News organizations cannot wait to get their teeth into the Mueller report, due to be released in redacted form on Thursday. Print and broadcast outlets are already salivating though — providing speculative or wishful reports about the document, so many that Newsbusters.org has tracked the trajectory of these accounts for weeks.

“The utter lack of information hasn’t kept liberal journalists from claiming Attorney General William Barr is acting in ‘bad faith,’ doing the ‘dirty work’ of ‘protecting the President’ as part of a possible ‘cover-up’ of Donald Trump’s alleged misdeeds,” writes Bill D’Agostino, an analyst for the conservative press watchdog, which reports that such fare began appearing two weeks ago on CNN, NBC, MSNBC and other networks.

“There’s no guarantee the media will drop the cover-up narrative even if the Mueller report matches Barr’s initial findings. It’s almost as if Mueller’s ‘no collusion’ conclusion doesn’t even matter,” he said.

Perhaps most eager of all is The New York Times, which will stage an inaugural “TimesTalk Breaking News” event at its organizational headquarters in midtown Manhattan next week. It’s titled “The Mueller Report,” and will feature Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller, investigative correspondent Mark Mazzetti and Washington correspondent Michael S. Schmidt on a formal stage with moderator Katie Benner, the paper’s Justice Department reporter.

“The release of the Mueller report to Congress and the public opens a new chapter of the Trump presidency. What will we discover, what does it mean and what comes next?,” The Times said in a preview. “Don’t miss this chance to hear firsthand from the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists working to get at the truth of this critically important story.”

Except the truth hasn’t really arrived yet. Tickets are $30 a piece; the event is available on video in the aftermath at Timestalks.com

BERNIE RATES BIG ON FOX NEWS

Sen. Bernie Sanders was criticized by fellow progressives for appearing in a town hall Monday, broadcast live on Fox News and moderated by co-anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. The curious viewing public, however, tuned in for the event, which drew 2.6 million viewers, according to early ratings numbers from Nielsen Media Research.

That is a very respectable audience for a Monday broadcast which aired at 6:30 p.m., rather than prime time. It represents the largest audience for a town hall event on the airways so far this year — and a 24% ratings jump for Fox News when compared to a typical Nielsen rating for that time slot on the network.

The Fox News event also bested CNN’s town hall with Mr. Sanders on Feb. 25, which drew 1.3 million viewers.

CNN has been hosting town halls for Democrats and independents for months, offering broadcast time to 15 candidates since January. On Monday, the network will air five town halls in a row, all in one night. The audience numbers for these events have ranged from a low of 314,000 for an appearance by author Marianne Williamson on Sunday, to a high of 1.9 million for a town hall featuring Sen. Kamala Harris on Jan. 28.

PELOSI IS IN IRELAND TALKING TRADE

Some may wonder where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might be during a particularly pivotal week in the nation’s capital, what with the release of the redacted Mueller report and all.

The answer: She has been in London with a delegation of eight Democratic lawmakers since Monday, warning that trade agreements between the U.S. and Britain would be jeopardized should existing peace accords with Northern Ireland be weakened.

“Her comments are likely to be closely watched by President Donald Trump, with whom Ms. Pelosi regularly clashes over policy and politics,” speculated The Independent, a news organization based in London.

Those along for the events are House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, plus Reps. John Larson, Brian Higgins, Joe Courtney, Suzan DelBene, Dan Kildee, Brendan Boyle, and Steven Horsford.

On Wednesday, Ms. Pelosi and company will be in Ireland — talking about fragile peace and trade agreements, Brexit, border issues and other matters.

Ireland President Michael Higgins will host Ms. Pelosi and the rest for a series of “high-level discussions with senior government officials and civil society leaders in London, Dublin and Northern Ireland,” according to the president’s office.

The group then will dine at Dublin Castle with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who visited with Mr. Trump at the White House only last month.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel continues to rule the entire cable TV realm, emerging as the most watched network of all for the 14th consecutive week, besting such non-news rivals as ESPN and HGTV. As it has for over 17 years, Fox News continues to outperform the news competition, drawing 2.4 million prime time viewers, compared to 1.6 million for MSNBC and 690,000 for CNN — which marks its lowest-rated night ratings so far this year.

YOUNG DEMOCRATS FAVOR BERNIE OVER BIDEN

A new poll of 12,550 likely Democratic primary voters released Tuesday by Morning Consult suggests that former Vice President Joe Biden does not have star power with millennials. It’s Sen. Bernie Sanders — with his brusque talk of socialism and unapologetic progressive values — who seems to have all the charm with this very coveted young voting bloc.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Among all Democratic voters, Mr. Biden is first in line with the support of 37%, Mr. Sanders in second place with 21%. Things change with the age factor.

Among Democratic men age 18 to 29, Mr. Biden has 39% of the vote, Mr. Biden 21%. Among Democratic women ages 18-29, Mr. Sanders pulls in 41% of the support, Mr. Biden 20%.

The closest competitor in this face off is Beto O’Rourke, who draws 8% of the young men’s vote, and 10% among young women.

The poll was conducted April 8-14.

POLL DU JOUR

• 73% of Americans are “very” or “moderately” confident that schools in their area could respond to an active shooter.

• 73% say having armed guards in schools makes them safer.

• 67% say schools are “less safe” than 20 years ago.

• 57 percent say “stricter gun laws” would make schools safer.

• 41% says training and arming teachers would make schools safer.

Source: An AP/NORC poll of 1,063 U.S. adults conducted March 14-18 and released Tuesday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

© Copyright (c) 2019 News World Communications, Inc.

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