Another day, another damning poll for President Bush to ignore or downplay, depending on whether the mainstream media forces his hand by actually acknowledging it. Yesterday, they felt obliged to cite the CBS poll that had his job approval rating at a droopy 34%, yet turned a blind eye on the poll by Rasmussen Reports in which just 39% of Americans believe we're winning the war on terror, with 36% convinced we're losing to the terrorists.
Today, the Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows that only one in five troops wants to stay "as long as they are needed," as Bush's "strategery" has called for. 72% think we should leave within the next year, with nearly 25% saying we should exit now. So how much play did this poll receive? Almost as little as yesterday's Rasmussen poll.
Yes, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times cited it today in his op-ed piece, but a news article revealing this poll's findings was nowhere to be found in the paper. The networks and cable news also treated these figures like a chicken stricken with bird flu. In fact, on ABC World News Tonight, in which anchor Elizabeth Vargas snagged an exclusive interview with President Bush, she cited neither the Zogby nor the Rasmussen poll. Taken together these two polls spell out a dangerous convergence for this White House (that is, if the national media was reporting on them), a nexus of thought of both U.S. citizens and U.S. troops: it's time to leave Iraq; it's clear our presence is making matters worse, weakening our national security and fueling an insurgency with no end in sight.
But Vargas instead tosses Bush the softball of his low job approval rating, which Bush predictably shrugs off with canned mendacity: "If I worried about polls, I would be - I wouldn't be doing my job."
So she mentions the poll about his dismal job approval rating (providing no follow-up to his lame reply), but not the two polls that actually shed light on the underlying cause of his feeble numbers.
Two days. Two damaging polls. Both dead on arrival:
U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War