Media’s Trump-Russia Obsession Crowds Out These 5 Important Stories

Will Ricciardella | Social Media Strategist and Politics Writer

The establishment media’s obsession with covering anything and everything related to the Trump-Russia probe crowds out other newsworthy topics that are more pressing to the national debate.

A recent study by the Media Research Center conducted over a one-month span between May and June of 2017, shows that evening newscasts spent 353 of 640 total minutes reporting on the Trump-Russian probe. To add perspective, the Paris climate agreement – which was the biggest story during that period – received just a paltry 47 minutes of coverage.

A video released Tuesday by Project Veritas shows John Bonifield, a supervising producer at CNN Health, openly admit that the continuous reporting of the Russian probe is “digging” without any “giant proof.” Bonifield cites their interrupted coverage of the Paris climate agreement on CNN’s CEO Jeffrey Zucker asking them to “get back to covering Russia.”

Here are five big stories that have gone underreported:

Sanders investigation:

The FBI investigation into Jane and Sen. Bernie Sanders for allegedly committing bank fraud began in 2015, but barely mentioned, if ever, during Sander’s presidential campaign. Shortly after news broke on Saturday of the couple retaining counsel, Sen. Sanders appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” with host Chuck Todd. Surprisingly, in the seven-minute interview of Sanders, Todd did not ask single question about the FBI investigation into Sanders and his wife.

VA reform:

On Friday, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law reforming the beleaguered Office of Veteran Affairs that has been the subject of mismanagement and subpar care for veterans in recent years, resulting in lost lives. The bill hastens the processes for the VA secretary David Schulkin to fire employees for misconduct, and bolsters legal protections for whistleblowers inside the department.

Regulatory reform:

The GOP and Donald Trump were elected in part to roll back many of the Obama-era regulations. By mid-May, the Republicans had successfully removed 14 of the 15 Obama rules adopted at the end of his administration. Moreover, the House passed a  bill that dismantles parts of the Dodd-Frank banking regulations fulfilling a major campaign promise. The purpose of Dodd-Frank was to eliminate banks that are “too big to fail.” Many argue it did the opposite by raising costs that only large banks are able to absorb, while disproportionately affecting smaller banks, and forcing them out of the marketplace.

War on terror:

This Spring, Donald Trump delegated the authority of managing troop levels in Iraq and Syria to Defense Secretary James Mattis. Shortly after, Mattis, representing a major shift in U.S. military strategy in the Middle East, announced that the president had ordered an “accelerated campaign” against ISIS, no longer waging a war of “attrition” but surrounding the enemy to “annihilate” them. On June 14, President Trump delegated the authority of managing troop levels in Afghanistan to Secretary Mattis, rounding out Mattis’ control of troop levels in the Middle East.

Infrastructure:

On June 7, Trump gave a speech in Ohio outlining the details of his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The president’s plan is to rebuild the “nation’s roads, bridges, highways, dams and inland waterways” only using American inputs. The president cited the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act as a means to “leverage cash” with federal, state, and private sector funding.

In a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, lamented the “distraction” that Russia has become. Senator Murphy cites the concerns of his constituents that “are never talking about issues like Russia,” but are more concerned with economic issues like wages.

The media’s hyper-focus on the Russian probe during Donald Trump’s nascent presidency, crowds out reporting on policy issues and achievements important to the people that propelled Trump to office last November.

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