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The me51 Report: No. 5


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Poll: Half of U.S. says press pro-Obama

Half of Americans think the press is trying to help Sen. Barack Obama win the presidential election, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports.

In an automated survey of 1000 likely voters, Rasmussen found that 49 percent of respondents believed reporters would favor Obama in their coverage this fall, compared with just 14 percent who expected them to boost Sen. John McCain. The number of Americans who see pro-Obama bias in the press has increased by five percent in the last month.

According to Rasmussen s numbers, less than a quarter of voters 24 percent now trust the press to report on the election without bias.

People are looking at reporters the way reporters want us to look at Wikipedia, said Rasmussen Reports CEO Scott Rasmussen. It s useful information, but you ve got to check the source.

Rasmussen suggested that glowing coverage of the run-up to Obama s trip abroad may have contributed to the perception that reporters sympathize with his campaign.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania s Annenberg Public Policy Center, suggested a different source for the public s concerns about bias: the press itself.

As the press covers reports of disparities in amount of coverage, Jamieson said, the belief, often reinforced in conservative media, that the press are biased against the Republican should increase.

Jamieson pointed to a study released last week by the Tyndall Report, a media-monitoring group, that showed Obama vastly outstripping McCain in press coverage, as the kind of report that would magnify this perception of bias among non-Obama supporters.

Among the largest group of non-Obama supporters Republicans fears of slanted coverage did run especially high, with 78 percent of respondents saying the media would attempt to assist Obama s bid. A mere 21 percent of Democrats suspected similar bias in favor of McCain.

Rasmussen said he was unsurprised that Republicans suspected pro-Obama leanings among reporters, as the finding was consistent with his firm s previous polling on media bias. If anything, Rasmussen said, he was surprised that there weren t more respondents alleging that the media supported McCain.

There s been a netroots push to say the media s biased in the other direction, Rasmussen explained. According to this poll, any such online effort has not shifted public opinion more broadly.

It s not just the general election that s bringing out voters concerns that the media might be supporting Obama. Asked a backward-looking question, about which major presidential candidate Obama, McCain, or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had received the most favorable coverage overall, 57 percent said it was Obama. Twenty-one percent of respondents named McCain, with 11 percent choosing Clinton.

This result follows similar polling data that emerged during the Democratic primaries. A Pew survey conducted from May 30-June 2 showed 37 percent of Americans felt that Obama received preferential treatment from reporters during the Democratic primary contests. Only eight percent of respondents in that poll said the press favored Clinton.

Another Pew poll, conducted in late December 2007, showed 25 percent of Americans believed that coverage of the 2008 election was biased toward Democrats, compared to just 9 percent who saw a pro-Republican bias. In 2003, a similar question showed a more even split in responses: 22 percent of voters said the media tended to favor Democrats, but 17 percent saw bias in support of Republicans, suggesting that conservative voters are especially concerned about media coverage in 2008.

Rasmussen said his firm would continue to poll this question roughly once a month, but may test it more frequently in the fall, when the pace of the campaign picks up and political tensions are running higher

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Commentary
Melanie Scarborough: Pelosi & Co. enabled Bush s failures

Melanie Scarborough

2008-07-21 07:00:00.0

Current rank: # 1 of 7,453

WASHINGTON -

H ouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently pronounced George W. Bush a total failure, which is like Jesse Jackson criticizing someone for not controlling his tongue. While it is true that the majority of the American people have lost confidence in Bush (his approval rating has fallen to 29 percent), their opinion of Pelosi and her ilk is even worse. Congress now has the lowest approval rating ever recorded: nine percent.

That may be because Americans understand what Pelosi hopes they don t: A president can fail the American people only if Congress allows it. 

For insance, Pelosi numbers the war in Iraq among Bush s failings. But as Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the 1952 case regarding presidential powers (resulting from Harry Truman s attempt to control steel mills during the Korean War), Congress alone controls the raising of revenues and their appropriation and may determine in what manner and by what means they shall be spent for military and navy personnel. [The president] has no monopoly on war powers whatever they are. While Congress cannot deprive the president of the command of the army and navy, only Congress can provide him any army or navy to command.

If Pelosi is so convinced that the war in Iraq is a failure, why did she shepherd through Congress last month a $162 billion emergency spending bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The majority of the American people have come to see this war as a costly mistake that needs to be brought to a close, said Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. This legislation brings us no closer to that goal.

Pelosi did not thwart the president s war-spending bill; she engineered its success. How does that make Bush a failure?

Pelosi also cites the troubled economy as one of the president s failings, but the escalated costs of living reflect primarily the high price of oil from the Middle East. Yet Pelosi has devoted much of her career to ensuring American dependence on foreign oil. She remains an ardent opponent of offshore drilling restrictions that even some Democrats are now rethinking and likely would prevent a vote on expanded drilling from reaching the House floor. The speaker also is opposed to allowing oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

So if she is determined to keep the United States hostage to Middle Eastern oil producers, by what contorted logic does she attribute that failure to Bush?

The one area in which even many conservatives agree Bush has been a failure is the protection of civil liberties. He has used the powers of the presidency to punish dissent, to conduct searches without probable cause, to collect information and keep files on innocent citizens, and to expand government intrusion and control into virtually every aspect of life. What did Pelosi do to stop him?

She voted for the Patriot Act in 2001. As speaker, she has done nothing to constrain the Secret Service and its egregious infringements such as relegating protesters to free speech zones away from the president s earshot. Most recently, she led the House in capitulating on the FISA surveillance law, protecting Bush by granting immunity to telecom companies that spied on citizens at his behest.

Lawsuits alleging telecom companies violated the law by conducting domestic spying without permission of the FISA court would have revealed the scope of the government s surveillance program, which citizens are entitled to know. A lawsuit also would have forced courts to settle the question of whether the spying was legal. Granting immunity to the telecom companies and, by extension, to Bush represents another victory for the president enabled by the failure of Pelosi & Co.

To appreciate what an utter failure it is, try to imagine an earlier Congress protecting Richard Nixon from lawsuits that threatened exposure of his misdeeds.

Finally, consider this: It took George W. Bush six years to forfeit the approval of most Americans. Pelosi led Congress to single-digit approval ratings in only 17 months. Her declaration that Bush is a total failure is like a parent complaining that her child is out of control while doing nothing to rein him in. If Bush is indeed a total failure, it is because Congress allows him to be.

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Do they have a special class where they teach you neo-cons cut and paste? Because it is obvious some of you guys rarely have an original thought. Which I guess is good since all you can talk about is hate this guy hate that guy.. never really about who you like, always about who you hate. So keep to the cut n paste, it's better that you let others think for you because it's all squeezed out of the lower end of the same intestine anyway.

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