- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2019

“Unfreedom of the Press,” a forthcoming book by Fox News Channel host and talk-radio kingpin Mark Levin takes the case against a biased liberal media a step further. He charts the destructive path of journalism gone awry.

“This is not just another book about the press. Levin shows how those entrusted with news reporting today are destroying freedom of the press from within: Not by government oppression or suppression but through self-censorship, group-think, bias by omission, and passing off opinion, propaganda, pseudo-events, and outright lies as news,” publisher Threshold Editions says in advance notes.

“It bears remembering that the purpose of a free press, like the purpose of free speech, is to nurture the mind, communicate ideas, challenge ideologies, share notions, inspire creativity, advocate and enforce America’s founding principles — that is, to contribute to a vigorous, productive, healthy and happy individual and a well-functioning civil society and republic,” Mr. Levin writes.

“But when the media function as a propaganda tool for a single political party and ideology, they not only destroy their own purpose but threaten the existence of a free republic,” says the author.

He examines the early American “patriot press” — which took pride in promoting the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Newspapers from those early decades were also transparent about their political party leanings. Such candor eroded in the “Progressive Era” and the 20th century, then sharpened to a “partisan party press overwhelmingly aligned with a political ideology, but hypocritically engaged in a massive untruth as to its real nature,” the author advises.



The book will be on shelves May 21. Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster, also includes among its authors President Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Bill Gertz and Tom Fitton.

THE MOM ECONOMY

Good news: Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year, up from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to the National Retail Federation. That includes $5.2 billion on jewelry, $2.6 billion on flowers and $2.3 billion on clothes.

“Mother’s Day spending has been growing consistently over the past several years, and this year’s spending is expected to be the highest in the 16-year history of our survey,” says Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the organization.

“While the number of people celebrating Mother’s Day is in line with last year’s 86%, those celebrating are expected to spend more at an average $196 compared with $180 in 2018,” he notes.

MR. MCCARTHY SUMS IT ALL UP

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s words [are] that America is in a crisis,” says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“Wages have increased by 3.2% from this time last year. Ninth straight month growth has topped 3%. GDP [growth] for the last quarter came in 3.2%, surpassing economists’ expectations. Unemployment is at the lowest level in 50 years There are more jobs being offered today than people who are looking for it. The only crisis we have? The majority of this Congress,” the California lawmaker concludes.

MR. STARR SUMS IT ALL UP

It’s not just the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on “Russian collusion” weighed in at 448 pages. Ken Starr is bothered by all the pesky little things that came with it.

“There are over 1,000 footnotes. Why?” asks the discerning Mr. Starr, who served as special counsel during the investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s relationship with a White House intern more than 20 years ago.

“This is not a term paper. This is special counsel overkill,” he told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer.

THE CARBON PAWPRINT

Global warming threats have gone to the dogs. And cats. The Climate Reality Project, a group founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2006, has issued a 20-page guide book titled “Climate Change and Your Pet: How to Keep Your Best Friend Safe and Healthy in a Warming World” which warns of the effects of “extreme weather events” on the furred population.

“Burning fossil fuels has created a climate crisis, one that puts many lives and livelihoods in very real danger. Like us, animals have evolved to live in the relatively stable climate we’ve enjoyed since the last ice age. And also like us, their worlds are being thrown out of whack as average global temperatures steadily increase at their fastest rates in thousands of years,” the group advises.

Climate concerns and pets have been addressed before, most significantly in a recent UCLA study gauging the “environmental impact” of pet food, plus a Forbes analysis which warns of the increasing carbon “paw print” of the world’s pets. Mr. Gore’s group, meanwhile, has a dire message.

“Climate change can feel like an almost overwhelming concern, one that inspires no small amount of anxiety. Especially when we start to consider how it’ll impact those we hold most dear — like our four-legged friends. But it’s vital to remember that this crisis is already affecting our pets, putting them at higher risk of vector-borne diseases like heartworm and Lyme disease, heat stress, injury during natural disasters like floods, and so much more,” the guidebook cautions.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Thorstrand Estate, built in 1922 on 15 acres of woodland on Lake Mendota, near Madison, Wisconsin. “Spanish Colonial revival” style; six bedrooms, four baths, formal living and dining rooms, library, breakfast porch, servants quarters; 5,461 square feet. Includes rooftop “playroom,” original oak woodwork, doors, mouldings and architectural details. Four stories, original tile roof, multiple fireplaces. Guest cottage, detached two-car garage, Nordic-style specimen trees. Priced at $1.6 million through Thorstrandestate.com.

POLL DU JOUR

43% of Americans say Sen. Bernard Sanders “has the qualifications” to be president; 19% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 74% of Democrats agree.

7% say it is “very likely” Mr. Sanders will win; 3% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

18% say it is “somewhat likely” he will win; 7% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 29% of Democrats agree.

22% say it is “not very likely” he will win; 23% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 24% of Democrats agree.

31% overall say it is “not likely at all” Mr. Sanders will win the presidency in 2020; 58% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

23% are not sure what will happen; 9% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted May 5-7.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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