NEWS AND OPINION:
The trajectory of the coronavirus is still uncertain worldwide as health advisors and medical experts assess the situation, nation by nation. The news media, however, is poised for panic, fear and alarm — and armed with adjectives, agenda and some inevitable Trump bashing.
Both talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Channel prime time host Laura Ingraham have already complained that the Democratic Party and the hostile news media have “weaponized” the coronavirus and aimed it right at President Trump.
“Democrats and their media cronies have decided to weaponize fear and also weaponize suffering to improve their chances against Trump in November,” Ms. Ingraham told her audience, adding that Mr. Trump’s foes consider the virus to be a “political godsend,” among other things.
“Coronavirus complacency is worse than panic,” declared Bloomberg News. “The White House struggles to contain public alarm,” added the Washington Post, which also noted that Mr. Trump’s recent news conference about the illness “will likely intensify panic.”
Mr. Trump has set aside $2.5 billion to address the challenge in the U.S. and appointed a competent task force headed by Vice President Mike Pence to launch the effort. Never one to be outdone, the president pointed the fear finger right back both at the Democratic Party — particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and the news media for fomenting distress among Americans.
So what is the remedy here?
“According to psychologists, coronavirus-related anxiety is an understandable response to the unknown, but some people are especially vulnerable. To cope, they recommend limiting media exposure to the topic by sticking to one or two trusted sources,” notes Business Insider.
“Watching coverage that repeatedly emphasizes both the rapid spread of coronavirus and lack of effective treatment” fuels the anxiety fire, clinical psychologist Julie Pike told the news organization.
“The best thing we can do is make sure to wash our hands, and protect ourselves as we would with any other virus,” she also said, adding that people should avoid those who seem sick.
FOR THE LEXICON
“The Army of Trump.”
Here’s a handy term to tuck away, coined by Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany during an appearance Thursday at CPAC to describe the loyal and purposeful legions of President Trump‘s supporters who bolster his presidency and administration,
“I’ll see every one of you on the barricades,” K.T. McFarland, Mr. Trump former deputy national security adviser, told the assembled crowd.
“Others echoed the rallying cry, from former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — ‘Don’t attack socialism, defend capitalism’ — to Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn — ‘We need a CPAC full of happy warriors to deploy across the country.’ Speakers compared the upcoming election to a ‘Star Wars’-esque fight against the socialist left,” noted Politico analyst Tina Nguyen.
BO SNERDLEY AMPS UP HIS OUTREACH
He is known to millions as “Bo Snerdley,” the executive producer of Rush Limbaugh‘s daily talk-radio show, which draws some 14 million listeners. His real name is James Golden, and he recently founded a well-received political action committee and an online presence to support black conservatives. Mr. Golden is doubling down on his outreach to “make black Americans Republican again” — or “MAGA Black” for short.
“I’m black, conservative and fired up,” Mr. Golden says.
“Republicans stand for freedom and opportunity for everyone, so Americans of all races can go as far as their dreams and determination will take them. Democrats use and abuse black Americans, destroying the black family and convincing them that they need the heavy hand of government to survive. Enough is enough,” Mr. Golden advises in a new public message.
“It’s time to recover our history, revive our dream and rewrite the destiny of the African American people,” he continues.
“Despite the relentless drumbeat of opposition, I have never seen a more impressive group of African Americans in national leadership than I have under President Trump. Dr. Ben Carson is helping revive our inner cities as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Sen. Tim Scott is providing inspired leadership to his constituents in South Carolina. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas continues to safeguard the Constitution. And an extraordinary group of principled black conservatives — men and women alike — are running strong campaigns for Congress this year,” Mr. Golden advises.
Find his outreach at NewJourneyPac.org and MAGA.black.
Fox News Channel continues its winning ways as the most-watched network last week in the cable realm according to Nielsen Media Research, drawing 3.1 million primetime viewers last week. In contrast, MSNBC garnered 2.2 million viewers, HGTV 1.8 million and CNN 971,000. Sean Hannity also marks his 50th week in a row besting MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” the audience for “Hannity” audience averaging 3.7 million to Ms. Maddow’s 2.6 million.
Episodes of “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “The Five,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “Fox News @ Night,” “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” “Watters’ World” comprised 22 of the top 25 telecasts in all of cable, according to Nielsen.
Things are happy on the Fox Business Network, with “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and “Varney & Co.” placing as the top two programs on business television for the fifth consecutive month, in addition to nabbing four of the top eight programs in financial programming.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker‘s three-story apartment, built in 1908 on New York City’s East Side. Five bedrooms, five baths, “impeccably renovated” home with private elevator, contemporary white and gray color palette, 38-foot living room adorned with Venetian plaster, formal dining room with silk velvet walls, three fireplaces, 11-foot ceilings, chef’s kitchen, office, library, much more. Priced at $17.5 million through Warburgrealty.com; enter 2870644 in search function.
POLL DU JOUR
• 56% of U.S. adults would be interested in appearing on a TV game show; 56% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 59% of Democrats agree.
• 33% overall would be appear on an adventure competition show in an exotic location; 33% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 32% of Democrats agree.
• 25% would be appear on a physical challenge competition show; 27% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 16% overall; would be appear on talent competition before judges; 15% of Republicans, 14% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.
• 15% overall would be appear on a dating competition; 14% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Morning Consult/Hollywood Reporter survey of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 13-15 and released Tuesday.
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