- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 7, 2014

Historically speaking, the United States has deemed the Palestinian group Hamas “terrorists” for some 17 years. But American broadcasters? They are skittish about the T-word, say analysts from the Culture and Media Institute, who sat through 70 news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC from July 17 — when Israeli forces entered Gaza — until Aug. 4. The preferred monikers were “militants,” “fighters” and “soldiers” in 65 of the stories. “Terrorists” surfaced in five.

“It’s important to look at the role media played aiding Palestinian terrorists. Network news shows embraced a new narrative — moral equivalency,” says Dan Gainor, director of the organization, an affiliate of the Media Research Center. “Hamas and Israel were treated as equals. Reporters and anchors almost never called Israel’s enemy Hamas a ‘terrorist’ organization.”

Mr. Gainor continues, “There’s only one problem with that. The United States has recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization since 1997. According to the Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, Hamas has been listed by the State Department as terrorist since Oct. 8, 1997. Hamas was one of 21 different groups — from al Qaeda to Hezbollah — all listed on that first day. You’d never know it from the networks’ coverage of the Gaza war. Each broadcast news show allowed journalists to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ once, except for ABC’s ‘World News,’ which never let staff use the term.”


A multitude of conservatives will soon descend on the nation’s heartland to heed the words of conservative luminaries. The third annual Family Leadership Summit gets underway in scenic Ames, Iowa, on Saturday for a daylong examination of traditional family values and their place on the planet. Among the many at the podium, appearing one after another in a nine-hour session: Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tim Scott of South Carolina; Rep. Steve King of Iowa; Govs. Terry Branstad of Iowa, Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; Tony Perkins, David Bossie and Mike Huckabee. It’s a family-style event, with some old-fashioned trimmings, opening with a cordial welcome, then a prayer. The modest $20 admission includes a box lunch.

“One of the hopeful outcomes of the Summit is to bring conservatives together early and consistently in the process leading up to the 2016 elections,” says Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of the Family Leader, the primary organizer of the event, along with Citizens United and Family Research Council Action. “We believe that by laying this foundation through an intentional leadership summit, the likelihood for conservatives to coalesce in a spirit of unity for impact and influence in 2014, 2016, and beyond will be greatly enhanced.”


“I’m very worried that our current administration views the U.S. as just another country that has to be careful not to impose itself. America is not the world’s policeman. Cannot be, should not be. But we should be the sheriff, developing a posse to help to deal with issues,” Sen. Rob Portman tells Defense One. The Ohio Republican adds, “Maybe many Americans would just as soon not have this responsibility. But we don’t want to acquire land or be an empire or be hegemonic — that’s not our goal. Our goal is stability and peace. And that’s why we have to be engaged, but not alone.”

Mr. Portman has drawn the publication’s interest as the 2016 presidential derby begins.

“He’s served in Congress for over 15 years, held two Cabinet posts and worked for Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush. He’s a deficit hawk who now supports gay marriage and believes the future of U.S. defense involves less boots on the ground and more intelligence. He made Mitt Romney’s short list for his running mate in 2012, has played a key role in the GOP’s bid to take back the Senate in 2014, and just won [for] the Buckeye State the Republican National Convention in 2016,” says political reporter Molly O’Toole.

“As the decibel levels around the 2016 elections are just beginning to rise, Portman has been quietly positioning himself for years to become what may be the Republican Party’s best shot to take back the White House,” she notes, adding that the lawmaker’s “recipe” for a GOP national security resurgence includes the postures of Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and “a hint” of Hillary Clinton.


They have some gleam to them, and much distinction. That would be a quartet of “rising stars” named during the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting in Chicago on Thursday. Without further ado, they are: Will Hurd, a Republican nominee in Texas’ 23rd congressional district; B.J. Pak, Georgia state representative; Amanda Pasdon, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates; and Evelyn Sanguinetti, a candidate for lieutenant governor in Illinois.

“These four individuals embody the GOP’s message of freedom and opportunity, and I look forward to working with them as we grow and strengthen our party,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.


Simple numbers perhaps reveal what’s behind the immigration surge these days. Gallup’s new Standard of Living Index finds that Hispanics have seen the greatest increase in positive feelings about their circumstances in America and are now “significantly more upbeat about their standard of living than whites or blacks.” That’s based on responses from more than 20,000 people and ranks Hispanics at 60 percent positive, compared with 47 percent for blacks and 40 percent for whites.

“Hispanics are more positive about their standard of living than whites or blacks, although that appears to be more of a perceptual difference rather than one grounded in reality,” says analyst Jeffrey Jones.

“Whites report much higher annual household incomes on average than Hispanics or blacks. And Hispanics’ unemployment rate is nearly twice that of whites. One major reason Hispanics nevertheless rate their standard of living positively is that U.S. Hispanic adults as a whole tend to be much younger than whites or blacks, and younger Americans tend to be quite upbeat about their standard of living improving.”


For sale: The Lumberton Municipal Building, Lumberton, North Carolina: Combination firehouse and city hall, constructed of red brick and in good structural condition; built in 1917, one block from the Lumber River and the historic district. Four interior chimneys, cornice medallions, hipped slate roof, octagonal cupola. Interior pressed metal ceilings, elaborate wrought-iron fixtures, staircase with balustrade, tile floors; 7,520 square feet, four baths, conference areas, ornate Palladian-style entrance. Eligible for tax credits. Price: $39,000 through Preservation North Carolina (Presnc.org).


78 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is “handling its job”; 71 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of independents agree.

62 percent overall have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party; 30 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents agree.

50 percent overall have an unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party; 86 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents agree.

41 percent overall would vote for the Democratic candidate if the election were today; 4 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of independents agree.

37 percent overall would vote for the Republican candidate; 84 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,344 U.S. adults conducted July 29 to Aug. 4.

Churlish remarks, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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