- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Those who fret that the news media has become fragmented and frantic should brace for this: “The New York Times has developed a new form of storytelling to help readers catch up in seconds on Apple Watch. One-sentence stories, crafted specially for small screens, will provide the news at a glance across many Times sections, including Business, Politics, Science, Tech and The Arts,” the news organization announced with hip brevity on Tuesday.

“One-sentence stories are accompanied by The Times’s award-winning photography and short, bulleted summaries. Editors on three continents will be dedicated to The Times’s core mobile apps, including Watch, 24 hours a day,” The Times concluded.

Wait, rather than a whole new journalistic entity, isn’t this just a headline to fit a watch face? Well, whatever. It’s tough out there. Variants will likely appear elsewhere as the press scrambles to keep their footing in the media marketplace. And hey, why not go for the one-word story, then? Whoa, help, heh and balderdash could make for some decent starters.

ONE WAY TO AVOID PENCE-GATE

A tough political landscape: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is slogging through days of controversy, caterwaul and media frenzy over the state’s incoming religious freedom law. Republicans and conservatives had mixed reactions. Some are vexed, insisting Mr. Pence “caved” on his own standards by seeking to clarify the scope of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Others shake their heads over similar laws in other states that have warranted no reactions. And still more sympathize with the governor — a Republican with good credentials who might run for president — now under press scrutiny, and “reckless reporting,” as Mr. Pence himself put it.



Then there are other reactions.

“So Indiana is going fix the law. Mike Pence, the governor, went out there and said he’s going fix the law, going clarify the law. Why does Pence have to fix his law? Why can’t he just refuse to enforce it, like Obama does?” asked Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday.

“Obama can just waive parts laws he doesn’t like. Obamacare comes along and it’s going be too punitive for some Democrat donors, he just waives it, just grants them exemption. Why doesn’t Pence just say, I’ll do the same thing Obama does. You know, I’ll just selectively enforce this law, or I’ll refuse to enforce it on those occasions where it would be in my best interests not to enforce it. Just leave it to me,” the talk radio host told his audience.

MAYBE, MAYBE NOT

Progressives who dream that the Democratic Party will soon get a great blast of fresh air from Sen. Elizabeth Warren had better relax for the time being. She’s not running for president. At the moment. The Massachusetts Democrat, now a fixture on the roster of 2016 presidential hopefuls, insists the White House is not in her future.

“No. I’m not running and I’m not going to run. I’m in Washington. I’ve got this really great job and a chance to try and make a difference on things that really matter. I’m not running. I’m not running,” Mrs. Warren, dressed in the customary bright blue suit, told NBC Tuesday morning.

Such talk is a requirement when one is on a political wish list. When Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto asked Mitt Romney if he still wanted to enter the race, the word “never” came up nine times. In the meantime, Mrs. Warren may deny she has any White House intentions — but she continues to clearly articulate her mission.

“We need to lower the interest rate on student loans. I think we need to put more money into medical research. I think that we need to raise the minimum wage. Nobody should work full time and still live in poverty. I think we need to strengthen Social Security and expand its reach. There’s a lot to fight over right this minute,” she told NBC. “Washington is working great for those who have money and power. It’s working great for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. It’s just not working so great for the American people, for real families. And that’s where we’ve got to make a change.”

FOXIFIED

Fox News is the top cable news channel for the 159th month. That means rivals have not topped the network for over 13 years. Fox News ranks fourth on the list of all cable offerings, only eclipsed by ESPN, followed by TBS and USA. As an aside, Fox News averages 1.7 million viewers in prime time, compared to 535,000 for CNN and 536,000 for MSNBC, according to new Nielsen numbers.

But we must fair here. CNN is actually enjoying a larger audience, up 11 percent in prime time and 22 percent in daytime over the last year.

GOP GRINS AT SOLAR

Predictably, Republicans continue to approve oil for domestic energy use far more than Democrats and independents. But the GOP also appears to be warming up to things like solar and wind power.

A new Gallup poll finds that seven-out-of-10 Republicans say “more emphasis” should be placed on developing solar power, compared to 82 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents and 79 percent of the overall population.

As to wind, almost two-thirds of the GOP respondents called for more emphasis on the method; 81 percent of the Dems, 69 percent of independents and 70 percent of the public agree.

The partisan divide is still stark when it comes to oil, though. Six-out-of-10 Republicans call for more development, compared to 28 percent of Democrats, 38 percent of independents and 41 percent of the overall public.

‘CLINTON’S EMAIL RECORDS EPISODE’

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails, geez, what the heck does it all mean? The learned folk go to the National Press Club in the nation’s capital to weigh in on Thursday, for an event with a long title: “Hillary & History: Lessons to Improve Open Government under the Records Laws from Clinton’s Email Records Episode.”

“A distinguished panel of open government advocates will discuss the greater policy implications raised by media coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s choice to use a private server for communicating by email,” the organizers say. “The panel will consider where are we headed under the records laws and the Freedom of Information Act in the digital age with respect to the activities of the U.S. Government at large.”

Among those on the podium: Jason R. Baron, co-director of the Information Governance Initiative, a think tank, and former director of litigation for the National Archives and Records Administration plus Thomas S. Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

POLL DU JOUR

67 percent of Americans think the U.S. is “ready for a woman president”; 53 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

66 percent overall think the U.S. will have a female president in their lifetime; 55 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent personally hope to see a woman president in their lifetime; 34 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall think most people they know would vote for a woman president; 42 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 990 U.S. adults conducted March 21-23.

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