- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Let us all pay attention to General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy, who has been accused of blocking presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s potential transition into the White House by not declaring him the winner of the election. As in now, right this second.

The pivotal decision would free up funds for the transition, and establish a pathway for Biden personnel to make their presence known at federal agencies.

The media is vexed by this, of course — and irate coverage of the matter has gone on for a week.

The outcry is intensifying, however, and Ms. Murphy led national trends on Twitter on Tuesday. A few headlines from the past 24 hours offer an update:
“Emily Murphy, do your job” (CNN); “GSA official blocking Biden’s transition appears to privately plan post-Trump career” (ABC News); “The self-inflicted agony of Emily Murphy” (Washington Post); “The Trump appointee blocking Biden’s transition is reportedly trying to line up a new job for 2021” (Vanity Fair); “Emily Murphy holds the key to the transition vault, and of course, is not cooperating” (Esquire); “Murphy’s choice: Fed official has say on transition launch” (Associated Press); and “Trump’s GSA chief is ‘saboteur assaulting democracy’ unless she allows Biden transition: Ex-ethics czar” (Newsweek).


“Twitter has gone off the rails when it comes to censoring President Trump and his campaign account. But meanwhile, Joe Biden and his campaign accounts remain untouched,” reports Corinne Weaver, an assistant editor for the Media Research Center.

“The president’s account and the account of Team Trump received 83 labels on their tweets between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16,” she says, noting that the condemned tweets include statements from figures like X Strategies CEO Alexander Bruesewitz, Fox political analyst Gregg Jarrett, and actors Kevin Sorbo and Jon Voight.

The censoring practice is picking up speed.

“Between Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, Trump’s personal Twitter had been censored 36 times. Between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, Trump’s personal account received 64 labels. This marks a 77% increase in censorship over the previous week. By contrast, none of Joe Biden’s tweets have been given any sort of label,” Ms. Weaver advises.


Rep. Steve Scalise will once again serve as Republican whip in the U.S. House, and he’s been thinking much about the near future. During a press stakeout Wednesday, Mr. Scalise said that the GOP is now “united behind a bold conservative vision” — and ready to rumble against the socialist agenda which continues to brew across the aisle.

The Louisiana Republican also had a forecast for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Over the next two years we know what this fight for the future direction of our country is going to be about. It’s truly a battle between freedom and socialism.

Voters across the country in all kinds of districts reject the socialist agenda that Speaker Pelosi pushed for these last two years. She’s going to have a tough decision to make. Does she continue catering to the most radical far-left elements of our conference? Or does she work with Republicans to get things done for hard-working families?” asks Mr. Scalise.

“It’s going to be a choice she’ll have to make as speaker. But we’re not going to stop fighting for those hard-working families that make America work — that still are counting on us to work together for them,” he continues.

“We’re going to continue battling for those hard-working families and fighting for those free-market ideas that have always made America the greatest country in the history of the world.”


The U.S. Agency for Global Media — the independent federal agency that operates Voice of America and four other international broadcast sources — has revealed the size of its typical weekly audience — and it’s huge.

The five networks together reached a record-breaking 354 million people in a typical week during fiscal 2020 — and it is “the biggest audience ever” for the agency, which broadcasts in 100 countries, and in 62 languages. The mammoth audience has increased by 4 million since last year.

“People around the world crave independent, unbiased news and I’m so proud that our federal networks and grantees were able to deliver it, especially during COVID-19 when there was so much disinformation,” says Michael Pack, CEO of the agency.

His broadcasters and journalists “work to report the truth to people who need it the most,” Mr. Pack noted in an annual report to Congress released Tuesday.

“The agency endeavors to counter disinformation and propaganda with accurate reporting on local in-country issues from politics to economics to entertainment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers tuned into the agency’s networks at a time when foreign governments were manufacturing disinformation and propaganda,” he said in the report.

Those networks include the aforementioned Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. All deliver news and programming via radio, television and the internet.

Online, the overall audience has grown by 32% while social media engagement is up by 83% in the last year. Some programming literally skyrocketed — such as content in Mandarin, where overall audience numbers increased by 400% while views of video content shot up by 800% in the last year.

Overall audience growth occurred in several “key markets” — particularly Iraq, Venezuela, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The federal broadcaster also reached “large audiences in countries of key U.S. national security and foreign affairs interest.” China is first on that list with a typical audience of 65.4 million; Iran and Russia are also in the top 10.


⦁ 58% of U.S. adults say they would get a vaccine against coronavirus; 42% overall would not get the vaccine.

⦁ 37% of those who would not cited “concerns about a rushed timeline” for the vaccine.

⦁ 26% want to wait to confirm it is safe.

⦁ 15% cite “some other reason.”

⦁ 12% don’t trust vaccines generally.

⦁ 10% want to wait to see how effective it is.

Source: A Gallup poll of 2,985 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 19-Nov. 1 and released Wednesday.

⦁ Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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