Fox's Howard Kurtz and his cohort Ed Henry, who was filling in for Bret Baier this Friday evening were terribly upset that the media has been reporting the fact that President Obama's poll numbers have gone up quite a bit in the last month or so.
Apparently in their world, letting everyone know that President Obama's job approval ratings are at their highest rate since 2013 and that he jumped ten points from a month ago with "newfound backing among women, independents and millennials" means that any news organization that reported on it is in the tank for Obama and part of that grand conspiracy they love to perpetuate at every turn, which is that there is supposedly some nonexistent "liberal media" that's always going to report favorably on President Obama.
Don't we wish. Sorry Howie and Ed, but Wolf Blitzer and Scott Pelley and Politico are not members of this supposed "liberal media" cabal you continually pretend exists -- neither are the few other corespondents you cherry-picked, reporting on the fact that the stock market is doing really well now -- as much as you'd like for all of your viewers to believe it's so. I hate to break it to you boys, but refusing to regurgitate every one of your trumped up "scandals" for the year and giving them coverage they don't deserve doesn't make you "liberal," although sadly a good number of other media outlets have done just that.
We do have a problem with our corporate media in the United States, but the trouble with it is not what Kurtz and Henry are carping about here. The trouble is that too many of them have followed their lead and turned into Fox-lite. Facts don't matter but the wishes of your corporate sponsors and CEO's do, and don't ever let anyone get in the way of a narrative you want to perpetuate even if it's a load of crap as Howie and Ed did here.
Rough transcript below:
HENRY: For most of 2014, it was a year that President Obama might like to forget, but there's one group of folks touting a strong finish to the year for the president and already teeing up a comeback for 2015. Fox News media analyst and the host of Fox's Media Buzz, Howard Kurtz tells us whose pushing the rebound and why.
KURTZ: The rumblings began just weeks after the president's party was shellacked in the midterms. Politico, Are We Writing off Obama Too Soon? The Atlantic, Get Ready for the Obama Boomlet. And then it arrived. […]
Of course the president's approval rose only four points, within the margin of error to 48 percent, but the tone of his coverage has turned positive and here's why. As Mr. Obama has acted unilaterally on protecting millions of illegal immigrants, on climate change and in recognizing Cuba, many news organizations have been sympathetic, describing these as bold and historic steps, rather than spotlighting the political fall out over bypassing Congress. […]
And what's really boosting the president's stock now is this. […]
Slate calls it The Obama Boom. With the Dow up, gas prices down and unemployment at 5.8 percent, the White House is shedding its reluctance to talk up the recovery. […]
Even as Democrats acknowledge that recovery still hasn't reached many Americans.
This much is clear. If the Dow was sinking and unemployment and gas prices rising, Mr. Obama would certainly be getting the blame. Still, there's always a debate when the economy bounces back. How much credit does the president deserve?
HENRY: And Howie, it's interesting because I put out on Facebook today that we were going to be doing this piece and one of my friends said look, I'm driving around for the holidays, maybe with family, gas prices are down and a lot of people are talking about that. We've got to note some of the positive things out there in the economy for the president, but it seems to me that when folks in the media are doing these pieces what an amazing year it was for the president, they are leaving out maybe, not the first half, but the first 11 months?
KURTZ: Well, those lower gas priced feel nice Ed, but the VA scandal, which you touched on earlier, the Secret Service scandal, the crisis at the border, these are all stories that didn't help the president. Now it's important that we do give credit to a president when things are improving, especially on something like the economy, but we can't suffer from ADD and this was a year when the Democrats ran away from their president and they got clobbered at the polls.
HENRY: Right and the year started with the president in January telling The New Yorker Magazine that ISIS is the JV squad. They turned out to be a little bit more than that and ahead of the state of the union we're going to see a lot more of these pieces, but it's interesting because you say, people are playing up some of that positive news, but leaving out some of the more negative points, I suppose.
KURTZ: This is a trend that's brewing. We'll keep an eye on it.
It's a trend that's brewing alright and one that has been for years, just not the way Kurtz described here. Once again it's upside-down land over at Fox: The Big Lie The Media’s Telling You About Obama’s Approval Rating:
If you’ve spent any time at all paying attention to the mainstream, or what is often called the “liberal” media, you might be under the impression that the country is turning on President Obama — that his approval rating has never been lower. The only problem with that meme is that it’s simply not true.
The news media reminders arrive almost daily now: President Obama’s approval rating is low and going lower. McClatchy Newspapers highlighted the “dropping approval ratings,” while the Washington Post declared “President Obama’s approval ratings have plunged to record lows.” The Christian Science Monitor noted the numbers have “plummeted.” The Washington Examiner stressed the president’s approvals were “sinking to historic lows,” while an Atlantic headline announced, “Obama’s Sinking Approval Could Drag Democrats Down With Him.”
Source: Media Matters
A plummeting presidential approval rating right before a midterm election definitely adds drama to the news cycle and it has had the effect of scaring Democratic candidates away from the President, but if anyone would actually sit down and look at the numbers, they’d see that Obama’s approval ratings have hardly budged since the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact, they aren’t much lower than they were in October of 2012, right before he was reelected in a landslide. [...]
In the weeks leading to the 2012 election, things weren’t much better. There was a big uptick immediately before the election, probably in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent remarks, but before that, the President was only at 44 percent.
No, his approval ratings are not stellar. They’re only 3 percent over his all-time low of 39 percent. Historically, Obama’s lowest ratings are higher than the lowest of any President since John F. Kennedy. That’s right. At Saint Ronnie Reagan’s lowest, he was at just 35 percent. George W. Bush once hit 19 percent. Read on...