STRATE­GIC PRESS AT­TACKS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

For many Amer­i­cans, the po­lit­i­cal world goes from com­pli­cated to in­com­pre­hen­si­ble when the news me­dia makes neg­a­tive claims against Pres­i­dent Trump that don’t match up with re­al­ity. The pub­lic, for ex­am­ple, re­joices over the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s very real eco­nomic and diplo­matic gains but then are warned by grim jour­nal­ists that the ad­min­is­tra­tion is in “chaos.”

Yes, well. Such salvos against Mr. Trump and his staff sat­u­rate the air­waves; in­deed, on­go­ing stud­ies by the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter chart­ing ma­jor broad­cast cov­er­age of the pres­i­dent, since even be­fore he was even elected, re­veal that 90 per­cent of that cov­er­age is neg­a­tive. Ghastly nar­ra­tives and strate­gic buzz­words such as “chaos” ap­pear like clock­work. Re­porters and an­chors ac­cent their de­liv­ery with con­vinc­ing emo­tion and per­sua­sive melo­drama, of­ten ac­com­pa­nied by stark graphics and sug­ges­tive head­lines. The anti-Trump press also clev­erly pack­ages spec­u­la­tion, ru­mor and anony­mous sources as hard news or facts.

Is it a co­or­di­nated ef­fort? Some think so, par­tic­u­larly when a tell-all book and an anony­mous op-ed against the pres­i­dent ar­rive at once — bol­stered by a vig­or­ous pub­lic speech against Mr. Trump made by a pow­er­ful pre­de­ces­sor. An­other salvo is soon to fol­low. Play­ing off an old say­ing, such at­tacks are like buses — there’s an­other along ev­ery three min­utes. Or so it seems.

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence has a help­ful sum­ma­tion about what’s re­ally go­ing on here. “Fox News Sun­day” an­chor Chris Wal­lace asked him about that anony­mous New York Times op-ed, and if he had been per­son­ally tar­geted by it.

“I wouldn’t know. I re­ally do be­lieve — that whether it’s the book, whether it’s the anony­mous edi­to­rial, whether it’s Pres­i­dent Obama’s speech — it’s all an ef­fort to dis­tract at­ten­tion from this boom­ing econ­omy and from the pres­i­dent’s record of suc­cess. And it’s all very pre­dictable,” Mr. Pence said.

“We have im­por­tant midterm elec­tions com­ing up. I get all of that. But the Amer­i­can peo­ple should know Pres­i­dent Trump and I are go­ing to re­main ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined to re-elect this Repub­li­can Congress so we can con­tinue to build on the mo­men­tum that’s putting Amer­i­cans back to work,” the vice pres­i­dent ad­vised.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

On­go­ing stud­ies by the Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter chart­ing broad­cast cov­er­age of Pres­i­dent Trump re­veal 90 per­cent of cov­er­age is neg­a­tive.

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