Man with gray hair comb over looking sideways at the camera with slitty eyes

A national business news website,, recently asked my views on Presidential attempts to muzzle the press. Here is what I told them: “(President) Trump has found that his core supporters, now dwindling but still representing a third of the electorate, dislike the mainstream media and respond favorably whenever Trump criticizes the media. That results in more and sharper edged investigative reporting.”

“All recent presidents have battled with the news media and have, at times, treated journalists as mortal enemies and, at times, tried to pressure the news media into covering things the presidents' way.”

“President Richard Nixon allegedly threatened to take away the Washington Post's lucrative TV licenses after repeated negative coverage.”

“President George W. Bush's people allegedly threatened to charge the New York Times editor with sedition in a coverage dispute.”

(I also noted that President Barack Obama had frosty relations with the press at times.)

“(Trump) has labeled those who criticize him as "enemies of the people" and has hinted at economic reprisals against Amazon, whose owner Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.”

“The news media is less likely to heavily scrutinize a popular president because it knows that a majority of its audience will not be pleased and may tune out/stop reading and cancel subscriptions.”

“On the other hand, the news media is more likely to heavily scrutinize an unpopular president because a majority of its audience will be receptive, perhaps viewing/reading more and buying more subscriptions. This sort of unpopularity — even ridicule — may embolden civil servants such as Reality Winner to leak what they know."

“Because Trump is behaving negatively toward the government establishment and threatening major changes, government employees who feel in jeopardy are more likely to leak information that will result in stories sympathetic to their causes and negative toward Trump.”

Jumpin' John Ready To Hop Into U.S. Senate Primary Against Mandel

Jumpin' John Kasich spends much time on television. He cannot get enough of the national spotlight. Meanwhile, the governor is gone from Ohio so much that the editor of the Athens Messenger wrote a nasty piece titled "44 places Kasich could visit if he learned southeast Ohio existed." So what is our absentee governor up to?

The Washington pundits jump at the chance to interview Jumpin', because let's face it, he spouts the anti-Trump dogma with the best of them. (See my quotes above.)

Jumpin' was mocked for weighing in on Afghanistan the other day. He apparently pays more attention to Afghanistan than he does to Piketon, Ohio, where eight murders remain unsolved.

The DC talkers love to speculate that Jumpin' will run against Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries. What Jumpin's jumping around does mean is that he is up to something. I believe -- and you read it here first -- that Jumpin' is planning to hop into the U.S. Senate Republican primary against Josh Mandel for the right to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Trump-backing Mandel showed up Jumpin' last year and there has never been love lost between the two. Jumpin' cannot imagine Mandel in the U.S. Senate in 2019 while Jumpin' is an ex-governor. The only way Jumpin' can keep his Presidential hopes alive is to run for the Senate. If it is Sherrod vs. Jumpin', Ohio will get a new moniker: The Death Match State.

Developers Beware. My Lt. Gov. Platform Would Help Neighbors

Here is the third installment of My Platform for the next lieutenant governor:

All Ohio government subdivisions shall pay for attorneys to serve as a public interest defenders for neighbors and neighborhoods to defend their tranquility against unwanted projects by developers.

Fees will be collected from all developments to pay for citizens' lawyers.

Too often, commercial interests employ highly paid attorneys that game the system and beat the underfunded and under-counseled citizenry into submission and plant an apartment house or strip mall next to a pleasant neighborhood.

It is time to end the mismatch and put Ma and Pa Homeowner on an equal footing with the Big Developers.

Ohio Political Ranker: Volume 7

Welcome to Volume 7 of the ColumbusMediaInsider Ohio Political Ranker. Each month I will rank the candidates for Ohio governor in 2018. My criteria include: wealth/fund-raising capability (it will take $50 million to win the governorship), integrity, charisma, name recognition, key issues, and appeal to small town/rural voters.


            1. Joe Schiavoni. Average Joe ready for Big Show.

            2-tie. Betty Sutton, Connie Pillich, Nan Whaley.


            1. Jim Renacci. Barred from Trump rally in Youngstown.

            2.  J.D. Vance. Hillbilly book more than a year as best-seller.

            3-tie. Mike "Moneybags" DeWine. Jon "Moneybags" Husted.

            4. Mary Taylor.


·         Last month we showed how the Columbus Dispatch adopted the PR spin of Ohio State University instead of looking at the 5.5 percent tuition increase from the cash-strapped, loaned-out student perspective. The OSU student newspaper, The Lantern, also failed to stand up for the pocketbooks of the students it purports to represent in its coverage. Not surprising because serious journalism is barely taught at Ohio's flagship university.

·         Shipping the copy editing to Austin, Texas, apparently is not paying off the Dispatch. In the Aug. 18 issue, a letter writer is identified as from "Columbust." That's right, an extra "t' was tacked onto the name of the capital city. One could say that quality control at the morning friendly is a "bust."

·         The once locally owned Dispatch is now controlled by a Japanese firm. Softbank purchased New Media Investments, the overseer of GateHouse Media. Let us hope the copy editing function is not moved to Tokyo.


Lantern's Light
Hidden By
OSU Bushel

Please send your thoughts and suggestions for future columns to

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2017, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved) aHar


Appears in Issue: