On Dec. 1, 1955, a churchgoing woman of character refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Many credit Rosa Parks' courageous action that day with launching the civil rights movement. While I have great respect for what Ms. Parks did that day, however, she did not start the civil rights movement. The movement began long before, and public opinion led the way.
Rosa Parks' role was to serve as a catalyst converting the shifting public opinion into meaningful action. Martin Luther King Jr. then gave voice to that movement and made it an essential part of our national heritage.
As the National Journal reported today (emphases mine), "the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that a plurality of Americans supports a ban on late abortions," that "women supported such a measure in greater numbers than men (50 percent of women in favor; 46 percent of men)," and that both young voters and white women -- two Obama-favoring voting demographics -- favor such bans by a simple majority:
Charles Krauthammer brilliantly and effortlessly raised an issue on last Friday’s Inside Washington that is near and dear to our hearts here at NewsBusters. It came during a discussion of the immigration reform effort now underway in both houses of Congress. Panelists Evan Thomas and Nina Totenberg agreed that if immigration reform fails to pass, given that many in both parties support it, it would be a sad commentary on Congress.
This prompted moderator Gordon Peterson to confront Krauthammer with some new Gallup poll data about Americans’ confidence in certain institutions, including Congress: “Congress ranks last out of 16 [institutions]. A 10 percent approval rating – 10 percent! The lowest level of confidence Gallup has ever polled. The lowest for any institution on record.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
A new poll conducted by the Gallup Organization contains some very bad news for the news industry. The survey indicates that only 23 percent of American adults have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and television news, the worst results since 2007.
According to Elizabeth Mendes, deputy managing editor at Gallup, newspapers have been trending downward since 1979, when they reached a high of 51 percent, but TV news bounced up slightly from its all-time low of 21 percent a year ago.
On Monday morning, NBC and ABC ignored a new poll showing President Obama's approval had fallen by eight points in a month, from 53 to 45 percent. CNN reported on its own poll numbers, while CBS and MSNBC picked up the numbers as well.
While CBS This Morning briefly reported the poll numbers, CNN touted them repeatedly throughout the morning. New Day co-host Chris Cuomo said the President's image was "taking a beating," while correspondent Jessica Yellin noted that his support among young voters has "collapsed" and "is an astonishing cratering."
In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration, as I demonstrated in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked.
This post will further show that polling data Babington cited near the end of his report contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."
"Poll Finds Support Slumping for Health Law," blares the top headline on page A4 of Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. "Americans' unease with President Barack Obama's health-care law has intensified," staff writers Patrick O'Connor and Louise Radnofsky noted, and that "just as the administration is gearing up to persuade people to sign up for some of its major provisions" according to a poll commissioned by the Journal and NBC News.
Among other things the poll found "the number calling [ObamaCare] a bad idea reached a high of 49%... with 43% 'strongly' holding that view" and double the number of poll respondents (38 percent to 19 percent) believing they will prove "worse off" under ObamaCare's implementation rather than "better off." Sure enough, however, NBC News elected to leave out those damning statistics from Thursday's edition of the Today morning show program.
In Thursday and Friday posts at the "Politico 44: A Living Diary of the Obama Presidency," Jennifer Epstein relayed the announcement that President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland as the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
In other words, the President is defiantly giving the person who was integrally involved in altering the Benghazi talking points until they bore no resemblance to what really happened a promotion. In her first item, Epstein acted as if Republicans are the only ones who might have a problem with this. In her second item, she found two usual-suspect GOP senators who said they'd be okay being walked over. Excerpts follow the jump.
By virtually any measure, with three scandals exploding on the White House, last week had to be the worst of Barack Obama's presidency.
Despite this, CNN - the self-described most trusted name in news - released a poll Sunday finding the current White House resident's job approval rose two points since April and a full six points since March.
Try as they might, the liberal sports media's efforts to shame the Washington Redskins into ditching their team name out of political correctness concerns hasn't significantly moved public opinion. A brand new Associated Press-GfK poll found 79 percent of respondents favored keeping the name.
Of course in his story on the poll, AP's Ben Nuckols weighted his piece heavily with Skins detractors, including former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. "There’s a derogatory name for every ethnic group in America, and we shouldn’t be using those words," the Colorado Republican complained. "We probably haven’t gotten our message out as well as it should be gotten out."
The email announcing the supposedly momentous occasion of another column by the Politico's Glenn Thrush arrived in my mailbox with the following headline and subhead: "Obama: Hey guys, I'm still here -- The president's press conference brimmed with frustration and was filled with tantalizing promise."
