NEWS AND OPINION:
In less than 48 hours he’s gone from a Lone Star jail to the nation’s capital to the voter-centric land of New Hampshire, all the while with the news media herd trailing behind him, mooing. Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrives in the Granite State at high noon Friday, when he assumes the starring role in not one but six consecutive political events. Despite a police mugshot in the aftermath of his recent indictment for abuse of power, Mr. Perry is ready to rumble with his signature, aggressive candor and a distinct presidential posture. It is business as usual, for better or worse. And he’s got lots of friends.
“We are very happy, and we’re very grateful to welcome Gov. Perry. There’s lots of enthusiasm and excitement about his visit, and I emphasize he’ll be attending a victory rally with us here. We’re focused on winning, in 2014 and beyond that,” Jennifer Horn, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, tells Inside the Beltway. “The governor is one of many prominent Republicans who come here to ensure we have the resources for that victory.”
She also dismisses the charges against Mr. Perry as “ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, the seemingly indefatigable Texan meets first with Portsmouth business leaders for lunch, then journeys south to Nashua for an Americans for Prosperity forum, then to a private house party. Mr. Perry will attend the aforementioned “GOP Victory Rally” Saturday in the seacoast town of Stratham, to be introduced by former Gov. John Sununu. Then it’s on to a “Patriots Picnic” with lots of roasted pork and yet another picnic later on it the day with veterans. The press has been, and remains, in hot pursuit. Consider that 15 networks showed up for Mr. Perry’s appearance at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, though C-SPAN carried the event live. Two GOP spokespersons in New Hampshire separately confirmed that nonstop calls continue to arrive from major news organizations eager to be part of the Perry press corps.
“I can confirm I’ve been fielding plenty of calls from the networks — and everybody else. We’ll have a very healthy showing from the news media,” says Lauren Zelt on behalf of the state group.
REVELATIONS IN JOURNALISM
The Huffington Post’s decision to crowdfund $40,000 to support a “citizen journalist” who will continue to report from Ferguson, Missouri, has irked other journalists, who now wonder if the news media world will launch kick-starting efforts for, say, copy editors and interns. The phenomenon has also prompted mirth in the marketing world. Why, what else could AOL-owned Huffington Post raise money for?
“To naysayers, I say, pishposh! Really, I think this is just the beginning. In fact, I look forward to HuffPo crowdfunding some of its other essential journalism,” writes Simon Dumenco, media analyst for Ad Age. He wonders why the publication doesn’t crowdfund its section which is devoted to, uh, public wardrobe malfunctions. Forgive, please, the terms used here. But that’s what industry language has come to.
“Readers, won’t you make a donation today to support HuffPo’s nip-slip coverage?” Mr. Dumenco demands. “If you’ve ever gone to HuffPo’s Wardrobe Malfunctions department page — where you can find headlines like ‘NSFW PHOTOS: Model Has Nip-Slip On ‘Arbitrage’ Red Carpet’ — then you owe it to HuffPo to cough up some cash.”
THE POWER OF ‘MEME’
The global news media has made a pair of mottos from troubling times the most talked-about phrases of the year at the moment. “No Justice, No Peace” and “Hands Up, No Shoot” are the top trending phrases of 2014 so far, according to the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based research organization that tracks the frequency of words and phrases through 300,000 print and electronic news sources using computer software. The two mottos were adopted by protesters following the shooting death of Michael Brown and amplified in news coverage and social media.
“‘No Justice, No Peace’ and ‘Hands Up, No Shoot’ have melded into any number of memes,” says Paul J.J. Payack, president of the organization. “Though both phrases have been around for decades, the events of Aug. 9 and the following protests have been emulated around the nation — and now the world — at a rapid pace.”
Mr. Payack notes that research suggests that “No Justice, No Peace” emerged following the 1987 death of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach — reported by the media of the day as a “battle cry.” It was also heard, he says, at the more recent George Zimmerman murder trial.
“Many see a strong similarity between the two cases,” Mr. Payack says.
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM
Congress is currently considering the establishment of “Black Ribbon Day,” devoted to remembrance of 100 million victims of totalitarianism and communism. Legislation to that effect previously introduced by Rep. John Shimkus, Illinois Republican, was passed in the House and is now making its way through the Senate.
Meanwhile, the nation’s first Black Ribbon Day takes place Saturday, the 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. There will be a wreathe-laying close to the U.S. Capitol at a memorial dedicated by former President George W. Bush in 2007. The event has been organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit established by Congress two decades ago to chart the “grim legacy of communism around the world,” organizers say. The group also awards the annual Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom to those with a lifelong commitment to freedom and democracy.
Executive director Marion Smith says the “toxic legacy of communism” is still afoot in the world, communism itself is alive and well, and it takes “moral fortitude” to frame the situation in such terms. He is determined to get the message out. In cooperation with the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the Joint Baltic American National Committee, the organization has distributed copies of a publication titled “Lest We Forget: Memory of Totalitarianism in Europe” to every member of Congress. Information here: VictimsofCommunism.org.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: The George F. Barber Home, Campbellsburg, Indiana; a “flamboyant” 1894 Queen Anne-style Victorian home. Total living area: 3,212 sq. ft., with additional 900 sq. ft. unfinished attic. Includes formal dining room, parlor, sitting room, library, completely renovated custom kitchen, four bedrooms, two baths, gazebo and art studio. Hardwood floors, multiple windows and stained glass, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, three porches, two outbuildings, summer kitchen, shake roof, multiple turrets; green, sage, maroon and ochre decorative exterior.
Priced at $170,000 through UnitedCountry.com, real estate listing No. 13049-11375.
POLL DU JOUR
41 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way President Obama “responded to Ferguson”; 60 percent of blacks, 35 percent of whites, 25 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of independents agree.
34 percent overall say they are dissatisfied with his response; 20 percent of blacks, 39 percent of whites, 49 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of independents agree.
27 percent overall are undecided; 21 percent of blacks, 25 percent of whites, 26 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents also agree.
35 percent overall say the National Guard did not have much of an effect in Ferguson; 34 percent of blacks and 35 percent of whites agree.
26 percent say the Guard bettered the situation; 20 percent of blacks and 29 percent of whites agree.
20 percent said the Guard worsened it; 20 percent of blacks and 29 percent of whites agree.
Source: A CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,055 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 19-20.
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