- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The news media is mired in Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation in the Russian collusion matter, prompting critics to suggest it’s not only lazy journalism, but built on a selective set of partisan talking points. In a few choice words, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders summarized the press’ fixation on the combination of Russia, the 2016 election and President Trump — at the expense of all else.

“You guys seem completely obsessed with this, while there are a lot of other things happening around the country and frankly a lot of other things that people care a lot more about,” Mrs. Sanders told the assembled journalists Wednesday.

There are numbers to support that. An extensive Media Research Center study reveals just how pervasive the Mueller obsession has become. Since Mr. Trump was inaugurated, ABC, NBC and CBS have devoted over 1,000 minutes of airtime to allegations of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. That measurement is for the evening newscasts alone. And Hillary Clinton’s involvement in same?

“Since April 2015, the Clinton/Uranium/Russia story has received only 3 minutes, 21 seconds of evening news coverage,” the study found.

Even a tragedy in Manhattan can’t shake the press fascination. Nicholas Fondacaro, an analyst for the aforementioned conservative press watchdog, found in his own research that the three networks dedicated 70 percent of their evening newscast time to the Mueller matter in the last three days. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Only a few hours into their coverage of the deadly terror attack New York City on Tuesday, CNN found it more important to break away to continue to their Robert Mueller marathon,” says Mr. Fondacaro, who cites one prime time anchor in particular.

“A terror attack that killed eight people and injured a dozen others when a man in a truck mowed down bike riders and pedestrians on the west side. Much more on that coming up,” declared Wolf Blitzer. “But we have another breaking story we’re following right now. President Trump and the Russia investigation.”


“The Ingraham Angle” debuted on Fox News Channel this week with some bodacious ratings. Host Laura Ingraham, forthright style and keen insight in evidence, drew over 3 million viewers to her very first show Monday. She likely could repeat that performance Thursday. Yes, she will interview President Trump. On the agenda: his tax reform policy, the terrorist attack in New York City and his upcoming trip to Asia — which is a whopper. The president departs on Friday and will make a 12-day, five-country tour through the region, though the DMZ between North and South Korea is not on the itinerary.

Showtime for this significant interview is 10 p.m. EDT.


Who should run for the White House in 2020? Democrats are opting for the familiar. Zogby Analytics asked 682 Democratic primary voters who they would vote for from a list of 10 prominent Dems. The result: Former first lady Michelle Obama was No. 1, garnering 22 percent of the vote. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 19 percent, followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders (18 percent), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8 percent), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (4 percent), Sen. Kamala Harris (3 percent), Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (both 2 percent), Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand (both 1 percent). Another 20 percent were unsure.

“The numbers here do show friction within the party, but Obama is a nice name to have on the back burner,” reports pollster John Zogby.


“Between customers, retailers and growers, taxes on cannabis may reach as high as 45 percent in parts of the state, according to a Fitch Ratings report. Those high taxes may keep consumers away from legal marijuana stores once the recreational retail market goes live on January 1,” writes CNN Money columnist Aaron Smith.

Cannabis consumers will pay a sales tax ranging from 22.25 percent to 24.25 percent, made up of a combination of state excise tax plus some additional state and local sales taxes. Local businesses will have to pay a tax ranging from 1 percent to 20 percent of gross receipts — or $1 to $50 per square foot of marijuana plants that they grow.

In addition, farmers will be taxed $9.25 per ounce for flower, and $2.75 per ounce for leaves.

“The Fitch report says this combination of state and local taxes for consumers, retailers and growers could keep portions of California’s cannabis industry off the grid, where it has flourished for some time,” Mr. Smith observes.


Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president, will get his memorial. Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican and chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, reveals that the groundbreaking for the National Eisenhower Memorial is Thursday on a rare four-acre site directly across from the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The overall monument is designed by architect Frank Gehry.

Among those attending: former Sen. Bob Dole, co-chair of the memorial commission, Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of the president and World War II veteran Floyd Renken, who served in the Army Air Corps with the 316 Troup Carrier Group during the D-Day Invasion. Former TV news anchor Greta Van Susteren will emcee the event. The event will be livestreamed here at 10 a.m. EDT.


• 77 percent of Americans say “freedom of choice in how to live” is essential to the American dream; 22 percent say it is important but not essential.

• 70 percent say having a good family life is essential to the dream; 28 percent say it’s important.

• 60 percent say to “retire comfortably” is essential; 36 percent say it is important.

• 43 percent say owning a home is essential; 48 percen say it is important.

• 43 percent say a successful career is essential; 50 percent say it is important.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,009 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 15-21 and released Tuesday.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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