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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Media’s obsession with no-name Porter won’t derail Trump’s mission

It speaks volumes about America’s diseased media culture that it took Wednesday’s tragic Florida school shooting to temporarily drag accused wife-beater Rob Porter out of the preeminent spotlight in establishment media news outlets this week.

As evidenced by the Porter story’s staying power news talkers apparently see the sins of one man (who denies it, of course) serving as a staff secretary in the White House as tainting the whole administration like a rotten Democrats on Porterapple eating through the walls of a paper bag. President Donald Trump issued yet another condemnation of domestic violence the other day but it wasn’t enough to steer journalists away from scoring more political points at the expense of real life victims.

The president said (reported by Jessica Taylor at NPR), “’I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind, and everybody here knows that,’ Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a photo op for an event related to the recently enacted tax law. ‘I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn't even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know.’”

The media might next be calling on Trump to condemn serial woman-abuser Ted Kennedy’s legacy because a relative of the late Massachusetts senator delivered the Democrats’ answer to the State of the Union address a few weeks ago; or perhaps they’re not yet satisfied Trump was serious about his denunciations of the white supremacists who did battle with the leftist Antifa goons in Charlottesville last summer.

Meanwhile victims remained in place where they fell in South Florida and already Democrats and liberals were bloviating about gun control. Maybe they’d gotten so tired of praising the ridiculously stupid North Korean cheerleading squads at the winter Olympics that they needed something new to crow about.

Needless to say the Porter storyline was wearing thin – and receiving way too much emphasis from the media. The Editors of the Washington Examiner wrote, “[T]he White House’s issuing muddled and changing stories about a staffer nobody had heard of a week ago is more a media story than a public affairs story. The White House has angered reporters with shifting and contradictory answers, but that's not a good reason for reporters to cling to it like a dog with the wrong end of the stick, refusing to let go.

“Reporters should be in the briefing room not as agents of the press corps, but as agents of the public. The public would rather learn more about immigration and North Korea, and reporters would be doing their duty better if they dug into those issues, instead of grinding an axe.”

Make no mistake; the smut obsessed media couldn’t care less about the fortunes of Porter’s two ex-wives – and to a similar extent, the greater issue of domestic violence itself. There are plenty of accused spouse abusers (of both sexes) out there that could easily engender coverage if the media were the least bit interested in furthering a narrative about a societal and cultural problem.

OJ Simpson was a wife abuser, right? If anyone wasn’t aware of the problem prior to the former football star’s infamous murderous rampage they certainly learned about it during his trial. It’s like Charles Dudley Warren’s (often wrongly attributed to Mark Twain) old truism about human nature, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Decades of “awareness” of spousal abuse hasn’t eliminated the issue; nobody did anything about it.

It’s not like we’re taught in school that it’s okay to hit your spouse. As the president pointed out above, everyone knows it’s wrong and people who are actually culpable of the crime should be appropriately punished. Should Porter be proven guilty of criminal charges he’d get his due – there isn’t any reason why the entire world needs to be informed of it.

No, this “scandal” was all about seeking to ensnare Chief of Staff John Kelly and by extension, everyone who works for President Trump’s administration. By nature the White House is an inherently political operation and Trump’s multitude of enemies has all the motivation in the world to see his effectiveness disturbed. How many reports have there been in the past week alone suggesting the White House is in “turmoil” or there’s “tension” over Porter?

Really? Are Trump and Kelly not speaking over the matter? When they’re going over the president’s schedule in the Oval Office every morning is Trump giving his chief of staff the evil eye behind his back? Will Trump and associates stop trying to make America great again because they’re miffed at each other due to a staff controversy? It’s ludicrous. Anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows personal skeletons are unearthed all the time. When the news breaks everyone acts shocked for a few hours and then go on with their jobs. That’s just the way it is.

Then there was the school shooting and everybody forgot about Porter – except the media.

As a rule of thumb whenever something like the Porter affair hits you ask yourself a simple question: ‘Is anyone going to be talking about this a week from now?... A month from now?...A year from now?’ If the answer is no, no and no chances are the media’s chasing another penny down a rabbit hole and we should all move on to slightly less glimmering objects to understand what the world really cares about.

The Democrats’ enormous dose of hypocrisy about their own serial abusers isn’t helping things either. Jeffrey Lord wrote at The American Spectator, “So what do we have here?

