- The Washington Times - Monday, July 18, 2016

Relentless conservative commentator Ann Coulter is one of the 15,000 credentialed journalists in orbit around the Republican National Convention this week. And just like everyone else, she has presumptive nominee Donald Trump on her mind. Ms. Coulter is in Cleveland to preview her forthcoming book, “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!,” due from Sentinel Books next month.

Donald Trump isn’t a politician. He’s a one-man wrecking ball against our dysfunctional and corrupt establishment,” notes a publisher’s preview. “The three biggest news stories of the 2016 presidential election have been: Trump, Trump and Trump. The media have twisted themselves in knots, trying to grasp how he won over millions of Republicans and what he’d be like as president. But Ann Coulter isn’t puzzled. She knows why Trump was the only one of 17 GOP contenders who captured the spirit of our time. She argues that a bull in the china shop is exactly what we need to make America great again.”

The author has a partner on the convention trail. Joining her for two appearances in the next 24 hours: Breitbart London associate editor and fellow Trump fan Milo Yiannopoulos. He already spoke at an “America First Unity Rally” at a park near the convention on Monday, sponsored by a motley array of organizations including Bikers for Trump, Truckers for Trump, Tea Partiers for Trump, Christians for Trump, Vets 4 Trump and Women United for Trump.

Mr. Yiannopoulos will accompany Ms. Coulter Tuesday night for a very after-hours “Wake Up Party,” meant to draw attention to the mass shooting at in Orlando, Florida, nightclub last month. The guest list includes such outspoken commentators as Roger Stone and Pamela Geller.

Then it’s book time. On Wednesday Ms. Coulter and Mr. Yiannopoulos head to a major bookstore to answer public questions about Mr. Trump — and provide “an antidote to the liberal political-correctness craze that is sweeping the nation,” advises a spokeswoman.

THE MEDIA PUZZLES OVER REPUBLICANS

Some critics were reviewing the Republican National Convention before it even got started, but such is the nature of journalism these days. A few news organization actually waited until the doors opened to weigh in. Some sample headlines:

“Journalists cross their fingers they won’t be arrested covering GOP” (Huffington Post); “Hard feelings on Day 1” (The New York Times); “Day 1: GOP civil war breaks out in Cleveland” (Politico); “Extremist groups surround Republican convention” (Roll Call); “The Cleveland show: Convention starts under a security cloud” (Fox News); “This is a Trump convention: cult of personality looms over Cleveland” (The Guardian); “Riot Gear and Hugs in Cleveland” (Wired); “Trump allies slam hold-outs” (The Washington Post).

TIMELY LEGISLATION OF NOTE

The “Community Counterterrorism Preparedness Act” has been introduced by Rep. Michael T. McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in response, he says, to active-shooter situations across the country. The legislation would enable first responders to apply for grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to active shooters. The bill authorizes $39 million for emergency response providers and law enforcement in major metropolitan areas to conduct training and exercises to counter likely attack scenarios.

“The pace of terror and shooting attacks in the United States has sadly increased to an unprecedented level. They are becoming so common that we now seem to refer to the attacks by just naming the city in which they occurred,” observes Mr. McCaul.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“I drove home from Kansas over the weekend, and I noticed something. Wherever I was, from Lawrence, to Kansas City, to St. Louis or Paducah or Nashville, it seemed as if white and black people were going out of their ways to be nice to each other. As I’ve noted before, a lot of people seem to want to gin up racial tensions, but ordinary Americans don’t seem so big on that,” writes Instapundit columnist Glenn Reynolds, reporting on his most recent road trip from Kansas to Tennessee.

C-SPAN THERAPY

Both Republican and Democratic national conventions bring out the hysteria in broadcasters. But veteran columnist Andrew Malcolm has advice for those already weary of politics and policy packaged as chaotic entertainment.

“Let us all take deep breaths now as the overblown, media-magnified import of national political conventions turns our TV screens into playgrounds of frenzied pixels,” he writes for HotAir.com.

“There is, however, a way to witness and absorb these sometimes historic events plus countless sideshows with intelligence, calm, insight and without the kind of pundit ‘blovado’ that so often characterizes cable talk. It’s called C-SPAN,” Mr. Malcolm notes.

“C-SPAN is beyond question an under-appreciated national treasure that at great expense brings within our reach for free virtually all important political events,” he continues. “For all the griping about cable TV, we owe that industry and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb deep thanks for funding this 30-year-old broadcast bastion of relentless calm. You know, a little peaceful talk isn’t a bad thing in this tumultuous election cycle.”

Inside the Beltway concurs.

POLL DU JOUR

41 percent of registered U.S. voters do not plan to watch the Democratic National Convention; 38 percent do not plan to watch the Republican National Convention.

39 percent will watch some of the Democratic event; 39 percent will watch some of the GOP event.

16 percent say they will watch “a lot” of the Democrats’ event; 17 percent will watch “a lot” of the GOP‘s.

7 percent will tune in only to watch Donald Trump’s speech; 4 percent will tune in only to watch Hillary Clinton’s speech.

Source: A YouGov/Economist poll of 1,300 registered voters conducted July 9-11.

Cranky outbursts, breezy observations to [email protected]

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