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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Welcome to the new Sunday morning

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An IED — or two or three — in New Jersey intended to blow up runners in a race to support Marines wounded in the wars.

An IED — or two or three — in New York City intended to kill or maim civilians.

A suspected “home-grown, self radicalized” jihadist dresses as a security guard and slashes a half dozen or more innocents in St. Cloud, Minn.

Welcome to the new Sunday morning.

After enjoying “Peyton on Sunday Morning” ads all month, most Americans expect church, family and the NFL on the first day of the week, not bulletins on “Meet the Press” from NBC’s Richard Engle, who reported to Chuck Todd from the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan to open the show that he’d been covering scenes like the one behind him all year — from Europe.

The new normal. It isn’t because of the “climate of fear,” but because of the reality of random violence, some of it Islamist in origin, but most of it gunplay in the country’s most violent neighborhoods as in Chicago.

The media spent most of the weekend fixated on Donald Trump’s declaration that President Obama was born in America. Trump punked a media that had rightly hounded him on the point, but the overreaction was more telling than the controversy that spawned it. Trump is living in the mainstream media’s head as surely as he is in Trump Tower.

I spent most of the week on a tour of my radio markets with Jon Voight — followed around by younger adults who love his Mickey Donovan character — and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. I’ve done these tours in 2008 and 2012. There were many familiar faces in Miami, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Philadelphia, Columbus, Cleveland and Denver … and far more new ones. Voight and Clarke should do a reality show, because they connect with voters in a way I haven’t seen politicians do in a long time.

“Trump has an awkward way of telling people things that really matter,” Voight repeatedly said. Clarke upbraided critics of the country’s legions in blue who protect minority communities across the land. Both get standing ovations. Sustained ones. Everywhere.

Is there a “shy Tory” vote out there that pollsters are missing because the respondents don’t want to tell anyone what they are thinking? If so, a flailing Hilllary Clinton is in deep trouble because even as she has surely won the grudging consent of elites, she has little appeal to the “unprotected” as Peggy Noonan so brilliantly has described the vast majority of Americans who are, to put it mildly, unsettled by the rapid pace of, well, everything.

Donald Trump’s surge after a summer of stumbling and Hillary Clinton’s recent fumbling is fueled by many factors. But the biggest of them all is the overpowering impulse to turn the table over on elites and their newspeak about IEDs and stabbings. “Intentional acts” that terrorize but aren’t terrorism — well, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio certainly gave Trump a little extra lift with that winner of a phrase late Saturday night.

Call a bomb a bomb, please, and terrorists with knives terrorists.

If the media gets around to pursuing Hillary Clinton’s many issues with the same zeal and doggedness as they rightly hunted Trump and his team on birtherism, it will reclaim credibility. Until then their unsubtle and nearly uniform lean towards Hilllary is having an impact, only not the one they had hoped.


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