- The Washington Times
Thursday, March 11, 2021

It was the “compliant media” that really sold the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief bill to the American people, and the broadcasters did so in the most obvious way. They only featured the good stuff. So says a new analysis of the recent coverage on CBS, ABC and NBC.

“Instead of scrutinizing the bill’s spending choices, the broadcast networks built their coverage around its most popular provision as well as sympathetic anecdotes about those in need,” reports the Media Research Center, which examined 68 stories which aired from Jan. 22 — the day President Biden announced his plan — to March 5, the final day of Senate debates over the legislation.


“The networks mainly directed viewers to think about the $1,400 checks to individuals, mentioning this singularly popular line item in about three-fifths of all stories (40). That was twice as often as they talked about the money that would be spent on vaccines and testing to fight the pandemic itself (20 stories),” wrote Rich Noyes, research director for the conservative press watchdog.

Additional unemployment benefits warranted 20 stories on the networks, the $15 minimum wage got 19 stories, while funding for schools and help for small businesses each garnered a dozen stories.

“Instead of scrutinizing the bill’s spending choices, the networks built their coverage around sympathetic anecdotes,” Mr. Noyes said, particularly citing a report by NBC News anchorman Lester Holt, who told his audience that the “economic pain of the pandemic” could be found near the White House itself.

A dozen similar stories — or 18% of the total coverage on all three networks — centered on emotional anecdotes.

Things were different when former President Donald Trump was in office, however.

“During the Trump years, the establishment liberal media championed themselves as truth-tellers who would hold his administration accountable. In covering the first major initiative of the Biden administration, the networks executed a full flip-flop — abandoning any pretense of hostility in favor of providing aid and comfort for a massive spending bill that goes far beyond what’s necessary to help those who are actually in need,” Mr. Noyes said.

TRUMPDATE

Here’s a casual update on the thoughts and activities of former President Donald Trump, part of an ongoing series.

“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t president, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

Mr. Trump, by the way, will attend the annual Republican Spring Retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, in April. More on that later.

JUST IN CASE YOU NEED ONE

The National Republican Congressional Committee is now offering a handy way to follow the socialist leanings of lawmakers. The Socialist Agenda Scorecard website highlights the “radical policies House Democrats are pushing” into serious agenda.

“The website tracks and catalogues vulnerable Democrats’ votes that punish working families to appease Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the socialists in their caucus,” the GOP organization notes.

“We are going to ensure voters have a clear understanding of Democrats’ socialist agenda and the damaging impact it will have on their daily lives,” advises spokesman Mike Berg.

Find the new resource at SocialistAgendaScorecard.com

MAYOR YANG

He is a champion of “human-centered economy.” Whether that would work in New York City remains to be seen. Andrew Yang, a former Democratic presidential hopeful, is now running for mayor of the Big Apple. He very well could win — a new poll of voters finds that he leads the field in the Big Apple at the moment.

Mr. Yang took a full third of the votes, according to a new poll by Emerson College, along with WPIX-TV and News Nation.

The closest contender was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with 19%, Maya Wiley — a former federal prosecutor and counsel to current Mayor Bill de Blasio — followed with 9%, while New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer took fourth place with 6%.

Mr. Yang’s last foray into politics was a crowded one. In the leadup to the 2020 presidential race, there were almost 40 Democratic presidential hopefuls at one point, prompting CNN to air five candidate town-halls in a row. Mr. Yang’s competition at the time included Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and author Marianne Williamson.

His focus is now strictly local.

“We need to launch the largest basic income program in history, invest in a human-centered economy, return to fact-based governance, and create an accessible health-care system. We need to do all this while enacting accountable and smart policing, building affordable housing, closing our city’s digital divide, modernizing transportation and city services, and more,” Mr. Yang says in his campaign message.

The city’s Democratic primary is on June 22.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Perry Motter Mansion and Carriage House, a Romanesque Revival mansion built in 1889 in St. Joseph’s, Missouri. Seven bedrooms, four baths, eight fireplaces, two kitchens, two parlors. Formal dining and living rooms, grand hall, chef’s kitchen, historic woodworking, stained glass windows, grand staircase, 6,000 square feet. Property includes 1,800-square-foot carriage house. Property has been “beautifully updated” in historic district. Priced at $429,900 through BHHS.com; enter 2255097 in search function.  

POLL DU JOUR

⦁ 24% of U.S. adults say the American economy is “poor”: 24% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 53% overall say the U.S. economy is “only fair”: 51% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 21% overall say the economy is “good”; 23% of Republicans and 20% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 2% overall say the economy is “excellent”:  2% of Republicans and 1% of Democrats agree.
Source: A PEW RESEARCH CENTER poll of 12,055 U.S. adults conducted MARCH 1-7.

⦁ Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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