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It could have been an innocent mistake after all the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey has tons of questions you cant remember them all. But on the other hand you would think that it would be a question that is remembered particularly because it is such a hot topic right now. We’re talking about a question in the NBC/WSJ Poll that found by a wide 12 point margin most people see Obamacare as a bad Idea (48%-36% margin) and the fact that question was not mentioned during last night’s NBC News report about the NBC/WSJ effort.
Instead last night,NBC Nightly News anchor and progressive apologist  Brian Williams on skipped the result of that question and declared “people are evenly split” on “the President’s health care reform plan.” As you can see by graphic on the left, viewers could learn Williams was referring to what people say about enacting it: “pass” (46 percent) vs “don’t pass” (45 percent). Funny thing is that wasn’t really the question to which the results were referring.
MRC is reporting that the slide is very misleading, and doesn’t give a true picture of the  full question.

“Do you think it would be better to pass Barack Obama’s health care plan and make its changes to the health care system or to not pass this plan and keep the current health care system?” Yet the one-point gap was the closest-ever in the poll as “better to not pass this plan, keep current system” grew to 45 percent from 39 percent last September, a trend neither Williams nor Chuck Todd pointed out.

Williams did highlight how “most people tell us they don’t approve of the way President Obama has handled the health care issue, but,” he couldn’t resist adding, “they disapprove of how Republicans in Congress have handled it by an even wider margin.”

The full wording of the good vs bad idea question, #24 in the PDF of the findings: “From what you have heard about Barack Obama’s health care plan, do you think his plan is a good idea or a bad idea? If you do not have an opinion either way, please just say so.”

After MRC first reported this story they got an email from reporter Chuck Todd saying that it was unfair to both him and NBC. It his of his opinion that maintaining the for or against passage result was more newsworthy this week and in e-mail correspondence with a NewsBusters reader Todd pointed out that in previous reporting on previous polls he had highlighted the bad idea/ good idea result.

That of course doesn’t change the fact that saying that public opinion of Obamacare and the half reporting of actual question was totally biased, and one could argue that the the bad idea/ good idea result was much more newsworthy than “how is the Pres. handling vs the GOP?” But if the based things on a fair evaluation of newsworthiness  NBC News would no longer be known as the Obama News Network.

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