- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2019

It is a clash of the titans, perhaps. Two Hollywood heavyweights are now representing diametrically opposed political views on a very large stage indeed. That would be Jon Voight and Robert De Niro, both vocal and passionate about their beliefs on a regular basis.

Mr. Voight, an Academy Award winning actor, has offered his eloquent support for conservatives and Republicans for years, appearing on cable news and in person at tea party rallies and other events. He has also recorded succinct and effective videos in support of President Trump, posted online and often highlighted in major news coverage. Mr. Voight remains a powerful influence on the news cycle, and has done so for a decade.

Then there is another outspoken Oscar-winning actor. That would be Mr. De Niro, who also makes his political views known and well-covered in his own style, which involves lots of f-bombs plus appearances on such shows as “Saturday Night Live.”

Now comes a study which has determined that liberal media bias even extends into the world of Hollywood.

“CNN media guys love Robert De Niro’s profane ‘passion,’ and they pity Jon Voight’s ‘indoctrination,’” writes Tim Graham, executive editor of Newsbusters.org and director of analysis for the Media Research Center.



Following Mr. De Niro’s recent appearance on CNN, Mr. Graham recalls that “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter only “weakly protested” the actor’s signature profanity, which is “ratings bait for his Trump-hating base.”

Mr. Graham also cited a passage from Mr. Stelter’s latest newsletter, which noted that the overwhelming reaction from viewers suggested they “appreciated De Niro’s passion.” The same newsletter would only pity Mr. Voight’s commentary for a public “God bless Trump” video.

“Nobody at CNN is appreciating Voight’s passion,” Mr. Graham observes.

That includes Oliver Darcy, CNN’s chief media reporter.

“I noticed a disturbing video of actor Jon Voight commenting on the Ukraine scandal go viral. In the video, Voight expresses his extreme loyalty to Trump and parrots claims made by people like Hannity and Limbaugh. While many were shocked, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad for Voight. The clip showed exactly what it looks like to be indoctrinated and caught in the pro-Trump media universe,” Mr. Darcy wrote in the aforementioned newsletter.

Yes, well. Mr. Graham is right in his observations. There are two standards for judging the two accomplished actors, and in the liberal media, the analysts are not kind to Mr. Voight.

AMERICANS WARY OF SOCIAL MEDIA ‘NEWS’

The social media realm appears to be failing as a serious news provider for the public. Almost two-thirds of Americans now say that social media providers have “too much control over the news” and favor certain news organization according to a major Pew Research Center analysis.

“About 8-in-10 U.S. adults (82%) say social media sites treat some news organizations differently than others, about five times the share saying all news organizations are treated the same (16%),” the analysis said.

The respondents say one ideology in particular is the social media pet: 48% of Americans said the social media sites post news with a liberal slant; 36% said the posts were moderate in content and 15% said they were conservative. Another 89% think social media companies “control the mix of stories people see” while 90% think “censorship of the news” is a problem.

The research also found that 83% of Americans said “one-sided news” was a problem, 81% cited inaccurate news, and 69% were critical of “censorship of the news.” Another 53% were troubled when news organization or personalities were banned from social media sites.

Over half of the public — 54% — now get news from social media, up 7 percentage points in the last year. In addition, 62% of all Americans say the sites have too much control; that includes 75% of Republicans and even 53% of Democrats. Overall, 55% of Americans say that social media companies’ efforts to direct what news people see makes matters worse; that includes 66% of Republicans and 49% of Democrats.

Find more in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

ON THE MUST-HAVE LIST

Attention: President Trump’s campaign has just released a limited-edition, heroic and classy campaign poster of Mr. Trump as he would appear midflight, Superman style, but in his customary red tie and dark suit. It features a shining logo reading “Keep America Great,” the president’s easily recognizable signature, plus a silver “2020” and a refined superhero style. It’s pretty nice art, actually.

The poster is priced at $24, was produced in the U.S., is individually hand numbered and is available through DonaldJTrump.com under the “Shop” tab.

DOWN TO EIGHT

There are still eight Democrats who have not jumped on the Trump impeachment train. Curious? They are: Reps. Anthony Brindisi of New York, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Jared Golden of Maine, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico, and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

It is a tricky business for the lawmakers in their home district.

Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah did not side with impeachment until Friday, when he flipped his opinion during a town hall meeting in his state.

“McAdams, 44, represents a district that favors Republicans in voter registration by 13 points, though it’s long been politically competitive. Since joining the House in January, after defeating Republican incumbent Mia Love in 2018, McAdams has steered a centrist course, particularly shunning impeachment talk,” writes David Mark, deputy news editor of The Washington Examiner.

POLL DU JOUR

89% of Americans say social media companies control the mix of news people see.

88% of Americans say the sites favor news organizations which offer “attention grabbing articles.”

84% say the sites favor news organizations with a lot of social media followers.

79% say the companies favor coverage with “a certain political stance.”

56% say the sites favor “well established” news organizations.

34% say they favor organizations with “high reporting standards.”

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,107 U.S. adults conducted JULY 8-21 and released Friday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide