- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 21, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

Significant research already reveals that conservatives have lost confidence in the news media due to liberal bias and shoddy or manipulative reporting. Another factor is at work, however, according to a heavily academic source.

“Conservatives’ mistrust of the media is rooted in the feeling that journalists want to ostracize them,” Anthony Nadler and Doron Taussig wrote.


Both are assistant professors of journalism at Ursinus College who conducted focus groups and in-depth interviews with 25 self-identified conservatives in 2020 and 2021. The research project was funded by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

“Our interviewees view mainstream news outlets as part of a group of liberal institutions dedicated to making conservatives into pariahs,” the authors wrote.

“Our interviewees expressed animosity toward the press. But they weren’t primarily upset that the media get facts wrong, or even that journalists push a liberal policy agenda. Their anger was about their deeper belief that the American press blames, shames, and ostracizes conservatives,” they said.

Their complex analysis was published by the Conversation — a nonprofit, independent news organization — and the Nieman Journalism Lab — a research group affiliated with Harvard University.

Curious? Have a peek at this research and much more at NiemanLab.org.

BIDEN LOSES NEW HAMPSHIRE

Approval ratings for President Biden in the Granite State are lousy. This is not helpful for Mr. Biden or the Democratic Party since New Hampshire holds the coveted title of “first in the nation” when it comes to presidential primaries.

According to a Saint Anselm College survey, 57% of New Hampshire registered voters now disapprove of the job the president is doing while 68% say the nation itself is on the wrong track. And no wonder. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that consumer prices in the state have risen by 7.3% in the last year — the largest leap in four decades.

Mr. Biden would also lose to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu in a theoretical match.

“If the 2024 election were held today, and the two candidates for president were Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Chris Sununu, the GOP governor would trounce Biden in New Hampshire 53%-36%,” reported Michael Graham, managing editor of the NH Journal, which conducted the telling survey.

“On the question of whether Mr. Biden would be physically and mentally up to the job if America faced a crisis like war or another pandemic, a solid majority — 54% — said no,” Mr. Graham wrote.

“New Hampshire voters are angry and frustrated, and these brutal numbers make clear that in November, they intend to hold President Biden fully accountable for everything,” Republican strategist Jim Merrill told the Journal.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is getting some pushback from a rival. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino — a former two-term Westchester County executive — is questioning why Mrs. Hochul had no comment about reports of illegal immigrants regularly arriving in the Empire State by after-hour aircraft flights.

“Whatever happened to ‘if you see something, say something’?” Mr. Astorino asked in a public statement.

“I’ve been pounding the warning drums for months about these flights while Governor Hochul has completely ignored them. How does a governor, whose state was devastated by terrorist attacks, look the other way when we know suspected terrorists are crossing the U.S. border? It’s unconscionable,” Mr. Astorino said.

According to the New York Post, five such flights have landed at the Westchester County Airport near White Plains in the last week alone.

BIDEN LOSES THE BORDER

The Republican National Committee continues to monitor the southern U.S. border, and here is what it found, based on current U.S. Customs and Border Protection data:

“In March, 221,303 illegal immigrants were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, a 27% increase over last March, and a 331% increase from the average number of March apprehensions during the Trump administration,” the committee noted in a new report released Thursday.

The arrivals included 14,167 unaccompanied children plus 88,110 immigrants who were from countries outside the Northern Triangle of Central America (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala) — “showing that [President] Biden’s crisis is global,” the report said.

“There have already been more encounters at the southwest border in 14 months under Biden than in four years under President Trump,” the research noted.

“Nearly 2.5 million illegal immigrants have been caught attempting to cross the border since Biden took office. Additionally, more than 300,000 illegal immigrants have reportedly disappeared into the U.S. in just the last six months. At least 600,000 ‘gotaways’ have crossed the border and escaped into the country under Biden,” it said.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Parallel media universe.”

Is there one?

“Billionaires eye a parallel media universe: Elon Musk and other tech billionaires are pushing a parallel media ecosystem with unfettered speech, fewer rules, more voices and less power for traditional media,” wrote Mike Allen, executive editor of Axios.

“These tech moguls believe America is in the midst of a ‘free speech’ crisis, and are willing to spend big to change the conversation. But so far, they’ve made more headlines than progress,” he said.

“The bottom line: Controlling a major social media platform takes more than money,” Mr. Allen concluded.

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POLL DU JOUR

• 54% of U.S. adults disapprove of the way President Biden is handling his job as president; 59% of white Americans, 54% of Hispanics and 25% of Black Americans agree.

• 33% overall approve of the job Mr. Biden is doing; 31% of white Americans, 26% of Hispanics and 63% of Black Americans also agree.

• 13% overall don’t know or have no answer regarding the president’s job performance; 10% of white Americans, 20% of Hispanics and 12% of Black Americans also agree.

SOURCE: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,412 U.S. adults conducted April 7-11.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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


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