- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And now we know: Ron Paul will launch the feisty Ron Paul Channel on Monday with all original programming either live or on demand, available by subscription for $9.95 a month from the one-time Libertarian presidential hopeful. He says 200,000 potential subscribers expressed interest within hours of the project going public.

“Americans are tired of the games and the lies of today’s media. They want the truth,” Mr. Paul says. “Imagine this. No censors, no barricades, no statists. We will be able to engage viewers directly on subjects that matter most to them, from finances to civil liberties to foreign policy.”

The broadcast will be streamed live online, available via computer, tablet, smartphone and any Internet-connected TV. The technology “will allow me to engage directly with viewers. With the help of social media we can cut through the noise and get straight to the truth about subjects that matter most,” Mr. Paul notes. Such thinking served him well during the 2012 campaign, when his legions of young followers promoted a “Who is Ron Paul?” campaign faithfully online and in organized meet-ups.

The man in question could draw a healthy audience, meanwhile. A new Harris Poll finds that a third of Americans now watch TV programming on an electronic device; that number rises to 57 percent among those younger than 34 — a demographic that has long been drawn to the onetime Texas congressman, whose programming will originate from the Lone Star State.

FUN WITH PHONY

President Obama used the term “phony” so many times in recent days that the little word is now in contention for the 2013 Top Word of the Year, says Paul JJ Payack, founder of the Global Language Monitor. As a cultural exercise, the Houston-based research group uses computer software to track the popular use of words and phrases in 250,000 print and electronic news sources each year. Phony is having its moment, apparently.

“President Obama has rescued this relatively informal term from obscurity with his ‘phony scandal’ offensive; synonyms include bogus, spurious, sham and fake,” says Mr. Payack, noting that the political descriptor “the optic” is also in the running.

“Before the 2010 mid-term elections, ‘the narrative’ was the top political buzzword. Three years later ‘the optic’ is threatening to overtake it. Neither bode well for an informed political discussion,” Mr. Payack observes.

PROGRESSIVE ON HILLARY FILMS

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has picked up an unlikely ally in his quest to prevent CNN and NBC from broadcasting documentary films based on the life and times of Hillary Rodham Clinton, scheduled to air just as the 2016 presidential race gets rolling.

That ally is David Brock, an analyst with Media Matters, the progressive watchdog group that normally dwells on the sins of the right-leaning press.

In identical letters to both networks, Mr. Brock calls for both film projects to be canceled because “the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election.”

Mr. Brock also wanted to know if CNN and NBC are willing to tarnish their names in “pursuit of ratings” and if each network was “prepared to respond to criticism that it is not providing equal time to all potential candidates.” But Mr. Brock added a little parting shot.

“How will your network respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?” he asked in conclusion, citing Fox News’ demands that the films would be “airbrushed,” “revisionist” and omit “phony scandals like ‘Travelgate,’ ‘Filegate’ and ‘Whitewater.’”

GEEZER ALERT

In an age when “70 is supposed to be the new 50,” New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony D. Weiner created a ruckus during a recent political forum when he called his 69-year old Republican rival “grandpa.” To add to the hubbub and hilarity: AARP had organized the event and stood by for the squabble, all caught on camera by NY1, a local cable channel.

The mammoth interest group was trying to conduct a civilized exchange, and demonstrate that engaged, older voters would play a pivotal role in the mayoral primary, which is Sept. 10.

Though there was some dubious political theater afoot, they group inadvertently got their wish. Mr. McDonald displayed plenty of vim and vigor, proof perhaps that 69 is the new 49. Or something like that. The AARP, meanwhile, has launched a campaign to prove that Manhattan’s geezer voters will heavily sway the outcome of the race itself.

“One thing is clear, 50-plus voters will be voting their kitchen table concerns, like housing and utility costs, and their inability to retire,” says state director Beth Finkel. “All too often, we hear our members share their personal anxiety on these most basic of financial security concerns, and they’re looking at these mayoral candidates for clear answers.”

NEW NEIGHBOR

Before he leaves office, President Obama will have Donald Trump as a new neighbor. Well, sort of.

The congressional review is complete, and the billionaire has finalized his deal with the General Services Administration to transform the federally owned Old Post Office building with a $200 million upgrade. The 1899 landmark and its 319-foot clock tower looms over Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House on some of the priciest real estate in the nation. Its big face-lift begins in about six months, with a grand opening in 2015.

Included in the glittering Trumpalicious plans, as released Wednesday: “270 expansive guest rooms, penthouses and presidential suites; world-class restaurants, a cafe, and a bar and lounge; extensive banquet, ballroom and meeting facilities; a 4,000-square-foot Mar-a-Lago Spa by Ivanka Trump; and a library — as well as a curated museum, exhibition gallery, and indoor and outdoor gardens.”

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder; 71 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent of Americans overall say having an abortion is “morally wrong”; 64 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

23 percent overall say abortion is not a moral issue; 16 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

22 percent overall say embryonic stem cell research is morally wrong; 30 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,012 U.S. adults conducted March 21 to April 8 and released Monday.

Squabbles, small details, murmurs to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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