President Trump’s sweeping, historic announcement Sunday morning of the demise of ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dramatic, informative and full of context and helpful information. Mr. Trump’s demeanor on camera was unflappable and compelling. In all, the White House scored a very tidy 10 here, if we’re using say, Olympic-style scoring.
Much of the news media — quivering slightly in the aftermath — got a 0.
He was a serial rapist and murderer pic.twitter.com/8U9bX37vht
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) October 27, 2019
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi transformed himself from a little-known teacher of Koranic recitation into the self-proclaimed ruler of an entity that covered swaths of Syria and Iraq https://t.co/CNI5XBsoai
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) October 27, 2019
Well, to be fair there were some redeeming moments. The broadcast network’s decision to cut into regularly scheduled programming and stick with the actual event until its conclusion was wise and public-minded. Millions of Americans who are not necessarily glued to cable news got a chance to see this one up close and personal, as it happened, as they poured their coffee — and without the chatter of potentially biased anchors and correspondents. That came later.
“This is a moment where we should all be proud of our American military and our intelligence community. This is a moment where President Trump’s worst critics should say, ‘Well done, Mr. President.'” Sen. Lindsey Graham told the press in the immediate aftermath.
Yes, well. Let the hand wringing begin.
“The Sunday morning newscasts were awash with anti-Trump journalists whining about President Trump using it a victory for his Middle East policies,” writes Newsbusters.org analyst Nicholas Fondacaro — who cited NBC News “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd for condemning Mr. Trump’s “victory lap,” and CNN host Jake Tapper for leading “a largely anti-Trump, Obama-era panel of former intelligence community officials during a special two-hour edition of his Sunday show.
Multiple anchors and correspondents also suggested Mr. Trump had either shared too much “intelligence” with the public and not enough with the Democrats, or was inappropriately brusque in his descriptions of the raid.
Despite the querulous coverage, there was no getting around the facts here, no matter how clever the headlines or inventive the speculation. The Trump administration designed and executed a valuable plan which worked — and Mr. Trump got the point across with candor to a huge global audience while still crediting the positive contributions of several nations to the effort.
So he also gets some extra points for finesse and diplomacy here.
PIERRE DELECTO BLINKS
And while we’re knee-deep in this most interesting event, let’s cite a positive moment from Sen. Mitt Romney. The Utah Republicans and former presidential hopeful has been a frequent Trump critic as of late. But not on Sunday.
“Al Baghdadi spread ‘fire and brimstone’ on earth; now he feels it for himself in hell. To all who arranged his change of venue — the intel officers, the President, the warriors — thank you,” Mr. Romney tweeted.
UH, MEANWHILE, THE ECONOMY
“Bipartisan consensus has emerged that foreign trade is good. Americans’ broad view of trade is the most positive it has been in more than a quarter-century. As of February 2019, nearly three in four U.S. adults (74%) believe trade represents ‘an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports.’ Barely one in five (21%) see trade as more of ‘a threat to the economy from foreign imports’,” says a new Gallup report by senior analyst Lydia Saad based of comparative polls conducted this year, and assorted historic data dating from 1997.
“Both Republicans and Democrats have become more positive about trade over this period of improving economic conditions. However, support for trade among both groups jumped sharply after Trump took office in 2017,” the analysis said.
See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
BEHOLD, THE MYSTERIOUS TRUMP BOOK
Gee, stop the presses, the anonymous “Times’ Op-Ed author” has a book arriving.
Wait. You remember this particular anonymous, right?
“The mystery author known to New York Times readers as ‘a senior official in the Trump administration’ has a book deal. The anonymous scribe behind the much-discussed op-ed in the newspaper, titled ‘I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,’ sold a book to Hachette’s Twelve imprint,” advises Publisher’s Weekly.
The title is “A Warning” by Anonymous, a senior administration Trump official, and it is set to arrive on the shelves Nov. 19.
“The author, who will remain nameless, is not accepting an advance for the title and, per his publisher, is dedicating the majority of any potential earnings through royalties to nonprofits that support government accountability and the defense of a free press,” the industry publication said.
The new book is “explosive and unprecedented,” and was “written under extreme secrecy by someone in the room with the President and other senior administration officials on multiple occasions,” Publisher’s Weekly said.
In addition, Javelin — the D.C.-based literary agency which handled the international deal — has declared that the book will be “the publishing event of the year.”
‘THE BEAST’ GETS A SHOWCASE
Time flies. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will mark their third Halloween in the White House this week, hosting local school children and military families with much signature style.
Mrs. Trump’s office reveals there will be enchanted trees, spirited pumpkins, lots of goodies and kindness, “out of this world objects” courtesy of NASA, a snappy Department of Agriculture tractor, a U.S. Postal Service mail truck — oh, and one other vehicle of note.
“Children will also be able to check out the Presidential limo known as ‘ The Beast,’ which is being brought in by the United States Secret Service,” the office advises.
In a word, yay. The crowd-pleasing Beast draws crowds wherever it rolls.
Much of its military-grade armoring and serious defense capabilities are classified. Let us say that The Beast is a marvelous beast and leave it at that.
POLL DU JOUR
• 70% of Americans say trade with other nations has a positive effect on “innovation ad development of new products.”
• 67% say international trade has a positive effect on U.S. economic growth.
• 63% say trade has a positive effect on American businesses.
• 58% say trade has a positive effect of the quality of products.
• 51% say trade has a positive effect on jobs for U.S. workers.
Source: A Gallup analysis released Friday, based on poll data obtained Feb. 12-18.
• Helpful information to [email protected]
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