- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2018

December heralds lots of year-end lists — best and worst, who’s up, who’s down. Mediaite.com, which monitors the big doings of the restless press — offers its list of 75 people who are the “most influential in news media,” and they hail from broadcast, print and online sources.

Fox News prime time host Sean Hannity is No. 1, his program is now the highest-rated cable news show in America.

“There are many figures in media and on the air at Fox News that form what certain critics refer to as President Trump’s ‘shadow cabinet.’ Only one of them has phone calls with the president on a truly regular basis,” the judges said.

“He has no shortage of critics who argue that his sort of advocacy doesn’t belong on a news network, but despite that Hannity has emerged as the king of cable news — after playing the long game over two decades at Fox. Pair that with a direct line to the White House, and there’s simply no one more influential.”

His MSNBC rival Rachel Maddow was in 13th place, by the way.

But back to the list. Second place goes to CNN CEO Jeff Zucker, followed by online monarch Matt Drudge, founder of the inimitable Drudge Report, which typically draws 30 million visitors a day — and 11 trillion in the last year. Fourth place belongs to Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy of “Fox and Friends,” a favorite of the president.

In fifth place is CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo, followed by newlyweds Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who recently tied the knot at the U.S. Archives, not far from the Declaration of Independence.

Curious about other place holders on the list? Fox News anchors Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro were No. 11, 14, 15 and 18, respectively; NBC’s Chuck Todd landed at No. 16. Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano was No. 24, CNN’s Anderson Cooper No. 26 and Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum No. 27, with Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams and Jesse Watters of “The Five” at No. 30

The list goes on. And on. See for yourself at Mediaite.com.

BE NICE OR ELSE

One political observer warns Republicans not to get too critical of Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Underestimating and villainizing a candidate won’t end well. Just look at how the left treated then-candidate Donald Trump, ” writes talk radio host Jesse Kelly, a contributor to The Federalist.

“It is critical for folks on the right to avoid the mistakes made by the left. We must learn from how they treated (and treat) President Trump and endeavor not to make the same mistakes. Do not underestimate this woman, and do not think your savage mockery of her stupidity will be an effective tool to stop her. It won’t. It will instead be personalized by her supporters, creating an army that will lay down and die for her (or at least vote for her), just like the army Trump has. You should be afraid of Ocasio-Cortez. Be much more afraid than you are,” Mr. Kelly advises.

“One thing about elections in America has never changed: you cannot win them without non-political people. It is the undecided masses who decide elections,” he says, adding that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s “naivet” about government makes her more appealing, not less.

Mr. Kelly, however, adds a reality check.

“Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist. Socialism is just communism dressed up in high heels and lipstick. It is a tremendous evil and a scourge upon the face of the planet. It has killed far more people than Nazism, racism, or any of the other -isms combined, and America is not as far from it as you might think,” he says.

THE BETS ARE ON

Politics, like sports, attract wagers.

President Trump is the favorite to win in 2020 at 7-5 odds (+140), meaning, a $100 bet would profit $140 if Trump wins. Beto O’Rourke, at 10-1, has become one of the most popular bets since the midterms with the fourth highest bet count ‘and catching steam,’” reports Dave Mason, the “Sportsbook” brand manager for BetOnline.ag, a very busy online outlet.

“Action is pouring in on Joe Biden,” Mr. Mason continues, citing the former vice president’s recent claim that he was the most” “qualified” person to be president as a reason for the jump.

“Mr. Biden’s 2020 presidential odds improved from 16-1 to 12-1 and he has received the third-highest bet count behind Donald Trump and Kamala Harris,” says Mr. Mason. “Should Biden win the 2020 election, a $100 bet would profit $1,200.”

BLOOMBERG’S DILEMMA

“Reporters at Bloomberg News are on edge after their boss announced that if he chooses to run for president in 2020 — a decision he will have to finalize relatively soon — it could mean the end of the news outlet’s political coverage,” reports BuzzFeed, adding that billionaire Michael Bloomberg — currently worth $50 billion and running as a Democrat — broached this idea during a Radio Iowa interview.

“The interview quickly caused paranoia within Bloomberg’s news division, according to sources familiar with the matter. The politics team, in particular, has been rankled by what Bloomberg said about how in-house political reporters should handle his potential campaign (not at all),” BuzzFeed noted.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Little Daisy, built as a hotel in 1919 on four acres near Jerome, Arizona. Eight bedrooms, seven baths, grand dining and living rooms, floor to ceiling windows; stucco, stone and natural wood in abundance; multiple fireplaces, tile floors, coffered ceilings; 12,000 square-feet, rooftop garden, home theater, wine cellar, state-of-the-art kitchen, game room, craft studio, terraces, colonnades, spectacular views. Renovation took nine years, “steeped in Americana.” Priced at $6.2 million through TheLittleDaisyJerome.com.

POLL DU JOUR

26 percent of U.S. voters say governments are most responsible for combating climate change; 15 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

22 percent say individuals are most responsible; 27 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

22 percent overall do not know who is most responsible; 28 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent say nonprofit and international organizations are responsible; 13 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent say businesses are responsible; 13 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,975 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 4-5.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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