- The Washington Times
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks — they deliver news and programming via radio, television and internet in 63 languages.

This incredible outreach and these admirable, indefatigable news organizations all come under the direction of the U.S. Agency for Global Media.


The federal agency reports that the combined audience numbers for these outlets has now grown to 410 million per week. Yes, “per week.”

“This represents an increase of 16 million people from last year’s record measured audience. Its significance is underscored in a global environment where autocratic regimes impede access to independent media or criminalize its consumption,” the agency said in its official Performance and Accountability Report submitted to Congress on Tuesday.  

“This audience growth, despite sometimes draconian crackdowns on free media, proves what we’ve long known — that people will go to great lengths to seek out the truth. The increase in audience and improvements in other impact measures laid out in this report speak to a worldwide hunger for accurate and reliable reporting,” said agency CEO Amanda Bennett in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway,

MEDIA TROMPS ON TRUMP

News coverage was predictably crabby and critical when it came to former President Donald Trump’s big speech on Tuesday night, which revealed the he was ready, willing and able to run for the White House a second time.

Many press accounts focussed on the same themes — accusing the 45th president of exaggerating his accomplishments or declaring that the speech was “low energy.”

A few headlines from the last 24 hours tell the tale:

“The 51 most outlandish lines from Donald Trump’s announcement speech,” advised CNN, while MSNBC declared “Trump’s 2024 announcement: Shockingly low energy.”

The New York Times advised tjat “Trump announces 2024 run, repeating lies and exaggerating record,” while The Guardian declared “Trump speech was full of exaggerated and false talking points.”

And just a few more: “Captive Audience? Staff blocks people from leaving ‘low energy’ Trump speech (Yahoo News); “Networks limit Trump’s airtime during 2024 announcement” (Politico); “No one liked Trump’s speech announcing a 2024 presidential run, not even Trump” (The Arizona Republic); “What Joe Biden was doing during Trump’s 2024 speech” (Time); “Trump 2024: The Margaritaville campaign” (The Washington Post).

There was one sole positive headline that surfaced in the hours that followed the event — and here it is: “Trump won’t be defeated by the media” (The Federalist).

THE BIDEN ANNOUNCEMENT

Is there a big announcement in President Biden’s future, in the meantime? Inquiring minds want to know.

“Now that former President Donald Trump is officially in the ring for 2024, will President Biden follow a similar path and announce his intention to run for a second term as well?” asks Nate Ashworth, founder of ElectionCentral.com.

“After all, it seems that Biden is more likely to run if Trump decided to run than if Trump had deferred. There is clearly some personal beef to settle in that Biden feels puffed up somehow because he beat Trump in 2020, and his party didn’t crash and burn in the 2022 midterms as most predicted, so he feels as though he has the formula to beat him again in 2024,” Mr. Ashworth wrote in an analysis released Wednesday.

“As it stands, Biden isn’t doing anything now, but will be talking to family over the holidays and will announce a decision sometime next year,” he said, noting that the president turns 80 on Sunday.

“The bigger question is not whether Biden wants to run, it’s whether those around him will allow another campaign to play out on the national stage. The 2024 campaign will not be the 2020 campaign when Covid allowed Biden to avoid the public, avoid talking to journalists, and avoid answering questions,” Mr. Ashworth noted.

It’s complicated.

“Whatever the case may be, don’t expect movement on the Democratic side until further into 2023 when more of the midterm dust has settled,” he said.

MARK LEVIN’S GOOD NEWS

Fox News reveals that it has extended Mark Levin’s current multi-year deal where he will remain host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” — a Sunday night staple for the 1.7 million viewers who tune in on an average week.

Mr. Levin himself personally thanked network CEO Suzanne Scott for the continued partnership.

“Suzanne Scott trusted that I could do a show. And I want to thank her and her team and all the folks in between who have supported this. I want to thank you. I want to thank Fox. I want to thank my family,” Mr. Levin said Tuesday on his syndicated nightly radio show.

“Debuting in 2018, ‘Life, Liberty & Levin’ is the second highest-rated cable news program on weekends, averaging 1.7 million viewers on Sundays at 8 p.m. for 2022 to date. With Levin at its helm, the show’s total audience almost triples CNN’s programming in the time slot,” Fox News said in a written statement.

“Known for his powerful debate style as well as in-depth and long-form interviews, Levin explores the values and principles in American society, culture, politics and current events. He has presented interviews with former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Commander of British Armed Forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp,” the network noted.

“Additionally, Levin is the author of seven No. 1 New York Times bestsellers and has received numerous awards including the American Conservative Union’s Ronald Reagan Award, the Media Research Center’s William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence, and the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech,” Fox News said.

POLL DU JOUR

• 7% of U.S. adults say the coronavirus poses a “very high threat” to them personally.

• 14% say the coronavirus poses a “high threat” to them personally.

• 33% say the virus poses a “moderate threat” to them personally.

• 23% say the virus poses a “low threat” to them.

• 18% say it poses a “very low threat” to them.

• 4% don’t know whether the virus poses a threat to them.

SOURCE: An Ipsos poll of 1,120 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 10-12 and released Monday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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


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