- The Washington Times
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It’s not a bad idea to parse out strategic language deployed by news organizations intent on undermining President Trump. It is a helpful skill. Coverage these days is clever — skewing content in subtle ways, nudging along a negative narrative about the Trump administration which sounds viable to much of the public.

Here’s a sterling example.


“Committed Obama PR flacks at the broadcast news networks are experts at using biased terminology. When President Obama and the Democrats changed the health care system it was consistently presented as ‘reform,’ but reporters rarely use the word when President Trump and the Republicans try to pass health care legislation,” says Mike Ciandella, a Media Research Center analyst who found that in the last three months, evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC only referred to the GOP health care plan as a positive “reform” 30 times.

“In a contrast that is nothing short of ridiculous, in the same time frame in 2009, these same networks referred to Obamacare as ‘reform’ 344 times — more than 11 times as much,” Mr. Ciandella says, adding that the networks were methodically crafting positive, optimistic coverage.

“In contrast, network journalists never missed an opportunity to slam the GOP health care bill in 2017,” Mr. Ciandella continues.

“When ObamaCare passed the House of Representatives in 2009, the networks lauded it as ‘historic’ and a ‘milestone.’ But when the GOP bill passed the House in early May of 2017, it was a ‘big risk” and ‘extreme.’ This fits with the network trend of systematically ignoring Obamacare’s failures.”

THE RISING WOES OF CNN

“(Donald) Trump, like all presidents, deserves coverage that is skeptical and tough, but also fair. That’s not what he’s getting. What started as bias against him has become a cancer that is consuming the best and brightest. In rough biblical justice, media attempts to destroy the president are boomeranging and leaving their reputations in tatters,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.

“CNN is suffering an especially bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, even trying to make a virtue of its hostility to the president. In doing so, executives conveniently confuse animus with professional skepticism, and cite growing audiences as proof of their good judgment. The bottom line matters, and there is certainly an audience for hating Trump all the time. But facts and fairness separate major news organizations from any other business looking to make a buck, and a commitment to them creates credibility and public trust,” Mr. Goodwin continues. “That’s how CNN sold itself for years — boring but trustworthy. Now it’s boring and untrustworthy.”

THE BIGGEST MEDIA OF ALL

The Broadcast Board of Governors has released its 75-page annual report. This low-key, independent federal agency is behind such networks as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Alhurra TV — charged with a mission to “inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy,” sometimes in the world’s most remote regions.

The agency reports that the average weekly audience is 278 million people — up by 52 million in the last year. They have many fans. Voice of America, for example, provided 2016 U.S. election coverage in 47 languages; 86 percent of its audience deems their broadcasts “trustworthy.”

And a historic note: Voice of America went on the air from a small studio in New York City in 1942, transmitting to Germany, and opening with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The first announcement followed, delivered in German by William Harlan Hale, a journalist.

“We bring you voices from America. Today, and daily from now on, we shall speak to you about America and the war,” he said. “The news may be good for us. The news may be bad. But we shall tell you the truth.”

VOIGHT, DAVI, BOONE AND FRIENDS

A broadcast event of note on Thursday: Move America Forward, the nation’s largest pro-troop grass-roots organization, will stage “Troopathon 10,” a live fundraiser that ultimately sends some very classy care packages to American troops deployed in war zones overseas.

The guest list includes famous folks who back the military as patriotic stars did in days of yore. Among the many who will make appearances during the seven-hour event: Jon Voight, Robert Davi, Pat Boone, Buzz Aldrin, Reba McEntire, Gene Simmons, Rush Limbaugh, Hulk Hogan, Joe Mantegna, Joe Theismann, Melanie Morgan, Kelsey Grammer, Ted Nugent, Tony Orlando and Wayne Newton.

The event will be live-streamed from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT at Newsmax.com, as well as via Newsmax TV, available on FIOS and other cable providers, along with YouTube, AppleTV and other online sources.

CHAFFETZ REINVENTED

Fox News Channel has signed soon-to-be former Rep. Jason Chaffetz to be a contributor, offering political analysis for the nation’s leading cable news provider and its sister channel, Fox Business Network. The Utah Republican’s new gig begins Saturday.

“Mr. Chaffetz represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District beginning in November 2008 until his recent resignation, which will end on June 30. During his time as congressman, he served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, [and] was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He also served on the Homeland Security Committee,” Fox News noted Wednesday.

“Mr. Chaffetz had an integral role in many government investigations, including the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the Benghazi terrorist attack, the IRS targeting scandal and the Secret Service investigation. Prior to running for Congress in 2008, Mr. Chaffetz worked as chief of staff to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman,” the network said.

POLL DU JOUR

91 percent of Americans say the right to vote is essential to the nation; 91 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats agree.

78 percent say citizens should be able to decide for themselves if they should vote; 82 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

59 percent say “everything possible should be done” to make it easier for citizens to vote; 35 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent say citizens must register ahead of time before they vote; 63 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,028 U.S. adults conducted April 19-23 and released Wednesday.

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