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Week in review: Saturday, May 27, 2023
What does the news landscape look like?
The Trump/DeSantis feud was the top story all week, followed by the debt ceiling talks.
This is how the top stories were covered on each side of the media yesterday:
• Trump/DeSantis feud (12% more on the left)
• Debt ceiling talks (53% more on the left)
• Target/Bud Light Backlash (398% more on the right)
Media bias ratings are from AllSides.
This is how articles from liberal and conservative outlets were distributed over the past five days among the top stories.
Liberal outlets used these words more than conservative outlets:
• rhodes (5.1x)
• documents (1.7x)
• legal (1.3x)
Conservative outlets used these words more than liberal outlets:
• pride (6.4x)
• poll (5.3x)
• target (4.9x)
What is happening in the top stories?
Now for a deep dive into our top three stories, starting with…
Key people: Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Laura Ingraham, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott
Trump and DeSantis were once allies, but their relationship has broken down as they both vie for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
DeSantis initially supported Trump during the 2016 campaign and called on fellow Republicans to back him as the nominee.
Trump accused Fox News host Laura Ingraham of running a “hit piece” on him for airing a segment comparing his poll numbers to DeSantis’.
GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s campaign has labeled DeSantis as like Trump “without the charm.”
DeSantis officially entered the 2024 presidential race on Wednesday, saying candidates must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years.
DeSantis said he would call on Congress to repeal the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill signed into law by Trump in 2018.
The war of words between Trump and DeSantis continues to escalate, with Trump attacking DeSantis’ campaign launch and COVID-era policies, and DeSantis countering by saying the Trump camp is fixated on him.
Trump remains the GOP front-runner according to virtually every poll conducted prior to DeSantis’ official entry.
Debt ceiling talks
Key people: Kevin McCarthy, Joe Biden, Shalanda Young, Steve Ricchetti, Janet Yellen
Debt ceiling negotiations are locked on a classic problem that has vexed, divided and disrupted Washington before: Republicans led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy want to roll back federal government spending, while President Joe Biden and other Democrats do not.
Failure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, now at $31 trillion, would risk a potentially chaotic federal default, almost certain to inflict economic turmoil at home.
Sixty percent of Americans say an increase in the debt ceiling should come with spending cuts, according to a poll conducted as Republicans in Congress and the White House negotiate how to prevent a default on the nation’s debt.
Democratic and Republican negotiators struggled on Friday to reach a deal to raise the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, as they remained at odds over whether to stiffen work requirements for some anti-poverty programs.
Negotiators appeared to be nearing a deal to lift the limit for two years, with agreement reached on funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the military while capping spending on many government programs, according to a U.S. official.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he sees “no serious threat” to Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif) Speakership amid the ongoing bipartisan debt ceiling deal.
Target/Bud Light Backlash
Key people: Target executives, conservative customers, LGBTQ+ activists, Republican lawmakers, Dylan Mulvaney
Target faced backlash from conservative customers over its 2023 Pride Season collection, which included LGBTQ+ merchandise and “tuck friendly” children’s swimsuits.
The boycott was sparked in mid-May and has led to confrontations with Target workers and the removal of certain items from stores.
Bud Light faced a similar boycott in April after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which led to the company issuing rebates for free beer purchases.
Target’s stock price dropped 13.5 percent in the first nine days of the boycott, while Anheuser-Busch’s stock initially responded well to the Bud Light boycott.
Some Republican lawmakers, including Sen. J.D. Vance and Rep. Lauren Boebert, have expressed support for the boycott.
Target has removed certain items from stores and moved Pride merchandise to the back of some Southern stores after employees were harassed and threatened.
Conservative lawmakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have compared the situation to the Bud Light boycott and encouraged customers to boycott Target.
Target has not commented on the boycott, but has issued a statement about making adjustments to its plans due to threats impacting its workers’ safety and well-being.
The boycott is ongoing and has sparked a debate about the role of corporations in social and political issues.
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