Does CBS Think the CBS Poll Doesn’t Count?

Discussing the failed auto bailout on CBS Evening News (12/12/08):

KATIE COURIC: And it’s almost, meanwhile, turning to Washington, Bob, impossible to figure out just what happened to this auto bailout in the Senate. There’s all this finger pointing going on. What is your take? Can you explain it to us in simple terms?

BOB SCHIEFFER: I think frankly what happened, Katie, is that this is overwhelmingly unpopular, bailing out these auto companies with the public in general. And every poll suggests that. These leaders of the auto industry came to town first in their jet planes and now you find that the members of the union are not willing to consider a pay cut for the next two years. It was a very easy vote for Republicans to vote to block this thing. They were just doing what their constituents across the country kind of wanted them to do. That may not be the right thing, but I think in the end that’s really what did them in.

Every poll suggests that bailing out the auto industry is overwhelmingly unpopular? Actually, no–really, the polls are all over the map on the auto bailout, ranging from a CNN/Opinion Research poll (12/1-2/08) where the public is opposed 61 percent to 36 percent to an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll (12/6-8/08) finding 47 percent to 42 percent support for a bailout. One of the polls that did not find an auto rescue to be overwhelmingly unpopular was CBS‘s own–the network’s December 4-7 poll found 45 percent approving of a bailout and 44 percent disapproving. Guess Schieffer doesn’t read his network’s own polls–or doesn’t trust them.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.