- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2015

The mainstream news media has picked up some powerful critics following relentless, often repetitive coverage of the Baltimore riots. President Obama was vexed at the press for dwelling on violence and mayhem during the events, overlooking the stalwart citizens who tried to bring order. Then there is Rep. Peter King. The New York Republican is weary of news organizations who don’t offer fair-minded coverage to law enforcement officers. The lawmaker is particularly disgusted with coverage following the fatal shooting of NYPD officer Brian Moore on the streets of Queens. Mr. King had spent time at the officer’s hospital bedside before his death, then went on to react to “anti-cop rhetoric” in the media.

“This is what goes on all the time, 24/7, cops putting their lives on the line — cops go through this every day. I just wish the New York Times and Newsday and these other liberal rags would realize that and not put it all out of proportion,” the lawmaker told Fox News.

“I wish some of these people criticizing the cops could spend one night in the shoes of those cops,” Mr. King continued. “And the next time an editorial writer or some of these commentators are in trouble, instead of calling a cop, call Al Sharpton, and see what happens then. These are cops who do their job day in, day out.”

Others have disturbing conclusions.

“The media make money off race riots. They gin them up; they promote them; then they react to them,” summarizes Ben Shapiro, senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News.

A new Pew Research Center survey released Monday reveals that 35 percent of Americans said the overall news coverage of the Baltimore unrest was good, 28 percent said it was “only fair”, 20 percent said poor, and 9 percent said excellent. Another 44 percent said there was too much coverage of the violence in the city, while 37 percent said there was too little coverage of the nonviolent activities that also took place.

The latter sentiment brought out some divides: 23 percent of Republicans agreed that there was too little nonviolent coverage, compared to 40 percent of Democrats, 42 percent of independents and 56 percent of young people ages 18-29. See more numbers — including questions about criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers — in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.


“Huckabee to come out swinging”

— Headline from The Hope Star, an Arkansas paper; On Tuesday, Mike Huckabee will reveal his presidential intentions from a public theater in his hometown of Hope, population 10,000.

“Huckabee was born in the same hospital as another Hope native son of political prominence, Bill Clinton, and the irony in the fact that the hospital was demolished and a funeral home built on the site just prior to the political ascendency of both is not lost on him,” The Star reported in a look back to 1996, when Mr. Huckabee became governor.


Her presidential campaign is only 24 hours old, and she has a noble new book titled “Rising to the Challenges: My Leadership Journey” on the shelves Tuesday. Some are already scrutinizing Carly Fiorina‘s true intent, however.

“My sense is that Fiorina is actually running for vice president. She’s more than intelligent enough to know that one, she can’t win the presidential nomination — but two, the nominee will be tempted to name a female running mate. An impressive showing on the stump and in debates might vault Fiorina ahead of other female VP possibilities — for example Susanna Martinez or Kelly Ayotte,” observes Paul Mirengoff, a Powerline.com columnist.

“So far, I’m reliably told, Fiorina’s speeches have been quite impressive. She specializes in bashing Hillary Clinton. This is God‘s work. It is also the traditional role of the vice presidential candidate,” Mr. Mirengoff adds.


Americans, even Republicans, are willing witnesses for Sen. Bernie Sanders and his long-shot presidential bid. The hair, the gumption, the unapologetic ideology — all that could appeal to an audience trained to root for the underdog, just as they would a reality TV contestant determined to beat the odds. The Vermont independent is a cultural force to be reckoned with. Will he also be a political force?

“Socialist elements of Sanders’ ideology and policy positions will no doubt appeal to a segment of the Democratic base and the two-term senator’s colorful personality and high energy may lead to respectable enough fundraising numbers to sustain him well into the early contests,” says Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who says Mr. Sanders has some history on his side.

Mr. Sanders is just the fifth presidential candidate to run for a major party nomination in Vermont history — and just the third to launch a bona fide campaign, the professor says. That small group includes former Governor Howard Dean.

“As for Sanders, his candidacy announcement should garner him enough attention to launch him into double-digits in nationwide polling for the Democratic nomination — something that has eluded him thus far in hypothetical horse race polls,” says Mr. Ostermeier. “Sanders should also see an uptick in support once pollsters finally agree to remove fellow Northeastern liberal Elizabeth Warren from their candidate lists.”


A promising resource for American heroes that launches Tuesday: First Data Corporation and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University have partnered with a spate of leading companies, agencies and nonprofits to launch the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business. All have pledged to support veteran and military-family owned small businesses to increase their opportunities and enhance their outreach.

Among those on board: American Express, Lockheed Martin Corporation, SunTrust Banks, Inc., USAA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Verizon Communications Inc., Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, and the Walt Disney Company.

Find this new effort here: VeteransBusinessCoalition.org


65 percent of Americans say it was “the right decision” to bring criminal charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; 45 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall say criminal behavior contributed a great deal to Baltimore violence; 76 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall cite tensions between the black community and police; 50 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent overall cite “anger over the death of Freddie Gray” as a cause of unrest; 48 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say poverty and lack of opportunity contributed to the unrest; 30 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

28 percent overall say initial response from top city officials contributed to the unrest; 34 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted April 30-May 3.

Determined logic and trite criticism to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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