- The Washington Times
Sunday, July 9, 2017

Republicans and Democrats continue to grapple with one another — even as internal squabbles within the two major parties erupt on a regular basis. It presents a most unattractive picture to many Americans who are convinced that the partisan bickering and cranky infighting is counterproductive and downright petty. This phenomenon is not lost on the nation’s industrious third parties, who are polishing their messages and cultivating ways to attract disenchanted voters from both sides of the aisle.

They’re bustling. And clever. Narratives for both the Libertarian Party and the Green Party have gone beyond outsider outreach or quiet asides to focused intent: They want conventional news coverage. And thanks to President Trump, perhaps, they also see that canny use of social media can yield buzz, admiration and new followers.


Among other things, the Libertarian Party has a clever new logo and motto — “all of your freedoms, all of the time” — and is hiring a full-time press spokesperson to wrangle the media. They’re working on a formal history of the movement and actively recruiting candidates for local and state offices. The party is also tracking — one by one — those elected officials who are turning Libertarian, most recently in New Hampshire and Nebraska.

Meanwhile, the Green Party is launching what they call a “bold new plan, a new way to communicate our message.” Behold, it’s “Green Stream,” a dedicated Facebook Live channel complete with a production staff intent on recruiting new followers.

“The revolution will be livestreamed. Peace, ecology, democracy, social justice,” the organizers note, adding that their fundraising goal is a thrifty $5,000.

“The name of the game in today’s radically different political world is establishing and controlling the narrative. Building our media infrastructure is no longer just a good idea, it’s a necessity,” the Greens advise.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Empathy Tent”

Voila. That’s the name of a small tent and some lawn chairs set up by the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy, featured at a “Unite America First Rally” in Sacramento, California, on Saturday, and which played host to a number of political causes, including those backed by local residents who support President Trump.

The tent masters report that they are happy to furnish “free empathic listening, dialogue, empathy circles, circle facilitation training, conflict mediation, mediation training, de-escalation, arts and empathic design (human-centered design) and project team building.”

The San Francisco-based group has so far deployed their Empathy Tent to 14 rallies this year, primarily in the Los Angeles area.

FACT-CHECKING THE FACT-CHECKERS

‘As fact-checkers play an increasingly important role in journalism, it’s important to fact-check who funds them,” points out Aly Nielsen, a research analyst for MRC Business, a conservative press watchdog.

Liberals, she says, are at work. Ms. Nielsen reveals that the Poynter Institute’s two-year-old International Fact-Checking Network has received a total of $1.3 million from George Soros‘ Open Society Foundations and the Omidyar Network, a project of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Find the details here

Poynter describes their fact-checking network as a means to “ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports.”

Some of that funding comes from known “liberal sources,” Ms. Nielsen says.

“Can Poynter be trusted to oversee an unbiased fact-checking network when its own leadership — and funders — lean left?” she asks, adding that the organization’s advisory board includes journalists from Vox, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN and The New York Times — but no representatives from conservative media outlets.

MR. DOLE HAS A SAY

There was a tidal wave of reaction to President Trump’s recent overseas trip. Needless to say, liberals and news organizations were clucking with alarm over Mr. Trump’s G-20 visit before it even began; squawking followed.

There were, however, some quiet reactions of note. One came from Bob Dole, former Republican senator and presidential hopeful, and a man who has authentic institutional knowledge spanning decades.

“President Trump completed a number of critically important strategic meetings in Hamburg, Germany, with heads of state from around the world, all central to strengthening our relationships and building partnerships that will defeat terrorists and expand and protect our liberties — in so doing protecting and promoting the interests of America and of freedom-loving people everywhere,” Mr. Dole said in a statement released Sunday.

“Americans should be proud of the strong American leadership being restored by President Trump. More importantly they should be proud to live in a country that stands for the values he has so ably expressed, shared, and defended. President Trump’s actions have immensely helped restore our position as leader of the free world. This is time to set partisanship aside and work together on various serious problems in North Korea, Syria, and the Ukraine as well as other hotspots around the world,” Mr. Dole concluded.

FOXIFIED

Yes, Fox News remains the top cable news channel, as it has been for the last 15 years, according to Nielsen Media Research. And for the 26th week in a row, Fox News is No. 1 in the entire cable realm. And an interesting phenomenon: MSNBC is now No. 2 in all cable, followed by HGTV in third place. Here’s how many prime-time viewers the three pull in: Fox garners 2.3 million, MSNBC 1.6 million and HGTV 1.4 million.

Currently, CNN is ranked 13th on this roster, attracting 846,000 viewers.

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent of U.S. voters have a favorable impression of first lady Melania Trump; 82 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent of voters overall have a favorable view of President Trump; 88 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall have a favorable view of Hillary Clinton; 6 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall have a favorable view of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan; 66 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall have a favorable view of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; 9 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,017 registered U.S. voters conducted June 25-27 and released Friday.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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