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Alexandria, VAThis weeks CBS poll on President Bush put his approval rating at 34 percent, an all-time low that some of the most influential media in America were quick to highlight. But what they and CBS failed to fairly tell Americans is that the CBS poll relied on responses from far more Democrats than Republicans and that nearly all the questions were crafted to cast the President in a negative light, reported the Media Research Center today in its Media Reality Check.

A posting of poll results listed 409 Democratic respondents versus 272 Republican respondents. CBS then weighted the results to effectively count 289 Republicans versus 381 Democrats.

CBS hyped the 34 percent approval rating on its CBS Evening News and on its morning newscasts. ABC promoted the CBS poll on the Feb. 28 Good Morning America. NBCs Today promoted the all-time low twice in its Feb. 28 news reports and once in a Matt Lauer interview with Chris Matthews on March 1. Katie Couric, not surprisingly, mentioned the poll result without citing CBS by name. None of those reports, however, ever questioned the polls internals, which featured more Democrats than Republicans.

Further, recent presidential approval-rating polls show a massive gap between Bushs approval and disapproval ratings of 25 percent (34-59), which is far outside the usual margin. A recent Fox News-Opinion Dynamics poll, however, had a gap of only 3 percent (44 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove).

Which media-outlet polls are trusted and which are not? asked Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center. If the pollsters for Fox News Channel are dismissed or ignored for their work for a perceived pro-Bush channel, then should the pollsters for CBS, the network where Dan Rather had to resign his anchor chair for sloppy Bush-bashing journalism, be treated as trustworthy and non-partisan?


o schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen OBoyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004.