- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

There was once a time when the news media seemed all dressed up with nowhere to go. That is certainly not the case at the moment. News coverage of the turmoil surrounding Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court now mutates from one thing to another with startling speed. Press narratives unfold like origami. Indeed, there is now an army of journalists, analysts, broadcasters, pollsters, bloggers, strategists and columnists on the march, presenting their wares to a public that says that news coverage confuses them.

No, really.

A recent Pew Research Center poll of close to 5,000 respondents found that 57 percent of Americans say they expect the news they get on social media to be “largely inaccurate” and that close to half — 48 percent — say that news has not helped them understand current events. Fifteen percent, in fact, stipulated that the news made them even more confused about current events.

All that aside, the press is scrambling after the Kavanaugh story with mixed results, and mixed conclusions. Behold, a tiny sample of the Kavanaugh headlines from a motley array of news organizations, all from the last 24 hours.

“3 of 4 alleged party attendees deny Kavanaugh accuser’s story” (CNS News); “There it is! The Kavanaugh/Ford circus has officially jumped the shark” (Twitchy.com); “John Legend stars in ad opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation” (Hollywood Reporter); “Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford faces a chorus of doubt” (USA Today); “A moment of truth for Brett Kavanaugh?” (New York Magazine); “Kavanaugh already reshaping the Supreme Court” (Roll Call); “Trump says he wants to hear from Kavanaugh accuser” (NPR); “Here are some of the questions Anita Hill answered in 1991” (CBS News); “The politicization of the Kavanaugh sexual abuse allegations damages #MeToo” (Townhall.com); “The Kavanaugh accusation is dangerous for the pro-life movement” (The New York Times); “Kavanaugh case: Why the world is watching” (CNN); “Now even evidence of Brett Kavanaugh’s good character is used against him” (National Review).

FOR THE LEXICON

“Drive-by Democrats.” Yet another handy new term, this one from talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh. It is an efficient extension of his favored “drive-by media” motto — an effective description of the liberal press and its aggressive tactics.

The new term emerged Wednesday when Mr. Limbaugh was addressing the assorted controversies that accompany Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and the accusation that he had sexually assaulted a girl during high school in the 1980s.

Lindsey Graham, Sen. Lindsey Grahamnesty, in a statement to The Washington Post, likened the way Democrats have handled this allegation to a drive-by shooting,” Mr. Limbaugh told his 14 million listeners. “Drive-by has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Drive-by Media. Drive-by Democrat Party.”

Meanwhile, our old friend “Deep Woods” — a longtime reader who indeed lives in the far northern forests of New England — has his own blunt assessment of the situation.

“We are furious here in the North Woods. Note to Republican senators, move the Kavanaugh vote forward immediately or incur our wrath in November. Grow a pair for heaven’s sake. Just saying,” Mr. Woods advises.

VEGAS VISIT NO. 7

It is familiar territory. President Trump is off to Las Vegas on Thursday for another spirited Make America Great Again rally — his seventh is that glittering city, and his 14th in Nevada. Mr. Trump will just miss crossing paths with former first lady Michelle Obama, who will be in Vegas on Sunday for a voter outreach — about a month before she begins a 10-city “Conversation with Michelle Obama” tour that kicks off in the nation’s capital.

But that’s a different story.

Mr. Trump’s event is expected to draw a huge MAGA-friendly crowd, and likely will push support for two Nevada politicians in particular — Sen. Dean Heller and GOP gubernatorial hopeful and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt and congressional hopeful Danny Tarkanian. Mr. Trump’s event will be staged in the behemoth Las Vegas Convention Center, adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip.

The president also will appear at a GOP fundraiser in the area on Friday.

THE STORMY COMIC

It is a cultural moment to consider, and timed to precede the publication of adult film star Stormy Daniels’ tell-all book on her involvement with then-businessman Donald Trump years ago.

TidalWave Productions, which publishes biographical comic books, has just released a new title: “Political Power: Stormy Daniels.”

“Witness her journey from scrappy opportunist to unlikely feminist icon in the newest issue of Political Power,” the Vancouver, Washington-based publisher says in advance notes.

In recent years, the specialty company has issued the life stories of some 60 political figures, complete with original comic book art and panel-by-panel narratives. Their roster already includes President Trump, James B. Comey, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul and a huge host of familiar names. Celebrities and classic sci-fi movies are also regular topics.

Ms. Daniels has joined that population.

“Non-fiction stories are sometimes more entertaining than stories involving capes and tights,” said company founder Darren G. Davis. “In this case the news far surpasses traditional comic books.”

POLL DU JOUR

82 percent of U.S. voters say they are motivated to vote in the midterm elections; 88 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 85 percent of Democrats agree.

68 percent believe that “Donald Trump voters” are motivated to vote in the midterms; 85 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent believe that conservatives are motivated to vote; 75 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent believe that liberals are motivated to vote; 58 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

60 percent believe that “Hillary Clinton voters” are motivated to vote; 49 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

60 percent believe that progressives are motivated to vote; 60 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,564 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 13-16.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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