- The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Like everything else, even media bias and press fairness is subject to interpretation. And confusion.

“Few voters think the media does a fair job covering President Trump. But they are equally divided on whether news organizations are too tough on the president, or whether they go too easy on him,” says a new Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted — the pollster says — “as coverage of his incendiary rhetoric has come under heightened scrutiny by both Democrats and Republicans.”


Yes, well.

“Thirty-seven percent of respondents believe the media is ‘too tough’ on Trump, while the same percentage believe the media is ‘not tough enough.’ Fifteen percent think the media’s treatment of Trump is ‘just right’ while 11% don’t know or have no opinion,” writes Politico analyst Quint Forgey.

“The responses are split sharply along party lines, with 75% of Republicans finding the media is too tough on the president, and 69% of Democrats finding the media is not tough enough. Among independent voters, 32% believe the media is too tough and 31% believe they are not tough enough,” Mr. Forgey says.

The findings illustrate the unstable state of the media marketplace, which takes on added dynamics when Mr. Trump wrangles the media for his own benefit with strategic tweets and aggressive responses. The president has a very well-developed skill set.

Meanwhile, the survey found that 55% of Americans believe it is the media’s main responsibility to “stop the spread of fake news.” Another 44 % agree it’s the media’s responsibility — just not the main responsibility.

“Bipartisan agreement holds that the media should combat misinformation, but partisan opinions diverge on whether it applies to scrutiny over President Trump,” notes Tyler Sinclair, vice president of Morning Consult. “Notably, 63% of Republicans and 51% of Democrats believe it’s the media’s main responsibility to stop the spread of fake news. However, while 75% of Republicans believe the media’s too tough on Trump, only 6% of Democrats say the same.”

More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

TRUMP IN THE GOLDEN STATE

Donors, like voters, remain unpredictable.

“Residents of California, the self-fashioned ‘resistance’ state that has sued the Trump administration more than 50 times, has donated more money to the Trump 2020 campaign than to most Democratic candidates in the 2020 race. President Trump raised $3.2 million in California since the beginning of this year, according to campaign finance data analyzed by CalMatters, a not-for-profit news organization focused on California issues,” reports The Guardian.

“Trump beat out everybody in the field except for Sen. Kamala Harris, who raised $7.5 million, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $5.1 million,” the news organization noted.

“Although affluent donors in Beverly Hills, Orange County and San Diego contributed significant sums — and together constituted a majority of California funds in Trump’s campaign war chest — 92.8% of donations came from small donors contributing less than $100.”

TRUMP IN THE GRANITE STATE

Yes, President Trump will stage a joyous jumbo campaign rally Thursday in Manchester, New Hampshire — and likely announce that his former campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski plans to run for the U.S. Senate in the Granite State.

“SNHU Arena has special significance for Trump, who starred in an election-eve rally there in 2016 during which he read a letter from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick endorsing his candidacy,” reports the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s leading news organization.

Democrats are watching with a keen eye.

“The New Hampshire campaign of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden is planning a competing protest down the street during President Trump’s rally. Biden campaign organizers will stage their ‘Stand Up to Hate’ event for 6 p.m. at the Portland Pie Co. restaurant across the street and just north of SNHU Arena, where Trump will be speaking,” the Union Leader said.

Whilst they are standing up to hate, campaign officials plan to push Mr. Biden’s plans for “unifying America.” He will be in Manchester himself by the weekend.

Mr. Biden’s rivals have been buzzing the state all week, meanwhile.

Sen. Bernard Sanders arrived Monday for a two-day, four-town tour; Sen. Elizabeth Warren came bustling through the state on Wednesday. Contenders Sen. Cory A. Booker, Andrew Yang, John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock begin arriving Thursday.

MEANWHILE IN THE ARCTIC

“A lust for adventure tourism is driving a rise in the number of cruise ships touring the Arctic, but local people are not seeing the benefits” from the “‘party ships’ in the region,” writes Sonia Elks, a reporter for Reuters.

Indigenous communities are being overwhelmed by ships that drop up to 1,000 passengers in small villages but offer no employment opportunities, KuupikVandersee Kleist, a former prime minister of Greenland who now serves an adviser to the Inuit Circumpolar Council, told the news organization.

“They arrive with their own guides. Villagers might be able to sell a little bit of local art — bone carvings or driftwood — but that is not sufficient to balance the harm they are doing,” Mr. Kleist said.

Harm?

“Large cruise ships also carry a heavy environmental burden, according to the Friends of the Earth charity, which said the vessels created large amounts of human sewage, oily bilge water and hazardous waste,” writes Ms. Elks.

According to the Arctic Economic Council, cruise ships now bring more than 100,000 eager visitors to the previously “out of reach” destination.

Things will get busy in a few weeks for another reason, however. Vice President Mike Pence travels to Iceland on Sept. 3 “where he will highlight Iceland’s strategic importance in the Arctic, NATO’s efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region, and opportunities to expand mutual trade and investment,” the White House noted on Wednesday.

POLL DU JOUR

44% of U.S. voters say calling attention to a “politician’s lie” is one of the news media’s responsibilities; 48% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 41% of Democrats agree.

32% say calling attention to a politician’s lie is the news media’s main responsibility; 21% of Republicans, 31% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree.

14% say calling attention to a lie is not the media’s responsibility; 23% of Republicans, 11% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.

11% don’t know or have no opinion on the issue; 9% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 9-11.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com


Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.