NBC Ignores Obama Disapproval at 54% in Own Poll, Yet Declares Americans 'Fed Up With Washington'
After NBC Nightly News completely ignored the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday, political director Chuck Todd appeared on Wednesday's Today to promote the survey but skipped the finding that President Obama's job approval rating sank to 40%, with 54% disapproval. [Listen to the audio]
Todd framed the poll results as evidence of an "exasperated public" being "fed up with Washington," rather than with Obama. The only mention of Obama during the segment came when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: "Impeach Obama."
By contrast, Democrats would hold up a sign for a day saying, "Stop Republicans."
Todd used the word "Washington" four times as the focus of Americans' displeasure, concluding: "They're really frustrated at Washington, that they're not doing their job, they say. Over 70% think that Washington should be doing more for this economy and they're not doing it, they're just sitting on their hands."
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell quickly noted the findings of a new CBS News poll. Unlike Todd, O'Donnell at least offered this single 4-second sentence: "The same poll finds President Obama with a 41% job approval rating." The graphic on-screen showed the President's disapproval at 50%.
Here is a full transcript of the August 6 segment on Today:
7:18 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Carson, so exciting to see you. And-
CARSON DALY: Hey, guys.
AL ROKER: You've got a guest in the Orange Room.
NATALIE MORALES: Yes, special guest.
CARSON DALY: We do. We have the results of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And we've got a special guest. Our political director here at NBC News, Chuck Todd, is joining me in the Orange Room.
CHUCK TODD: Hi.
DALY: Chuck, good to have you here this morning. Let's start right into this poll. What was the overall sort of takeaway or the general sentiment in this?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sign of the Times?; NBC/WSJ: 57% Would Carry Protest Sign for A Day]
TODD: Well, it's not just an angry public, it's not just a frustrated public at Washington, it's almost an exasperated public. We used this poll to try to understand how hard was it to dig out of the great recession. And these people are angry and they are fed up with Washington and throwing up their hands.
DALY: And there was one – there was one question asked in particular, I know, that caught your eye.
TODD: It did. We asked, "Okay, are you so upset you would carry a protest sign for a day?" 57% said they would like to carry a protest sign for a day. So we also said, "Okay, what would that sign say?"
DALY: And so let's break it down into the parties. We'll go right to – we'll start with the Democrats. What was – a word cloud that will sort of represent that. What sorts of themes come out here?
TODD: This is what Democrats, most Democrats, said they would put on their sign. You can see they said a lot of things, but the biggest thing, "Do your job Congress," "Stop Republicans," "Focus on our own country." That has to do with foreign policy. Check out what Republicans would put on their sign. The biggest thing, "Enforce immigration laws" – think about the border crisis.
DALY: "Follow the Constitution."
TODD: And then, "Impeach Obama." So the whole idea of impeachment, something Republicans are talking about.
DALY: That's a staggering number. I mean a lot of – to get off your couch and get out for a day and hold a sign. People are fed up.
TODD: They are. And they're really frustrated at Washington, that they're not doing their job, they say. Over 70% think that Washington should be doing more for this economy and they're not doing it, they're just sitting on their hands.
DALY: The question this morning from the Orange Room, what would you put on your sign? You can let us know, #ProtestSign.
Thank you, Chuck. Good to see you.
TODD: You got it, Carson.
DALY: Guys, back to you.
GUTHRIE: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.
Here is a transcript of the August 6 news brief on This Morning:
7:16 AM ET
NORAH O'DONNELL: A CBS News poll out this morning finds 34% of Americans blame Hamas for the fighting in Gaza. 6% blame Israel. But the largest number, 47%, blame both sides.
The same poll finds President Obama with a 41% job approval rating [50% disapprove]. And half of Americans [50%] disapprove how he's handling the Israeli-Palestinian crisis [33% approve].
— Kyle Drennen is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.