Today's Commentary: Donald of Arabia -- Not His First Rodeo -- Harvard Agrees With President Trump
While in Saudi Arabia, President Trump received a lavish welcome and gave a speech that even his critics grudgingly admitted was thoughtful and presidential, and that focused on strengthening ties between the US and the Saudis. He didn’t say the phrase “radical Islam,” but he did warn that “Islamic extremism” must be chased out of civilized nations that want peace and prosperity for their people (Sunday marked the opening of the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Saudi Arabia).
Trump also signed a deal to sell the Saudis $110 billion worth of arms. He said it would help balance the increasing aggression of Iran, take some of the peacekeeping burden in the region off of America, and create jobs for American workers. Trump’s critics questioned the wisdom of selling arms to the Saudis, but interestingly enough, not the wisdom of the nuclear deal Obama left behind that’s caused Iran to become more aggressive and to require its neighbors to beef up their military forces to counter it.
Today, President Trump is in Israel for the next leg of his first tour abroad, visiting the homelands of three of the world’s great religions. Trump will meet with the leaders of both Israel and the Palestinians. His popularity among Israelis has dropped a bit because of concerns that he might be backing away from his campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem as recognition that it is Israel’s true capital. Still, Israel will greet him with super-tight security and a private visit to the Wailing Wall. Meanwhile, some Palestinian factions plan to greet his visit with a “day of rage.” Sounds like they’ve been watching American TV and taking lessons from the Democrats on how to win friends and influence people.
Happy Monday America!
Not His First Rodeo
By Mike Huckabee
Like babies with mobiles hanging over their cribs, the media get fascinated by the strangest things. Like President Trump doing a sword dance (by the way, I loved Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response to an interviewer's surprise at how well he did the sword dance. He replied that it wasn’t his first sword dance. Asked if that meant he’d been to the Middle East before, he said yes. Yes, the former CEO of ExxonMobil has been to the Middle East before. Imagine that.
Harvard Agrees With President Trump
By Mike Huckabee
After President Trump complained that the media were persecuting him with relentlessly negative stories and fake news, he got blowback, ridiculing his complaints and noting that other Presidents were actually assassinated. Nice dodge, but it was pretty plain he wasn’t talking about actual assassination; he was talking about character assassination. And it turns out, even Harvard supports his complaint.
A Harvard study of coverage of Trump’s first 100 days found that the media generated nearly three times as many stories about him as other recent Presidents, and on average, they were about 80% hostile. During his best week (the bombing of Syria), his coverage was still 70-30% negative. Other weeks, negative stories reached as high as 90%. On no major topic was coverage of Trump more positive than negative. Even Fox News was more negative than positive, although they came closest to being balanced. Can you even imagine what the average would be if Fox weren’t included? Is it mathematically possible for news coverage to be 110% negative?
To make this kind of blatant bias even more damaging to the media’s reputation, once-respectable outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times haven’t just abandoned any pretense of objectivity, they’ve also thrown basic journalistic standards out the window. Most of us have lost track of how many times we’ve heard “bombshell” anti-Trump stories that turned out to be fairy tales based on unnamed sources and flatly denied by everyone involved, who could have told that to the original reporters if they’d only bothered to ask. Just look at the recent firestorm over the New York Times’ claim of a James Comey memo that allegedly noted that Trump said something to him that might be construed as obstructing the investigation of Mike Flynn. Except that both Comey and his associates already testified under oath to Congress that there had been no attempts by the White House to interfere in the investigation.
Later, we learned that the Times reporter hadn’t even seen the memo: it had been read to him over the phone. Well, not “read to him.” But someone on the phone recalled portions of it. Who did? He can’t say. It was an unnamed anonymous source recounting hearsay from memory about an alleged memo the reporter didn’t actually see but that, if it exists, allegedly contained a hearsay account of something Trump said. Allegedly. (Who wrote this story? Hank Kimbell, the county agent from “Green Acres?”)
It’s ironic that so many media outlets are suggesting that Trump doesn’t measure up to their high standards for a President when they don’t even measure up to my lowest standards for journalism. I think any fair-minded person would now agree that the Weekly World News was a more reliable source of political news than the current New York Times. At least when they ran stories about that space alien that hung out with Presidents, they quoted the alien directly.
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