- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

“While CNN and MSNBC obsess over Stormy Daniels, Fox News covers a real crisis in Syria,” writes Aidan McLaughlin, an analyst for Mediaite.com who spent Wednesday monitoring coverage on the three cable news networks.

“As stunning as it is that the president is being sued by a porn star who claims he paid her $130,000 weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence over their Tahoe romp — the story has been covered ad nauseam. Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, has revealed all she knows about her relationship with Trump. Pending any developments regarding the potential violation of campaign finance laws, what we now have is a simple civil lawsuit,” writes Mr. McLaughlin.

“On the other hand, chemical weapons inspectors failing to reach Douma in Syria — and the implications of a delay in their assessments — is serious, consequential news. In the last 48 hours, there were 124 mentions of ‘Syria’ on Fox News, according to a transcript search on media monitoring website TVEyes. That’s compared to 63 mentions on CNN and 80 mentions on MSNBC. In that same time, there were 56 mentions of ‘Stormy’ on Fox News, compared to 116 on CNN and 125 on MSNBC,” the analyst continues.

“Critics of Fox News are fond of arguing that its opinion coverage undermines its authority as a news outlet. But in the past 48 hours Fox has its news sights trained on a serious international crisis, while its competitors seem mired in the sensationalism of the Stormy Daniels saga,” Mr. McLaughin concludes.

VOTERS COOL TO ‘IMPEACHMENT’



Liberal journalists tend to bandy about “impeachment” as if it were a foregone conclusion that some how, some way, Congress will impeach President Trump. Well, here comes the poll.

“Impeach President Trump? Not so fast, voters say,” notes a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College poll that asked voters whether a congressional candidate’s position on whether to impeach Mr. Trump could be a “motivating factor” in the midterm elections.

“A plurality of registered voters (47 percent) say they would definitely vote against a candidate for Congress who wants to impeach the president,” the poll said.

Also 84 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats say they would definitely vote against a lawmaker intent on impeaching the president. Majorities of men, evangelicals, those over 45, white voters, Southerners and those without a college degree also would not support a pro-impeachment candidate.

Some would back a lawmaker who wants to impeach Mr. Trump. That includes 42 percent of all voters, along with 10 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents, 70 percent of Democrats — along with majorities of African-Americans and Latinos, those under 45 and those who live in the West. One-out-of-10 are undecided or unsure — which includes 6 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents, 12 percent of Democrats and women, and 13 percent of African-Americans and college graduates.

“If the question of impeachment dominates the news this fall, like so many other voter concerns, it breaks along partisan lines. But, because nearly one-third of Democrats are not eager to open up this debate, it is one potential campaign issue that advantages the GOP,” says Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

THE GRASS GROWS GREENER

Here’s more news that would amaze the hippies of yore with their discreet marijuana joints.

The first annual National Cannabis Policy Summit takes place in the nation’s capital on Friday, to be staged in the bodacious Newseum, a site devoted to First Amendment and journalistic matters, located just four blocks from the White House. The event features a cross-section of activists, executives, advocates for health care and veterans, and civil rights organizations to have a say about “pressing cannabis policy challenges and opportunities.”

The expansive and eclectic speakers list includes Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat; Clark Neily, vice president of criminal justice for the Cato Institute; Joseph Plenzler, director of media relations for The American Legion; Ben Jealous, former president of the NAACP; Michelle Minton, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute; D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine; and Dr. Mikhail Kogan, director of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine.

The policy event is a warm-up, though. The event precedes the third annual National Cannabis Festival on Saturday, staged at a Washington stadium. Some 5,000 people are expected to attend the “music, education, advocacy” event, which features hip-hop favorite Cypress Hill and seven other acts, plus lawn games, a wellness pavilion and the “Hempworx Munchie Zone,” among other things. Indeed, the hippies of yore would be amazed.

AM/FM RADIO IS KING OF MEDIA

Even in the age of cable TV and video on demand, it is old school AM/FM radio that rules the nation’s media, according to Nielsen, which has revealed the audience numbers. With 243 million monthly listeners, radio bests the competition.

“Each week, more Americans tune to AM/FM radio than any other platform. What’s more, according to Nielsen’s second-quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, 93 percent of U.S. adults listen to radio every week — more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC,” Nielsen noted in its report, which was released Wednesday.

By comparison, TV reaches 88 percent of Americans and garners 229 million viewers.

The analysis cited “compelling audio content and expanding delivery options” as a strong factor, citing country music and news/talk as the leading drivers in popularity.

POLL DU JOUR

95 percent of U.S. school principals are concerned that students have too much computer screen time when they go home.

64 percent say students have “the right amount” of screen time at school.

55 percent are “extremely concerned” about student use of social media outside of school, 28 percent are “moderately” concerned.

45 percent are extremely concerned about cyberbullying, 35 percent are moderately concerned.

43 percent are extremely concerned about students’ ability to gauge the reliability of online information, 36 percent are moderately concerned.

Source: An Education Week Research Center survey of 500 U.S. school principals, assistant principals and deans conducted through February and released Tuesday

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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