- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pollsters have confirmed for many months that there is a clear media bias against President Trump. They also reveal that the American public is growing weary of the endless negative coverage, which masks authentic progress the president and his administration have made. Citizens are ready for some good news. And the press? Not so much. Outrage and Trump bashing have been good for ratings and readership. But tirades also allow journalists to vent about a president who pushes back against their criticism, in what they deem an “unpresidential” way.

“This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not allow himself to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News.

But on to the numbers. Bias against Mr. Trump was apparent well before he was elected. There was considerable fuss in October, when a Center For Public Integrity poll found that 96 percent of political donations from journalists went to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A Quinnipiac University survey followed with news that 55 percent of likely voters said the press was against Mr. Trump. Drama ensued. Despite Mr. Trump’s often contentious relationship with MSNBC, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough lashed out at the press for its “deplorable” coverage of candidate Trump, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Following the inauguration, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 51 percent of Americans said the media was “too critical” in its coverage of the president, while 53 percent said the media exaggerated problems in the Trump administration. In March, a telling Harvard University survey found that 80 percent of print and broadcast coverage about Mr. Trump was negative during his first 100 days in office.

Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president,” the Harvard poll noted.

A similar Media Research Center analysis in March found 88 percent of broadcast news was hostile toward the president, while an Investor’s Business Daily poll said that 55 percent of the public had grown “weary from the media’s persistently negative coverage of President Trump.” Another 54 percent said the media “has assumed the role of the opposition party, constantly opposing the president and his policies at every turn.”

Pollsters themselves attracted criticism: “Just one-out-of-three voters believe most pollsters are interested in reporting the attitudes of Americans in an unbiased manner when they poll on President Trump,” a Rasmussen Reports survey noted in May.

“Voters are still critical of the news coverage Trump is getting and continue to believe most reporters are out to get him,” Rasmussen noted earlier this week. “Just four percent think most reporters are biased in Trump’s favor.”

STILL A GRAND OLD FLAG

Timely hints from the federal government? Yes, very much so as July Fourth looms. USA.gov — a wide-ranging compendium of information about the government and its workings — offers a page dedicated to the American flag and its protocol.

“The U.S. flag stands for our nation and the shared history, pride, principles and commitment of its people. When we properly display this powerful symbol, we signal our respect for everything it represents,” advises a helpful infographic based on the U.S. Flag Code.

There are historic details which should be revisited from time to time. “The colors on the flag represent: Red: valor and bravery; White: purity and innocence; Blue: vigilance, perseverance, and justice,” the site says.  Find it all at USA.gov/flag.

SOLVING THE ‘IRRITANTS’

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin soon will meet face-to-face, which certainly will add a new dimension and maybe some hysteria to the media’s preoccupation with “Russia collusion” and other matters. The place will be Hamburg, Germany, late next week; the occasion will be the “sidelines” of the G-20 summit.

“There’s no specific agenda. It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about,” White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said during an off-camera briefing with the press on Thursday, also noting that Mr. Trump plans to address certain unnamed “irritants.”

It will be a busy time, and a truly global occasion that could suit Mr. Trump just fine. According to press reports, he also will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, among others.

FRANKEN’S CALL TO ARMS

“There’s no wrong way to stand up to Donald Trump and stand up for our shared values — as long as you do as much of it as you can, as often as you can. It’s gotta be part of your everyday routine: eat, sleep, resist, repeat.”

— Sen. Al Franken in a fundraising plea for the Democratic National Committee.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Andrew Barnes House, a Colonial-era country cottage built in 1790 in Sherman, Connecticut. Three bedrooms, two baths; 1,607 square feet. Includes dining and living rooms, three fireplaces, center chimney, wide-plank floors, original built-ins, architectural details and “cubbies.” Covered porch, vaulted studio space. One-acre manicured lawn includes in-ground pool, stone terrace and landscaping. Priced at $375,000 through 12route39north.com.

POLL DU JOUR

26 percent of registered U.S. voters blame congressional Democrats for preventing passage of legislation on health care, taxes and other issues; 55 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

25 percent blame Democrats, Republicans and the Trump administration for gridlock; 20 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent blame congressional Republicans; 8 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent blame the Trump administration; 5 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

9 percent are undecided; 11 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted June 24-27.

• Ballyhoo and casual chatter to [email protected]

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