- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Libertarian star-power is growing. The party’s presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, has appeared in nationally broadcast town halls, intraparty debates and talk shows, and he continues his fight to have a say in upcoming sanctioned presidential debates.

Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson has inspired a documentary film that intends to boost his appeal to undecided voters still dithering over the 2016 presidential race. The title: “Rigged 2016.”

The project has been financed by tech entrepreneur Patrick Byrne, founder of Overstock.com. He’s supplying a cool $1 million for the film, which features behind-the-scenes footage of Mr. Johnson’s campaign, plus interviews with Glenn Beck and other outspoken media folk. There will be a full-blown theatrical release of the film in New York City and Los Angeles in October, then it goes online for free viewing. Mr. Johnson would certainly approve of that.

The filmmaker here is Jeff Hays, whose motto is to “make movies that create movements.” Among his many projects was “Fahrenhype 9/11,” a feisty, 80-minute documentary produced in under a month in 2004, aimed at debunking criticisms against the George W. Bush administration made by Michael Moore in his documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11,” produced the same year. Mr. Hays likely has the right touch for the Johnson project.

The Hollywood Reporter, which is already monitoring this cinematic pushback, speculates that the goal here “is to expose the masses” to Mr. Johnson. Mr. Byrne, meanwhile, has confidence that the Libertarian can hold his own in the rough-and-tumble race against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“The big lie is we only have two choices. Let the people compare him to the other two. He’ll mop the floor with them,” Mr. Byrne told the industry publication. “If Johnson can win three to five states and Clinton and Trump fight to something close to a tie and neither gets the majority of electoral votes, it goes to the House of Representatives, where Democrats will prefer Gary to Trump, and Republicans will prefer Gary over Clinton.”


Interesting dynamics in the Bush family this week. Former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush made a cameo appearance at the Emmy Awards on Sunday, playing an Uber driver in a comedic video. And part two: Through a circuitous media route, Americans have been told that family patriarch and former President George H.W. Bush supports Hillary Clinton‘s quest for the White House. Former President George W. Bush, meanwhile, says he’s not endorsing anybody.

Which brings us to the only member of the Bush family holding active office. That would be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who in August asked his fellow Republicans in the Lone Star State to support Donald Trump.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what, you get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Bush told his audience at the GOP event.

The young Mr. Bush has articulated the basic decision facing nervous GOP voters — plus undecideds, disaffected Democrats, curious Libertarians and others. On Election Day it boils down to his strategy. You help the guy that won and defeat Mrs. Clinton. Or you don’t.


“I look forward to this night every year, and I was sitting here thinking, ‘boy, I’m going to miss this.’”

— Former President Bill Clinton, to an audience at a Clinton Foundation “Global Citizen” event on Tuesday. Should Hillary Clinton win the White House and Mr. Clinton become “first gentleman,” assorted experts have suggested that Mr. Clinton step away from the organization.


“As long as we have to talk about things in a politically correct way and we can’t say that it’s Islamic terror, we are causing ourselves a massive amount of trouble. There’s virtually nothing that’s worse than political correctness if you’re trying to understand what’s going on in something like a movement like radical Islam.”

— Former CIA Director James Woolsey, analyzing recent bombing attacks in New York and New Jersey, to Fox News


Well, this should be interesting. The debut of CNN’s series “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” on Sunday features the intense chef having dinner with President Obama — in Hanoi.

“Bourdain joins the throngs of locals as he motorbikes through Vietnam’s capital, traverses its rapidly changing cityscape, and indulges in its singular cuisine with President Barack Obama, who, over a dish of Bun Cha, shares personal stories and reflects on his own international travels,” the network said.

The two sit in a casual cafe in shirtsleeves, sipping long neck beers, talking earnestly and picking at their meal with chopsticks. For the uninitiated, Bun Cha is a savory broth filled with grilled “fatty pork,” noodles, herbs and other embellishments. The show airs at 9 p.m. EST.


Rivals and critics may vilify the Fox News Channel, but it remains a complete ratings powerhouse. For the fifth week in a row, the network was the most-watched cable channel, according to total viewing audience numbers from Nielsen Media Research. And also of note: The veteran newscasters still have cachet. With 2.1 million viewers, “On the Record with Brit Hume” is up 6 percent in viewership in the last month.

The Fox Business Network also has good news, topping rival CNBC in total viewers for the first time, with its largest audiences ever. In addition, Neil Cavuto‘s “Coast-to-Coast” “Varney & Co” and “Lou Dobbs Tonight” all have broken viewership records and also bested their direct rivals on CNBC.


78 percent of American parents allow their children to eat in the family car; 73 percent allow them to read, 68 percent allow them to use mobile devices.

60 percent allow their children to pick what music to listen to.

56 percent of parents say they drive their kids to school or activities “at least five days a week.”

36 percent drive an SUV, 20 percent a sedan, 16 percent a “crossover,” 7 percent a pickup truck, 7 percent a station wagon or hatchback.

33 percent say they spend a minimum of four hours a week driving their kids places.

Source: A CarGurus Family Driving Survey of 1,400 U.S. parents with children under 18 conducted throughout August and released Tuesday.

Nitpicky commentary, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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