- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To the relief of most Republicans, the final presidential debate will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. He will be a solo act, hailing from a network that continues to lay claim to “fair and balanced” coverage — and continues to dominate the field.

Fox News is No. 1 across the entire cable realm for the ninth consecutive week according to Nielsen, besting such powerhouses as TBS and ESPN. Among news channels, Fox has been in first place for more than 14 years. Mr. Wallace, meanwhile, is a gracious guy when it comes to moderating the debate.

“It means a lot. It means a lot personally. It’s kind of a statement of where you are in this business,” he noted in a conversation with fellow anchor Bret Baier. “I’m the first Fox moderator to do a general election debate, and I’m very proud for the news organization. I think it’s a recognition of the fact that we do serious journalism. Some critics say no, but the fact is, you and I know we do. And here’s the Commission on Presidential Debates recognizing that.”

Staged in Las Vegas and preceded by weeks of robust political theater, the debate will host a big audience that includes 7,000 journalists, according to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, which calls the event a “milestone” for the city.

Analysts speculate that the third and last encounter between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could draw 80 million viewers. But this grand finale is also an opening act, heralding the last dramatic dash in a dramatic election. So stay sharp, everybody. And consider the most important numbers: Election Day dawns in 20 days. That’s a mere 480 hours — or 28,8000 minutes, give or take a few seconds.

MARITAL BLISS


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“Overall, 78 percent of registered voters who support Donald Trump for president say their spouse or partner also intends to vote for Trump, while just 3 percent say their partner is planning to vote for Hillary Clinton,” says a timely new Pew Research Center survey.

“The numbers are almost identical among Clinton supporters: 77 percent say their partner also backs Clinton, compared with just 3 percent who say their partner is supporting Trump,” the poll notes.

Find more family-style voting numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

UFO QUESTION FOR CLINTON, MAYBE?

When the aforementioned debate takes off like an unidentified flying object Wednesday night, why not bring up the persistent and often fascinating link between Hillary Clinton and UFOs? Hundreds of stories from major news organizations have appeared in recent years chronicling Mrs. Clinton’s interest in extraterrestrial affairs, and her on-the record promises earlier this year to address the issue.

Stephen Bassett, a registered lobbyist and persistent ET researcher in the nation’s capital, strongly suggests that moderator Chris Wallace should field one question about such mysterious doings. It would be “historic” Mr. Bassett says.

“What might Chris ask of Secretary Clinton? I suggest these: Why have you, your husband and your campaign chairman been speaking repeatedly about the extraterrestrial subject since 2002? Do you believe the Pentagon is hiding the truth from the American people?” asks Mr. Bassett.

And he has a follow-up.

“From 1993 to 1996, why did you and your husband address philanthropist and businessman Laurance Rockefeller’s effort to get all government-held UFO files released and grant amnesty for witnesses that might come forward? Why did that effort fail? Was President Clinton denied access? If so, is that not a constitutional breach?”

Mysterious and complicated questions. But as the old adage from “The X-Files” suggests, the truth is out there.

THE BIASED, GENEROUS JOURNALISTS

Yet another study reveals the romance between journalists and the Democratic Party. A Newsbusters.org analysis of campaign donations from employees of ABC, NBC, CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post listed by OpenSecrets.org found that 115 employees — who included on-air reporters and senior executives — donated to Democratic candidates. Seven gave money to Republicans.

“The most dramatic financial favoritism is shown by employees of The New York Times: since January 1, 2008, 68 employees of the Times have donated exclusively to Democrats or Democratic PACs, to just three employees who donated to a Republican,” reports Tim Graham, executive editor for the conservative press watchdog.

YEAH, IT’S THE MEDIA

“Most voters aren’t buying the story that the Russians are trying to manipulate the election for Donald Trump — but think the U.S. media is trying to swing things for Hillary Clinton,” says a Rasmussen Reports national survey released Tuesday that finds that 56 percent of likely U.S. voters says “many in the media” are working on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf.

And the inevitable partisan divide: 91 percent of voters who support Mr. Trump agree, compared to 20 percent of Mrs. Clinton’s fans.

“Just 26 percent disagree and say it’s more likely that the Russian government is working to get Donald Trump elected. Eighteen percent are not sure,” the survey noted.

‘WAR ON GUNS’

The Heritage Foundation offers a snappy discussion on Wednesday titled “The Right to Arms and the War on Guns” featuring John Lott, author of “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies”; Nelson Lund, professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University; and David Clarke, Jr., sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

“Are gun control measures effective at preventing violence or do they end up doing more harm than good? Are gun control restrictions constitutional? What did our Founding Fathers think about the right to keep and bear arms and what role does or should the Second Amendment play in today’s society?” organizers ask.

See the event streamed live at noon ET at Heritage.org.

POLL DU JOUR

85 percent of U.S. voters have not argued with their spouse or significant other over the 2016 election.

78 percent say they often talk about politics with their spouse or partner.

79 percent of voters who support Donald Trump, 79 percent of those who support Hillary Clinton and 67 percent of those who support Gary Johnson agree.

60 percent overall say they talk about the election with their children; 54 percent say their kids “bring up” the election themselves.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,405 U.S. voters who are either married or living with a partner, conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 10.

Hoots and hollers to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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