On clickthrough, I learned that the online website's massagers-in-chief changed those items (but not the underlying URL, which reflects the email) to the following in the published article: "President Obama: I’m still relevant -- Obama finds himself hemmed in by the familiar constraints of partisanship and world events." Thrush's text identifed another problem supposedly hemming Obama in, complete with a slavery analogy: "the shackles of his own commitments." Poor guy; he has to deal with the world as it is, not how he'd like it to be, and those darned things he promised to do to get elected and reelected. Gosh, life is just so unfair, isn't it? Excerpts following Thrush's theme follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Thursday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd urged Republicans to back gun restrictions or risk alienation from female voters: "Look at the massive gender gap....65% of women want stricter gun laws, 44% of men. So if you make the argument to Republicans...if you want to continue to have problems with women voters, don't deal with this gun issue. If you want to start trying to win over suburban women, maybe you need to tackle it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about a new survey on how Americans view the 1980s, co-host Willie Geist noted an interesting political finding: "If a presidential election were held today, according to this survey, 58% would vote for Ronald Reagan over President Barack Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Weatherman Al Roker couldn't let that data be reported without putting his own spin on it: "But the interesting thing is a lot of people probably – I mean Ronald Reagan probably would be seen almost liberally today as opposed to being a conservative. I mean, he did a lot of great things. But, I mean, things have shifted." Geist agreed: "Relative to what you see now, absolutely."
At the Politico, Darren Samuelsohn reports that "The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about ... (what will happen) if the sequester cuts stay in place." He also notes in a separate report that Republicans "Republicans are winning the sequester wars," and that "even the White House admits there’s little chance of reversing all the cuts."
Of course, what's in question here mostly aren't "cuts" at all, but reductions in projected spending increases, as pollster Scott Rasmussen explained in his note accompanying a recent poll his organization did on the topic:
On February 28, though he hedged a bit, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote the following about prospects for economic growth: "The only impediment may be the across-the-board government spending cuts that kick in Friday — especially if those cuts remain in place for months."
Having established the template, the self-described Essential Global News Network has apparently decided that they need to do all they can to promote it. After today's sharp decline in consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board, AP reporter Marcy Gordon's related dispatch opened with a whine about "massive government spending cuts," tried to reinforce her claim in a later paragraph, and saved contradictory information for an even later one (bolds are mine throughout this post):
We should give credit to the Associated Press's Calvin Woodward, with help from AP Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and writer Alan Fram, for calling out politicians and other gun-grabbers who have been abusing a two decades-old gun-related statistic and passing it off as if it's still factual.
That's nice, but Woodward could have saved many words, mountains of paper, and tons of bandwidth by telling readers in plain English that claims such as one made President Barack Obama that "as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check" have never, ever been true. Instead, the AP reporter used 13 paragraphs, at one point excusing researchers who came up with a 30-40 percent estimate even "with a clear picture eluding them." There was never any defensible basis for their "estimate." Excerpts from Woodward's Wednesday item following the jump:
For decades, members of the elite media have told Americans to trust that their political coverage is objective and fair. A new poll released today indicates that most of the people simply do not believe that.
The good news is that 46 percent of Americans agree with the correct statement that the media are “excessively sympathetic” to President Obama and that only 17 percent believe the media are fair. The bad news is that 28 percent maintain the delusion that the press “deliberately tries to hurt Obama.”
Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza gushed over the popularity of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Hillary Clinton is just day's removed from public office, but a new poll finds her public image soaring. Time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire....Look, I can't get enough of Hillary Clinton, I'll just admit it. I'm just fascinated by the story." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Comparing Clinton to a list of other potential 2016 presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, Cillizza proclaimed: "She's more popular than anyone else on this list....These numbers are not terribly surprising, I mean, she just spent four years as our top diplomat."
Conservatives might take heart from a recent poll showing a decline in Americans' trust in government. But Chris Cillizza sees it as a "depressing reality." So wrote Cillizza in his "Fix" column in today's Washington Post. Indeed, Cillizza's headline, "Are we in the end times of trust in government?", suggests that he finds the development nothing short of potentially apocalyptic.
Let's consider what Thomas Jefferson's had to say about the need for a healthy distrust of government—and speculate as to why the polling news has Chris bummed out. More after the jump.
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" Time for Joe Scarborough to brush up on the Sermon on the Mount?
