- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

President Trump’s Hollywood star now shines upon a cultural moment. He received the honorary symbol 11 years ago for his work as a reality TV star and owner of the Miss Universe Pageant. But alas. After Mr. Trump’s sidewalk star was vandalized, city officials in West Hollywood called for its removal Monday night — citing both his policies and “behavior towards women,” and claiming the president does not meet the “shared values” of their city.

“If Hollywood is going to strip Trump of his Walk of Fame star for sexual misconduct, then when will Kevin Spacey and Bill Cosby lose theirs?” wonders Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan, who calls Hollywood “the seething epicenter of global Trump detestation,” among other things.

“My favorite game in this era of increasingly hysterical Trump-bashing fervor is Whataboutery. It’s a game you can play on your own, or with friends, and involves taking shrieking liberal criticism of President Trump — and applying it to liberal heroes instead,” Mr. Morgan wrote.

“For example, liberals curl themselves into balls of apoplexy about Trump’s draconian tactics to deport illegal immigrants — while conveniently overlooking that ‘Saint’ Barack Obama threw out more than three million people during his tenure, splitting up many families, and earning himself the nickname in Mexico of ‘Deporter-in-Chief,’” Mr. Morgan continued.

“Liberals are increasingly hysterical about Trump-bashing, but try applying the same criticism to liberal heroes. For example I wonder why the same fury is not extended to Bill Clinton and JFK, whose treatment of women made Trump look like a choirboy?” Mr. Morgan recalled.

“For Trump’s star to now be removed would represent a stunning and unprecedented display of moral condemnation by the Hollywood community. It would also represent the single most hypocritical act of laughable self-righteous [expletive] ever seen on Planet Earth. To explain, let’s play my Whataboutery game. Right next to Trump’s star is one honoring Kevin Spacey, whose glittering movie career recently imploded after more than a dozen men accused him of sexual harassment and assault, including some who were minors at the time. What about Spacey? Does he meet the ‘shared values’ of the Hollywood community?” the columnist wrote.

He also wondered if a whole cast of Hollywood legends — right down to “amoral” Godzilla — would qualify as virtuous.

“What about shutting up about Trump’s moral failings, Hollywood, until you’re prepared to apply the same standards to your own ‘shared values’?” asked Mr. Morgan.

TRUMP BUMP CONTINUES

U.S. small business owners are more optimistic now than at any point in the 15-year history of the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, report the Gallup pollsters who discovered these findings.

Their quarterly survey measures small-business owners’ attitudes about their businesses and future expectations, through open-ended questions and other factors. Gallup calculates the index based on these results. The overall index score now stands at 118 — besting the record-high of 114 in 2006. The lowest score — a “minus 28” emerged in 2010.

President Trump does well here in their research, meanwhile. On a list of small business challenges — which include taxes, government regulations, hiring and credit — Mr. Trump was the last on the list of concerns, cited by only 2 percent of the owners.

See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

REMEMBERING PAUL LAXALT

Let us pause a moment to remember Paul Laxalt, senator and former Nevada governor, who died Monday of natural causes at age 96.

“Paul Laxalt was one of Ronald Reagan’s closest friends and advisers, going back to the days when Reagan and he were governors of California and Nevada. But Paul was much more than that,” says Craig Shirley, a Reagan biographer.

“He was one of the few elected officials in the country to support Reagan’s revolutionary challenge to Gerald Ford in 1976. And of course, he was national chairman of Reagan’s historical 1980 campaign for president. Reagan later asked Paul to serve a national chairman of the Republican Party. The son of Nevada sheepherders, he was a veteran of World War II, a successful businessman and a stalwart and loyal conservative. In the 1970s, no meeting of conservatives was complete without the presence of Paul. Another page in the history of American conservatism and the life and times of Ronald Reagan is turning,” says Mr. Shirley.

Fred Ryan, chairman of the board of the Ronald Reagan presidential Foundation and Institute, notes: “Senator Laxalt, who became known as President Reagan’s ‘First Friend,’ was a pivotal player in the Reagan Revolution and one of Ronald Reagan’s closest advisors on Capitol Hill. President Reagan often spoke publicly about how much he relied on him, calling his friendship and support invaluable. From politics, to family friendship, to a day of horseback riding along the trails, Paul Laxalt was a true confidant to the President.”

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel remains the most-watched network in the cable, now marking 30 consecutive weeks at No. 1, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News tops HGTV, Discovery, Hallmark and a variety of non-news rivals. As it has for the last 16 years, Fox News also bests all cable news competition, averaging 2.4 million prime time viewers compared to MSNBC with 1.6 million and CNN with 909,000.

Fox News also claimed seven of the top 10 cable telecasts, with “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “The Ingraham Angle” leading the way.

The network, meanwhile, continues to bolster its news gathering. Jay Wallace, president of Fox News, also reveals that the network has just hired Jacqui Heinrich as a reporter; she is a three-time Emmy Award winner who hails from Fox’s Boston affiliate. She’ll be based in New York City. Also hired: Trey Yingst, a previous correspondent for BBC, CTV and One America News. He will report from Jerusalem.

POLL DU JOUR

• 78 percent of U.S. small business owners now rate their current financial situation as “good.”

• 77 percent expect their cash flow to be good in the next 12 months.

• 69 percent say their cash flow in the last 12 months has been good.

• 49 percent expect that it will be easy to get credit in the next 12 months.

• 35 percent expects the number of jobs at their business to increase.

Source: A Wells Fargo/Gallup poll of 604 U.S. small-business owners in all 50 states, conducted July 11-18.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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