- The Washington Times
Monday, March 25, 2019

NEWS AND OPINION:

Analysts already are wondering if there will be a Mueller “bounce” in President Trump‘s favorability ratings following his promising victory in the Russian collusion matter. That could happen. Or maybe not. One thing is for sure, though. The news media — which already suffers from lousy poll numbers — won’t get much bounce after a two-year history of producing outrage, melodrama and false narratives based around Robert Mueller‘s investigation of the president.

Now that it’s over, critics are taking the jaunty press to task over their cumulative coverage of the events, deeming that coverage provocative, speculative, underhanded and lots more. Here’s a few observations about the Mueller media, as told by informed observers from the last 24 hours:


“Worst journalistic debacle of my lifetime” (Fox News correspondent Brit Hume); “The New York Times and Washington Post are effectively finished as credible purveyors of fair and balanced news” (Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan); “Collusion by the news media, not Donald Trump” (USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds); “The American media destroyed themselves over the Mueller investigation” (PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon); “It’s not Trump that Putin snagged, it’s the media, a bunch of useful idiots” (Fox News host Greg Gutfeld).

And just a few more of the caustic comments:

“History will outlive the activists on CNN and it is our responsibility to shed light on the motives behind the machinations to undermine a duly elected president” (Boston Herald editorial); “They have destroyed the business that they work in, so-called journalism” (Rush Limbaugh); “And now comes the reckoning for the mainstream news media and the pundits” (Washington Post Paul Fahri); “Journalism dies in self-importance” (City Journal columnist Lance Morrow).

Oh, and then there’s #Mediagate, a popular Twitter hashtag that has been used to point out journalistic follies since 2009. It has been in much use in recent days.

TRUMP’S ON TASK NO MATTER WHAT

What’s next in the post-Mueller report world? Simply put, President Trump continues to take care of business and move forward just as he has for the last two years, making significant gains on a variety of fronts despite endless attacks from press and political rivals. Period.

“Even if some Democrats want to spend more time on discredited allegations, the American people can be confident, the president and I are going to continue to focus where we always have, on the issues that are most important to our country, on a stronger and more prosperous America and on a safer world, and that’s exactly what we’ve done since the first day of this administration,” Vice President Mike Pence told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday.

“Despite a roving special counsel and desperate Democrats trailing him every step of the way, President Trump has kept his focus where it belongs: achieving for the American people. He is making historic economic progress that benefits all Americans, all to make America great again,” says Brad Parscale, manager for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

HUGH’S NEW GIG

Here’s news from the Richard Nixon Foundation, which owns the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and jointly operates the site with the National Archives.

“The Richard Nixon Foundation will soon be led by Hugh Hewitt, the man President Nixon hired as a researcher from Harvard University 40 years ago and tasked with building and opening the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, nearly 30 years ago,” the foundation said.

Author and political commentator Mr. Hewitt will become the foundation’s president and CEO on July 1.

“Hugh Hewitt led the Nixon Foundation nearly 30 years ago, and now he’s coming home,” notes the foundation’s chairman, James H. Cavanaugh.

“Richard Nixon was a grand strategist and master diplomat, and his vision is exactly what is needed today as America faces challenges and opportunities with China, North Korea, Russia, throughout the Middle East and elsewhere,” Mr. Hewitt says.

“The world needs to be reminded of President Nixon’s lasting foreign policies, the strategic methods by which he assessed conflict and disagreement, and how he crafted strategies for resolution — building a more peaceful world.”

STILL NEGATIVE TO THE MAX

The Big Three broadcasters — ABC, CBS and NBC — provided an astonishing amount of coverage on Robert Mueller‘s investigation of President Trump.

A study released Monday found that the three networks produced more than 38 hours of Russia “collusion” coverage — and 92 percent of it was negative in tone and content.

“ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of ‘collusion’ coverage, most of it (1,909 minutes) following Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017. That’s an average of roughly three minutes a night, every night, for an astonishing 791 days — a level of coverage normally associated only with a major war or a presidential election,” writes Rich Noyes, senior editor of Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

“The networks’ fixation on scandal over substance is one reason their coverage of the president has been so preposterously lopsided. From January 1 through March 21 of this year, the spin of Trump coverage on the evening newscasts has been 92 percent negative vs. just eight percent positive — even worse than the 90 percent negative coverage we calculated in 2017 and 2018,” Mr. Noyes said, referring to two previous studies the organization conducted.

“As much as any of their hyperbolic spin, the massive onslaught of coverage during the past two years starkly reveals the media’s mindset. Now that the investigation they relentlessly touted has ended with an outcome favorable to the president they despise, it does seem a good time for a reckoning,” Mr. Noyes wrote.

POLL DU JOUR

79 percent of Americans who consume alcohol have made on online purchases when “under the influence.”

85 percent of this group say this practice increases impulse buying.

85 percent of this group made their purchase on Amazon.

34 percent prefer to drink beer when purchasing online, 29 percent chose wine, 17 percent whiskey, 10 percent vodka, 4 percent gin, 3 percent tequila and 3 percent rum.

20 percent later returned their “drunk purchase.”

6 percent regretted making their “drunk purchase.”

Source: A Hustle poll of 2,174 U.S. adults who consume alcohol conducted March 11-18. The Hustle is an online news site covering technology, marketing and brand identity.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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