- The Washington Times
Monday, July 22, 2019

Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s upcoming testimony before both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees beginning Wednesday has already mesmerized the news media, who remain fixated with “Russia collusion” and other narratives that are hostile toward President Trump.

The event and the coverage have already been politicized.


The New York Times predicts Mr. Mueller’s testimony is a “make or break moment for Democrats.” Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney in the Obama administration and a current MSNBC contributor tweeted — then deleted — a suggestion that Fox News would not cover the significant and long-awaited Mueller appearance.

To the contrary, the extensive Fox News coverage begins at 8:15 a.m. EDT Wednesday, pre-empting regular fare with a special report by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum throughout both testimonies.

“We’ve had some explosive hearings on Capitol Hill before. You think of James Comey testifying, Jeff Sessions in the Senate a couple of years ago. You think about Michael Cohen in February. This will dwarf that. The pure magnitude of this will be off the Richter scale,” predicted Fox News Capitol Hill producer Chad Pergram, in an recent appearance on “Hannity.”

Also in the mix for the network’s Mueller coverage: “Fox News Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace, “The Five” co-host Juan Williams, contributor Katie Pavlich, and Andrew McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Former independent counsel Ken Starr will also offer legal commentary.

The Fox News team includes co-anchor Harris Faulkner, “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Sandra Smith, Fox Business Network’s Dagen McDowell and legal analyst Emily Compagno.

Meanwhile, ABC News and NBC News plan to break into regular coverage for Mr. Mueller’s appearances — always a weighty decision which could affect advertising revenue. Not to be outdone, PBS and National Public Radio are also touting their Mueller coverage.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINE

NBC News poll of the South: Voters’ support for Trump grows, residents see race relations improving.”

That was the headline from NBC News on Monday. Their survey found that 54% of voters in 11 southern states approve President Trump’s job performance.

“More Southerners also said they think race relations in their states are improving. Twenty percent said they’re getting better, compared to 14% in September. The number of people who said relations are getting worse dropped significantly, from 44% in September to 34% in the current poll. A plurality of respondents, 44%, said they’re about the same,” the NBC poll analysis said.

“So much for the Democratic narrative,” observes Glenn Reynolds, the “Instapundit” columnist for PJ Media.

THE RETURN OF RICHARD NIXON

Arriving Tuesday: “After the Fall: The Remarkable Comeback of Richard Nixon” by Kasey S. Pipes, who served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush.

The author references the pivotal date of Aug. 9, 1974, when Nixon became the first and only U.S. president to resign.

“Yet only a decade later, Nixon was a trusted adviser to presidents, dispensing wisdom on campaign strategy and foreign policy, shaping the course of U.S. Soviet summit meetings, and representing the U.S. at state funerals — the very model of an elder statesman,” Mr. Pipes says.

His book is based on unprecedented access to private post-presidential documents at the Nixon Presidential Library, as granted by the Nixon family. It includes previously unreported inside information, which ultimately mended Nixon’s reputation.

Among other things, the author cites Nixon’s advice on the Strategic Defense Initiative which shaped President Ronald Reagan’s negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev, plus Nixon’s “surprising friendship” with President Bill Clinton.

The 320-page book was published by Regnery History.

‘REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE MELANIA’

The many admirers of Melania Trump — often described as “our beautiful first lady” by her fans — fault the media for their lack of positive coverage of her. Now comes a podcast by The Economist featuring Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour that suggests this phenomenon is true.

“Anna Wintour refused to acknowledge First Lady Melania Trump’s existence,” notes Mediaite.com in an analysis.

Melania came to the U.K. and very consciously wanted to see herself as an ambassador for British fashion or a trans-Atlantic ambassador. Do you value that or would you rather just stay away from the Trumps?” The Economist writer Anne McElvoy asked Ms. Wintour.

“I think first lady Michelle Obama really was so incredible in every decision she made about fashion, she supported young American designers, she supported designers from all over the world, she was the best ambassador that this country could possibly have,” the editor said, changing the subject.

“But she’s not the first lady now, so what about the one you’ve got now?” Ms. McElvoy persisted.

Nothing. Silence.

“To me, Obama is the example I admire,” Ms. Wintour replied instead.

POLL DU JOUR

45% of Americans have favorable opinion of President Trump; 52% have an unfavorable opinion, 3% have no opinion.

42% of Americans have a favorable opinion of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden; 40% have an unfavorable opinion, 8% have never heard of him and 10% have no opinion.

41% overall have a favorable opinion of Sen. Bernard Sanders; 43% have an unfavorable opinion, 8% have never heard of him and 8% have no opinion.

31% have a favorable opinion of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 36% have an unfavorable opinion, 23% have never heard of her and 11% have no opinion.

28% have a favorable opinion of Sen. Kamala D. Harris, 32% have an unfavorable opinion, 29% have never heard of her and 11% have no opinion.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,525 U.S. adults conducted July 1-12 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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