Inside the Beltway: Ron Paul, media mogul
— Suggested motto for a protest sign from the Tea Party Patriots, who are asking their membership to hit the streets Thursday to protest the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” the 1,198-page Senate immigration bill, which passed June 27.
WENDY DAVIS, INSTANT CELEBRITY
There was scant broadcast network coverage of the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, the doctor who ran a Philadelphia abortion clinic and was convicted later on three counts of murder. But the 11-hour, pro-abortion filibuster of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis? Her effort last month to derail Texas. Gov. Rick Perry’s late-term abortion bill found a ready audience.
According to a painstaking study from the Culture and Media Institute, the Democrat received three times as much coverage from ABC, NBS and CBS, who transformed her into a “folk hero” and “an instant celebrity — a comely blonde single mom who stood up for ‘women’s health’ in pink tennis shoes, fighting against ‘severe’ abortion restrictions,” the researchers said.
And the numbers: In the 19 days following her filibuster, the networks devoted 40 minutes, 48 seconds of their news programs to stories on the lawmaker. That’s more than three times the 13 minutes, 30 seconds they gave Gosnell during his entire 58-day trial.
“This is an epic example of how journalists spin the news. The broadcast networks only reluctantly cover when an abortion doctor turns baby butcher, but when an unknown politician gives a pro-abortion filibuster she becomes an instant celebrity. ABC, CBS and NBC have become little more than liberal front groups,” says Dan Gainor, vice president of the conservative watchdog group.
“Going forward, preserving and strengthening our readiness must be a key priority. Unfortunately, when compared to other areas in DOD’s budget, military readiness does not always have a vocal constituency. You cannot buy back readiness. DOD is not a corporation, and it cannot be run like one.” — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention
PUBLIC AFFAIRS REVEALED
This could make a certain population uncomfortable, or furious. A National Press Club panel soon convenes to determine whether federal public affairs practices actually cut off the tax-paying public from its “affairs.” The panel includes journalists, academics and on the hot seat, perhaps — John Verrico, president-elect of the National Association of Government Communicators.
The opposing sides have drawn lines in the sand. Reporters question the stringent protocols and restrictions, U.S. officials are wary of “unauthorized contact” with the press, or compromising accuracy. Title of the August event? “Government Public Affairs Offices: More Hindrance Than Help for Open Government?”
POLL DU JOUR
• 50 percent of Americans say minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system; 29 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent overall say George Zimmerman should not be charged with civil rights violations in federal court; 72 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats agree.
• 41 percent overall approved of the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman; 65 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats agree.
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