IN­SIDE THE BELT­WAY

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

ME­DIA STILL DITHER­ING OVER ‘FIRE AND FURY’

The news me­dia is com­fort­able us­ing anony­mous sources, sug­ges­tive head­lines and ex­ple­tives once con­sid­ered offensive in their daily cov­er­age. But the press does not ap­pear to know what to do with terse lan­guage. In the wake of Pres­i­dent Trump’s “fire and fury” re­mark about the North Korea threat, the news me­dia has fol­lowed up with a lot of fire and fury of its own, fram­ing the re­marks as reck­less and dan­ger­ous. It was a “rhetor­i­cal grenade,” ac­cord­ing to The Washington Post; “in­flam­ma­tory words” at The New York Times; and just plain “trash talk,” ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mail.

“The net­works are more ter­ri­fied by Trump’s ‘dan­ger­ous rhetoric’ than North Korea,” re­ports Kyle Dren­nen, a News­busters.org an­a­lyst who ex­am­ined the alarmist, fol­low-up broad­cast cov­er­age on NBC, CBS and ABC, which de­volved into “fear-mon­ger­ing,” talk of a “dan­ger­ous red line” and brinks­man­ship, plus in­evitable crit­i­cism of Mr. Trump and his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

There was not much spec­u­la­tion that the pres­i­dent’s blunt talk ac­tu­ally could res­onate in North Korea.

Mean­while, Se­bas­tian Gorka — who holds a doc­tor­ate in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and diplo­macy and is deputy as­sis­tant to Mr. Trump — of­fers a prag­matic trans­la­tion of the pres­i­dent’s “fire and fury” re­mark for those who still might not un­der­stand its mean­ing.

“He’s say­ing, ‘Don’t test Amer­ica and don’t test Don­ald J. Trump. We are not just the su­per­power. We are now a hy­per­power. No­body in the world, es­pe­cially not North Korea, comes close to chal­leng­ing our mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties, whether they are con­ven­tional, whether they are nu­clear or whether they are spe­cial forces.’ So the mes­sage is very clear: Don’t test this White House,” Mr. Gorka told Fox News on Wed­nes­day.

AND HOW ARE THINGS IN GUAM?

Yes, about Guam — lo­cated 2,128 miles from North Korea and named as a po­ten­tial tar­get for the rogue na­tion’s in­ter­me­di­at­erange mis­siles. Air­craft fly­ing out of An­der­sen Air Force Base on the north side of the is­land al­ready have con­ducted bi­lat­eral mis­sions with their air­borne al­lies from Ja­pan and South Korea in the last 72 hours. It is in­ter­est­ing to note that the of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count of the Pa­cific Air Forces is us­ing these hash­tags: #fighttonight and #iron­clad.

Mean­while, lo­cal of­fi­cials are down­play­ing the “North Korea threat,” ac­cord­ing to Pa­cific Daily, a Gan­nett-af­fil­i­ated news or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Guam. Lo­cal res­i­dents, the news­pa­per said, are “plac­ing their trust in God and the mil­i­tary.”

In a press con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day, Guam Home­land Se­cu­rity and Civil De­fense co­or­di­na­tor Ge­orge Char­fau­ros ad­vised that the is­land is pro­tected by the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense — the THAAD mis­sile sys­tem — at An­der­sen, along with “other mis­sile de­fense sys­tems” in the re­gion.

“All of those put to­gether, there’s .00001 per­cent chance of that mis­sile get­ting through that layer,” said Mr. Char­fau­ros.

250,000 REA­SONS FOR SUC­CESS

The news me­dia con­stantly masks pol­icy ad­vances made by Pres­i­dent Trump and his ad­min­is­tra­tion, down­play­ing pos­i­tive cov­er­age of the soar­ing stock mar­ket, job cre­ation and the re­cent elim­i­na­tion of some costly fed­eral reg­u­la­tions. The press also sug­gests Trump fol­low­ers are wa­ver­ing in their sup­port. Once again, though, the press con­ve­niently over­looks record-break­ing do­na­tions to the Repub­li­can Party that dwarf those in the Demo­cratic realm. In July, the GOP had $45 mil­lion in cash, the Dems $7.5 mil­lion.

