaced the name ‘Joe Biden’ with the name ‘Donald Trump.’” Attempting to highlight supposed media bias, Trump’s guest, former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), complained that CBS News “referred to President Donald Trump as ‘that former reality host.’”
“Are you kidding me? This is what really we’ve come to,” he said, apparently oblivious to (or unconcerned with) the bias exhibited by the network on which he was appearing. With Lara Trump’s recurring gig as a guest host, Newsmax is writing yet another chapter in its rich history of unethical behavior.