NEWS AND OPINION:
Presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden had a recent unfortunate mishap in which he reportedly fractured his foot in several places while playing with the family dog. He will have to trudge around in a protective foot boot for a while.
Our sympathy to Mr. Biden for this pesky inconvenience. Broadcasters, however, were quite ready to move on very quickly from this news.
Why? Some analysts are still wondering.
“Despite being obsessed with even the most minor aspect of Donald Trump‘s presidency, the networks on Sunday night and Monday morning showed very little interest in the health of the 78-year-old president-elect. CBS ‘This Morning’ allowed a meager 36 seconds of coverage in the two hour program. ABC managed just 48 seconds and NBC provided the most at 96 seconds. The total was a mere three minutes,” reports Scott Whitlock, a meticulous analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.
THE REVOLVING DOOR STILL REVOLVES
Familiar and often famous faces from major cable and broadcast networks often end up in the White House in one capacity or another — and sometimes they serve in the White House, only to end up on a network. George Stephanopoulos — former chief-of-staff for the Clinton administration turned ABC News anchor — is a perfect example of the latter.
This phenomenon often is referred to as the “revolving door” — and it continues with the incoming Biden administration.
Consider that Barbara McQuade and Richard Stengel — both paid analysts for MSNBC and NBC — are serving on the Biden-Harris transition team, Ms. McQuade on the Department of Justice review team, Mr. Stengel at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, where he will be in a leadership position.
Dr. Zeke Emanuel served as an NBC News medical contributor and is set to guide the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response. He is also the brother of Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor and chief of staff to then-President Barack Obama. Karine Jean-Pierre, a political analyst for the two networks, will serve as presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden‘s principal deputy press secretary.
Meanwhile, CNN commentator Jen Psaki will serve as White House press secretary, while CNN contributor Symone Sanders is set to become presumed Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris‘ senior adviser and chief spokesperson. Tony Blinken, a global affairs analyst for the network, will soon step up to serve as secretary of state.
The relationship between federal government and cable news remains murky. There’s not much pushback about this, however. Imagine, though, if Fox News commentators were in the mix. Surely we would hear an outcry from the liberal press about special interests and other questionable factors.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
“Last chance: Take 20% off Biden-Harris victory merch and more. Going, going, gone!”
— From an online offer from the Democratic National Committee
‘PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD AND COUNTRY’
Make room for the “Freedom Force,” a group of feisty, newly elected Republican lawmakers who have banded together to counter “The Squad,” a quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen who emerged in 2018 — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
But on to the members of the new Freedom Force.
They include: Reps.-elect Burgess Owens of Utah, Nicole Malliotakis of New York; Michelle Steel of California; Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma; Victoria Spartz of Indiana; and Carlos Gimenez, Maria Elvira Salazar and Byron Donalds of Florida.
“We have a group of people who believe in God, country, and family, a respect for women and authority — and the other side that hates everything I mentioned. The American people drift toward light. They are going to love the messaging and policies we put in place. We are all about the middle class thriving,” Mr. Owens tells Fox News.
“Can’t wait. This will be so much fun,” predicts Lucianne Goldberg, founder of Lucianne.com, a political website.
THE VIRUS GOES VIRAL
Here’s a word that went viral. Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has announced that its annual Word of the Year is “pandemic” — which drew instant and far-reaching interest throughout 2020. The spike in dictionary lookups grew as much as 115,806% when compared to 2019.
“The story of the year is the word of the year,” the dictionary said.
“Pandemic is the word that has connected the worldwide medical emergency with the political response and with our personal experience of it all,” says Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster.
Other words that made the dictionary’s top-10 list of words include “defund” in second place, which gained public interest following calls to defund the police. “Mamba,” related to the late Kobe’s Bryant‘s nickname “Black Mamba,” was in third place, followed by “kraken,” “quarantine,” “antebellum,” “Schadenfreude,” “asymptomatic,” “irregardless,” “icon” and “malarkey.”
“Presidents can propel a word into the common vernacular — or at least the public eye. Ronald Reagan‘s verbal tic of beginning responses with ‘Well’ and George W. Bush‘s malapropism ‘misunderestimated’ qualify, and President-elect Joe Biden‘s use of malarkey is on track to do the same,” the dictionary said.
POLL DU JOUR
• 55% of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of presumed President-elect Joe Biden; 12% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 96% of Democrats agree.
• 45% overall have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party; 5% of Republicans, 41% of independents and 92% of Democrats agree.
• 42% overall have a favorable opinion of President Trump; 89% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 43% overall have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party; 90% of Republicans, 33% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,018 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 5-19 and released Monday.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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