USA Today’s Impeachment-Push Poll
If there’s anyone left in America who still thinks the national newspapers aren’t partisan, they must have missed the front page of USA Today on July 24. The banner headline across the top read, “USA Split on Trump Impeachment.” It took a poll attempting to figure out very publicly whether the voters want Trump impeached yet.
Reporters Susan Page and Emma Kinery proclaimed a dark omen in the results, which is why the newspaper asked the poll question. They said, “Just six months after his inauguration, Americans already are split down the middle, 42 percent-42 percent, over whether President Trump should be removed from office, a new USA TODAY/iMediaEthics Poll finds.”
What’s the impeachable offense? If a national poll were to emerge with a 42-42 tie over the belief that the moon is made of Swiss cheese, would the subsequent analysis focus on the concentration of moon matter or the irrationality of 42 percent of the American people?
It doesn’t matter that the prospect for impeachment is zero with Republicans in control of Congress. “The results,” they reported, “underscore how quickly political passions have become inflamed both for and against the outsider candidate who won last year’s campaign in a surprise.”
Translation: The media’s passions have been inflamed because Trump surprised them by beating Hillary Clinton. The media, like the rest of the Democrats, have refused to accept the election results. They believe it’s an illegitimate presidency.
It doesn’t matter at all to them that recent polls show Clinton remains every bit as unpopular today as she was in November. It doesn’t matter at all to them that Democrats can’t win a special election and remain in the wilderness. President Trump must go.
Here’s what’s weird about this poll: Trump’s approval rating is 44 percent, and 51 percent disapprove. That’s actually a better result than most national polls. It’s also strange that only 27 percent said they believe there’s enough evidence now to impeach Trump, and another 30 percent expect that such evidence will surface … eventually.
USA Today turned to “the people” — Trump-hating people — to comment on the poll. One was Vera Peete of Antioch, California, who said, “I don’t really trust him — all the things he’s done while he’s in office, all of the lies, the investigation that goes on with him, the things he says to his staff.”
Peete was identified as an independent who voted for Clinton, so the idea of hating a president who piles on the lies and is dogged by investigations looks pretty ridiculous, given Bill and Hillary Clintons’ history of lying and scandal. Nowhere in the paper did these reporters find space for a pro-Trump voter — a voter who actually elected this president.
Instead, USA Today kept piling on doom and gloom about America’s relentless turmoil and unease. The writers said: “More than a third, 36 percent, say Trump isn’t likely to complete his first term, for whatever reason. Only about one in four, 27 percent, express confidence he’ll serve all four years of his term. Even one in 10 Republicans doubt he’ll finish his tenure.”
A look at the actual poll results demonstrated that the paper couldn’t even report its own results accurately. Their pollster found a clear majority of 57 percent believing Trump will finish his first term — 27 percent said “definitely will,” and another 30 percent said “probably will.” Only 36 percent disagreed.
Now, imagine if a national newspaper had asked voters in 2009 whether then-President Barack Obama should be impeached, or questioned whether he would finish his term. The left would have exploded in rage over the inherent racism in such preposterous questions. After all, at that point, Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress. Who thought that was plausible?
As we can see, plausibility has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the media’s relentless partisanship and scheming with poll questions.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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