- The Washington Times - Monday, August 17, 2020

C-SPAN has perfect plans for both the Democratic National Convention, now underway — and the Republican National Convention which springs to life next Monday. The public affairs network covers the two pivotal political events without endless commentary. Isn’t that a relief? That is what C-SPAN does — airing countless significant hearings, speeches, forums and other fare 24/7 — minus mindless chatter.

The network has provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of every presidential convention since 1984. The plans this time around include broadcast plus live online streaming — all destined for the C-SPAN video library, and available on-demand. There’s also snappy archival footage from past conventions featured at 6 p.m. every day, along with a finely calibrated recap of the day from senior political editor Steve Scully, who has covered every previous major-party convention for C-SPAN since 1992 and attended every one since 1980.

The man has serious institutional knowledge.

Thanks to COVID-19, this year’s conventions are without the bustling live audiences. Traditions have faded. Things have changed. The conventions are now an unprecedented exercise in virtual presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That in mind, Inside the Beltway asked Mr. Scully whether the mission has also changed.



“It goes without saying, this has been a political year like no other. Like all the networks, we have had to made some significant adjustments. Nevertheless, C-SPAN’s mission remains the same: Live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the convention proceedings. While our presence in Milwaukee and Charlotte has been scaled back significantly, our approach remains the same. No other network will provide you an uninterrupted look at the DNC and RNC proceedings on all of the C-SPAN platforms,” Mr. Scully tells the Beltway.

DIAMOND AND SILK HAVE A SAY

Arriving Tuesday: “Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch? — the Awakening of Diamond and Silk,” a new book penned by the two unstoppable sisters who became a positive force for President Trump through their clear thinking, forthright style, and sheer gumption. This is a candid book.

“We are not politically correct; we are politically direct. We’re just two black chicks who’s down with politics, who love this country, stand for the flag, and love the president of the United States,” Diamond and Silk tell Inside the Beltway in a joint statement.

The book reveals that sisters Lynette and Rochelle Hardaway are the daughters of a pastor and were textile-factory workers in North Carolina. They dedicated their book to God. They supported Mr. Trump the minute he revealed his intent to run for president. It has been an amazing road for them, but not without strife.

“Our critics — who claimed to be civilized and more enlightened than us deplorables — called us coons, Uncle Toms, and sellouts. They marginalized us, criticized us, stigmatized us, and when that failed, they tried to assassinate our characters and ruin our reputations. Through it all, no matter how they tried to hide us or get rid of us, Diamond and Silk weren’t going anywhere. We were a force to be reckoned with,” the pair write.

“So imagine how tickled pink we were when Donald Trump won; we knew that it was time for the Left and the left-wing media to start eating crow,” they advised.

The 256-page book is from Regnery Publishing. Diamond and Silk have a podcast on Apple, plus “Diamond and Silk Crystal Clear,” a new show on NewsMax TV that the network’s CEO Christopher Ruddy calls “honest, patriotic, sometimes controversial and always entertaining.”

NECK AND NECK

If the presidential election were “today,” who would voters in battleground states pick? A CNN poll has insight.

It’s neck and neck: 49% would choose Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris, while 48% pick President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The CNN/SSRS poll of 1,108 U.S. adults included an oversampling of adults living in 15 battleground states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. The poll was conducted Aug. 12-15.

THE COVERAGE GETS WORSE

Negative press coverage of President Trump has worsened. Since 2016, previous studies from analysts at the Media Research Center revealed that the coverage of Mr. Trump on major broadcast networks was 91% negative. A new study released Monday found that the coverage is now 95% negative.

“I’ve been studying the news media and elections for more than 35 years. Trust me — there’s never been anything like it,” said Rich Noyes, research director for the conservative press watchdog.

The study revealed that ABC, CBS and NBC aired nine times as much coverage of Mr. Trump than presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“Biden escaped any scrutiny of his left-wing policy positions, past job performance or character. From June 1 through July 31, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts focused 512 minutes of airtime on the president, or nine times more than the 58 minutes allotted to Biden,” the study said.

“The extra airtime devoted to Trump consisted almost entirely of anchors and reporters criticizing the President. During these two months, our analysts documented 668 evaluative statements about the President, 95% of which (634) were negative, vs. a mere 5% (34) that were positive.”

“In contrast, 67% of the evaluative statements about Mr. Biden are positive — viewers heard 150 times more negative comments about Trump than Biden. That’s not news reporting — that’s a negative advertising campaign in action,” the study advised.

POLL DU JOUR

56% of Democratic voters support Joe Biden because “he is not President Trump.”

19% cite Mr. Biden’s leadership, 14% refused to answer or did not know.

13% cite his personality, 13% cite some other reason.

9% cite Mr. Biden’s policy positions, 7% say it’s a vote “for Democrats and against Republicans.”

6% say Mr. Biden is “for American people and values.”

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,159 registered Democratic voters conducted July 27-Aug. 2 and released Friday. Respondents could give multiple answers to the open-ended question.

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