NEWS AND OPINION:
Another day, another allegation. Less than 10 percent of Americans believe that all of these stories are true, however.
High-profile accounts of sexual harassment abound these days, many involving celebrities, politicians and industry leaders. Some are plainspoken and factual — though more often they are emotional, lurid or politically charged with feminism or another cause. Some elected officials and authorities have called for the reporting to be more discerning, suggesting journalists specify the level of seriousness in each case. Others would like to see the establishment of a formal public forum to discuss the particulars, both from a cultural and legal point of view.
No wonder that the public has mixed feelings about the issue. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll reveals that only 9 percent of registered U.S. voters say that the harassment allegations as reported by the news media are “all true.” Seven percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats agree, along with 9 percent of both men and women. The most skeptical were over age 65 or retired — 3 percent in both groups said the allegations were completely true.
The poll asked respondents to describe their sentiments across nuances ranging from “mostly true,” to “half true and half false,” to downright indecision. A fairly pronounced partisan divide persists, which adds weight to the idea that a more substantial discussion about the harassment phenomenon is in order. Find more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
SANCTUARY CITIES PUSH BACK
“Law enforcement agencies in approximately 675 jurisdictions around the United States declined to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ‘detainer’ requests and hand over to ICE removable aliens whom those jurisdictions had arrested for violating local laws, according to the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security. According to the IG, this lack of cooperation from local law enforcement agencies has hindered ICE’s efforts to identify known or suspected foreign terrorists, who are inside the United States,” writes Terence Jeffrey, editor in chief of CNSNews.com.
Mr. Jeffries cites a section of the new report from the federal agency titled “Some Local Law Enforcement Agencies Are Not Honoring ICE Detainers,” and directly quotes two passages.
“Based on source data provided by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations’ Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis unit, we determined that approximately 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,269 ICE immigration detainers from January 2014 through May 2017,” the report said. “When a state or local law enforcement agency declines to transfer custody of a removable criminal alien to ICE, the released alien may put the public and personnel at risk and requires significantly more resources to bring the individual into ICE custody.”
WONDERING ABOUT ‘TOP COPS’
“Voters think a special prosecutor is needed to see if the nation’s top cops have been playing politics. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 49 percent of likely U.S. voters believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a legal and unbiased fashion. Thirty-one percent disagree, but a sizable 19 percent are not sure,” the pollster noted Sunday.
The survey found that 62 percent of Republicans support the call for an outside prosecutor, as do 49 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats. The poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted January 22-23.
MELANIA IS POPULAR DESPITE HOSTILE PRESS
Much of the press coverage of first lady Melania Trump has descended into scandal-mongering. The American public is not buying it, if recent poll numbers are any measure. Since December, Mrs. Trump has garnered respectable favorability ratings. Gallup found that 54 percent of the nation gave her a thumbs-up. CNN reported her positive rating to be 47 percent while an Economist YouGov survey gave her a 48 percent. Mrs. Trump’s poll numbers have risen from 17 to 37 percentage points in the polls over the months, despite intensified hostile press coverage.
“The laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting about Mrs. Trump by tabloid publications and TV shows has seeped into ‘mainstream media’ reporting,” tweeted Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady. “She is focused on her family and role as FLOTUS — not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news.”
Douglas MacKinnon, in a New York Daily News op-ed, writes, “Why won’t liberal feminists defend Nikki Haley and Melania Trump? The increasingly unhinged hatred by many on the left — especially in the ‘unbiased’ and ‘professional’ mainstream media — knows no line it will not cross to attack, smear and try to delegitimize the presidency of Donald Trump.”
“But in disrespecting first lady Melania Trump and attempting to defame the reputation of United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, the hatred has shifted into a very dark and shameful place,” Mr. MacKinnon said, referring to the latest round of rumors which suggested Mrs. Haley is having an affair with President Trump.
“Where are former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama — both avowed feminists — in defense of Melania Trump? Where are former U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations Madeleine Albright and Samantha Power in defense of Nikki Haley? Where are Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Joy Behar and other ‘celebrity’ feminists in defense of these two women?” asked Mr. MacKinnon, an author and former White House and Pentagon official.
POLL DU JOUR
• 38 percent of U.S. voters think that “most” allegations of sexual harassment reported by the media are true; 25 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats agree.
• 33 percent overall say “half are true and half are false;” 42 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.
• 12 percent are undecided; 7 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats agree.
• 9 percent overall say “all” the allegations are true; 9 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.
• 8 percent overall say “most are false;” 13 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.
• 1 percent overall say “all” are false; 3 percent of Republicans, 1 percent of independents and 0 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,994 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 18020.
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