On Wednesday, both NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America exclusively cited the latest Gallup/USA Today poll , which shows significantly more public support for ObamaCare than other recent polls . Both programs failed to mention several polls that continued to show public opposition to the massive legislation.
NBC Today co-host Meredith Vieira used the Gallup poll to grill Republican Senator Jim DeMint, suggesting the tide of public opinion had turned in favor of the bill: "by a margin of nine percent, Americans say it was a good thing that Congress passed this bill. Half describe their reaction as enthusiastic or pleased. 48 percent called the bill a good first step. So who is out of touch with the public? The Democrats or the Republicans?" DeMint replied: "we would expect hype with - with all the hype and propaganda - that we would get a bump....I don't think the anger's gonna go away. I think you're gonna see it continue to build."
On Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Bill Weir noted the poll after Democratic strategist James Carville touted it: "The new USA Today Gallup poll say 50 percent, or just under, 49 percent, say passing this bill is a good thing. 40 percent call it a bad thing." Weir then turned to Republican strategist Kevin Madden and wondered: "Those who are opposed to it, though, are very angry. Will that be enough? Will there be enough steam left in that anger come November?"
Despite media optimism over the Gallup poll, the latest Bloomberg News poll showed 50% of Americans opposed ObamaCare, with only 38% in favor of it. A CNN/ Opinion Research poll found an even wider gap, with 58% disapproving of the bill and 40% supporting it. Neither Today nor Good Morning America reported those findings.
Meanwhile, the CBS Early Show skipped the Gallup poll in favor of the latest CBS News poll , which showed that 48% of Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling of health care, with 47% approving of his performance on the issue. Despite those rather unflattering poll numbers, co-host Harry Smith still did his best to put a positive spin on it:
A new CBS News poll shows President Obama gets a bump from health care reform.... It was time to celebrate at the White House yesterday, as President Obama signed the health care bill into law. The latest CBS News poll shows public approval of Mr. Obama's performance on health care rose 6 percentage points to 47% after the bill passed Sunday night. Overall, 48% of those polled still disapprove.
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Bill Plante revealed even more abysmal numbers in the CBS poll: "And in the new CBS News poll, the percentage of people who think the new law will help them has gone down from 20% to 16%. While more people, 78%, think health care reform will hurt them, or have no effect at all." But like Smith, Plante also looked for the silver lining: "Still, our poll shows 52% say it's a major accomplishment for the President."
The NBC and ABC morning shows neglected to mention the CBS News poll.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.