NEWS AND OPINION:
Press coverage is brimming with alarming reports about a possible conflict between the U.S. and Russia over the destiny of Ukraine. Many of these reports stress that U.S. troops have been put on “high alert.”
What does the public think?
Almost half of Americans — 47% — expect that Russia will indeed invade Ukraine according to a “Daily Agenda” YouGov poll of 4,428 U.S. adults conducted on Monday — which revealed some unsettling sentiments among the respondents.
“If the conflict were to escalate to a war between the United States and Russia, few Americans believe that either side would emerge victorious,” noted an analysis of the findings.
And the numbers: 41% of U.S. adults overall agreed that “neither side would win.” That finding includes 41% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 35% of Democrats.
Another 26% said the U.S. would emerge the victor — an opinion shared by 29% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 32% of Democrats.
The survey also found that 10% felt that the Russians would win the conflict. Ten percent of Republicans, 11% of independents and 7% of Democrats agreed.
A significant 24% simply were not sure who would be victorious. Twenty percent of Republicans, 18% of independents and 26% of Democrats agreed with that.
Does the U.S. have the obligation to even enter into this confrontation?
“Americans are split on whether the United States does (35%) or does not (33%) have a responsibility to protect Ukraine. Democrats (44%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (36%) and independents (31%) to say that protecting Ukraine is the United States’ responsibility,” the poll analysis reported.
A STUDENT’S STARK TRUTH
Justo Antonio Triana is a Cuban-born student who has been in the U.S. since 2019 with his family — only to discover that many Americans have a “distorted view” of his birthplace. That view is idealistic, he said, and has been shaped and defined by persistent left-leaning thinkers. To counter that view can be a challenge.
“But it’s not easy to speak out against the leftist narrative. Today the mere fact of repeating progressive slogans gives you a kind of moral superiority; and instead, citing statistics condemns you to always be stigmatized as politically incorrect,” Mr. Triana wrote in an essay for The College Fix, a news organization.
“Sadly, it’s all about what’s fashionable. The left has been winning the culture war, and has dictated that the ‘cool’ thing to do now is to be woke. At the same time, for woke Americans it is ‘cool’ to disrespect everything that the United States stands for, because for them the United States itself is nothing more than a symbol of racism and oppression that must be destroyed in the name of social justice — only to later become a communist dystopian hell,” Mr. Triana said.
“Meanwhile, every time my Cuban friends — desperate to get off the island but without the means to do so — have asked me about the political situation in the United States, I’ve had to tell them: Most young Americans that I’ve met sympathize with socialism, and are pushing for policies that will hurt them in the long run. Then everyone responds in disbelief, and are worried, and sometimes even desperate, asking: And where will we go if the United States turns socialist?” Mr. Triana noted.
NETWORKS MUFFLE BIDEN’S GAFFE
During a White House press conference on Monday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy posed a last-minute question on inflation to President Biden — who responded by calling Mr. Doocy a “stupid son of a b——.” His oath was heard by one and all via a nearby microphone.
The major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC — went into full protection mode and downplayed Mr. Biden’s oath according to a study of the coverage.
“All three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning offered sympathy for Joe Biden,” wrote Scott Whitlock, an analyst for NewsBusters.org, a conservative press watchdog that monitored the follow-up coverage.
“It’s not easy being president,” noted CBS’ Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil.
“The president was clearly frustrated he was peppered with questions about Ukraine at an economic event,” said ABC’s White House correspondent Mary Bruce in her review.
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell also said the president’s gaffe was a result of frustration.
“As Biden’s gaffes and ‘hot mic moments pile up, look for the networks to continue to argue for understanding and empathy towards our ‘frustrated’ and sometimes bewildered president,” Mr. Whitlock predicted.
The three networks did not offer much in-depth coverage either.
“On Monday night and Tuesday morning, ABC allowed the least coverage on the gaffe. Just 53 seconds on Tuesday morning and nothing on Monday night. CBS came in second with 17 seconds on the CBS Evening News and 51 seconds on CBS Mornings (a total of 68 seconds.) NBC managed 45 seconds on Tuesday morning and 50 seconds on Monday’s Nightly News — a total of 95 seconds,” Mr. Whitlock wrote.
During the week of Jan. 17-23, Fox News was the leading network across the entire cable realm, besting both news and non-news competition and drawing 2.4 million primetime viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News, in fact, aired 76 of the top 100 cable telecasts.
Among the standouts: Coverage of President Biden’s big press conference was the biggest draw of the week, earning 4.2 million viewers. The Five was in second place with 3.7 million viewers, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight (3.4 million) and Hannity (3.2 million). And one more: Fox & Friends — which airs weekday mornings — brought in 1.4 million viewers. In contrast, CNN’s New Day attracted an audience of 354,000 viewers while MSNBC’s Morning Joe” drew 723,000.
POLL DU JOUR
• 77% of likely U.S. voters worry that microchip implants placed in human brains “will be used to usher in a never-before-seen level of totalitarian control.”
• 67% would prefer not to experience any merge with artificial intelligence.
• 56% fear the implants will “destroy social fabric.”
• 23% say the implants are “ingenious” and want to participate in such an activity.
• 18% say use of the implants would bring about “new heights of prosperity.”
Source: A John Zogby Strategies poll of 777 likely U.S. voters conducted Dec. 17, 2021, and released Monday.
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