- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 18, 2017

The unexpected passing of Fox News founder Roger Ailes brought out a variety of headlines from news organizations, some of them hostile indeed.

Some also used the moment to shore up their stories which suggest the network itself is troubled. Passing in review, a select few headlines from the last 24 hours:


“Roger Ailes is dead, his scourge will live for decades” (Washington Post); “Roger Ailes’ life work was making paranoid creeps look like virtuous men” (Slate); “Roger Ailes leaves behind a much-diminished Fox News” (Chicago Tribune); “How Roger Ailes created Donald Trump” (CNN); “Roger Ailes was one of the worst Americans ever” (Rolling Stone); “Roger Ailes will be remembered as a lecherous, misogynistic and terrible boss — and that’s a good thing” (Salon); “Roger Ailes was innocent in — in his own mind” (New York Daily News); “Roger Ailes poisonous legacy” (The Week); and “What the loathed Roger Ailes leaves behind is wreckage” (The Globe and Mail).

WHEN MEDIA BIAS DEVOLVES INTO FAKE NEWS

Yes, much of the public has noticed that the major news organizations who oppose President Trump have gone to extreme measure to discredit his efforts and his 2016 win. The trend, however, is mutating into something larger.

“News organizations are throwing away their credibility to reverse the results of a democratic election,” writes Daniel Greenfield, who covers liberal culture and terrorism for Front Page magazine.

“Media bias began to corrupt the marketplace. But bias meant the selective reporting of facts. Falsehoods could creep in. But generally the media would not just casually run stories that were completely false. It would happen from time to time. But it wouldn’t be a constant practice,” Mr. Greenfield continues.

A tipping point has been reached.

“The day arrived. The sun rose over the CNN Center in Atlanta, the K Street digs of the Washington Post and the offices of other media organizations. And it was no longer a question of selective reporting. We were no longer arguing about the injection of opinion into news stories or journalistic double standards,” he says.

“The age of fake news had arrived. We no longer have a free press. All we have is a fake press.”

YES, THE ECONOMY IS FINE

Things remain very promising in the economy, though much of the press reports otherwise. When in doubt, look for the numbers.

“Economic expansion to continue, and possibly strengthen, in the near term,” reports the Conference Board Leading Economic Index, gauges 10 key components, including weekly work hours, manufacturing trends, stock prices and other factors.

The “LEI” increased 0.3 percent in April, following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.5 percent increase in February.

“The recent trend in the U.S. LEI, led by the positive outlook of consumers and financial markets, continues to point to a growing economy, perhaps even a cyclical pickup,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research for the international research group.

IDEAL: PRO-LIFE, PRO-ECONOMY

A pro-life party that embraces economic populism would be virtually unbeatable, says one close observer.

“The late former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, a Democrat, often said that a national candidate who was both pro-life and clearly fighting for the economic dignity of working Americans could not lose,” says Frank Cannon, president at the nonprofit American Principles Project. “The coalition built from a candidate whose platform combined those policies would be unbeatable. But neither party is truly taking Gov. Casey’s advice to heart right now.”

Mr. Cannon points out that both the Republican and Democratic parties are having identity crises at the moment. President Trump, for example, get considerable pushback from some conservatives for some of his economic policies. The Democrats, on the other hand, have clearly adopted a rigid pro-choice standard, not popular with the 30 percent of Democrats who are pro-life.

“It’s no coincidence Democrats and Republicans happen to be facing such essential questions at the same time. Donald Trump’s win last November proved Gov. Casey’s intuition to be true, thus exposing potentially fatal weaknesses within both parties. The only question now is, will either party respond by adapting and combining pro-life advocacy with economic populism to build a permanently powerful — and winning — coalition?” asks Mr. Cannon.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of U.S. workers “snack on the job.”

56 percent say they are overweight; 51 percent blame their sedentary desk job.

45 percent say they are too tired to exercise.

38 percent say they eat more because of stress.

25 percent say they have gained more than 10 pounds at their current job, 10 percent have gained 20 pounds.

Source: A CareerBuilder survey of 3,420 U.S. workers conducted Feb. 16-March 9 and released Thursday.

• Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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