- The Washington Times
Monday, July 11, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

How would former President Ronald Reagan fare in a theoretical presidential bout against the most recent U.S. presidents? He would do very well, actually.

Reagan would best President Biden, with 55% of the respondents opting for the 40th president and 45% for Mr. Biden, this according to Dynata, which conducted a unique survey on behalf of the producers of a unique, forthcoming feature film.


That film is simply called “Reagan.”

It features a top-notch cast that includes Dennis Quaid and Jon Voight and will be released in 2023. It portends to be a unique and engaging production, and it is no surprise that the canny folks at the production end were curious as to how Reagan would fare if he ran in a theoretical race against the six presidents who followed him.

Reagan did quite well in the survey, which was conducted in May and released Friday. The Gipper was bested only by former President Barack Obama.

“The poll asked 1,058 U.S. respondents whom they’d vote for in a matchup between Ronald Reagan and the other presidents who have held office since his administration. Obama beat Reagan by 14 percentage points — 57% to 43% — but Reagan won against every other past president,” noted a handy summary of the findings from Newsweek.

And the greater implications of these findings? They provide a teachable moment.

“Reagan has staying power beyond other presidents because of his conservative principles,” Craig Shirley, a presidential historian who has penned four books on Reagan, tells Inside the Beltway.

“Barack Obama is at his high water mark and President Biden is in big trouble. The results of this poll should send a message to the GOP — but more importantly to the Democrats. It’s going to be a cold winter for the Democrats and morning in America for the Republicans. And Mr. Biden will go down in history as our worst president since Herbert Hoover,” Mr. Shirley advised.

IGNORING THE HASTY FAREWELLS

Another day, another staffer is fleeing an increasingly unpopular White House,” advises Scott Whitlock, research director for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

He points out that White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield is the latest to say farewell to President Biden. Other significant staffers who have called it quits include Cathy Russell, director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Fox News, meanwhile, is tracking the exodus, revealing that 25 key staffers have departed in the last year.

“You wouldn’t have known it as the networks ignored the latest departures,” Mr. Whitlock wrote in his analysis.

ABC, NBC and CBS appear to be in protective mode, and are either downplaying or completely ignoring this trend, he said.

That was not the case when former President Donald Trump was in office.

“Why is the unpopular Biden administration failing? Why are so many staffers leaving? Who will abandon ship next? These are questions that network journalists aren’t asking. But they should be. Americans deserve to know if they have a functioning, healthy White House. The press certainly asked these questions during the Trump years,” Mr. Whitlock observed.

AND THEY JUST DON’T CARE

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer has a new book arriving Tuesday with a telling title: “Suppression, Deception, Snobbery and Bias: Why the Press Gets So Much Wrong — And Just Doesn’t Care.”

The author wrangled the press in an official capacity from 2001 to 2003, and is now a Fox News contributor and founder of a communications company. The 350-page book has much to say, including this brief excerpt:

“The press is not the enemy of the people. But they can be their own worst enemy,” the author wrote.

“The damage they are doing to themselves and the nation is severe. The American people want to get their news straight. They want someone who can give them honest reporting based on facts. But most Americans have concluded they can no longer get truth and facts from the mainstream media,” Mr. Fleischer wrote.

“That is what happens when journalism schools throughout the country, for decades, graduate similar-minded, liberal-oriented, college-educated, mostly Democratic voters into the ranks of the news media, where the stories they tell are tailored to mostly liberal-oriented, college-educated, mostly Democratic readers and viewers,” he said.

Journalists have their bad habits.

“They pride themselves on looking like America, but in reality, they only look like half of America. It’s why the press is broken. Unless and until journalists are able to see the world and their country through a fair and neutral lens, the institution of journalism will continue to collapse under the weight of its own activism, and America’s trust in the media will continue to erode,” Mr. Fleischer wrote.

The new book was published by Broadside Books, the conservative imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

THE HORSE RACE

Here’s some nimble news about the midterm elections to consider.

“Republicans continue to advance in the U.S. House And Senate,” advises Elections-Daily.com, a nonpartisan news organization.

“The current Elections Daily ratings show the House with 220 seats for Republicans and 191 for Democrats with 24 tossups. In the Senate, it’s Republicans 49, Democrats 47, and 4 tossups,” the news organization said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

POLL DU JOUR

• 77% of U.S. voters agree that “most members of Congress” do not deserve to be reelected; 21% say they should be reelected, and 2% do not know or refused to answer.

• 67% of voters agree that President Biden does not deserve to be reelected; 33% say he deserves reelection, and 1% do not know or refused to answer.

• 41% of voters agree that “the U.S. representative in their district” does not deserve to be reelected; 53% disagree, and 6% do not know or refused to answer.

SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 900 registered U.S. voters conducted June 1-20 and released Monday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported the name of a conservative press watchdog. It is Newsbusters.org.

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


Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.