Thursday, December 16, 2010

The White House's little helpers? America’s media elites are still batting for Barack Obama

From Nile Gardiner at The Telegraph:

Media watchdog NewsBusters published an important story on Tuesday describing how The Washington Post had failed to highlight in its news coverage a key finding of the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll which showed unprecedented levels of public opposition to the White House’s controversial health care reform proposals:
A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law’s “lowest level of popularity ever.” But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”
The Post had another major piece on its survey on Wednesday morning, headlined “In poll, many still skeptical of GOP”, which went to great lengths to outline how:
Republicans may have made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people.
The article strikingly failed to make any mention of the fact that 52 percent of those surveyed in the ABC-Post poll opposed the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, a centerpiece of President Obama’s policy agenda. According to the poll, 37 percent strongly opposed the changes, while just 22 percent strongly backed them, down from 32 percent in March. In addition, the poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that Obama’s health care reform law should be either fully repealed or partly repealed.
This kind of omission really does matter at a time of intense public debate over a key policy issue, and is a reflection of an overwhelmingly liberal bias in what is commonly referred to as America’s “mainstream media.” It is perfectly understandable for The Washington Post or The New York Times to avoid referencing a key finding from a poll commissioned by another news organisation. But to ignore a hugely significant piece of information from its own survey? That is surely a bridge too far, and I very much doubt that major British publications of the same stature would do the same in a similar situation.
This episode also demonstrates a continuing unwillingness on the part of America’s liberal elites to acknowledge the sheer scale of public opposition to President Obama’s Big Government agenda, even after the massive electoral defeat for the Left in the midterm elections. They remain in a state of denial in the face of momentous political change, modern day Luddites in an increasingly conservative America.

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