- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It is a rare thing. Those who support conservative thought and culture don’t get much of a chance to celebrate with good cheer, resolve and optimism — that is, unless they go to the annual Media Research Center Gala. On Thursday night the conservative press watchdog’s sold-out event will draw 800 revelers to a monumental building in the nation’s capital for a very swell affair. Along with the convivial company, the highlight of the evening is the “Dishonors Awards,” which cites the most outrageous examples of liberal bias in the media.

“Among the media elitists being dishonored this year: NBC’s Lester Holt, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, CBS’ Nancy Cordes and ex-MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry,” a source tells Inside the Beltway. “Categories include the Hail Hillary Award, the Damn You Conservatives to Hell Award and the Dan Rather Memorial Award for Stupidest Analysis. A fourth category pokes at the often asinine statements of left-wing Hollywood celebrities.”

The nominees were selected by judges who include radio gurus Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, plus columnist Monica Crowley, economist Walter E. Williams and RedState.com founder Erick Erickson. The audience — typically very exuberant — decides the winners via electronic vote.

The evening boasts a breezy Italian theme: Guests will tuck into chicken breast stuffed with three cheeses and fresh basil, served alongside gnocchi with roasted tomato fondue, plus charred broccolini with sea salt and olive oil. The night will be emceed by columnist Cal Thomas; Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes, Conservative Review analyst Deneen Borelli and WMAL radio host Chris Plante introduce the awards. The center’s president, Brent Bozell, will present the 10th annual “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” to the one and only Charlie Daniels in recognition of the musician’s work as a conservative opinion columnist.

AN IRRESISTIBLE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Most people assume that the long-awaited face-to-face confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at an officially sanctioned presidential debate could prove to be a doozy. Or maybe not. The learned media folk, however, are extrapolating how many people could tune in to witness the nominees in action on Monday night.

The canny TV Newser columnist Chris Ariens cites a recent Morning Consult poll revealing that 73 percent of Americans said they would watch the debate.

“If we extrapolate that, if 73 percent of 146,311,000 registered voters watch the debate, that means more than 106 million will be tuning in,” writes Mr. Ariens. “That’s approaching Super Bowl status. This year’s Super Bowl was watched by 112 million. While 106 million will be a stretch, network insiders we’ve talked to think the number will easily top 80 million.”

THE KAEPERNICK DIVIDE

A new poll from Yahoo Sports and YouGov finds that 57 percent of Americans do not approve of San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem before a game as a way to protest racism in America. The partisan divide on this: 34 percent of Democrats also disapprove, along with 59 percent of independents and 85 percent of Republicans.

See the overall numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

FUELING SUPPORT

GOP nominee Donald Trump has given recent significant policy speeches on the economy, terrorism and foreign affairs, among other heavyweight topics. Now comes his appearance Thursday at Shale Insight, a conference in Pittsburgh devoted to the technical and public policy dimensions of shale gas development. The focus this year “is the next phase of the shale revolution”; state elected officials and industry leaders from the likes of Chevron and Marathon Petroleum Corp. are in the crowd. Mr. Trump is the keynote speaker.

Drilling deeper, however, some insiders wonder why, in past presidential elections, Republicans — including Mr. Trump’s former rival, Jeb Bush — received handsome campaign donations from oil and gas industry sources. Mr. Trump? Not so much — $240,615 compared to Hillary Clinton’s $526,402. This according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Perhaps that will change after Mr. Trump’s speech.

The candidate follows his appearance with a mammoth rally in Chester a few hours later, some 250 miles to the east.

AMERICANS’ DISTRUST OF AMERICANS

“At no point in the last four decades have Americans expressed less trust than they do today in U.S. political leaders or in the American people who voted those leaders into office. Both trends were already in place long before this year’s presidential campaign saw primary voters choose, and their political parties nominate, the worst-rated presidential candidates in recent memory,” says Jeffrey Jones, a Gallup Poll analyst.

Here are the numbers: 42 percent of Americans trust the politicians — the lowest numbers since 1971. Thirty-seven percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

Then there’s Americans trust in other Americans: 56 percent trust their fellow citizens to make sound political decisions. Again, this is the lowest reading in 44 years, but not such a pronounced divide: 53 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

“Voter frustration was arguably a major factor behind Donald Trump’s victory in the GOP primaries and Bernie Sanders‘ unexpectedly strong challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries,” Mr. Jones continues. “Whether Trump or Clinton is elected in November, the winner will be governing at a time when Americans’ trust in nearly all major U.S. institutions — including the American people themselves — is at or near historical lows.”

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of Americans say San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s should have chosen “another form of protest” than kneeling during the national anthem before a game.

47 percent directly oppose this form of protest.

32 percent support the gesture, 21 percent say they are neutral or declined to answer.

44 percent say they will stop watching football if this form of protest continues.

42 percent say the NFL should “crack down” on the protests; 42 percent say the NFL should allow “any form of protest.”

Source: A Yahoo Sports/YouGov poll of 1,128 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 13 to 14.

• Workable solutions, nervous chattering to [email protected]

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide