ABC, CBS Notice Obama's 'Lowest Ever' Approval Rating; NBC Out to Lunch

On Tuesday, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both reported the latest poll numbers from the "respected" Quinnipiac University, as CBS's Scott Pelley labeled the institution, regarding President Obama's "lowest ever" approval rating, along with Americans' dim view of the politician's honesty. ABC's Diane Sawyer noted that "for the first time in his presidency, a majority of American voters – 52 percent...say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy."

Both evening newscasts reported these numbers as they led into their coverage of former President Clinton's recent word of advice to Obama on his health care law – that "the President should honor the commitment...[he] made to those people, and let them keep what they've got." NBC Nightly News also devoted air time to Clinton's remarks, but failed to mention the current President's drooping approval number. [MP3 audio from the ABC and CBS reports available here; video below the jump]

Pelley spotlighted the Quinnipiac poll's findings before turning to correspondent Major Garrett, who detailed the White House's reaction to Clinton's statement:

SCOTT PELLEY: The troubled rollout of President Obama's health insurance law is taking a toll on his job approval ratings. In the respected Quinnipiac University poll out today, only 39 percent of Americans say they approve of the job he's doing – the lowest ever in that poll; 54 percent disapprove. Perhaps reflecting his broken 'you can keep your insurance' promise, only 44 percent said the President is honest and trustworthy.

Garrett continued that "Clinton's comments focused even more attention on the most glaring political problem facing ObamaCare: those consumers on the individual market who had their policies canceled, but can't afford the new policies that comply with ObamaCare. The White House is looking for a fix, but it hasn't found one yet."

On World News, Sawyer underlined the "rough new poll number for the President – for the first time in his presidency, a majority of American voters – 52 percent – in a new poll, say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy. One factor: the people who felt misled about getting to keep their insurance under ObamaCare."

Correspondent Jonathan Karl then trumpeted that "Bill Clinton said what President Obama's harshest Republican critics have been saying – that he may need to the change the health care law to help the millions of people who have seen their insurance canceled, despite the President's promise that would not happen."

Later in the segment, Karl pointed out that "an ABC News analysis of administration documents suggest that fewer than 50,000 people have been able to enroll through HealthCare.gov. In contrast, an estimated seven-plus million are getting cancellation notices." He also featured a soundbite from a man in Pennsylvania who lost his insurance policy and "after spending more than 40 hours...trying to enroll on the website and over the phone, he is still out of luck."


The following morning, on ABC's Good Morning America, news anchor Josh Elliott mentioned during a news brief that "a new poll finds that for the first time, a majority of Americans do not believe the President is, in fact, trustworthy." On CBS This Morning, anchor Norah O'Donnell reported how "President Obama's approval rating is at an all-time low – the latest casualty of the health care rollout", but didn't mention the 52 percent figure of Americans who don't find the Democrat honest and trustworthy.

[Update: the full transcripts of Jonathan Karl's report from Tuesday's World News on ABC and Major Garrett's report from Tuesday's CBS Evening News can be read on MRC.org.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center