NEWS AND OPINION:
The Boston Globe spent much time and energy to craft a realistic looking but frankly fake front page Sunday, all for an editorial titled “The GOP must stop Trump.” It consisted of imaginary speculation about the nation under the guidance of President Donald Trump — whose “vision for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American,” the news organization said. Headlines ran amok, ranging from “Deportations to Begin” to “U.S. soldiers refuse orders to kill ISIS families.”
It is an odd, ambitious and detailed project doubtless involving multiple reporters, designers and editors tasked with fabricating “stories” that bandy about the name of Donald Trump, along with Gov. Chris Christie, who’s cast as the U.S. attorney general, and Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
It is hard to say whether Globe readers would have preferred such efforts go to, say, a tutorial on national security, personal finances or family values. The project earned considerable press, but not much criticism.
“Can anyone imagine the outrage that liberal media pundits would have had if say, The New York Post or The Washington Times had created a fake page predicting that President Obama would force people off the insurance they wanted to keep, and food stamp use would soar by 70 percent?” demanded Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog. “Imagine those complaints and transfer them to this: A serious newspaper doesn’t satirize the news. It leaves it to The Onion.”
The Globe was feisty.
“The rise of demagogic strongmen is an all too common phenomenon on our small planet. And what marks each of those dark episodes is a failure to fathom where a leader’s vision leads, to carry rhetoric to its logical conclusion. The satirical front page of this section attempts to do just that, to envision what America looks like with Trump in the White House. It is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page,” the Globe editorial board noted.
Mr. Trump had a quick summary in the aftermath.
“How about that stupid Boston Globe? It’s worthless,” the candidate said in a rally Sunday in Rochester, New York. “The whole front page is a make-believe story, which is really no different from the whole paper.”
And on Monday Mr. Trump told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” in an interview: “It’s a very sad thing and it’s sad for the paper. You know it used to be considered a major paper and now it’s like a supermarket throw-out. You take a look at it there’s almost nothing in it. There’s no ads.”
GOP FAMILIES WEIGH IN
An interesting programming idea from CNN, which will broadcast town halls featuring the Republican presidential hopefuls and their families, on three consecutive nights.
On Monday, Gov. John Kasich, his wife, Karen, and daughters Reese and Emma join host Anderson Cooper to answer questions from an audience of registered Republican voters. On Tuesday, Donald Trump will be joined by his wife, Melania, and children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. for the same format. On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will be on the stage, joined by his wife, Heidi.
The events air each night from 9-10 p.m. EDT.
HILLARY ATTRACTS THE VAPER VOTE
Political demographics are ever-expanding. Those who favor electronic cigarettes lean Democratic, according to V2, which sells the devices and commissioned a study of 600 adult “vapers” to determine their political affiliations. The findings: 38 percent are Democrats, followed by independents (27 percent), Republicans (24 percent), Libertarians (6 percent) and Greens (5 percent).
“Similar to our data, previous research has found that most smokers are Democrats,” says Adam Kustin, a spokesman for the company. “It only makes sense that the political group most likely to smoke is also the most likely to vape.”
The support is somewhat of a patchwork. Democrat Hillary Clinton won 31 percent of the vapers’ vote, followed by Donald Trump (23 percent) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (22 percent), while Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich garnered 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
ON THE MARCH
The protesters from the 1960s era would be right at home. Organizers from Democracy Spring predict “massive sit-ins at Congress” on Monday. After walking the 140-mile distance between Philadelphia and Washington, the activist coalition will be in the nation’s capital all week demanding that lawmakers act on reform bills to “end the out-of-control corruption of American politics by big money and protect the right to vote,” or words to that effect.
The group says it has the blessings of everyone from actor Sam Waterston to Code Pink, the National Organization for Women and Friends of the Earth.
“Over 3,000 people have already pledged to risk arrest between April 11th-18th in what will be one of the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation,” organizers advise. Find them at DemocracySpring.org.
GIVE THEM SPACE
Some very heavy hitters and big thinkers will attend the Space Symposium, a four-day, globally minded extravaganza of technology and “critical dialogue” that opens Monday in Colorado Springs.
The event will glint with military brass from multiple nations, industry heavyweights, scientists, entrepreneurs, policy wonks, inventors. Among the 122 speakers: Entrepreneur and emerging media mogul Jeff Bezos; Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James; Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command; Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work; Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma Republican; and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The opening ceremony Monday features the Tower of Power — yes, the 10-man, brass-powered R&B group. The Space Warfighter’s Luncheon sounds intriguing. Find it all at SpaceSymposium.org.
POLL DU JOUR
• 87 percent of Americans believe that “financial literacy” should be taught in schools.
• 72 percent say the training should begin in middle or high school; 1 percent say elementary school.
• 39 percent say they learned about investing and other financial topics themselves; 35 percent say “nobody” taught them.
• 19 percent say their parents taught them.
Source: An RBC Wealth Management/Harris poll of 2,007 U.S. adults conducted March 18-19 and released Friday.
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