wrapping up a report on the government shutdown for Thursday’s NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander eagerly promoted negative political fallout for Republicans: “Both parties are taking a hit in their approval ratings as a result these days. But the damage to the Republican brand appears to be proving to be much worse. A new Gallup poll…shows only 28% of Americans say they have a favorable view of the Republican Party, that’s the lowest number since they began asking that question twenty-one years ago.”
What Alexander didn’t bother to mention was an Associated Press poll that showed President Obama’s approval rating having dropped to 37%, with disapproval at 53%. Following Alexander’s report, co-host Matt Lauer made a feeble attempt to provide balance to the slanted coverage: “No picnic in that [Gallup] poll for the Democratic Party either, but the Republicans seem to be taking the bigger hit at the moment.” Again, no mention of Obama’s low approval rating.
Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “Then I saw a poll recently that Congress’s approval rating is now at 5%. Which makes you wonder, who is that 5%?” Lauer added: “Yeah, all-time low.”
While NBC censored news of Obama’s approval rating slipping to 37%, when an AP poll found George W. Bush’s approval hit the same number in March of 2006, anchor Brian Williams led NBC Nightly News with it.
In addition to selectively reporting the poll data, Alexander also derided congressional Republicans who accurately pointed out that not raising the nation’s debt limit wouldn’t necessarily result in a default: