- The Washington Times
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

They have fought the good fight against liberal bias in the news media for three decades — armed with facts, figures, indisputable information and fierce opinion. That would be the Media Research Center, which celebrates its 30th anniversary Thursday in the nation’s capital with a glittering gala for 900 like-minded folks who embrace conservatism and reject the often hostile coverage of left-leaning journalists.

The theme for the sold-out evening is, in a word, “Speakeasy.” This party boasts a vintage nightclub theme; guests have been advised to arrive in formal wear, or snappy period attire from circa 1930. There will be flappers in fringe and feathers strolling through the grand and decorated premises — not all that far from the White House itself. Food and drink also will reflect the retro theme.


Of course Brent Bozell will be there. He founded the watchdog organization in 1987 and has built “The MRC” into one of the few forces which consistently counters the liberal narrative with conservative realities. Talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh will be in attendance. Nationally syndicated columnist and author Cal Thomas is the master of ceremonies.

“For 30 years the Media Research Center has chronicled the bias of the left wing media, which to any fair observer is no longer in doubt. Founder Brent Bozell uses humor, irony and hypocrisy to expose and hold accountable the reporters and others who clearly favor Democrats and all things liberal. We will gather Thursday night to laugh and ridicule our friends on the left and to present awards to the best — or is it the worst? — of them,” Mr. Thomas tells Inside the Beltway.

Indeed, “dishonors” awards will go out for the worst reporting and commentary, outrageous moments and unintentional comedy from the liberal press — caught on video and witnessed by gala guests on convenient Jumbotrons. It can get noisy. And jubilant. There is a special “Scared of the Trumpocalypse Award,” incidentally.

The event also applauds those who do things right. This year, Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican; author and Act for America founder Brigitte Gabriel; and Creative Response Concepts Public Relations President Greg Mueller will be recognized for their support of conservative media and mindset.

On stage to present such things: comedian Joe Piscopo, The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway and syndicated radio host Chris Plante.

“It’s all celebrating a 30-year history of making life miserable for liberals in the media,” a source says with a sly grin, noting that the unique event will be livestreamed at MRC.org/Gala at 8 p.m. EDT.

O’REILLY’S WARNING TO INGRAHAM

One veteran media powerhouse had some serious advice for another veteran media powerhouse.

Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered a word of caution to talk radio host and LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham — who will join Fox News on Oct. 20 with her own prime time show. The two have had their own conversation, however, in an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Mr. O’Reilly advised his host that left-leaning critics would target her.

“I have to warn you — for 20 years of my life, while I was on the Fox News Channel, I was attacked personally every single day. You will be, too. They have millions of dollars to spend to destroy me and to try to destroy Sean Hannity, who was smart enough to fight back. They’re going to come after you,” Mr. O’Reilly said.

“But the power now of the internet, the power of these far-left groups with all the money they have — they can smear you in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat, and no one cares about the truth. No one looks for the truth. It’s all about money in the corporate arena, and in the media arena it’s all about ideology. It’s a changing world. America is a changing place. And to me, it’s frightening,” he said.

GRAHAM’S PRAYER REQUEST

Evangelist Franklin Graham — who staunchly supported President Trump throughout his campaign and right into the White House — is still standing by his man.

“Join me in praying for @POTUS. He reminded the world, ‘If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph’,” Mr. Graham tweeted, quoting from a portion of the Mr. Trump’s speech before the United Nations on Tuesday.

“Yesterday @POTUS publicly warned the world about socialism. I hope the Democratic leaders in Washington were listening,” the pastor noted in a subsequent tweet.

UP HE GOES

President Trump’s polling numbers are on the “rebound,” says a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday which reveals a distinct uptick in Mr. Trump’s approval ratings. Last month, the president garnered a 39 percent approval among voters. This time around it stands at 43 percent.

“His approval rating among Republican voters is at 80 percent — up from 73 percent at his low-water mark. The President has also bounced five points with independents, from 35 percent to 40 percent,” the poll analysis said.

Mr. Trump’s response to two major hurricanes, and his efforts for bipartisan negotiation with Democratic leaders have been helpful in the process, according to Politico chief polling analyst Steve Shepard.

But there are holdouts. The poll also found that only 12 percent of Democratic voters now approve of the president.

THE ECONOMY: STILL PERCOLATING

A brief but significant missive from RetailNext Inc., a California-based market research group that tracks sales analytics and the consumer shopping experience. It predicts a positive forecast for U.S. retail performance over the November-December holiday period.

“RetailNext is predicting a 3.8 percent year-over-year lift in sales,” the organization said, also noting that online sales would jump 14.9 percent.

And the numbers?

“Total annual retail sales are on track to surpass $5 trillion in 2017, and online orders should break through the $550 billion level,” the group noted.

POLL DU JOUR

78 percent of Americans say “fake news” has damaged the credibility of the news media industry.

75 percent say fake news includes fabricated information.

72 percent say social media networks should block fake news.

64 percent say fake news intentionally misrepresents facts, 57 percent say it exaggerates headlines.

26 percent say “politically leaning content” contributes to fake news.

Source: A Team Lewis survey of 1,043 U.S. adults conducted May 19-21 and released Wednesday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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