Biased news media and Democratic operatives are skilled at crafting a powerful, coordinated narrative against President Trump and his administration. But the jig may be up soon. It’s getting harder for the president’s foes to create and sustain a believable story that Mr. Trump will fail in his mission, the nation is on the brink of collapse or that Hillary Clinton was robbed of her rightful place in the White House. Too many meticulous press watchdogs are pushing back with straightforward analysis. The narrative is no longer seamless, and the public is taking notice.
A new study by the Media Research Center analyzed dozens of evening news stories on CBS, ABC and NBC during the first 30 days of Mr. Trump’s presidency, parsing content and tone. The result: The researchers found that 88 percent of the coverage about Mr. Trump and his team was “hostile” during the study period. Previous research by the conservative organization conducted during Mr. Trump’s campaign revealed that 91 percent of that coverage was negative as well.
On a daily basis, talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh and other conservative commentators untangle the daily deluge of Trump-bashing, exposing carefully placed buzzwords and story lines deployed daily by left-leaning political and media forces. Mr. Limbaugh and company track the trajectory of these efforts and school the public in detecting “fake news,” media melodrama and press parlor tricks.
“It is my intention to inform you, and let you know how you are being entirely misled if your sources are ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. You are being purposely, totally misled, because they are part of the agenda,” Mr. Limbaugh told his listeners, specifically citing media preoccupation with possible Russian “interference” in the 2016 election.
Breitbart.com columnist and talk radio host Robert Davi offers a more descriptive dimension on the phenomenon. The press doesn’t just craft believable looking fake news to suit their agenda, he says.
“They are committing fake news,” Mr. Davi tells Inside the Beltway.
Some analysts believe that the outcry from press and political forces against Mr. Trump and Republicans could backfire. The American public is weary of gridlock on Capitol Hill and general negativity in the civic arena, and now look for evidence of cooperation between rivals. Still, some distinct partisan differences remain. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 64 percent of American say that ensuring news organizations are free to “criticize political leaders” is important to a strong democracy. The pollster found that 49 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats agree with the idea — the “sharpest partisan disagreement” in the survey, which examined the essentials of democracy. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
ROGER STONE, THE MOVIE
He has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, was an adviser to the former president at one point, and has been an ardent supporter of President Trump for many decades. It is no surprise, perhaps, that a new documentary about Roger Stone is in the works, and will premiere on Netflix later this spring.
Titled “Get Mr. Roger Stone,” it will also make a debut at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. The film offers “an up-close look into his rise and the transformation of American politics,” according to Netflix. The filmmakers say that Mr. Trump is interviewed in the film.
Mr. Stone is the author of “The Making of the President,” released in late January by Skyhorse Books, which describes the author as “The grizzled political veteran of ten Republican presidential campaigns from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump.” In the book, Mr. Stone “explains how Trump’s election has averted near certain war with Russia over Syria and the rejection of the neocon policies of the Obama/Clinton Administration.”
MADAME MAYOR RETURNS
Persistent rumors that former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton could run for New York City mayor against incumbent Bill De Blasio in November have resurfaced. Spotted throughout Manhattan: “Hillary for Mayor 2017” campaign posters in signature Democratic blue and white, embellished with a red apple. Don’t laugh or sputter; the phenomenon has been picked up by the press, and pollsters have long been intrigued.
“In a very hypothetical race for New York City Mayor, Hillary Clinton, running as an independent, tops incumbent Bill de Blasio, running as a Democrat, 49 — 30 percent,” reported a Quinnipiac University poll released in mid-January after rumors surfaced, sparked primarily by John Gizzi, White House correspondent for Newsmax. He reported Jan. 5 that “major Democratic donors and leaders” were eager for a Clinton run.
“If she ran, she’d win,” one insider told Mr. Gizzi.
ONE FOR THE PUPS
There is still time to nominate a heroic canine for the 2017 American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards, which recognizes exemplary pups in eight categories: military, law enforcement and therapy dogs; rescue, guide/hearing, arson, search and rescue and service dogs plus “emerging hero dogs.” That category pays tribute to “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.”
The nomination process is online and easy, but requires a nice photo of the pup, and a brief essay as well. Winners receive $2,500 for the charity of their choice. But don’t dilly-dally. The nominations close Wednesday. Find it all at Herodogawards.org
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Florida Keys estate, home of iconic baseball legend Ted Williams from 1960-2002; two-story contemporary built in 1954 on Upper Matacumbe Key near Islamorada. Four bedrooms, four baths plus three-bedroom, one-bath guest house on waterfront; 3,200 square feet. Contemporary style, designer kitchen and baths, custom natural wood ceilings plus multiple decks and walkways, 100-foot concrete dock, deck, infinity pool, spa, outdoor game room and bar, gym “cottage,” tropical gardens, fountain. Priced at $4.2 million through Sothesbysrealty.com; find the home here
POLL DU JOUR
• 89 percent of Americans say “open and fair” national elections are an important part of a strong democracy; 92 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 83 percent overall say checks and balances dividing power between the president, Congress and the courts is important to democracy; 83 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats agree.
• 79 percent say the right to “nonviolent protest” is important; 68 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats agree.
• 74 percent overall say protecting rights of people with “unpopular views” is important; 66 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats agree.
• 64 percent say ensuring news organizations are free to “criticize political leaders” is important; 49 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,503 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 7-12 and released Thursday.
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