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'Nightly News' Teases 'Tonight Show' Appearance; Still Ignores NBC Poll Showing Obama Approval in the Tank

For the second consecutive night, Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams continued its refusal to cover the findings in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in which President Obama’s job approval rating hit a record low. 54 percent of Americans disapprove of how Obama is doing his job, while merely 40 percent approve in what is his lowest percentage since he took office in January 2009.

As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen reported on Wednesday morning, NBC’s morning news show Today did discuss the poll, but NBC News political director Chuck Todd ignored Obama’s job approval/disapproval numbers. Instead, his takeaway from this polling data was that an “exasperated public” is “fed up with Washington” and not Obama in particular. Drennen reported that [t]he only mention of Obama during the segment when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: ‘Impeach Obama.’”

Unknown ObjectThus far, a four-second mention on CBS This Morning on Tuesday was the only mention on any of the three major broadcast networks of Obama’s record low approval ratings.

The poll also found that, 71 percent of Americans believe that the country is “off on the wrong track,” 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling foreign policy (while only 36 percent approve) and 47 percent have either “somewhat negative” or “very negative” feelings toward the president.

The lack of mentioning Obama’s job approval/disapproval ratings on NBC Nightly News is nothing new as it was ignored in June as well. That month, 41 percent of Americans said in the poll that “the performance of the Obama administration” had “gotten worse” in the previous 12 months” In addition, 42 percent approved of the job he was doing while, like we see in the most recent poll, 54 percent disapproved. 

In June, Today did cover Obama’s declining poll numbers, with this frank admission from Todd: “This is as if the public is saying, ‘Hey, buddy, your presidency is over. You may not believe it is, but your ability to lead and convince us that you have the right policies anymore, we're not listening.’”

As opposed to including a mention of the poll and Obama’s poor ratings, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams did provide a synergetic tease to Wednesday night’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in which Today and NBC Nightly News weekend anchor Lester Holt will be playing bass guitar with the show’s house band The Roots. 

— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.