NEWS AND OPINION:
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has complained in recent days that he gets very limited coverage in the mainstream media compared to the big names in the 2016 race. Mr. Johnson appears to be 100 percent right. There is a virtual broadcast black-out on the candidate.
A startling new analysis of major network news coverage conducted by the Media Research Center reveals all. Rich Noyes, research director for the conservative press watchdog, examined 1,713 campaign stories that appeared on ABC, CBS and NBC from Jan. 1 all the way through the end of August. Here’s what Mr. Noyes and his team of researchers found.
GOP nominee Donald Trump got 1,773 minutes of coverage, Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton got 1,020 minutes. And Mr. Johnson?
“Thus far in 2016, Johnson has received a mere 11 seconds of evening news coverage — just a single sentence on the NBC Nightly News as he was formally nominated back in May,” says Mr. Noyes. “That means Clinton has received more than 5,000 times more coverage than Johnson, while Donald Trump garnered nearly 10,000 times more evening news airtime than his Libertarian challenger.”
The broadcast status of other third party hopefuls were also examined by the researchers. They found that conservative independent candidate Evan McMullin got 33 seconds, Green Party nominee Jill Stein three seconds. Yes, three seconds. Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle got no seconds — as in zero coverage on the networks.
Mr. Noyes points out that CNN hosted forums for Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein, and that all the hopefuls have told their stories to alternative news sources and through social media. Mr. Johnson, in fact, appears on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday.
“But it’s the day-to-day mass media coverage that validates candidates in the eyes of most voters,” Mr. Noyes says, adding, “Without significant media coverage, most voters probably won’t even consider the alternative candidates of 2016, no matter how dissatisfied they are with the two major party nominees.”
GOP nominee Donald Trump has won a most coveted salute: 88 retired U.S. generals and admirals have endorsed him, their support revealed in a letter made public Tuesday.
“The 2016 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy. As retired senior leaders of America’s military, we believe that such a change can only be made by someone who has not been deeply involved with, and substantially responsible for, the hollowing out of our military and the burgeoning threats facing our country around the world,” noted the august group of top brass.
They were essentially organized by Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow, a Holocaust survivor who served with the Green Berets for three decades and was eventually commanding general of the Army Special Forces Command Airborne.
Mr. Trump, the general says, “has the temperament to be commander in chief.”
The nominee in turn advises, “We can only make America great again if we ensure our military remains the finest fighting force in the world, and that’s exactly what I will do as president.”
MATT LAUER’S BIG MOMENT
It’s a candidate coup: Nineteen days before the Presidential Debate Commission’s officially sanctioned debates begin, NBC stages the “first-ever Commander-in-Chief Forum,” presented Wednesday night in conjunction with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an interest group.
The live, one-hour event airs at 8 p.m. EDT from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum — actually a World War II-era aircraft carrier docked at a New York City pier. Yes, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be on the same stage, but they will go back-to-back, not together. No confrontations. Each candidate will take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues primarily from an audience of vets and active-duty personnel. NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer is the moderator.
Critics ask: Will the bout be fair? For weeks, NBC has denied claims made by multiple journalists that Mr. Lauer has connections to the Clinton Foundation — which once publicized “notable members” who included ABC’s George Stephanopoulos plus CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper. Mr. Cooper will moderate an officially sanctioned debate between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton in October.
In the meantime, some observers remain seriously concerned about Mrs. Clinton’s recent coughing spells, which appear pronounced when she is on stage. The challenging phenomenon has been studiously chronicled by the news media — with the Twitter hashtag #hackinghillary leading the trend lists in several regions around the nation.
“Months after the Obama administration spent $19 million to register new immigrant voters that will likely support Democrats in November, it’s dedicating an additional $10 million in a final push as the presidential election approaches. The money is distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration, to organizations that help enhance pathways to naturalization by offering immigrants free citizenship instruction, English, U.S. history and civics courses. Officially, they’re known as ‘citizenship integration grants.’”
— From a report released Tuesday by Judicial Watch.
POLL DU JOUR
• 83 percent of likely voters who now support a presidential candidate say their “mind is made up”; 86 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.
• 45 percent of voters overall support Republicans Donald Trump and Gov. Mike Pence; 88 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.
• 43 percent of voters overall support Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine; 3 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 7 percent of voters overall support Libertarians Gary Johnson and William Weld; 4 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.
• 2 percent of voters overall support Green Party Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka; 0 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of independents and 1 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 1 to 4.
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