NEWS AND OPINION:
It’s not new: Roseanne Barr has gone public with her unapologetic support for President Trump via several high-profile TV appearances and on social media.
But she upped the ante during the debut Tuesday of her new prime-time ABC sitcom, a reboot of “Roseanne,” her sitcom that ran for nine seasons from 1988 to 1997. Imagine. At the time, Ronald Reagan was still president to be followed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Ms. Barr, who was involved in crafting the show’s scripts, used the first episode of new “Roseanne” to reveal her pro-Trump side again. In the course of the action, she said a prayer that specified “Lord, thank you for making America great again,” quibbled over Mr. Trump with other characters, and then went on to emphasize the power and scope of the Trump-era working class.
Some suggest that ABC was wise to acknowledge the existence of Mr. Trump’s fans via the plot — in contrast to most of Hollywood, where many Republicans and certainly all conservatives get chilly receptions from Tinseltown management.
Times and audiences, however, appear to be changing. The show could be a bellwether of sorts.
“So it’s hard to find a mainstream media sitcom which is pro-Trump. Is this a wise decision for ABC?” Steve Doocy, co-host of “Fox & Friends,” asked one of his peers.
“I think so,” replied Fox Business Network analyst Charles Payne. “Sixty-five million people voted for Trump. There’s a curiosity factor, plus ‘Roseanne’ was a very successful show the first time around. So I think it’s a smart move on ABC’s part, and it’s just reflecting reality. And you know what? The movie industry probably ought to do that, too. Putting opinions and ideology aside, if you’re in the business you might want to address all of your audience.”
“Sports, too,” suggested Mr. Doocy.
It’s complicated. The Hollywood Reporter asked Ms. Barr’s co-star John Goodman this question: “If Hillary had won, would there have been an appetite for this show?”
The veteran actor replied, “Yeah, because the family is still sunk, no matter who gets in the White House.”
Fact-checking has become a whole media industry on its own in recent years. Assorted organizations now stand in judgment of news credibility and content — a particularly popular activity during election years. But what if the fact checkers themselves need fact-checking due to their political and cultural biases?
The Media Research Center (MRC) announced Tuesday it has launched Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers, a new project focused on “leftist fact-checkers” to ensure the fact-checkers themselves are reliable.
If their practices prove shoddy, the MRC plans to expose these fact-checkers as liberal partisans should they favor a distinct political agenda, or not be forthright about their political leanings.
The conservative media watchdog said it will monitor PolitiFact.com, FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, AP Fact Check and CNN Fact Check, among others. It also cited a Rasmussen Reports poll, which revealed that an “astonishing” 62 percent of American voters believe fact-checkers are biased.
“In an era of ‘fake news’ and inaccurate reporting, it is important now more than ever that the fact-checkers themselves are exposed for their biases,” says Brent Bozell, founder and president of the MRC.
“We routinely finds instances when fact-checkers bend the truth or disproportionately target conservatives. We are assigning our own rating to their judgments and will expose the worst offenders. Americans deserve the truth. There must be accountability across the board, and that includes these alleged arbiters of fact and fiction,” Mr. Bozell notes. “Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers will give the public the facts and bring accountability to the so-called fact-checkers.”
RYAN FOR PRESIDENT: OLD NEWS
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan‘s immediately denied a faulty rumor that ran rampant across the nation Tuesday, claiming he was going to resign his high-profile post on Capitol Hill and run for president. Mr. Ryan’s office also responded. No, and no. The notion drew scorn from some news organizations, and tickled the fancy of others.
“Paul Ryan’s resignation rumors are too good to be true,” Salon noted.
But everyone’s too late. Others have pined in the past for Mr. Ryan to seek the highest office in the land, so much so that the campaign paraphernalia is already out there. Commercial bumper-stickers and T-shirts underwriting “Paul Ryan for President” have been around for a several years, touting the Wisconsin Republican for the White House as far back as the 2012 election.
“Paul Ryan: Common sense conservative,” noted one bumper adornment at CafePress.com, a longtime online source of such things. “Paul Ryan 2020” was also a favorite. There were similar findings at Zazzle.com, also an online purveyor.
Fox News Channel continues to dominate the entire cable realm, drawing the largest audience throughout the day for the 11th week in a row, according to Nielsen Media Research. And for the 16th year, Fox News is still No. 1 in cable news, drawing 2.3 million prime time viewers, compared to MSNBC with 2 million and CNN with 1.2 million.
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, still tops CNBC according to Nielsen, with a 14 percent advantage over its rival. “Varney & Co.” now marks the 44th consecutive week as the most-watched “market” program while “Lou Dobbs Tonight” remains the most popular news-based program in all of business television.
POLL DU JOUR
• 75 percent of Americans say President Trump should testify under oath in the investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election; 54 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 58 percent overall say the Russian efforts should be full investigated; 19 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 92 percent of Democrats agree.
• 48 percent overall approve of the way special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting the investigation; 29 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.
• 40 percent say Mr. Trump is doing enough to cooperate with the investigation; 77 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.
• 36 percent say the investigation is an effort to discredit Mr. Trump; 73 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted March 22-25.
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