NEWS AND OPINION:
Those with long memories have recalled that prominent Democrats — including Sen. Charles E. Schumer and then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — once heartily approved of funding a barrier wall on the southern U.S. border. Indeed, there are multiple records of their sentiments from back in the day, when the earnest lawmakers embraced border security without gusto. Now comes Part Two.
“Democrats funded a 287-mile wall in Jordan last year — but won’t fund a border wall in the U.S.,” writes Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft. “Nancy Pelosi argued this week that ‘walls are immoral.’ Chuck Schumer called President Trump‘s stand against open borders a ‘manufactured crisis.’ But less than one year ago Pelosi and Schumer approved funding on a 287 mile long border wall — in Jordan.”
He cites information that offers the proof.
“The 2018 omnibus spending bill provides just enough funds to build 33 miles of fencing on the Texas border — but it also provides $500 million to help Jordan build a wall and defense line against jihad terrorists trying to cross its 287-mile border with Iraq and Syria,” Brietbart.com analyst Neil Munro wrote in a report published March 22, 2018.
“The omnibus budget says on page 394: SEC. 9011. Up to $500,000,000 of funds appropriated by this Act for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in ”Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide’ may be used to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders,” Mr. Munro noted.
“Democrats had no problem funding the wall in Jordan. It was not an ‘immoral wall.’ And that was only 10 months ago,” observes Mr. Hoft.
THE ‘TRUMP STORMS OUT’ PRESS
So President Trump went over to Congress on Wednesday for a chat on the government shutdown and other matters, even offering lawmakers some nice candy. It didn’t go so well, so he left. That’s politics for you. It happens.
The brief event was subject to interpretation from the news media, however. A few headlines from the immediate aftermath:
“Schumer says Trump demanded ‘the wall’ not border security before he stormed out” (CNN); “Shutdown showdown: Pelosi says ‘no,’ Trump says ‘bye-bye’” (MSNBC); “Trump storms out of White House meeting with Democrats on shutdown” (The New York Times); “Trump walks out: president leaves White House meeting with Dems after Pelosi rejects border wall” (Fox News); “Shutdown talks collapse; Trump calls them ‘a total waste of time’” (The Washington Post); “Donald Trump walks out of White House meeting with Chuck and Nancy” (Brietbart.com); “Trump walks out of meeting as White House confab devolves” (Roll Call).
FOX NEWS GOT THE BIG AUDIENCE
Fox News Channel topped its cable new rivals during President Trump‘s nine-minute speech plus the Democratic response on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen Media Research. More than 8 million viewers tuned in; 4.2 million opted for MSNBC and 3.6 million for CNN. Fox News also bested two of the “Big Three” broadcasters and tied with another. The numbers: ABC pulled in 5.8 million, NBC 7 million and CBS just over 8 million.
Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity also trumped his rivals in the 9 p.m. hour. “Hannity” garnered 7.1 million viewers, compared to 4.2 million for MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and 3.5 million for CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”
Mr. Trump’s speech, incidentally, drew a total audience of 35.5 million.
AND THE MORNING AFTER
When morning dawned, the hostile news media hammered on President Trump‘s aforementioned speech — but then went nice and easy on Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their Democratic rebuttal.
“Analysts on NBC, ABC and CBS morning shows offered a staggering 43 statements critical of the presidential speech. By contrast, only a scant five critiques were made of the Democratic response,” writes Kyle Drennen, a senior analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.
And the breakdown: ABC offered 12 anti-Trump comments, none of which was critical of the Democrats. NBC had 13 Trump bashes and three against the Democrats.
“CBS provided an overwhelming 18 statements ripping Trump, while only two statements challenged the Democrats,” Mr. Drennen wrote, citing one comment in particular.
“It was interesting to see Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. They both looked sort of startled like deer in the headlights,” observed “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.
As the government shutdown continues, two restaurants in the nation’s capital are stepping up to the plate — and putting a free sandwich on it.
Charlie Palmer Steak — situated on Constitution Avenue, just two blocks north of the U.S. Capitol — is taking a stand. (This is an eatery where a porterhouse steak for two will fetch $105.)
“To support government employees during the current shutdown, we’re offering a free Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with citrus slaw, tomato, and Cajun remoulade to anyone who presents their valid Government ID,” the restaurant says, noting that the offer will last as long as the shutdown does.
Meanwhile, Z-Burger in the northwest quadrant of the city is offering a free hamburger, cheeseburger, veggie burger or turkey burger plus french fries and drink on Thursday for furloughed government workers. During the last shutdown three years ago, the restaurant gave out 15,000 free burgers.
“We gave out free burgers in the past two weeks and now, due to people missing their paychecks, I have decided to give the furloughed workers an entire meal to help them get through these tough times,” says Z-Burger owner Peter Tabibian.
POLL DU JOUR
• 42 percent of U.S. voters say the country is facing a “crisis of illegal immigration” along the U.S.-Mexico border; 72 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats agree.
• 37 percent say the country is facing a “problem with illegal immigration” on the border; 19 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.
• 12 percent say the country “is not facing a problem or crisis” with illegal immigration on the border; 4 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.
• 10 percent don’t know; 5 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,989 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 4-6
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin