NEWS AND OPINION:
Well, that’s straightforward enough: “Republicans are very happy with President Trump,” reports a new YouGov/Economist poll, which counters the shrill narratives in the news media that suggest GOP voters are now fretful and regretful about their decision to put Mr. Trump in the White House. They’re not.
“Republicans are very happy about the first few weeks with a GOP president. Their mood has changed for the better. Just a year ago, 86 percent of Republicans thought the country was off on the wrong track; now, 61 percent say it’s heading in the right direction,” says Kathy Frankovic, an analyst with the pollster, which has tracked Mr. Trump’s favorability since he declared his intention to run for office.
“The percentage of Republicans who expect there will be more jobs in six months has risen from 9 percent to 67 percent in the last year, and just about half of Republicans today think the economy is getting better,” Ms. Frankovic notes. “Republicans are sticking with the president: 83 percent approve of the way he is handling his job.”
Typical news coverage does not reflect this sentiment. There has been no honeymoon period between press and president, or even a few moments of civility. Unfriendly news organizations follow typical patterns: They nitpick the White House, suggest there’s infighting and confusion behind the scenes or claim that worried Trump voters now have buyer’s remorse and wish they’d voted for Hillary Clinton.
“That’s what all of this coverage is designed to effect. And I’m here to tell you that, if the election were held today, Trump would win, and maybe by an even bigger number,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday, explaining that Mr. Trump is now delivering on his campaign promises with a swift and steady hand.
“The people that are in real trouble right now are the Republicans on Capitol Hill who do not appear energetic to help Trump implement his agenda,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “That’s who might be in trouble if there were an election today, but not Trump, and you can take that to the bank.”
SEARS EXPLAINS, SORT OF
Much news coverage now claims that boycotting products or services associated with President Trump is all the rage among some retailers — such as Nordstrom, which will no longer carry fashion items from Ivanka Trump‘s line. There were also recent press accounts noting that Sears and Kmart had joined the boycott frenzy. Well, not quite.
“This weekend, there were numerous reports in major publications with the headline that Sears and Kmart have removed Trump products from our websites,” noted Chris Brathwaite, vice president for Communications for Sears Holdings Corporation, in a public statement released Monday.
“Buried in several articles” he went on “is our response that offers a more complete description that explains that we, like all retailers, constantly add and remove products from our offerings. In this case, certain products were removed from our websites that included a very small number of Trump products. But any fair observer who searches for Trump or Ivanka Trump on Sears.com would find hundreds of products available for purchase. All of these products are offered by our marketplace sellers and not directly by Sears or Kmart. The headlines do not do justice to our business or this specific brand of products that we offer through our marketplace sellers.”
SNL: NOT THE NEWS
Every time NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” airs, many news outlets “breathlessly recount the latest anti-Trump skits,” complains John Hinderaker, a Powerline.com analyst who specifically cites The Associated Press for producing a “news story” about the skits in the immediate aftermath of their airing, just like clockwork.
“So, why is this news? I don’t recall that Saturday Night Live’s weekly dose of liberal spin was news during the Obama administration. Saturday Night Live is a comedy show. Comedy isn’t generally considered newsworthy. Is it because so many people are watching? Because SNL’s ratings are so stratospherically high? Evidently not: Saturday Night Live has a below average audience, ranking 139th out of 196 television programs during the 2015-2016 season,” Mr. Hinderaker writes.
“The only explanation is that Democratic Party news outlets report on Saturday Night Live skits because they want to amplify SNL’s anti-Trump message,” he says, warning that this coverage could produce “fake news” or worse.
“Here is some real news: Sean Spicer‘s daily press briefings, broadcast live, are being watched by around 4.3 million people. That is several times the audience for Saturday Night Live,” Mr. Hinderaker adds, calling this viewing phenomenon “remarkable.”
TRUMP RAGE STARTS EARLY
Manhattan mothers are uneasy, it seems.
“Upper East Side moms are having a spirited online debate over whether to boycott a school where a grandchild of President Trump is a student. One of the anonymous contributors to UrbanBaby.com said her son had gotten into Buckley School, but she didn’t want to send him there because a son of Donald Trump Jr.’s is said to be going to kindergarten there in the fall,” reports New York Post columnist Richard Johnson.
“They will be in the same classroom and I don’t think I can deal with this. Birthday parties, etc.,” the concerned mother wrote, soon countered by another mother who replied: “It’s an innocent kid. It’s not like he can help the family he was born into. The hate must run really deep with you.”
For the uninitiated, the Upper East Side stretches from 59th to 96th Streets on the east side of Manhattan. The annual tuition at the boys’ private school — which is on the East Side — is $42,750 a year.
FOR THE LEXICON
“Equal rights for unborn women”
— Slogan from a rally sign in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the recent Defund Planned Parenthood marches staged nationwide in 220 cities
POLL DU JOUR
• 77 percent of Americans say members of Congress give “more weight” to partisan ideological concerns than they do the concerns of average Americans.
• 58 percent say Congress does not consider the concerns of average Americans when deciding what policies to support.
• 51 percent describe their financial situation as stable; 29 percent are “struggling,” 20 percent improving.
• 40 percent describe themselves as middle class, 30 percent say they are working class, 14 percent upper middle class and 13 percent “poor.”
Source: A Monmouth University Poll conducted Jan. 12-15 and released Friday.
• Murmurs and asides to firstname.lastname@example.org