Politics

Inside the Beltway: Media ignores ‘lockdown’ revelations

A detailed Johns Hopkins University analysis recently revealed that lockdowns have saved few lives in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, calling the policy “ill-founded” and advising that lockdowns be rejected.

The media, however, has been ignoring this development.

“The Johns Hopkins study received no mention on any of the five liberal networks this week. According to Grabien transcripts, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC all ignored the anti-lockdown findings after having spent much of the pandemic shaming red states with minimal restrictions and events deemed by critics as superspreaders,” wrote Fox News media reporter Joseph A. Wulfsohn in an analysis released Friday.

Grabien Inc. is a New York-based service which provides transcripts and news clips to major news organizations.

The New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today were among print outlets which also downplayed the news. But what about partisan pandemic talking points?

They are now due for an overhaul, says Saul Anuzis — former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and now president of 60Plus, a nonpartisan organization.

“Where is the Democrats’ new narrative?” he asks in a terse review of the situation shared with Inside the Beltway.

“I’m just waiting. How long until the people who pushed lockdowns and mandates say they didn’t push lockdowns and mandates?” Mr. Anuzis says, noting that such a public reversal also extends to another prime public issue.

“How long until those who wanted to defund the police start saying they were always for law and order?” Mr. Anuzis wonders.

CIVILITY GOES BYE-BYE

Endless arguments and unproductive sniping among U.S. politicians does not go unnoticed.

“In their perceptions of civility, voters are pessimistic and frustrated. More than six-in-ten (68%) voters think politics has been less civil since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, more than six-in-ten Republicans, independents, and Democrats share this view about the decreasing level of political civility since the beginning of this crisis. It is challenging to find common ground for growth when most voters think that ground has gotten less fertile over the last two years,” write Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber — president and vice president, respectively — of the Tarrance Group, a strategic research and polling firm.

They offered a Republican response to a wide ranging poll on this trend conducted by the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service.

“All of these attitudes and experiences lead voters to be quite concerned about political division in the country. On a 0-100 scale with 0 being no political division and 100 being political division on the edge of a civil war, the mean score for voters on the current level of political division is 70.36. When asked where they think division will be in one year, voters are slightly more optimistic and provide a mean score of 68.32,” the analysts wrote.

Check the Poll du Jour at column’s end for more numbers, and the particulars of the new survey.

DE BLASIO EYES THE BIG TIME

Was it inevitable? Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may soon follow a few of his predecessors into national politics. Let’s recall that former Big Apple mayors also have served in Congress, including Fiorello H. La Guardia, John Lindsay and Ed Koch. Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg both ran for president.

“Sources familiar with de Blasio’s thinking said Saturday he’s planning to take advantage of a redistricting plan recently approved by state Democrats that would reshape the district boundaries. The new borders for the 11th Congressional District snake north to include de Blasio’s home in Park Slope and other more liberal Brooklyn neighborhoods, countering conservative Staten Island,” the New York Post noted.

“De Blasio is planning to set up a committee to explore challenging former Rep. Max Rose in a June Democratic primary and potentially begin raising campaign funds. The winner would likely square off in November against Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Island Republican who rode a red wave of support for Donald Trump during the 2020 general election to defeat Rose,” the news organization said.

A MOMENT IN CONGRESS

Republican Reps. Rodney Davis, Mike Bost and Darin LaHood of Illinois — plus Rep. Dan Newhouse, Washington Republican — recently stepped forward on the House floor to pay formal tribute to the late Vicki Dixon.

Her career in Washington spanned 37 years and included pivotal roles on Capitol Hill, at the Interior Department and other federal agencies, and within the Republican Party. She fostered agreeable but very productive communication and good will, according to those who knew her.

“We’re here to honor a longtime friend to many. Vicki Dixon was an institution in Washington D.C. — not in a bad way, but because she touched so many lives in such a positive manner,” said Mr. Davis during the 18-minute tribute.

“This is a person who was able to guide people to the right connections to get things done,” he noted, adding that she “made Washington work for all of us” and was motivated by her love of America.

“She was faithful to her country and certainly proud of her party, and proud of her home state of Illinois. She was a devoted public servant,” Mr. Newhouse said.

“Many friends and colleagues would frequently congregate at her ‘Reagan Bar,’ in honor of President Reagan, in the basement of her home, to celebrate holidays, life events and general fellowship,” noted an account of Dixon’s life.

Victoria Lynn “Vicki” Sands Dixon died peacefully in her sleep in Naples, Florida, on Jan. 8. A memorial service for her will take place Feb. 19 in Shelbyville, Illinois.

POLL DU JOUR

33% of U.S. voters say “freedom” is the value which is most important to them.

23% say “responsibility” is the value most important to them.

18% cite “respect,” 11% cite “stability,” 6% cite “security.”

5% cite “opportunity” and 3% cite “privacy.”

SOURCE: A Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Civility Poll of 800 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 22-27. Respondents were given a seven-item list of “values” to choose from.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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