NEWS AND OPINION:
The news media was hostile to President Trump the moment he declared his intention to run for the White House in 2015. The tradition continues. Ongoing analysis of broadcast coverage by the conservative Media Research Center, in fact, has documented the fact that 90% of the news accounts have been negative toward Mr. Trump since he took his oath of office.
Some believe that the press may pay a price here, particularly when journalists dwell on repeated narratives that the president and/or his followers have “racist” tendencies. Such talk is resonating with America, but perhaps not in the way it was intended.
“It is affecting the views of a large percent of Americans. And you know how? It’s turning people off against the media,” veteran pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Judgmental journalists now include their own political bias in their accounts.
“That’s not their job. Their job is not to label. Their job is not to condemn or criticize. Their responsibility is to present the language as it is used — nothing wrong with showing the president’s tweets. He wants it. Nothing wrong with showing quotes from the speeches. He likes that. All candidates do,” Mr. Luntz continued.
“But when you start to become a commentator and you try to move people to judge the president before they hear what he says, that’s too far. And it is why the media has the list level of credibility at any time since they started polling this issue more than half a century ago,” the pollster said.
A sterling example: A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 68% of Americans say the press is both politically biased and covers up its mistakes, while 58% said news organizations “do not understand people like them.” Gallup, meanwhile, found that 69% of Americans say their trust in the media has fallen in the past decade. That includes 94% of Republicans, 75% of independents and 42% of Democrats.
But journalists continue to stud their coverage with liberal talking points — and forget their calling to inform the public.
“They want to put the language out there. They want the public to see it. But does it have an impact on them? No. All that it does, and it does do this, is to add to the poison, to the toxicity that exists in American politics right now,” Mr. Luntz advises.
BERNIE AND THE ALIENS
Sen. Bernard Sanders made a quiet vow on a popular podcast to reveal what he knows about the presence of extraterrestrials and unexplained aerial phenomenon should he win the presidency.
“If you got into the office, and you found out something about aliens, if you found out something about UFOs, would you let us know?” podcast host Joe Rogan asked the Vermont independent.
“Well I tell you, my wife would demand I let you know,” Mr. Sanders replied, adding, “All right, we’ll announce it on the show. How’s that?”
BLOOMBERG AIMS AT GUNS
A trio of gun-control groups have organized an instant presidential forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The event has turned major, attracting 14 Democratic presidential hopefuls, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and Sens. Bernard Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala D. Harris.
The host organizations — all funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — are Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Mr. Bloomberg himself will be present in Iowa when the candidates set forth their “action plans to address gun violence,” the organizers say.
“There has never been more momentum in the gun safety movement than there is right now, but political inaction continues to take a tragic toll. The shootings in El Paso and Dayton have rightly outraged Americans, and we are going to make sure that gun safety is front and center in this presidential election — something that is long overdue,” says Mr. Bloomberg.
A REPORT FROM THE FIELD
The U.S. Army is pushing forward with plans for the most powerful laser weapon to date. The Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser will be a 250 to 300 kilowatt weapon, up to 10 times more powerful than the U.S. Navy’s Laser Weapon System. The power boost should be enough to destroy targets as large as incoming cruise missiles.
So reports Popular Mechanics.
“The U.S. military is pushing into lasers in a big way, with all three of the main services — Army, Navy, and Air Force — pushing hard to get them onto ground vehicles, ships, and aircraft. The main appeal of lasers is their fast reaction time, literally the speed of light, and their ability to fire a high number of shots without stockpiling bullets, missiles, or shells,” the handy publication advises.
TAX BURDEN OF ‘MEDICARE FOR ALL’
Yet another study finds that “Medicare for All” — an idea espoused by multiple Democrats — carries an unwieldy tax burden. The Heartland Institute reveals that all tax filers would experience a near doubling of their income tax bills.
“It’s likely at least 40 to 60 million American households would pay more for their health coverage in 2022 under Medicare for All,” writes Justin Haskins, who led the research.
“Filers earning $50,000 to $75,000 would likely need to pay on average $7,773 to $9,171 more in new taxes. Those earning $75,000 to $100,000 would pay $12,612 to $14,880 more. Most households with more than $100,000 income would pay close to or more than $20,000 in additional taxes,” he advises.
“If Congress has any intention of paying for Medicare for All, its costs will almost certainly outweigh any benefits. The current U.S. health insurance and health care systems are unquestionably in need of drastic reform, but creating a Medicare-for-All program would only pour gasoline on this public policy fire,” says Mr. Haskins.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
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POLL DU JOUR
• 42% of Americans say the Democrats are “more divided than usual”: 23% say the same about Republicans.
• 27% say Democratic unity is “about the same as usual”; 34% say the same about Republicans.
• 14% say the Democrats are “more united than usual”; 25% say the same about Republicans.
• 17% are unsure how united or divided the Democrats are; 18% say the same about Republicans.
Source: AN ECONOMIST/YOUGOV poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 3-6.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin