NEWS AND OPINION:
U.S.-friendly journalists are still in Afghanistan, left behind following the recent exodus of U.S. troops, support teams and other personnel. The journalists left behind have worked under the umbrella of the U.S. Agency for Global Media — USAGM — an independent federal agency that oversees such global media entities as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.
Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, is appalled by this phenomenon.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that the U.S. State Department claimed they evacuated their local employees when in reality they abandoned hundreds of USAGM journalists and their families,” Mr. McCaul said in a statement.
He estimated that some 500 of those journalists plus their families remain in Afghanistan and that many were assured they’d be evacuated by the Biden administration. Other sources have placed the number of stranded journalists at around 100.
“We are incredibly disappointed that our efforts over the past few weeks to get our colleagues safe passage out of Afghanistan have been unsuccessful. We have been working day and night, pursuing every available option, only to hit countless obstacles and roadblocks,” Yolanda López, acting director of the Voice of America, told USA Today.
The press itself, meanwhile, has picked up on the story with much vigor — with comprehensive coverage provided by Fox News, USA Today, The New York Post, The Wrap, The Guardian and Voice of America — among others.
“You would have expected that the United States government, which helped create the space for journalism and civil society in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, would have tried to do more over the last several weeks to assist journalists who made a decision that it was best for them to leave the country,” Radio Free Europe President Jamie Fly told The Washington Post.
“We did not forget about USAGM employees and their families, nor will we. These employees have served the United States. We remain keenly focused on getting them out, safely,” the State Department said in a statement, according to Fox News.
‘AND THE PRESS WILL HELP’
“The White House hopes we can all forget Afghanistan — and the press will help,” wrote Christopher Bedford, a senior editor at The Federalist.
“The White House is so confident in this, they’ve already laid out their plan to Politico,” he said.
There’s an ideal narrative in the making as well.
“The path forward for them in the fall remains Covid and infrastructure. The most important facts about Afghanistan remain that he got the U.S. out,” a source told Mr. Bedford.
“The administration — and its media friends — are going to do their best to make sure that happens,” he observed.
IOWA IS CALLING
The political allure of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport continues to call former President Donald Trump — along with a host of lawmakers.
We already know that Mr. Trump has hired “two prominent Iowa activists” and spoken with Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa — this according to New York Magazine.
It also revealed that Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and Tim Scott of South Carolina have all paid a call to Iowa in recent days. So have Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, plus former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has hosted recent public rallies in Alabama and Ohio. But he has another destination in mind.
“We’re going to Iowa,” he told talk radio host Todd Starnes on Monday.
“Trump said he will return to Iowa for a rally, stoking speculation about a 2024 run for the White House,” noted the Des Moines Register on Wednesday.
“American professors and educators are overwhelmingly liberal, but some universities having larger pools of conservative educators than others” reports Camus Reform, a news organization that has ranked the liberal-leanings of U.S. colleges and universities, based on an extensive study of faculty contributions to federal candidates in 2020.
Liberty University has the greatest number of GOP-friendly faculty members — 88% contributed to Republicans in the last election cycle. In second place is Texas Tech University (41% voted GOP) followed by Troy University (33%); Baylor University (24%) and Chapman University (21%).
The “bottom five“ reveals the schools with the most liberal instructors. It’s close. The list found that 99% of faculty members voted for Democrats at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Brown University and Davidson College; American University followed with 98%, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with 96%.
Fox News remains the top network in both the cable and broadcast realm for the second week in a row according to Nielsen Media Research, which tallied the rating for Aug. 17-29. The network drew an average of 3.5 million viewers in the prime-time hours compared to NBC (with 2.9 million), CBS (2.5 million and ABC (2.6 million).
Cable news rivals lagged behind, meanwhile. MSNBC drew 1.4 million viewers while CNN had 962,000.
The Fox News audience peaked on Thursday during breaking news coverage of the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan — drawing 4.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” enjoyed an average prime-time audience of 3.9 million and “Hannity” weighed in at 3.6 million.
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 58% of registered U.S. voters say economic collapse in the next 10 years is “a critical threat” to the U.S.; 66% of Republicans, 57% of independents and 51% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 30% overall say economic collapse is “an important but not a critical threat”; 26% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 7% overall say it is “not an important threat”; 6% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 5% overall don’t know or have no opinion; 3% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,997 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 28-30.
⦁ Helpful information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at email@example.com.
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