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Inside the Beltway: Voters know when Trump is just ‘venting’

One of the most poplar and persistent practices in the press is to parse President Trump’s language with a critical eye, seeking any and all opportunities to portray him in a negative light. They have their ways.

Sometimes news organizations isolate a few words, then take them out of context — as was the case with Mr. Trump’s remarks on Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee during a weekend rally. Other times, journalists will frame good-humored or dramatic expressions as serious truth, then declare that the president is “unhinged,” or words to that effect.

Whatever the case, a slick and convenient narrative quickly emerges almost daily, to be amplified in social media or in broadcast. Americans may not believe the claims, however. Some telling new research reveals much.

When Mr. Trump calls the news media “enemies of the people,” is he serious or is he simply frustrated and blowing off a little steam? A new poll from the University of Southern California asked that very question to over 5,032 U.S. adults, and here’s what they found.

A majority — 55 percent — say they believe the president is just “venting,” which might comes as a surprise and disappointment to all those journalists who try to persuade the public that Mr. Trump’s language is either dangerous or a serious threat.

“The issue of the seriousness of his attacks on the media is one in which there is rare bipartisan alignment: 58 percent of those aligned with Democrats believe he’s venting, as do 52 percent of those aligned with Republicans,” the poll analysis said.

In other words, they get it. The poll was conducted Aug. 22-Sept. 23.

A PRO-LIFE FILM TRIUMPHS

Industry publications pretty well ignored “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” an independent dramatic film which offered the details of the investigation and murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Despite the standard buzz, the film has done surprisingly well following its Friday opening, emerging as the No. 1 indie film in the U.S. over the weekend, and No. 12 among all box office offerings — falling just two spots beyond the much coveted top-10 class.

Only The Los Angeles Times and Forbes even recognized the film, according to coproducers Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney. In contrast, such feature films as “First Man” garnered 280 reviews. Nevertheless, their “Gosnell” movie made it to 700 theaters screens across the country, with considerable support from a devoted and motivated audience.

Those theatergoers had played a role before. The film previously was financed through an unprecedented crowdfunding campaign which raising $ 2.3 million from more than 30,000 donors in 45 days for the production — an average of more than $ 51,000 each day.

“By refusing to review the film, the media are ignoring a historic film about a historic case — and also telling 30,000 people their record crowdfunding is not important and doesn’t matter. It’s not surprising that no one trusts the media anymore,” says Mr. McAleer, who believes the mainstream press simply did not want to “a negative spotlight” on abortion.

The husband/wife team, who also wrote a book detailing the case, have been prepared for critics and analysts to ignore their film, which is detailed at GosnellMovie.com.

“In politics there’s an equivalent term for this: voter suppression, It is a sad attempt to pretend our film isn’t in theaters across America this weekend. But they can’t ignore the box office numbers. We humbly thank all of our fans across the country for this great opening. The people have spoken,” Mr. McAleer notes.

NASTY, IMPOLITE, ETCETERA

“From ‘nasty’ to ‘impolite’ and ‘arrogant’ — Democratic women won’t back down,” says the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in a new outreach campaign for the midterm elections which emphasizes what the party appears to consider attributes among female lawmakers — particularly Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“When Elizabeth Warren stood up to John Kelly (Trump’s chief of staff) about Trump’s Muslim ban, Kelly fired back by calling her an ‘impolite, arrogant woman.’ Well we’ve got news for John Kelly: The Women’s Senate Network is ready to elect a whole bunch more ‘impolite’ women who are going to stand up for us in Washington,” noted the email.

“Help send a message about the type of Senators we want in Washington. And in just three weeks, we have the chance to elect 15 women to the Senate — and take away Mitch McConnell’s Majority,” the group vowed.

STILL INVESTIGATING

“As Hillary Clinton tries to remain relevant by encouraging incivility toward her opponents, she perhaps is also trying to deflect attention from our continuing exposure of her irresponsible use of email when she was secretary of state,” writes Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

In respondent to a Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department for access to the emails plus a subsequent lawsuit, the watchdog group now reveals they have received “288 pages of newly uncovered emails that were transmitted over her unsecure, non-‘state.gov’ email system, three of which contain classified information.”

The documents, Mr. Fitton says, are “part of an accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which required the State Department to complete processing by September 28 the remaining documents of the 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Clinton’s server.”

He cites a particular aspect of his find.

“These new classified and other emails appear to be among those that Clinton had attempted to delete or had otherwise failed to disclose,” Mr. Fitton reports.

POLL DU JOUR

85 percent of U.S. voters say they are enthusiastic about voting in the midterm elections; 89 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of independents and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

75 percent of voters overall say they will vote for the same party that they “usually vote for”; 87 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

17 percent overall say they “switch back and forth” between parties when they vote; 7 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

15 percent overall say they are not very enthusiastic about voting this year; 11 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent will vote for “a different party” than they usually vote for; 6 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker poll of 4,831 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 9-12.

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