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough gloated at length over survey results indicating that the public's trust in Fox News has declined and that PBS is the only network that more people trust than distrust. But he conveniently failed to mention that Fox News remains the network that more people trust than any other . . . and that his own MSNBC trails way—way!—behind Fox News in public trust. View the video after the jump.
Do you believe that almost two-thirds of Republicans think that President Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to inhabit the White House?
You might if you read the article on the Salon.com site entitled “Poll: 64 Percent of Republicans Are Birthers,” which was written by Alex Seitz-Wald on Thursday to slam members of the GOP using data derived from a recent survey of registered voters by the PublicMind project of Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
While the Associated Press, New York Times, and the vast majority of the U.S. establishment press have avoided directly referring to Egypt's newly-approved constitution, spearheaded by ruler by decree Mohammed Morsi, as oriented toward imposing Muslim sharia law in that nation, the international press hasn't been so reluctant. Who do you believe, the rest of the world or your agenda-driven U.S-based news sources? Additionally, as will be seen, the constitution is so unabashedly socialist it would have been labeled communist if it had appeared any time prior to 1990.
Russia-based RT.com opened its coverage of fraud allegations Saturday as follows: "Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution has been approved in a second round of voting, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party said." Its headline a week ago after the first round: "Egyptians vote on hotly contested sharia-based constitution." Meanwhile, the New York Times blew through over 1,000 words in "analyzing" the results, and did not mention sharia once.
Following a report on Thursday's NBC Today in which political director Chuck Todd touted a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, co-host Matt Lauer tried to spin one finding: "...only 53% say they're optimistic about a second term for Obama and 47% say they are pessimistic. Is this really more pessimism about Washington in general?"
Todd accepted the characterization: "It is. You know, you see it in the poll....this is a much less naive public, maybe let's put it that way, after they've watched all of this in Washington. And a full 70% now think that the next year is going to be acrimonious." Todd then portrayed Republicans as embracing such acrimony: "...this is really dangerous in the talks, actually...I talked to one Republican who said, 'How low can we go? We don't have a lot to lose.' And I pointed out, 'But you would have a lot to gain, because the par's pretty low from the public's point of view.'"
Chris Matthews is not one to let a pesky thing like facts get in the way of a favored liberal narrative. That's why, for example, on the Oct. 22 edition of Hardball he insisted the 9/11 assault on the Benghazi compound was "all about" the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims," when by that time it was most clearly established that it was a premeditated terrorist strike.
Well, yesterday, Matthews's obsession with painting a significant minority of Republicans as loony secessionists colored his cherry-picking of a Public Policy Polling survey. The Hardball host glommed onto a statistic in a December 4-released PPP poll that found some 25 percent of Republican respondents said they favored their state seceding in light of President Obama's reelection. "What do you want to bet these are the same people who say that President Obama is a Muslim?" huffed Matthews in a tease for a segment entitled "If at First You Don't Secede." But a look at the cross tabs in the poll shows that 27 percent of Hispanics, 29 percent of voters aged 18-29, and even 12 percent of African-Americans favor secession. Those demographics, of course, are all ones which the president handily won. At no point in his segment on the poll, however, did any of these facts come up. [MP3 audio excerpts here; video follows page break]
More than 40 years ago, the federal government launched a war on drugs. Over the past decade, the nation has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting that war, a figure that does not even include the high costs of prosecuting and jailing drug law offenders. It's hard to put a price on that aspect of the drug war since half of all inmates in federal prison today were busted for drugs.
Despite the enormous expense and growth of the prison population, only 7 percent of American adults now think the United States is winning the War on Drugs. Eighty-two percent disagree. The latest statistics on drug usage support that conclusion.
Former Daily Kos blogger Nate Silver turnedheads with his Obama-friendly election predictions in the New York Times, but CNN's Soledad O'Brien thinks his conclusions show no bias. Of course, the liberal CNN anchor just might have a blind spot for poll numbers favoring Obama.
"Nate Silver is very careful about focusing on the numbers. And he doesn't have a liberal bias in his calculations, which I think is why a lot of people follow what he has to say," O'Brien declared on Tuesday's Starting Point. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
So the meme is supposedly set. Final pre-election expectations are that the popular vote in the 2012 presidential contest will come in roughly deadlocked. Rasmussen and Gallup show Republican nominee Mitt Romney up by one point. Other polls show either a tie or slight lead for incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.
Set against this expectation, don't be surprised if someone in the press, perhaps even at one of the big networks, gets overexcited and projects Barack Obama the winner based on Tuesday's early exit polls without realizing that their scope and design have changed from previous presidential elections in two fundamental ways.