“I’m trav­el­ing the coun­try, and I’m hear­ing what peo­ple are say­ing. They sup­port Pres­i­dent Trump. Look at the RNC fundrais­ing. We had 250,000 new small-dol­lar donors be­tween Jan­uary and March. They’re not just sup­port­ing the pres­i­dent, they’re ral­ly­ing be­hind him,” Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee Chair­woman Ronna Rom­ney McDaniel told CNN.

“He has tremen­dous sup­port among his base. It’s a tough time right now, when the me­dia’s been very un­fair to the pres­i­dent. You have Democrats ob­struct­ing him at ev­ery level, he has ev­ery ob­sta­cle in front of him. And he’s still go­ing out and fight­ing for the Amer­i­can peo­ple. A mil­lion new jobs, un­em­ploy­ment num­bers at a record low, con­sumer con­fi­dence at a 16-year high — I mean this is a pres­i­dent who’s de­liv­er­ing on the things he promised to the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” she said.

ONCE UPON A TIME

Scholas­tic Inc., the long­time mega­pub­lisher of class­room re­sources for stu­dents and teach­ers, will re­lease “A Girl named Hil­lary: The True Story of Hil­lary Clin­ton” in a few months.

“It took a lot of de­ter­mi­na­tion, courage, and con­fi­dence to be­come the first woman to be nom­i­nated for pres­i­dent by a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal party. ‘A Girl Named Hil­lary’ tells of the defin­ing mo­ments that made up her child­hood and ado­les­cence with full-color il­lus­tra­tions through­out.

“In ad­di­tion to sto­ries and facts about Hil­lary’s up­bring­ing and ac­com­plish­ments,” the publisher ad­vises in ad­vance notes for the 48-page book.

“Em­pow­er­ing young girls is im­por­tant for sure, but this seems more like an­other never-end­ing ode to the al­most-but-not-quite Pres­i­dent Hil­lary Clin­ton mon­tage. I al­most won­der if they wrote the book be­fore the elec­tion, de­pict­ing as her be­ing the first fe­male Pres­i­dent, only to have to change it?” says Lianne Hikind, a Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter an­a­lyst.

“I also have a few ques­tions about this book. Will we see Hil­lary Clin­ton’s deeply mid­dle-class back­ground? Or find out when her hot sauce ob­ses­sion be­gan? Will we see her even­tual po­lit­i­cal ca­reer and con­stant walk­ing back of her be­liefs?” Ms. Hikind won­ders.

POLL DU JOUR

● 62 per­cent of U.S. vot­ers say the abil­ity to speak English should be a fac­tor in le­gal im­mi­gra­tion to the U.S.; 77 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 60 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 49 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 59 per­cent sup­port lim­it­ing the num­ber of refugees of­fered per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­dency; 80 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 55 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 42 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 57 per­cent say ed­u­ca­tion should be a fac­tor in le­gal im­mi­gra­tion; 68 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 52 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 52 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 54 per­cent say pro­fes­sional or aca­demic achieve­ment should be a fac­tor; 62 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 53 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 48 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 54 per­cent say “need for gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance” should be a fac­tor; 65 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 55 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 44 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 48 per­cent fa­vor re­duc­ing the num­ber of le­gal im­mi­grants by one-half in next decade; 73 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 43 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 30 per­cent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morn­ing Con­sult/Politico poll of 1,992 reg­is­tered U.S. vot­ers con­ducted Aug. 3-6.

● Calm anal­y­sis, ca­sual asides to jharper@wash­ing­ton­times.com

U.S. AIR FORCE

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers joined up with Ja­panese and South Korean fighter jets for a 10-hour “sol­i­dar­ity” mis­sion over Ja­pan on Mon­day. The Pa­cific Air Forces Twit­ter ac­count is us­ing #iron­clad.

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