Inside the Beltway: Media organizations say journalists should get the COVID-19 vaccine early

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Some believe the news media should be in the early wave of people who will receive the coronavirus vaccine. The reason? Some also believe that journalists qualify as first responders because they, too, are exposed to the virus while reporting on it.

While producing nonstop hostile coverage of President Trump, the media has also covered the coronavirus pandemic nonstop for the last 10 months. That fact has prompted 13 major journalism organizations to declare that journalists are “essential” workers who deserve to be included in the initial populations to receive the new coronavirus vaccine.

“In times of crisis, journalists represent an even more critical lifeline to their communities. In the case of this enduring pandemic, journalists have taken on an even more essential role, serving as the connective fabric for Americans who are isolated and physically separated from each other, and informing them of the constantly evolving risks in their individual communities,” the organization wrote in a letter to Jose Romero, chairman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

“Journalists provide information on the vaccine itself and other practical information,” said the Dec. 8 letter, which pointed out that the media does not necessarily work from home.

“Despite efforts to protect themselves and the public, members of the media are necessarily exposed to the COVID-19 virus while doing their job sand serving as ‘first informers’ in local communities across the country,” the organization advised. “We respectfully urge you to consider the inclusion of journalists in subsequent phases of priority vaccine deployment,” the letter said. “We hope you will also consider the essential role played by journalists — a role that cannot be performed without physically engaging in the communities they serve, regardless of the risk.”

The letter was endorsed by America’s Public Television Stations, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Newspaper Association, the National Press Photographers Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the News Leaders Association, NLGJA: the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, the News Media Alliance, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

UH YES, THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN

Many Americans share President Trump’s belief that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him.

“Sixty-eight percent of Republicans believe the election was stolen from President Trump. Among Trump voters, 77% think he actually won. And, so do 26% of independents and even 10% of Democrats. Overall, 36% of voters say the election was stolen from Trump,” a new Fox Poll released Sunday advised.

Much of the GOP continues to stand by Mr. Trump, but there’s a predictable partisan divide as well from those who favor presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden.

“Most Republicans (66%) say the president’s actions, which include filing lawsuits against some states that voted for Joe Biden, are helping American democracy, while majorities of Democrats (84%) and independents (56%) think he is harming it,” the analysis said.

What about 2024? There is much public interest in Mr. Trump’s actions in the next presidential election.

“Nearly 4 in 10 voters, 37%, would like Trump to run for president again in 2024. That includes 79% of Trump voters and 71% of Republicans, as well as 27% of independents and 10% of Democrats,” the analysis noted.

The Fox News poll of 1,007 registered U.S. voters was conducted Dec. 6-9, with a 3% margin of error. More intriguing numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING

Those seeking Christmas or other holiday gifts for their favorite conservatives and Republicans can find some ideas at the Media Research Center’s online Christmas store, which offers items with noteworthy emblems, mottoes and images.

The conservative press watchdog has some pivotal sayings on wearables, mugs, magnet and stickers. Among those mottoes: “Proud to say Merry Christmas”; “CNN tested positive for fake news”; “Believe in America, not the media”; “Pro-God, Pro-Life, Pro-Gun”; and “I’m conservative, deal with it.”

Intrigued? Consult with MRC-store.com.

FIGHTING IN A TITLE MATCH

The press has weighed in plenty about The Wall Street Journal, which suggested in a recent op-ed that presumed-first lady Jill Biden should jettison the honorific “Dr.” in her formal title because she has a Ph.D. rather than a medical degree. Even Merriam-Webster — the dictionary — got in on the cause, pointing out that the Latin origins of the word “doctor” actually point to someone who is teacher.

Meanwhile, some headlines to consider in the last 24 hours:

“That’s ‘Dr.’ Jill Biden to you, sir. You got a problem with that?” (Vogue); “Dr. Jill Biden receives support after WSJ Op-Ed: This would never have been written about a man” (People); “Kamala Harris‘ husband slams WSJ op-ed urging Jill Biden to stop calling herself a doctor” (Newsweek); “Yes, there is a doctor in the house: Dr. Jill Biden” (The Baltimore Sun); and “Writer of Wall Street Journal’s Jill Biden op-ed vanishes from Northwestern University website” (The Daily Beast)

POLL DU JOUR

• 36% of registered U.S. voters agree that the presidential election “was stolen” from President Trump.

• 77% of Trump voters, 73% of Republican women, 68% of all Republicans, 64% of Republican men, 18% of Democratic men, 10% of all Democrats, 8% of Biden voters and 3% of Democratic women agree.

• 61% of conservatives, 26% of moderates, 10% of liberals also agree.

• 56% of evangelicals, 43% of rural White residents, 42% of Whites, 28% of Hispanics and 9% of Blacks also agree.

• 36% of those under 45 years of age, 36% of those over age 45, 35% of those over age 65 and 32% of those under age 35 also agree.

Source: A Fox New poll of 1,007 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 6-9.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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