Inside the Beltway: ‘Take a knee’ and either pray, protest or blame Trump

The “take a knee” phenomenon now spans politics, sports, sociology, entertainment, media, faith and even economics.

The “take a knee” phenomenon now spans politics, sports, sociology, entertainment, media, faith and even economics. Professional athletes kneeling to protest the “Star Spangled Banner” to draw attention to police brutality and racism has become a cultural force — fueled by nonstop news coverage of President Trump’s public condemnation of the practice. Complaints are emerging, however.

Some analysts say the press is fixated on the collision between the White House and the sports world — and virtually nothing else. A few critics blame Mr. Trump for inspiring this one-track narrative. One analyst, however, faults the journalists.

“The media’s obsession with Trump and the eyeballs his feuds and bombastic tweets bring to their stations and publications are to blame. The media has a choice in what they cover. The hand-wringing over what stories get attention is an ongoing point of contention for journalists and news outlets. Trump acts and the media reacts, rather than reports,” writes RedState political correspondent Andrea Ruth.

“When Trump is on offense, the media is reflexively defensive and scandalized. And to some extent, vice versa, reminiscent of a football game. Politics is a spectator sport and with Trump, the media is the other team. The media still has not realized that Trump is Trump. Trump isn’t going to stop being Trump-y. The media can cover whatever stories it wants. But, blaming Trump for their inability to stop or tone down their obsession with the man, and continually freak-out, is ridiculous,” Ms. Ruth says, even as the story takes on new dimensions.

Evangelist Franklin Graham and Mike Huckabee both suggest that those who “take a knee” should do so in prayer. Some say the act is a First Amendment right. Tweets from the American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, advised Americans not to confuse the practice with “disrespect” — and that U.S. military troops “fight for freedom, for the principles of racial equality and justice, not for a song, or a flag.” On Twitter itself, hashtags #takeaknee and #taketheknee battled to dominate the list of trending topics.

It’s complicated.

“Are football fans voting with their TVs?” asks a new Rasmussen Reports survey. “As the NFL struggles to explain this season’s downturn in viewer ratings, 34 percent of American adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of protests by players on the field,” the poll reports, noting that 12 percent say they are more likely to watch, while half say the protests have no effect on their viewing decisions.

“Interestingly, there’s little difference of opinion on the protests and NFL viewing habits among whites, blacks and other minority adults,” the poll said.

“These numbers are little changed from October of last year after Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, initiated the protests, citing racial and police brutality issues.”


Former President Bill Clinton’s first novel, “The President is Missing,” will be published nine months from now by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company. The book has been co-written with best-selling thriller author James Patterson, the man behind the Alex Cross detective novels, among many other titles. The new project is on a very fast track.

Showtime has already picked up the rights for the forthcoming book and plans to turn the “one-of-a-kind” tale into a series.

“Bringing ‘The President Is Missing’ to Showtime is a coup of the highest order,” says Davis Nevins, president and CEO of the network. “The pairing of President Clinton with fiction’s most gripping storyteller promises a kinetic experience, one that the book world has salivated over for months and that now will dovetail perfectly into a politically relevant, character-based action series for our network.”

Well, there you go.

“I can’t wait to see Showtime bring the characters to life,” observes Mr. Clinton.


A programming note for Monday: Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity presents the first cable exclusive interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon at 9 p.m. EDT.

“Bannon will be live from Alabama to discuss the Alabama Senate race between former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and Alabama Senator Luther Strange, what’s ahead for the Trump administration and his former days at the White House,” the network notes.

Mr. Bannon will campaign in Mobile for Mr. Moore in the company of Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame. They appear in the Yellowhammer State just 72 hours after President Trump, who was in Alabama on Friday night, campaigning for Mr. Strange at a rally in Huntsville.


While noise and chatter continue in the press about the White House, President Trump outlined his plans for tax reform in forthright terms during his weekly address released Saturday. Here’s what he said:

“First, we are going to make the tax code simple and fair so that families can spend more time with their children and less time wading through pages of paperwork. A staggering 94 percent of families use professional help to do their taxes — and that’s not fair, that’s not right. That’s why, under our plan, 95 percent of Americans will be able to file their tax return on a single page without keeping receipts, tracking paperwork or filling out extra schedules,” Mr. Trump said.

