NEWS AND OPINION:
Consistency, a relentless work ethic and a calling to do good are not frequent values in a media marketplace ruled by fickle ratings and advertising dollars. Those traits continue to flourish at C-SPAN, which turns 40 on Tuesday.
The date was March 19, 1979, when the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network — C-SPAN — signed on the air to provide complete coverage of the House of Representatives minus peevish input from partisan commentators or grim anchormen. Americans got the real deal — authentic civic engagement produced without taxpayer dollars and without agenda. The effort was funded by private cable companies with a public calling and fueled by the vision of founder Brian Lamb, a class act and a brilliant guy, who admits he can’t believe that four decades have gone by.
“While Washington may have changed, we haven’t. Our unblinking eye on Congress and public debate continues. The window is still open, giving the world a front-row-seat to democracy. Americans have been able to see directly for themselves and form their own opinions about many momentous political and policy debates. Perhaps none more consequential than debates over how the U.S. government spends its money and makes foreign policy,” the network noted in a statement marking this august occasion.
C-SPAN has been there for the changing and rearranging of Congress and White House turmoil of every persuasion, charting the changing prism of politics and producing non-stop programming which can be handsome and engaging. But more importantly, it is minus political bias.
“We remain true to our founding principles: providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the workings of the U.S. Congress, both the House and Senate, all without editing, commentary or analysis,” the network says. “We supplement live coverage of the Capitol with ideologically balanced programming concerning all manner of public policy and politics. In so doing, we promote open and transparent dialogue between the public and their elected and appointed officials, and those campaigning for office.”
Happy birthday, C-SPAN. And thanks.
Could Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan be the Republican who steps up to challenge President Trump for the 2020 presidential nomination? Mr. Hogan has a laudable record of compromise and productivity in his state, with a job approval rating as high as 67 percent according to Morning Consult. He is not shy about criticizing Mr. Trump.
But wait. Mr. Hogan was in Iowa the first week of March. He has signed on to appear at the New Hampshire Institute of “Politics and Eggs” event on April 23 — a required stop for anyone flirting with a White House run. He also told The Associated Press that “you never say never” to greater possibilities in the political realm.
Mr. Hogan also says he won’t reveal his plans until he gauges the current mood of voters, and is waiting to hear the results of Robert Mueller‘s special investigation of Mr. Trump. But the governor is wary of creating a bad impression.
“Don’t get the impression that I’m sitting here like this vulture waiting for some bad news,” Mr. Hogan told The Washington Post.
‘I’M GOING TO GET CRITICIZED’
Fox News Channel has signed former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile as a political analyst and contributor for both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
“I know I’m going to get criticized from my friends in the progressive movement for being on Fox News. My response is that, if we’ve learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can’t have a country where we don’t talk to those who disagree with our political views,” Ms. Brazile said in a statement.
“There’s an audience on Fox News that doesn’t hear enough from Democrats. We have to engage that audience and show Americans of every stripe what we stand for rather than retreat into our ‘safe spaces’ where we simply agree with each other. For there is no safety in self-limiting numbers. You can be darn sure that I’m still going to be me on Fox News,” she said.
Ms. Brazile is the author of the 2017 book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that put Donald Trump in the White House.”
She also served as chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.
THE AOC TRAJECTORY
After just two months in office, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has much name recognition: only 29 percent of Americans now say they have never heard of her says a new Gallup poll.
“But the increased visibility has not improved her overall standing with Americans. Whereas the public had mixed views of Ocasio-Cortez in September, her image now tilts slightly negative, with 31% viewing her favorably and 41% unfavorably,” writes Gallup analyst Justin McCarthy, who notes that her unfavorable rating has climbed by 15 percentage points since a previous poll, her favorability rating only seven percentage points.
“The trajectory of Ocasio-Cortez’s image has some similarities to that of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Though Gingrich was no newcomer to Congress, he only gained national prominence after leading the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. Like Ocasio-Cortez, he quickly became a household name with more viewing him unfavorably than favorably within a few months of assuming the House speakership in 1995,” Mr. McCarthy said.
POLL DU JOUR
• 68 percent of registered U.S. voters say that the House of Representatives should not consider impeaching President Trump; 92 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats agree.
• 50 percent overall say they agree with Mr. Trump that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt”; 86 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.
• 49 percent overall say Democrats are doing the “right thing” in investigating Mr. Trump and his administration; 15 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 86 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent overall say Democrats are “going too far” with their investigations; 80 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted March 13-17.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin