- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Imagine this: A sleek member of the press and an earnest voter are standing side by side in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Which one would attract the most attention from passing lawmakers? Unfortunately, new research reveals a predictable, but shabby scenario. Journalists appear to mean more to members of Congress than voters.

“Most voters think Congress doesn’t listen to them and is more interested in making the media happy,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports survey which found the 55 percent of likely voters agree that typical lawmakers care more about what the press thinks than what the voting public might have in mind.

Just 30 percent say the average member of Congress cares more about those voters. Yes, of course there’s a partisan divide with this finding: 73 percent of voters who supported President Trump, 62 percent of Republican voters and 60 of independent voters agree that Congress cares more about media sentiments, compared to 45 percent of Democrats.

“Forty-four percent of all voters believe most reporters are trying to block Trump from passing his agenda. By comparison, 48 percent said most reporters were trying to help President Obama pass his agenda in 2010,” the pollster noted.

THE MONEYED AMERICAN MEDIA

British broadcasters make “a fraction” of what their counterparts make in the U.S., according to A.J. Katz, a staff writer for Adweek. He compared the annual salaries of the Brits and the Yanks, and here’s what he found.

The top-earning broadcaster at the BBC is radio host Chris Evans, who brings in the equivalent of $2.9 million a year, followed by football/soccer anchor Gary Lineker who gets $2.3 million, and late night host Graham Norton with $1.1 million. Huw Edwards — considered the BBC’s top TV news anchorman — earns an annual $717,000.

“But salaries collected by the BBC’s top earners are seemingly minuscule to top U.S. TV news talent. NBC News’ Matt Lauer earns more than $22 million per year, while Megyn Kelly is also in that neighborhood,” writes Mr. Katz. “Before he departed Fox News, and Bill O’Reilly hauled in around $20 million (not including books). Sean Hannity reportedly earns around $29 million per year, from his radio and TV gigs. ABC’s Robin Roberts earns north of $10 million as do CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News’ Shepard Smith.”

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: DE-ESCALATE THE ‘HOSTILITIES’

They are focused on this: “De-escalating the increasing hostilities between the press and the people they cover.” That would be the National Press Club’s nonprofit Journalism Institute, which has called open meeting next week in the nation’s capital to address the touchy issue.

“After a year of violent words and sometimes violent acts, we believe the time has come to talk with each other — instead of at each other — about how we can all do a better job for the democracy we serve,” says the organization, which has sent out the call to journalists, newsroom managers, press secretaries, communications directors and security officers, among others.

Among those already confirmed to attend: Brendan Buck, counselor to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, former White House press secretary Mike McCurry, Bloomberg reporter Billy House, and Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute of Civil Discourse.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Interpersonal Violence Clinician and Men’s Engagement Manager.”

That is a new job title at Princeton University, which is now seeking to hire a social worker to uphold the values set forth by the school’s “Men’s Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community program.”

The new clinician will also recruit students to “serve as role models for men-identified students related to the development of healthy relationships and healthy masculinity”

“The successful candidate must have a masters or doctorate in a field related to social work or women’s studies,” says The College Fix — a student-written publication, which reviewed the job description.

YOUNG AND LIBERTY-MINDED

They are seeking millennials to join their ranks — but their primary focus is still on the U.S. Constitution. Young Americans for Liberty will stage a four-day annual convention to be reckoned with which gets underway Wednesday just outside the nation’s capital. Speakers include: Republican Sen. Rand Paul, Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, and Andrew Napolitano.

“In order for the liberty movement to continue to grow, we must inspire more millennials to step up and make a difference. The future of our nation must rely on liberty in both the economic and personal sphere. We cannot continue to drift away from our Constitutional principles,” cautions Cliff Maloney, Jr., president of the 350,000-member group.

The event, he says, “will focus on a new path forward that is rooted in the classical ideas of our founding, respect for the Constitution and respect for the individual.”

There will be multiple forums and training sessions, and several debates — including a bout between economist David Friedman and Austin Petersen. Their topic: “Anarchism Vs. Minarchism.”

Mr. Petersen — who ran for president in 2016 as a pro-life libertarian — has recalibrated his political efforts and now seeks the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri; he has attracted the support of such media folk as Mary Matalin and Erick Erickson.

FOXIFIED

For the 29th week in a row, Fox News Channel dominated the entire cable realm, attracting more viewers than such rivals as HGTV, USA and MSNBC in both prime time, and throughout the day.

In the cable news derby, Fox News drew 1. 9 million viewers in prime time, 1.2 million during the day. MSNBC garnered 1.8 million and 955,000 viewers, respectively, while CNN drew 952,000 and 680,000.

POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of American small-business owners approve of President Trump’s job performance so far.

54 percent say the first six months of the Trump administration have been successful.

52 percent support Mr. Trump’s tax plan.

48 percent voted for Mr. Trump, 27 percent for a third-party candidate, 25 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

37 percent support the “Republican’s proposed health care bill.”

Source: A Manta survey of 1,549 U.S. small-business owners conducted July 14-17.

• Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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