New numbers are out about President Obama's performance and they show that, while most Americans favor the majority of actions he has taken, two of his more controversial decisions are highly unpopular. One of the disputed actions, the closing of the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has long been a high-profile issue the media can hardly dodge. But the other, reversing the “Mexico City” policy, has gotten little news coverage. It will be interesting to watch whether they finally report on Mexico City, or even note that Obama has made any unpopular moves.
The mainstream media is still head over heels for our new commander in chief, and he still has honeymoon popularity with the public. But according to a Feb. 1 USA Today/Gallup Poll telephone survey of 1,000 adults, only 35 percent of Americans approved of Obama's decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy, a ban on U.S. funding of overseas family planning groups that promote abortion.
The Gallup poll found that most Americans agree with five of the seven Obama actions it asked about. The most popular decisions include naming "special envoys for the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan", and tightening "ethics rules for administration officials," each receiving a 76 percent approval rating. Also popular were “limiting interrogation techniques on prisoners” and “Instituting higher fuel efficiency standards,” each with 74 percent approval.
The Culture and Media Institute reported that, as of January 28, 2009, just five days after President Obama overturned the policy banning federal funding of overseas abortion providers, the major media outlets has given scant coverage to the controversial decision. And no wonder. Most Americans don’t want their tax dollars funding groups like Planned Parenthood here at home. As the Gallup Poll shows, they don't don’t like it any more overseas.
President Obama has had the cooperation of the press in keeping this pro-abortion move mostly beneath the radar. Will the Gallup Poll results prod journalists toward reporting the issue? Don’t bet on it.
Matt Philbin is managing editor of CMI. Erin Brown is a CMI intern.