Many news organizations unleashed their best adjectives and went for the drama of DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which was rescinded by the White House on Tuesday. Typical coverage put an emphasis on justice, struggle, resistance, shock, sadness, worry and the political “backlash” against the decision. But this type of journalism has been going on for a while.
“Even before Tuesday’s announcement, the liberal media have been alarmist in their attacks on any proposed rollback of DACA,” points out Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director of the Media Research Center — who cited multiple examples of DACA coverage that pushed agenda and handwringing over facts.
“This follows the exact blueprint the media used in 2012 and 2014. They did all they could do to lay the groundwork for President Barack Obama’s DACA announcements by filling their stories with unbalanced talking heads and sob stories of those who could be deported,” Mr. Dickens explained in his analysis, which examined five years’ worth of DACA coverage on NBC, CNN, PBS and other broadcast sources.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced a gaggle of journalists fixated on DACA; she took 36 questions on the subject Tuesday afternoon — but only two questions on the North Korean threat, and a single query about humanitarian matters in Myanmar. Mrs. Sanders fended off theoretical questions, emphasized the “orderly process” that was underway and fully addressed the dramatic underpinnings among press and pundits.
“There are a lot of people that I’ve seen attacking President Trump for not showing the level of compassion that they feel he should have. To me, the most heartless thing that I’ve seen all day today is that Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, are using this decision for fundraising, while the president is trying to fix this situation. They are politicizing an issue instead of actually doing their job. If they would spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on solutions, we wouldn’t even be in this problem in the first place. It’s not coldhearted for the president to uphold the law,” Mrs. Sanders told the journalists.
WELL, OF COURSE: MEDIA WILL ‘BLAME TRUMP’
The eager press is always looking for ways to craft yet another hostile narrative about President Trump. Here comes the next springboard for their efforts.
“A large crop of House members are likely to retire in the coming months, not necessarily because President Trump is polarizing, the parties are divided, or Capitol Hill is ‘dysfunctional’ — but because 40 years of history tell us it’s going to happen,” writes Nathan Gonzales, an elections analyst for Roll Call.
He cited previous trends — noting that since 1976, 22 House members, on average, retired each election cycle without seeking another office. This time around, five lawmakers have called it quits: Republican Reps. John J. Duncan Jr., Lynn Jenkins, Sam Johnson and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, plus Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Democrat.
“A full 17 members could announce their decision to walk away from Congress and elected office and the cycle could be described as an average occurrence. Of course, that’s not the narrative that’s likely to build,” says Mr. Gonzales. “If a batch of members announce their retirement, particularly Republicans, much of the media will almost certainly blame Trump, or the infighting within the GOP. Of course, retirement decisions aren’t made in a vacuum and it’s tough to isolate individual circumstances. But the historical context will likely be lost and the psychological impact of one of their colleagues being shot and nearly killed in broad daylight can’t be dismissed.”
Mr. Gonzales refers to the grave wounding of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise by a shooter who opened fire on a congressional baseball game practice in June.
NEWS FROM THE GOLDEN STATE
“At least 220 languages are spoken in California, and 44 percent of residents speak a language other than English at home. Seven million Californians say they cannot speak English well,” writes Los Angeles Times legal affairs writer Maura Dolano, who notes that the Golden State now can’t find enough interpreters for the state’s 8 million annual court cases.
The 2,000 qualified court interpreters are simply not enough to cover the language needs, which include Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, American Sign, Mandarin, Farsi, Cantonese, Russian, Tagalog, Arabic, Punjabi, Cambodian, Khmer, Japanese, Malayalam, Hmong, Mixteco, Lao and Aleutian Islands dialects.
NORTH DAKOTA CALLS
President Trump visits North Dakota on Wednesday, arriving in Bismarck, located some 1,317 miles west of the nation’s capital. The president will talk of tax reform and other matters at a sprawling oil refinery that employs 250 and processes some 74,000 barrels a day.
“This tax relief is really about small business, it’s about farmers, ranchers, energy, it’s about really helping our economy grow and helping us compete globally,” Sen. John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican, told The Bismarck Tribune.
It is friendly turf. And the cordial feelings continue. Mr. Trump won 63 percent of the votes in North Dakota during the 2016 election, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 27 percent. The president’s approval rating in the state now stands at 59 percent, eclipsed only by West Virginia with 60 percent, according to a Gallup tracking poll conducted during the first six months of the year. South Dakota is in third place with 57 percent, followed by Montana and Wyoming, both with 56 percent.
POLL DU JOUR
•55 percent of Americans favor DACA; 43 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of Donald Trump voters, 53 percent of independents, 70 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Hillary Clinton voters agree.
•27 percent overall oppose the policy; 40 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of Trump voters, 28 percent of independents, 13 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of Clinton voters agree.
•48 percent of Americans overall say the White House should preserve the DACA program; 30 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of Donald Trump voters, 43 percent of independents, 73 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Clinton voters agree.
•29 percent overall say the program should be ended; 49 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Trump voters, 29 percent of independents, 12 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of Clinton voters agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 3-5.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin
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