- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2018

Brace for impact. Every broadcast and cable news network, plus untold numbers of print and online news organizations, are sending star anchors and correspondents to a luxury, five-star hotel in Singapore to cover the historic summit between the U.S. and North Korea. Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Bret Baier, NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will all be there — eager to have a say about the unprecedented and fascinating encounter between President Trump and Kim Jong-un at the posh, 30-acre Capella Hotel and Resort in the host city, with its fabulous views of the South China Sea.

Those are just the American teams. There is no word yet on what kind of access the press will have. Nonetheless, journalists from all over the world are vying for a choice perch somewhere during the event, which will have some of the highest security on record. The fierce and heavily armed Gurkha Guards of Nepal — who each tote a traditional curved kukri knife as a personal weapon of choice — will be among those providing that security.

Meanwhile, unapologetic anti-Trump journalists likely have scripted their slant against the success of the event in advance, which is a shame in some ways for the news organizations as well as their viewers, readers or listeners. Politico has already referred to the summit as “surreal” while the Washington Post pondered if the meeting would be “photo op or a disaster.”

This could be a significant and compelling encounter, a first step that hopefully has a reasonably productive outcome. Mr. Trump is a master of media, wrote a bestselling book titled “The Art of the Deal” and has exercised a hearty, hybrid brand of diplomacy that has worked well for him so far. The president already has said he will approach the meeting with an open mind and an “unscripted” mindset. The summit could engage a global audience, most in need of some promising news, or even good news for a change. The rumored possibilities that basketball great Dennis Rodman could be present, or that Mr. Trump will invite Mr. Kim to America, only fuels that interest. A golf game between the two leaders seems high on the journalistic wish list.

Nonstop, 24/7 coverage essentially begins Saturday — and takes off in earnest 24 hours later with a blitz of live broadcasts all the way through Wednesday. Special reports also abound. CNN, for example, will air “The Two Faces of Kim Jong Un,” a one-hour prime-time special that explores changes that appear to be underway in “the so-called Hermit Kingdom.”


News organizations already are providing intricate coverage of the North Korean summit, from op-eds and analyses to timelines and historic previews. A few headlines of note:

“Kim Jong-un could go Golfing with Trump in Florida if Singapore summit goes well (but can he beat his dad’s legendary 38-under-par performance?)” (Daily Mail); “Bolton and Pompeo have fully prepared President Trump for North Korea summit” (Townhall); “Trump: I’ll invite Kim to White House if things go well” (CNN); “President Trump considering golf with Kim Jong Un” (Golf Magazine); “South Koreans cautiously optimistic ahead of summit” (ABC News); “Putin promises to ‘contribute to the success’ of Trump meeting with Kim” (The Hill); “72 percent of voters approve of North Korea summit” (National Review); “Singapore gears up for the greatest show on Earth” (Wall Street Journal).


The conservative message has become very robust these days, and it is particularly intense this weekend, what with two major events underway that showcase that message.

“The center of the conservative universe is in Denver, Colorado, this weekend. Western conservatives, excited from the accomplishments of President Trump and a recent Supreme Court decision, are rallying to keep the momentum going,” Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute and the host organization, tells Inside the Beltway.

“Now in its ninth year, the Western Conservative Summit has come a long way from where we began in 2010. Back then, Democrats controlled the White House and both branches of the legislature. Today conservatives are taking important strides in making America great again,” Mr. Hunt declares.

The 50 speakers include Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, EPA Adminsitrator Scott Pruitt, Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt, video bloggers Diamond and Silk, and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, among many others.

Meanwhile, the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority 2018” is well underway in the nation’s capital and will be capped with an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday. They too have a forthright message for voters, politicians and the press.

“Our institutions have been weakened by a cultural elitism that has replaced the family. Those institutions are weakened by a toxic brew of runaway secularism, irrational partisanship, and grievance-based identity politics which have destroyed the trust and norms needed to act together in pursuit of shared goals, which has isolated us from one another,” Sen. Marco Rubio told an enthusiastic audience Thursday.

“It has left us vulnerable to conspiracy theories, susceptible to a daily cycle of outrage, and caused us to stop speaking to family members and longtime friends because of who they voted for. We could be weakened by the increasing loss of a patriotism rooted in the belief that America is an exceptional nation. A strong America can solve any of the problems we currently face. But we cannot be strong as long as the pillars of our strength are weak,” the Florida Republican advised.

Those pillars, Mr. Rubio said, are “an economy built on the dignity of work,” strength of family, communities that actually bring neighborhoods together, and the belief that America remains an exceptional and faith-based nation.


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34 percent of U.S. voters describe themselves as “moderate.”

20 percent say they are “somewhat conservative”; 17 percent say they are “very conservative.”

15 percent are “somewhat liberal”; 11 percent are “very liberal.”

3 percent are not sure what they are.

Source: An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey of 900 registered U.S. voters conducted June 1-4.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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