CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network completely failed to report -- although NewsBusters reported it -- was that Americans also favored two conservative positions – passage of a balanced budget amendment, along with spending cuts and future spending caps.
CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."
Then he reported that President Obama and the Democrats will receive less blame than congressional Republicans if no deal is reached by the deadline, August 2.
During its news coverage from the end of the 1 p.m. EDT hour into the 6 p.m. EDT hour, CNN mentioned at least three times that 62 percent of those polled favored raising the debt ceiling with or without debt reduction. At least twice, the network reported that 64 percent of those polled wanted a plan with both spending cuts and tax increases.
And CNN made sure to report that if no deal is made before the deadline, August 2, only 30 percent would blame President Obama while 51 percent would blame Republicans. They also mentioned the poll result showing that only 33 percent of respondents see the Republicans as acting responsibly in the debt ceiling debate, compared with 51 percent for Obama.
Adhering to the standard Democratic talking points, Time managing editor Rick Stengel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer during the 6 p.m. EDT hour of The Situation Room that if tax rates go up in 2013, it's "not a tax hike," demanding that "this is something that Republicans have to get used to."
Stengel was reacting to a clip of Paul Ryan saying that if the Bush tax cuts are permitted to lapse in 2013, that's a "massive tax increase." Stengel ridiculed that as "Washington-speak."