- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, also a two-time presidential hopeful, has signed on to be a “senior political commentator” at CNN.

“Shocker. CNN, the aquarium for Republican never-Trump swamp creatures, who have no real supporters outside of their own green room, adds this original swamp creature to their collection of nobodies,” tweeted Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Trump’s 2020 bid.

The 2020 election is definitely an influence here.

“Kasich’s move to CNN is notable because he is one of the most prominent critics of President Trump within the Republican Party. He has declined to rule out a 2020 primary bid against Trump,” wrote CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter.

“CNN’s deal with Kasich may be a reflection of changes in the political media landscape. Until 2007, he hosted a weekend show called ‘Heartland’ on Fox News. But Fox has changed and so has he,” Mr. Stelter said.

Mr. Kasich — who is 66 and also served 18 years in Congress — is positioning himself as a practical problem solver and has already accused his fellow GOPers of being “stuck in the 1950s” in a recent USA Today op-ed.

“Perhaps they think denial is protection from the change that swirls around them. No doubt they’re threatened by the new diversity of voices that have joined the public chorus, by the long-ignored problems that a new generation wants to solve, by an unsettled world that no longer follows America’s lead. But they’ve learned absolutely nothing from their skunking in the midterm elections,” wrote Mr. Kasich, counseling that “old problems need new solutions.”

A BURNING CASE OF BURGER BIAS

President Trump was predictably criticized by the news media for serving a fabulous banquet of fast-food delights served on fine china to the champion Clemson University football team, who visited the White House on Monday. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence described the spread as “awesome,” according to TMZ Sports. Journalists, however, complained that the menu was unseemly, unhealthy and contributed to greenhouse gases, among many other things.

In the aftermath, talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh pointed out that both former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also enjoyed hamburgers and french fries during their White House tenures — and were in turn praised for being down-to-earth and in touch with everyday life by the press. Mr. Limbaugh cited in particular a Washington Post account titled “President Obama and cheeseburgers: A love story,” published in 2010.

“This serving of fast food burgers at the White House to Clemson football team is being presented as yet another bit of evidence of how uncivilized, how ill-prepared, how unfit Donald Trump is to be president of the United States,” Mr. Limbaugh told his 14 million listeners Tuesday.

“It’s just one of, folks, countless and endless illustrations of the blatant unfairness and the bias, the mean-spiritedness and the hatred harbored by today’s Washington political class. Pure and simple. No difference whatsoever,” he said.

THE EVER HOSTILE MEDIA

It has become a cultural norm as President Trump approaches two years in office: Broadcast news coverage remains 90 percent negative, according to a massive study which analyzed 87 hours of broadcast news coverage during 2018 which centered on the president.

“The establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President,” wrote Rich Noyes, senior editor of Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

Indeed, poll numbers suggest that despite the negative press, Mr. Trump’s poll numbers are rising.

“The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?” Mr. Noyes asked.

Mr. Noyes and his team analyzed “every moment of coverage” about Mr. Trump which aired on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts — an audience of some 23 million nightly viewers.

“The tone of coverage remains incessantly hostile: 90 percent negative, vs. just 10 percent positive (excluding neutral statements), matching the historically bad press we documented in 2017. Yet despite the media’s obvious disapproval, public opinion of the President actually improved slightly during 2018, from an average 40 percent approval on January 1 to 42.7 percent approval on December 31, according to RealClearPolitics,” Mr. Noyes wrote.

“As it was last year, the Trump presidency was the biggest story of 2018, accounting for almost 87 hours of coverage, or 28 percent of all evening news airtime,” Mr. Noyes said.

A Newsbusters analysis of 2017 broadcast coverage of the president also found it was 90 percent negative.

RAZOR-GATE

The numbers on YouTube are very telling: In the last 24 hours, over 6 million people have viewed “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” a new Gillette marketing video which takes on “toxic masculinity,” and suggests cures. The video has earned 133,000 likes — and 428,000 dislikes.

The hashtag #BoycottGillette is already very popular on Twitter — and commentary for better or worse, is heavy.

“So nice to see Gillette jumping on the ‘men are horrible’ campaign permeating mainstream media and Hollywood entertainment. I for one will never use your product again,” tweeted actor James Woods.

“I’ve used Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity. Let boys be damn boys. Let men be damn men,” tweeted broadcast commentator Piers Morgan.

“Turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best. Many find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity,” Gillette advises in designated website which offers the video — along with products, shaving tips and coupons.

POLL DU JOUR

92 percent of U.S. voters support requiring background checks for gun buyers; 89 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of independents, and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent of voters overall support stricter gun laws in the U.S.; 24 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents, and 85 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall oppose stricter gun laws; 72 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents, and 13 percent of Democrats agree.

36 percent overall say that the U.S. would be safer if “more people carried guns”; 65 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents, and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,209 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 9-13

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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