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.
“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.
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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.