- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

Oh, beware the “R” word. Right on cue, “recession” is being bandied about by the news media and the Democratic Party ad nauseam, leading the next predictable push against President Trump and his administration. The threat of a “recession” is the new narrative meant to upset voters and undermine the president.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway characterizes “recession” as the “‘Sesame Street’ word of the day,” soon to join the growing lexicon of strategic, suggestive terms like “collusion” or “racist” which are deployed by jittery Democrats and their media allies as 2020 approaches.

The recession ploy will simply fail, Mrs. Conway says.

The “fundamentals” of a good economy, job creation, emerging optimism and other positive developments have not faded and have not changed, she tells Fox News. The media and the Democrats, however, are desperately seeking more attack fodder.

“What’s changed is that the two-and-a-half years of the collusion hunt and the Mueller report were a big dud, and so now they’re searching around and they’re trying to burrow into the president’s No. 1 issue in the polls. He has a majority of Americans approving the way he’s handling the economy. That hasn’t changed over time,” noted Mrs. Conway.



The Democrats are even examining past ideas on how to derail the proverbial Trump train.

“They realize that it was Bill Clinton who denied George Herbert Walker Bush his second term by saying ‘it’s the economy, stupid,’” Mrs. Conway continued — then dismissed the effectiveness of the latest recession.

Employment numbers and other hard evidence are simply undeniable.

“That’s just not going to work if people know that the economy and the fundamentals are strong,” she said.

THE ANATOMY OF A NEW NARRATIVE

Political narratives are not necessarily spontaneous. Most have a very studied pedigree.

“Watching the anti-Trump networks CNN and MSNBC brings to mind the old adage about throwing things up against a wall to see what stick,” writes Tom Tillison, a senior writer for BizPacReview.com.

He points out that MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace recently “threw out the possibility that the president is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease” — citing a 2017 column by New York Times op-ed writer David Brooks to give “her aspersions” some credibility.

Discussion then ensued, specifically centered on President Trump’s recent rally in New Hampshire which included one of his conversational speeches.

“In other words, it was a typical Trump rally where he essentially ad-libs for an hour and a half, thoroughly entertaining crowds who turn out by the tens of thousands. MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance grabbed the baton from Wallace and ran with it,” Mr. Tillison observed.

“You know there’s pervasive reporting in this regard,” Ms. Vance insisted. “If it was Grandpa you’d probably take him to see a neurologist or someone who specialized in geriatric medicine. That hasn’t happened here.”

And that’s how it works.

COMPROMISING REPUBLICANS

Those who wonder why there is not more promising news of the Republican Party don’t have to search far for the reason behind it all. A new study reveals all.

The Media Research Center finds that CNN and MSNBC host Democratic representatives and senators seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts, and most often use Democratic talking points to question members of both parties.

Analysts at the reliable and relentless conservative watchdog examined every broadcast from 6 a.m. to midnight on CNN and MSNBC during three randomly-selected weeks when Congress was in session.

Those dates were Jan. 7-11, March 25-29 and June 10-14 — amounting to 540 hours of programming. Each network conducted virtually the same number of interviews with sitting members of Congress: 159 on MSNBC, vs. 165 on CNN.

“Our analysts found an overwhelming partisan bias on MSNBC, where congressional Democrats were interviewed 13 times more often than their GOP counterparts during these sample weeks (148 Democrats vs. just 11 Republicans). On CNN, the ratio was a still wildly imbalanced four to one (136 vs. 29),” write Bill D’Agostino and Rich Noyes, who led the research.

The team also looked at the content posed to lawmakers from both parties to find more bias. When Republicans guests were asked questions containing agenda items, only 3% of those questions were friendly toward GOP policy. They found however, that 81% of the policy questions which went to Democratic guests were friendly to the Democratic mindset.

“There’s nothing wrong in asking a political guest to respond to the arguments of the other side. But repeatedly asking Republicans to answer to Democratic talking points, while rarely asking Democrats to do the same thing, suggests cable networks are actually choosing sides, rather than merely playing devil’s advocate with guests,” the analysis said.

THE FINAL FRONTIER

The Trump administration has not forgotten about its space initiative.

Vice President Mike Pence heads for the remarkable Udvar-Hazy Center National Air and Space Museum in the Virginia countryside on Tuesday, set to lead the sixth meeting of the National Space Council.

Mr. Pence is chairman of said council; he’ll receive reports on “innovative space initiatives,” human space exploration, policy recommendations among other things. C-SPAN will cover the event at 9:30 a.m.

Must be something in the air, though.

A new case study authored by a group of NASA colleagues and other insiders showcases an effort by NASA to make it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to do business with the federal agency. Most appropriately, the study has been published by “New Space: The Journal of Space Entrepreneurship and Innovation,” an academic journal with a most intriguing name.

POLL DU JOUR

61% of Americans say Americans say higher education in the U.S. is going in the “wrong direction”; 73% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats agree.

84% of this group cite high tuition; 77% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats agree.

65% of this group say students are not learning skills for the workplace; 73% of Republicans and 56% of Democrats agree.

54% say colleges are too concerned about protecting students from “offensive” views; 75% of Republicans and 31% of Democrats agree.

50% say professors are “bringing their political and social views to the classroom”; 79% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats agree.

Source: A PEW RESEARCH poll of 4,587 U.S. ADULTS conducted FROM June 19 TO JULY 2, 2018, AND RELEASED MONDAY.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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