NEWS AND OPINION:
Journalists can squawk all they want about the glories of the impeachment “process,” claiming it’s a notable showcase for the U.S. political system. Not everyone agrees with this. One clinical forensic psychologist, in fact, says the collective well-being of all Americans is now at stake as the endless legal proceedings and nonstop media coverage rumbles on.
“President Trump’s impeachment has in general increased the negative effect of our country’s mental state. First we see an individual that has not been allowed due process when he was impeached in the House. Many Americans dislike the justice system and feel that many people are not allowed due process — and this is just a big example of that,” John Huber, chairman of the Texas-based nonprofit Mainstream Mental Health, tells Inside the Beltway.
“Second, many who are happy the president has not been allowed due process have allowed their anger to grow, directing it at anyone who even asks about due process, or mentions some sort of defense of the president. Third, this has brought most individuals to believe that anyone who does not think as they do are personally attacking them, and not just opening the floor for conversation,” Mr. Huber observes.
“Ultimately, this has shut down discussion in the U.S. — damaging the one thing that has made America the best country to be a part of. And that is the ability to share ideas, even when not everyone agrees with those ideas. To avoid conflict many people are now withholding opinions and beliefs, in fear of retribution for speaking their minds. This is a dangerous place to be as a country,” he says.
But hope springs eternal, perhaps.
“I do believe that we will shift back to a more open discourse as we move forward. Humans are resilient and given enough time will overcome. Just like when Elvis [Presley] was first seen on national TV, it was said he would destroy the American way. We survived Elvis, we will survive this,” Mr. Huber adds.
‘CORRUPTED AND MANIPULATED’
Uh-oh, the media is catching some blame when it comes to the ultimate destruction of planet Earth. No, really.
As it does each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its symbolic “Doomsday Clock” a little closer to midnight, which would, in theory, suggest that Armageddon is just around the corner. The organization says we are 100 seconds away from ultimate destruction due to climate change, hypersonic missiles and other catastrophic things — including the realm of journalism.
“Civilization-ending nuclear war — whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication — is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.” the organization noted in a public statement.
Well, at least we’re 100 seconds away from the big kaboom, rather than, say, 30 seconds.
AN ASTONISHING NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE
“Trump acts like a politician. That’s not an impeachable offense,” notes a New York Times headline heralding an opinion piece by Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston.
“Receiving a ‘political benefit’ does not transform an otherwise legal action (like requesting an investigation) into an abuse of power,” he explains.
IMPEACHMENT: A TIDY SUMMATION
“Every one of the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump should be incandescent with rage about the impeachment trial under way in the Senate. This shameful pantomime is the culmination of a three-year temper tantrum by the Democrats for their 2016 loss. It is therapy for Trump Derangement Syndrome, at your expense,” writes New York Post columnist Miranda Devine.
“Meanwhile, the president is out there working 16-hour days and scoring goals, with the economy booming, blue-collar wages up and workers prospering. Whatever you think of his bombast, Trump has been meticulous in keeping his promises to the American people,” she says, noting that Democrats’ “demonization project” has been interrupted.
“Impeachment is their only way to drown out his good news because they don’t yet have a candidate capable of beating him in November. They’re afraid that any reasonable voter will say he has earned the right to a second term,” Ms. Devine continues.
“The restoration of American greatness is what Trump is offering, but he is burdened by the sore losers on the other side who are doing nothing but setting up an alibi for their next defeat,” she concludes.
Fox News remains the most watched network throughout the day in the entire cable kingdom, and continues to best rivals MSNBC and CNN, as it has for the last consecutive 18 years. According to Nielsen, Fox News drew 2.8 million prime-time viewers last week compared to 1.5 million for CNN and 1.9 million for MSNBC.
Meanwhile, airings of “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle” and “The Five” made up 16 of the top 30 cable telecasts in total viewers.
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POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 80% of Americans say it’s possible for laws to protect the well-being of both mother and the unborn child; 85% of Republicans, 79% of independents and 76% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 65% overall are likely to vote for a political candidate who wants “significant restrictions” on abortion; 88% of Republicans, 62% of independents and 44% of Democrats agree,
⦁ 60% overall want to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy; 64% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree,
⦁ 55% overall oppose using tax dollars to pay for a woman’s abortion; 90% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 43% of Democrats agree,
⦁ 16% overall say abortion should be made illegal; 34% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll of 1,237 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 7-12 and released Thursday.
⦁ Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.