- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It was a foregone conclusion that news coverage would blame President Trump for the stock market plunge — but never credit him for its record-breaking rise. There’s some history here. Many journalists ignored the spectacular stock market climb after Mr. Trump took office, as one record after another was shattered and Americans cautiously grinned over their 401(k) plans.

According to a close study by Julia A. Seymour, assistant managing editor for the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute, the major broadcast networks censored 75 percent of Dow record highs since the start of 2017. The networks purposefully ignored or downplayed the good news, reporting only 20 of the 82 records during that time.

But they were there to report the bad news, though — even when the stock market perked up a little as the week began.

Trump has often taken credit for the stock market’s climb. Will he own the drops too?” asked USA Today while The Washington Post simply speculated, “Is Trump to blame for the Market dive?” and CNN suggested that Mr. Trump’s tax plan was “backfiring on Wall Street.”

Such reporting drew a warning from The Poynter Institute — a journalism ethics and advisory organization — which on Tuesday cautioned the press not to “feed the stock market panic” and instead offer viable context and facts.

“You will do your readers/viewers/listeners a disservice if you scare them with uninformed headlines,” counseled senior adviser Al Tompkins.

Mr. Trump did have some defenders, and their thoughts set off Media Matters for America, a progressive press watchdog.

“Far-right figures are saying the deep state is responsible for the stock market crash,” the organization noted Tuesday, citing such sources as Gateway Pundit, Infowars and talk radio host Michael Savage.

“They’re trying to destroy Trump’s strongest card which is the economy,” Mr. Savage told his 7 million listeners Monday. “Trump’s stirring State of the Union speech last week was so great that even CBS admitted 75 percent of the people who watched it approved of it and loved it. So what happened right afterwards? The establishment, meaning the deep state, call it whatever you want, went into overdrive to destroy Trump, or try to destroy him where he is strongest because they couldn’t get him where they thought he was weakest. And so they’re taking the market down,” Mr. Savage observed.

HILLARY HAS A MOMENT

“It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that’s going on in the world, and on the world stage and here at home. I know that. I get overwhelmed at least a dozen times a day.”

And so said Hillary Clinton, noting her personal reaction to politics and public affairs during a speech at Georgetown University on Monday.

Well, yes. Things are complicated. Monday also marked the publication date of “The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency” by Lanny J. Davis, a veteran political observer who traces the troubles back to Oct. 28, 2016, — when Mr. Comey told Congress the bureau was reopening the “Hillary Clinton email case.”

Mr. Davis traces the impact of Mr. Comey’s announcement 11 days before the election — and how it “swung a significant number of voters away from Mrs. Clinton, winning Donald Trump an Electoral College victory — and the presidency.”

DEMOCRATS ON THE WRONG SIDE

“It turns out that it’s the Democrats who are on the wrong side of public opinion on the immigration issue,” says Investors Business Daily writer John Merline.

A poll from the news organization found that 50 percent approve of the construction of physical and electronic barriers along the southern U.S. border — just as President Trumphas proposed building. Among both Republicans and independents, 65 percent support the wall, compared to 21 percent of Democrats. Another 55 percent of the respondents overall favor immigration priorities based on the skills and education of potential citizens, rather than family ties. Sixty percent of both Republicans and independents agree, compared to 48 percent of the Dems.

There is some harmony on the fate of the DACA “kids” — some of whom are now pushing 40 and married.

“The only area where Democrats are in sync with the general public is on the question of granting legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Overall, 71 percent back this plan. Among Democrats, support is 86 percent. But a majority of Republicans (55 percent) also back this proposal, as do 69 percent of independents,” Mr. Merline notes. “But with Democrats having staked out an extreme and uncompromising position, it’s unclear how, or whether, the DACA issue will be resolved.”

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel coverage for the State of the Union address last week drew more viewers than any other cable or broadcast network — 11.7 million people tuned in, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News also remains the most-watched cable network, besting such rivals as MSNBC, HGTV and History Channel. As it has been for the last 16 years, Fox News is the most popular cable news channel, attracting 3.9 million in prime time, compared to 1.9 million viewers for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN, according to Nielsen.

Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continues to dominate CNBC, with a 31 percent advantage in viewer numbers. Fox Business also enjoyed a 10 percent increase in viewers last week.

POLL DU JOUR

• 59 percent of Americans say it is “unacceptable” for Democrats to refuse to agree to a new budget deal unless the status of DACA immigrants is settled.

• 90 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree; 77 percent of conservatives, 59 percent of moderates and 30 percent of liberals also agree.

• 36 percent overall say it is “acceptable” if Democrats do not agree to a budget deal for that reason.

• 9 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats agree; 20 percent of conservatives, 36 percent of moderates and 64 percent of liberals also agree.

• 5 percent “don’t know.”

• 1 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree; 3 percent of conservatives, 5 percent of moderates and 6 percent of liberals also agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 806 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 28-30.

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