Networks encourage polarization

Comment & Observation
By Joe Lee III

     Probably because of my profession, and much to the Boss of the House’s dolour, I am an incurable “news hound.”
     Each morning I get up and watch expert know-it-alls on MSNBC’s Morning Joe detail everything in the universe Donald Trump, the Republicans, and us rural hicks in “fly over territory” have done wrong in the past 24 hours (and the last 24 years, for that matter).
     When it gets to the point I can’t stand it anymore and Bisquette the Cat looks like she is going to throw up on the rug, I switch to CNN.
     MSNBC has captured the far left, and CNN, the news network pioneer, forfeited the conservatives many years ago, so Bisquette doesn’t like to linger long on that channel.
     Poor CNN. According to the Daily Caller, the old network does not have a single show in the top 20 for cable news.
     Then, by my second cup of coffee, we migrate to FOX. Fox has a lot more variety on their early morning format. It’s not 100% political, and its not 100% hate the president!
     Yes, it is conservative, but it does make an effort to present the other side. Fox is less likely to ridicule and laugh at those who disagree than most of the folks on MSNBC.
     According to Neilson’ most recent poll, Fox News averaged 1.4 million total day viewers compared to 930,000 for MSNBC and only 658,000 for CNN.
During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., Fox averaged 2.4 million total viewers compared to 1.7 million for MSNBC. CNN failed to surpass the one-million viewers plateau during primetime – averaging an audience of only 929,000 viewers.
     The best news coverage in my opinion, is not on any of the 24-hour news channels.
     David Muir, host of ABC’s World News Tonight, gives a concise and straight-forward news broadcast each weekday evening.
     Maybe his secret is that he only has 26 or so minutes — enough time to be accurate – but not enough time to politically embellish.
Census question
     According to the New York Post, “A Manhattan federal judge has OK’d a lawsuit challenging a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census.”
     In a court ruling last week, the judge said a group of immigrants’ rights advocates “can start trying to prove their claim that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was motivated by ‘discriminatory animus’ in seeking to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.”
     What a crock.
     There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking census participants if they are American citizens. In fact, the question should be mandatory.
     The U.S. census is supposed to count U.S. citizens. That is the purpose of it.
Illegal immigrant crime
     USA Today recently ran a big story declaring that immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than the U.S. born population.
No argument.
     We’ll take the newspaper’s word on that, but the fact remains that if undocumented immigrants committed 100 crimes – and if they had not been allowed to stay in this country illegally — there would have been 100 less crimes.
West Nile infections up
     Mississippi is near the top for West Nile infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     So far this year, the U.S. has reported 133 cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile encephalitis or meningitis.
     Louisiana has had 18 cases, 15 were reported in Mississippi, 14 in Texas, and 12 in California.
     The official CDC count; however, lags behind state figures. According to Louisiana’s statistics, that state has 31 cases. State of Mississippi figures indicate 25 cases.