- The Washington Times - Monday, July 12, 2021

The hostile news media is nothing new, according to a historical account from the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. The nation’s first president started out with “glorified” coverage from the early press. By the end of Washington’s first term, “hostile newspaper writers” attacked his domestic and foreign policy — and the attacks soon became personal.

The public developed a dysfunctional relationship with the early partisan news media then in those times, and it continues. Have things gotten any worse than in previous years? Could be.

Six-out-of-10 U.S. voters now view the media as “truly the enemy of the people,” according to a new Rasmussen Reports voter survey.

Those damning words — “enemy of the people” — are from the pollster, by the way.

The findings could imply that a majority of voters agree with former President Donald Trump that the press does not have America’s best interests at heart.



And the numbers: The pollster found that 58% of likely U.S. voters agree that the media are “truly the enemy of the people,” including 34% who strongly agree. Thirty-six percent (36%) don’t agree, including 23% who strongly disagree.

The poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted July 7-8.

BLAME IT ON THE LAB LEAK

Here’s one more poll of note. Where did the coronavirus really originate?

“The public has come to some judgment on the question, and this judgment has shifted over the past year,” reports a Politico-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll.

“A majority of the public believes that the virus came from a laboratory leak in China (52%), rather than by human contact with an infected animal (28%). And in this case, there was no significant partisan difference. A majority of both Democrats (52%) and Republicans (59%) believe the origin was a laboratory leak,” the poll analysis said.

“This finding is very important in a politically polarized America,” the survey analysis noted.

The poll of 1,009 U.S. adults was conducted June 22-27 and released Sunday.

LET THE TRAINING BEGIN

The Democrats call it their “Campaign Pipeline Project.”

This new term has emerged from the Democratic National Committee, which now intends to “train the next generation of Democratic talent” in nine target states.The aim is “to get on the ground early ahead of the midterm elections and to elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” the committee said.

The Republican National Committee meanwhile has embarked on its first “National Weekend of Action” of the 2022 cycle — exhibiting equal confidence.

“Just six months into the cycle, the Republican National Committee is already leaps and bounds ahead of the Democrats, with a multi-million dollar investment into our data-driven ground game operation. It’s just the beginning — we look forward to taking back the House and Senate in 2022,” advises committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

ONE FOR COSTCO

So can private enterprise do better than the federal government when it comes to large-scale outreach to Americans? One study appears to prove the case.

A new University of Southern California study comparing Medicare Part D prescription drug prices with those paid by Costco members finds that the federal government overpaid on roughly half of the most common generic medicines in 2018.

The findings, the study said, suggest that policymakers should take a closer look at the practices of intermediaries who effectively negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare — but don’t necessarily pass on the savings to beneficiaries and taxpayers.

“Our analysis shows that in systems like Costco’s, where incentives are set up to deliver value directly to the consumer at the pharmacy counter, that’s what happens,” said Erin Trish, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical and health economics at USC’s School of Pharmacy.

“It’s time to fix those incentives in the Medicare Part D system to put the patient first,” she said.

The analysis was published Thursday in Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

THE CLEAN CAR COUNT

The U.S. Census takes a count of people — and much more.

The federal agency reveals that the nation is now home to 16,976 car washes, which employ 163,178 workers.

“California, the state with the largest population and a legendary love of the automobile, not surprisingly ranked first in the number of car washes and car wash employees in 2019 (2,025 and 24,851, respectively),” the research said.

Meanwhile, the District of Columbia saw the highest percentage increase in the number of car washes, up 30%. The nation’s capital also had the lowest “car wash-to-population ratio” — one for every 54,288 people, the Census report said.

In contrast, Wyoming had one car wash for every 10,335 people — while New Hampshire offered the nation’s highest average annual payroll per car wash employee in 2019: $32,407, compared to $21,911 for the nation as a whole.

POLL DU JOUR

79% of U.S. adults think voters should be required to show a government-issued photo ID whenever they vote; 94% of Republicans, 83% of independents and 57% of Democrats agree.

81% of non-Whites and 78% of Whites also agree.

19% overall say voters should not be required to show an ID; 5% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 39% of Democrats agree.

17% of non-Whites and 20% of Whites also agree.

2% overall are not sure; 1% of Republicans, 1% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

2% of non-Whites and 2% of Whites also agree.

SOURCE: A National Public Radio/PBS Newshour/Marist College poll of 1,115 U.S. adults conducted June 22-29 and released July 2.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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

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