“What we have are massive and I do mean massive exercises in hypocrisy when it comes to violence against women. This minute 12 Democratic Senators — colleagues of Carper — are haughtily demanding answers from the Trump White House on its handling of the Rob Porter affair. In which the now-resigned White House aide was found to have violently abused two ex-wives.

“But for some mystifying reason these senators, wherever they were in 2012, were silent on Bill Clinton being chosen to nominate President Obama for a second term, never said a peep about Senator Kennedy even if they had not served with him and now, curiously, are not out there demanding the investigation if not resignation of Senator Carper. And note that on that list of twelve? Seven of the twelve senators are women.”

For those unfamiliar with the sorry tale, Delaware Senator (and Joe Biden buddy) Tom Carper confessed to slapping his first wife and had previously lied about it in a deposition -- (Isn’t that perjury? What does it matter, the woman was dead by the time he admitted it!). Of course Teddy Kennedy’s celebrated for the “waitress sandwich” he perpetrated with Senator Chris Dodd in the 80’s and everyone’s all-too- acquainted with bubba Bill Clinton’s woman abusing escapades.

None of these much more heinous examples of female exploitation was ever pinned to the Democrats by the media, which includes a sitting senator, a Democrat legend from a family dynasty and a vaunted popular president. Let’s not forget former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was forced to step down because he said non-politically correct things about segregation-era Senator Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party, but why wasn’t Obama held to account when he spoke glowingly about “The Big Cheese” Teddy Kennedy at the man’s memorial service?

For Democrats, if there were no double standards there’d be no standards at all. Rob Porter is a hopelessly minor cog (that no one’s ever heard of before) in a very big machine and his past draws the media like bears to honey. It’s time to move on…if the media would just drop it.

Democrats would be better off settling on a message for this year’s midterm elections rather than wasting energy on Porter. Some of the party’s own supporters argue the same thing. Caitlin Huey-Burns wrote at Real Clear Politics, “The prominent super PAC Priorities USA released a polling memo Tuesday showing that as attention has been centered on White House scandals and immigration the past few weeks, Democrats have been losing ground on taxes and the economy.

“The findings deliver welcome news for Republicans, who have been working on improving public perception of their originally unpopular tax bill and also banking on an improved economy in 2018. The Priorities' survey shows upticks in President Trump's job approval rating, along with increased approval on key GOP policy items including health care, taxes and the economy.

“’There’s no question that Trump benefits when a critique of his tax and health care policies is not front and center – especially when voters are hearing Trump’s side of the story on the economy,’ the memo reads. ‘In the last few weeks, Democrats turned their attention to other issues while Trump has continued to promote his economic policies, and Trump’s numbers have incrementally improved as a result.’”

You mean voters care more about the economy than they do staff turmoil in the White House? Say it isn’t so! For months Democrats tried convincing Americans they should be looking away from the main action in Washington and focus instead on Trump’s latest controversial tweet or even better – home in on whatever Russia rumor was circulating at the moment.

With the Mueller “collusion” investigation discredited and in shambles and Trump seemingly having his tweeting impulse under control the Democrats are at a loss to draw attention away from America’s improving economic figures and the relative calm in the foreign sphere. You have to figure Democrats and their media pals are pretty desperate when they’re resorting to complimenting propaganda hustling North Koreans and trying to find fault with Vice President Mike Pence’s silent snub of Kim Jong-un’s communist sister.

The Democrats are in rough shape and it appears they know it. Nevertheless, conservatives and Republicans shouldn’t get cocky. Brad Polumbo wrote at the Washington Examiner, “[I]f we really care about our principles, conservatives at CPAC should realize that President Trump’s commitment to our movement is far from consistent.

“Conservatism is supposed to be the philosophy of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and free minds. Trumpism is a different animal, where pandering to populism can sometimes come before practical policy. At times, the president has proved willing to trample over conservative principles and even the Constitution when they fail to overlap with his administration’s goals. So should we really be embracing him wholeheartedly?”

Polumbo sounds like a #NeverTrumper but many of his criticisms are valid. President Trump has accomplished a lot in his opening act but there’s still a long way to go and no one would confuse the president with a diehard believer in limited government philosophy. Conservatives have every right to be vigilant – the battle is far from won.

Still, Trump is doing well for conservatives – and for America. The media will continue to chase whatever disreputable nonsense they believe will draw focus away from the “man behind the curtain.” But Americans aren’t fooled; Trump’s improving poll numbers prove the message is getting through – and that’s a good thing.

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