Staff File Photo By Robin Rudd / Franklin Graham was saddened by the appearance of Ron Reagan Jr. in an ad for the Freedom from Religion Foundation during last week's Democratic presidential primary debate.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly identified the Rev. Franklin Graham as Billy Graham's father. He is Billy Graham's son.

Right place, right ad

Self-proclaimed atheist Ron Reagan Jr.'s appearance in an advertisement for the Freedom from Religion Foundation during the Democratic primary debate last week was sad to the Rev. Franklin Graham (son of fabled evangelist Billy Graham), who noted that President Ronald Reagan "had a deep faith in God and in his son, Jesus Christ." But another media figure said the spot was the "one of the most perfect ad placements in the history of advertising."

Graham said the younger Reagan may have said he was "not afraid of burning in hell," but he said "hell is a place of torment, fire and separation from God — and hell awaits those who do not repent of their sin and put their faith and trust in Christ."

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, though, said it was the right message for the right audience.

"[Y]ou want to reach a bunch of people that don't like God, don't like religion, and have no fear of hell because they don't think it exists and so they don't mind burning there?" he said. "Run this ad in a Democratic debate!"


Behind the scenes at CNN

An undercover video released by Project Veritas last week showed CNN staffers talking about their political bias and their need to fluff up the news. Not that anyone would be surprised about the bias.

"We don't, even though we're totally left-leaning, we don't want to admit it," said CNN field operations manager Patrick Davis in part of the footage.

"We could be so much better than we are," he said. "You learn it in journalism school, we're supposed to be middle of the road, that's our job. Now it's just infotainment is all it's become."

Comparing CNN to another network, perhaps FOX News, Davis said, "All they gotta do is take an anchor, and put him at the desk, and tell the news. We're so busy trying to get appointment viewership."

Meanwhile, CNN field production supervisor Gerald Sisnette opined that the cable news network covered President Donald Trump and his administration too much and suggested a way to reduce coverage.

"This is a story that's not gonna go away," he said. "Trump, in general, the only way this story goes away is when he dies, hopefully soon."

The video was part of a series aired last week by the nonprofit, whose goal is to "investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society."


Party of the rich

The Democratic and Republican parties have shifted positions over the last decade, according to recent research done by the Wall Street Journal.

Today, according to the analysis, the Democratic Party generally represents the nation's richest citizens, while the Republican Party has become the banner for working folks.

Democrats in 2008, according to the report, drew most of their votes from congressional districts with some of the least economic output. In 2018, the party drew from district that had the largest economic output and just a few low economic output districts.

Alternatively, Republican lawmakers in 2018 did not represent a single section of the nation's highest economic output districts. Instead, their voter base was concentrated in the lower tiers of economic output.

The analysis also showed Democrats represent the overwhelming share of professional, high-paying industries not threatened by free trade and foreign imports, while Republicans represent workers in the agriculture, mining and low-skilled manufacturing industries that have been gutted by free trade and foreign imports.


'Literally' the end of the world

Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer appeared in his first Democratic presidential primary debate last week and was not much of a factor, particularly because he didn't repeat lines he'd said earlier at the Ohio Democratic Party's 2019 State Dinner.

Now, such dinners are often a place for red-meat rhetoric, and he gave it to attendees. If Republicans win the presidency in 2020, he said, it will bring on Armageddon. And if Democrats win, they'll make sure Republicans never win again.

"We are in the fight of our lives," Steyer said. "Everything is on the table in 2020. They think so too, because they think if they lose in 2020 the rules are going to be fair and they're never going to win again. And they're right. If we win in 2020, they're done forever. But it's scary for us, too, because if they win, literally it could be the end of the world."

We hope the well-heeled candidate went home and looked up the word "literally" before he trots it out again.