“Second, we are going to cut taxes for the middle class so that hardworking Americans can finally save more for their future. We want to help families keep more of what they earn — and to be able to afford the costs of raising a family,” he continued.

“Third, we are going to restore America’s competitive edge by making our tax system more attractive for investment and job creation. Our business tax rate is the highest in the world — pushing jobs to foreign countries. That’s not what we want, that’s not what I’ve been talking about all these years. I’ve been talking about the exact opposite,” the president continued,

“Finally, we are going to bring back trillions of dollars in wealth parked overseas so that it can be invested in our country, where it belongs. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform our tax code and pave the way to unprecedented prosperity. It will be the largest tax cut in our country’s history.”


• 84 percent of Americans say President Trump is “competitive”; 95 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

• 73 percent overall say Mr. Trump is “intense”; 87 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

• 65 percent overall say the president “emphasizes success”; 88 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

• 53 percent overall say he is “enthusiastic”; 83 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent say he is “courageous”; 67 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup Panel poll of 31,000 U.S. adults conducted July 27-Aug. 10 and released Friday.

• Ballyhoo and cautious opinions to


blog comments powered by Disqus

Click to Read More

Click to Hide

Top Stories

Reporter Sharyl Attkisson testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the confirmation of President Barack Obama's nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Sharyl Attkisson rips media for ignoring weaponization of intel agencies under Obama

A person looks out from the Captain Cook restaurant damaged during the crossing of Hurricane Maria, on Cofrecito Beach, in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Rain from the storm will continue in the Dominican Republic for the next two days according to meteorologists.(AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)

Climate scientist rebuts Hollywood hurricane hype: ‘This is what weather looks like’


Quiz: US Citizenship Test - Could You Pass?

President Donald Trump listens during a luncheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump calls North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un a ‘mad man’

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook will hand over Russian ads in election probe


Quiz: Test Your Civil War Knowledge

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said he is pro-life but didn't promise voters to keep 90 percent of Obamacare's taxes and regulations in place to reshuffle dollars among the states. (Associated Press/File)

Pro-life activists pressure Rand Paul to support Graham-Cassidy health care bill

A new ad by the U.S. Marine Corps makes a specific point to highlight women in combat, whereas past commercials featured them in training environments. (YouTube, Marine Corps) ** FILE **

First female officer graduates from Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course

Rep. Maxine Waters attends the Black Girls Rock! Awards at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) ** FILE **

Rep. Maxine Waters says it’s ‘time to go after’ Trump: I ‘guarantee’ he’s colluding with Russians

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel warns Fox News Channel's Brian Kilmeade of what will happen the next time they see each other. "I'll pound you when I see you," he said during a Sept. 20, 2017, broadcast of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." (Image: YouTube, "Jimmy Kimmel Live")

Jimmy Kimmel attacks Brian Kilmeade over health care debate: ‘I’ll pound you when I see you’


Conservatives in Hollywood: Celebrities who lean right

Sen. Bernard Sanders on Thursday delivered the kind of foreign policy speech his supporters begged to see during his presidential campaign last year. (Associated Press/File)

Sanders calls war on terror ‘a disaster’ in long-awaited speech on foreign policy

Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said Wednesday that she would never allow President Trump to be a guest on her show because she thinks he poses a threat to the country and to her personally as a gay woman. (NBC)

Ellen DeGeneres: I refuse to have ‘dangerous’ Trump on my show

converted 1911.jpg

21 best guns for home protection

President Donald Trump meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump’s war strategy hailed by Afghan president: ‘A difference of day and night’

Philadelphia finds hundreds of illegal voters


Christians in Hollywood

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke gestures as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to reporter: ‘F– you and the horse you rode in on’


  •  Daily
  •  Weekly
  •  Pruden on Politics
  •  Charles Hurt

Find us on Facebook

Find us on Twitter

All site contents © Copyright 2017 The Washington Times, LLC|3600 New York Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002 |202-636-3000
Share on
Article Inside the Beltway: ‘Take a knee’ and either pray, protest or blame Trump compiled by