Major media, including most columnists and on-air reporting, in quoting Donald Trump in interviews or at rallies since he announced his run, tend to leave out vital words from speeches by the Republican presidential candidate, observes Grumpy Editor.
Two potent overlooked words that have led to much discussion in print and radio-TV over the past six months are illegals and, more recently, temporary.
In early references to those crossing into the U.S. from the southern border, Trump cited illegals. But media implies all immigrants, thus stirring up a storm. Latest word skipped in reporting Trump’s output is temporary, in connection with banning Muslims from entering the U.S.
Among latest examples are two lengthy Washington Post stories that also made the rounds in other newspapers last week. One, which had a flavor that should have put it on the editorial pages, states, “Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States marked a sudden and sizable escalation…in the inflammatory and sometimes demagogic rhetoric of the candidate…” After posting on the Web, that story --- with “temporary” nowhere to be seen --- brought more than 7,500 mostly harsh comments from readers by the next day.
The other Post story's lead mentions “the GOP presidential front-runner’s call to bar Muslims from entering the United States…” and is repeated some paragraphs later --- with “temporary” not appearing in the text.
Smaller dailies also jump in. For example, the Las Vegas Sun, in a long editorial last week, cites “The compelling reasons why Donald Trump is unfit for the White House continue to mount, the latest being his threat to ban Muslims from entering the United States…” “Temporary” is left out.
Not all newspapers skip the “temporary” word. A front-page Wall Street Journal story at the same time leads off with “Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S…”
+ + +
Survey backs Trump on Muslims plan
Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. has the support of a sizable majority of Republicans and a plurality of all voters, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted Dec. 8 and 9.
Rasmussen finds 66 percent of likely Republican voters favor a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists while 24 percent oppose the plan, with 10 percent undecided.
Among all voters, the survey shows 46 percent favor a temporary ban while 40 percent are opposed and 14 percent are undecided.
(See Gallup "confidence" survey taken on same days, below.)
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
CONFIDENCE IN U.S. PROTECTION DROPS. Americans’ confidence in government protection from militant attacks falls to its lowest level since 2003, according to data from a Gallup poll Dec. 8 and 9, the same days as the Rasmussen survey.
HAPPY DAYS? The Federal Reserve reports U.S. households saw a $1.23 trillion drop, or 1.4 percent decline, in net worth in the third quarter. Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center study reveals the U.S. middle class no longer is the majority, now only 50 percent of the adult population, down from 61 percent in 1971.
MOVIES BETTER THAN EVER? In connection with the upcoming Oscars, Stephanie Merry in the Washington Post says, “this time around the movies are more than serious. They’re nightmare-inducing. You’ve got a bear trying to eat a man and slow-motion throat-slitting; a teenager held captive in a shed and dead bodies hidden behind drywall."
KEEPING THE NEWS STAFF BUSY. A San Bernardino “massacre spurs interest in gun buying” story in the Los Angeles Times sports a mighty five bylines.
GETTING THE DATE RIGHT. A Reuters story on gun control activists is accompanied by a Reuters photo showing four handguns displayed side by side with a caption pinpointing the date the picture was taken --- Nov. 13, 2014 --- just in case the weapons changed somewhat with age.
JUMPING TO A CONCLUSION ---
A Fox News headline on the Web sums it up: Burglary suspect hides in Florida lake where gator eats him.
Not much eyebrow raising by media late last week when Defense Secretary Ash Carter gave the green light to women in uniform being allowed in all combat assignments including Special Operations Forces’ dangerous missions, observes Grumpy Editor.
World War II veterans and others who recall military history ---incidentally, remember that the U.S. entered WWII on this date in 1941 --- will wonder how Gen. George S. Patton Jr. and his top commanders would take the women-on-front-lines development from the Pentagon.
Words would not be printable.
It was Patton who led the relief of beleaguered American troops at Bastogne in the brutal Battle of the Bulge that spanned almost six weeks from mid-December, 1944 in freezing, blizzard conditions with relentless German assaults in the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
It ranks as one the largest and bloodiest WWII battles fought by the U.S.
Action around Bastogne received special attention by media (and later depicted in black-and-white movies) because at that time it was a rest and recreation area for many war correspondents.
In the announcement Thursday, Carter expresses confidence that the change in front-line ranks “can be implemented in a way that will enhance combat effectiveness, not detract from combat effectiveness.”
In earlier days when most major newspapers had military editors or writers --- often with military backgrounds --- on staffs, they undoubtedly would have had some choice comments on the latest Pentagon move.
Now, though, it’s rather quiet on the Western front.
Interestingly, Carter, in a memo to service chiefs, mentions a study found that women participating in ground-combat training sustained a higher rate of injuries. Worthy of note, too, is that at least 101 U.S. women in military uniforms have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon this week is mulling requiring women to register for the draft, something men 18 to 25 have been doing for decades.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE...
TRAMPLING ON A CRIME SCENE: In the aftermath of last week’s San Bernardino mass shootings, a crowbar was used Friday by the landlord to pry away the boarded up front door of the rented residence where the deceased two shooters lived, allowing dozens of news people to stomp through the rooms, rifle through documents, handle objects (even teddy bears) and sort through family photos.Among those on scene with live TV cameras, MSNBC was most active in prowling the premises…Drawing static from readers and others,The New York Times, for the first time in 95 years, on Saturday ran a front page, top-of-fold editorial urging gun control, calling availability of deadly weapons “a moral outrage” and “a national disgrace”…Meanwhile, while most news outlets ignored quotes from the U.S. Justice Department head, Breitbart reports: “Rather than denouncing acts of terrorism, just one day after recent tragic events in San Bernardino, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told a group assembled for the Muslim Advocates dinner that the Justice Department is prepared to take ‘aggressive action’ against people employing anti-Muslim rhetoric that ‘edges towards violence.’ In effect, she’s saying she would use prosecution as a weapon to protect Muslims from others employing their First Amendment rights.”
ACTING PRESIDENTIAL: California Gov. Jerry Brown, in Paris with a large California delegation at the UN climate change conference, will be busy over the next few days participating in about two dozen global warming events. However, nothing on the schedule indicates promoting trade or travel with the Golden State, usually a major activity for a state's top politician overseas.
GLOOMY OUTLOOKS: The country’s manufacturing sector took a surprise dip last month --- at the fastest rate since the last recession, tallies the Institute for Supply Management. Meanwhile, Reuters reports company CEOs, for the third consecutive quarter, are growing more cautious about short-term economic prospects and subsequently plan to curb capital investments through mid-2016.
FEET DRAGGING ON DEATH BENEFITS:The New York Times, citing bureaucratic delays, reveals family members of Glen Doherty, CIA contractor and former Navy SEAL among four Americans killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack more than three years ago, have yet to see promised federal death benefits from the incident.
ADVISORY AIMS AT ‘POT’ ADS: The U.S. Postal Service advises newspapers in the Northwest that they might be violating federal law in running ads for the region’s booming marijuana industry. A memo points out it is illegal “to place an ad in any publication with the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.”
CHANGES AT DAILIES: The 180-year-old American Bankerhalts its daily print edition next month and puts its content online…Washington based veteran Bloomberg News reporter Dawn Kopecki, who wrote a lengthy memo in June criticizing operations that “fostered a climate of fear and mistrust that’s particularly acute in the D.C. bureau,” shifts to Texas as business editor of the San Antonio Express-News.
Reaches new high:
Fox Business Network records its highest-rated month in November.