Gone are the often spontaneous political rallies of yore, when hippies and their ilk simply hit the streets for a cause. The upcoming March For Our Lives rallies planned around the nation in response to the Parkland school shooting last month are meticulously organized, bear carefully calibrated messages and boast vigorous social media. They also are strategically funded. Close to 500 of these marches are set for March 24, and many will receive financial help from a major gun control activist group — at the rate of $5,000 for each event.
A mega-march will take place in the nation’s capital. There will also be a multitude of “sibling marches” in all 50 states according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization primarily underwritten with funds from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group has already raised over $3 million to fund the Washington march.
“Everytown is providing structural support for organic local marches planned in communities of all sizes across the nation,” the group said Tuesday. “Everytown previously announced $2.5 million in grants to provide 500 organizers with resources of $5,000 per march for associated operational expenses. So far, over 400 local marches have been planned by students and survivors in communities big and small.”
The group is monitoring an additional 100 marches overseas. The grand total at the moment is 482 events “worldwide” in the U.S., along with Britain, Spain, Italy, India, Vietnam, Japan, Chile, Australia and other nations. Everytown also is raising money for the marches through clearly branded merchandise — a hallmark of contemporary protest actions. There’s a handsome “March Merch” collection of shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the March For Our Lives logo, ranging in price from $25 to $31.
“We will see you in the streets,” the group advises buyers.
ANTI-TRUMP: UNPRECEDENTED PRESS HOSTILITY
It has been a pattern since President Trump was still on the campaign trail. Coverage of the White House on the “Big Three” broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — remains 91 percent negative, according to a new study by Newsbusters. The conservative press watchdog has been tracking the phenomenon since early 2016.
It was over 90 percent hostile then — and remains so now. The trend is unprecedented, according to the analysis, which monitored evening networks newscasts throughout January and February to find that anchors and correspondents uttered 10 times more negative comments about the president than positive statements.
Out of 712 evaluative comments made on the air, only 65 were positive, or 9 percent. The rest — 647 comments — were negative, amounting to 91 percent. The ongoing Russia collusion investigation was the leading topic of choice, followed by immigration issues, the recent government shutdown, and the White House response to the Parkland school shooting.
Throughout January and February, the analysts also found that 63 percent of news coverage was devoted to scandals — and just 37 percent to policy issues.
“The results are essentially unchanged from the 90 percent negative coverage we documented for all of 2017, and matches the 91 percent negative coverage we tallied during the 2016 general election campaign,” said lead analyst Rich Noyes. “Without question, no president has ever been on the receiving end of such hostile coverage, for such a sustained period of time, as has Trump — and the midterm elections are still eight months away.”
THE RUSSIA FACTOR
“As revelations about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election continue to develop, Americans now view Russia more negatively than they have in three decades of Gallup polls. Currently, 25 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Russia and 72 percent have an unfavorable opinion,” reports a new survey from the pollster, which says this is the highest negative reading on record for the sentiment.
There is partisan difference. Currently 30 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats have a positive view of Russia, says Gallup analyst Megan Brenan.
THE FURRED, FINNED, FEATHERED PRESIDENT
Yes, Americans name their pets after presidents. And yes, there is research of sorts to back this up, many from Embrace Pet Insurance, which went through its records of some 100,000 pet policies to discover this phenomenon.
The most popular presidentially inspired name is Lincoln, followed by Reagan, Truman, Carter, Harrison, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Fillmore, Cleveland and Hoover. Three pets, incidentally, were named Biden, and there was one Clinton, and one Obama.
“We all know that pets are truly the backbone to all great things. It’s only fair that we give them credit where credit is due,” the company notes.
Fox News Channel continues to crush the competition in the entire cable realm, as well as rival news channels according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News drew 2.3 million prime time viewers, compared to 1.8 million for MSNBC, 1.4 million for ESPN, 1.3 million for HGTV and 883,000 at CNN.
“Life, Liberty and Levin,” Mark Levin‘s new show on Sunday nights — garnered an audience of 1.4 million in the 10 p.m. slot. During that time period, MSNBC drew 376,000 viewers, while CNN had an audience of 292,000.
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continued a winning streak over CNBC in both daytime and “market hours” programming, boasting an audience consistently 9 percent larger than its rival. In addition, “Varney & Co.” now marks its 41st week as the most watched “market open” program in television.
POLL DU JOUR
• 73 percent of Americans use the social media site YouTube; 45 percent of those users check it daily.
• 68 percent use Facebook; 74 percent of those users check it daily.
• 59 percent of the users overall say it “would not be hard” to give up using social media.
• 35 percent use Instagram; 60 percent of its users check it daily
• 24 percent use Twitter; 46 percent check it daily.
Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 3-10 and released Friday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin