There were some distinct shortcomings in press coverage marking the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “This was a women who changed the world. And here we get journalists who are talking about her purse, her hairstyle or whether she flirted with Ronald Reagan. This treatment really is noting more than lazy shorthand, if not a complete intellectual deficit,” historian and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.
“There is a time for seriousness and purpose. And the death of Margaret Thatcher warrants that seriousness and purpose. But this also happened when President Reagan died. During the Reagan funeral, there were commentators who were saying, ‘Oh, he was just a nice guy who could tell jokes.’ That kind of journalism shortchanges America.”
Then there are those who rise to somber occasions with thoughtful decorum.
The American Conservative Union has founded the “Baroness Margaret Thatcher CPAC Scholarship Fund,” Chairman Al Cardenas says. The scholarship will be given annually to an “outstanding young female conservative” who will receive complimentary three-day VIP registration at the Conservative Political Action Conference, starting in 2014.
“Against all odds, Baroness Thatcher stood for the courage of her convictions,” Mr. Cardenas says. “Let her life be an inspiration to our current and future leaders so that they may pick up her torch ensuring that future generations may live in prosperity, peace and freedom.”
SHOW THEM THE MONEY
“Most Americans favor members of Congress voluntarily returning some portion of their salary as a result of the impact of the sequestration budget cuts, which went into effect March 1. In response to two suggested giveback amounts, 78 percent of Americans favor Congress members returning 5 percent of their pay, and 79 percent favor Congress returning 25 percent,” reports Gallup poll director Frank Newport, citing a survey of more than a thousand people, conducted April 6 and 7.
“There is virtually no difference in the views on this issue between Democrats and Republicans, making this one of those issues on which there is a high level of agreement across partisan lines,” Mr. Newport adds.
But wait. Could Congress really slice its paycheck in the name of valiance and good PR?
“It is impossible for Congress to officially cut its own pay across the board in any short-term way, but this read of the attitudes of the American public suggests that individual members may face pressure to return their pay or provide explanations for why they are not doing so,” Mr. Newport predicts.
FAUX FIRST TWEET
“The 29,503,030 people who follow Barack Obama’s Twitter account might see his picture, see his name, see that little blue verified account badge and think they’re following the president but it’s not him. All of the president’s named social media accounts, in fact, have been handed over to a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group that isn’t overly concerned if you didn’t notice the transition,” declares Philip Bump, a correspondent with The Atlantic.
Mr. Obama’s account was created March 5, 2007, two months before he declared his presidential candidacy. In January, the account went under the control of Organizing for Action, an aggressive new grass-roots activist group created to leverage the 2012 Obama campaign’s extensive databases and other apparatus.
“As the first sitting president with a Twitter account, the murky handover raises questions that didn’t exist 10 years ago can a politician legally hand over his valuable online identity to an outside group? Is it ethical?” Mr. Bump demands, adding that the situation raises question that “federal regulators are unprepared to answer.”