The mission statement of ABC News, and other media outlets, appears to be this: It’s our job to protect you from reality. The Biden administration is crumbling under the weight of record high gas prices and inflation and now what’s seen as an ineffectual response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here’s the last five polls of Biden’s approval rating: 38, 39, 40, 38, 37.
Only one of these polls has been covered by the network morning and evening newscasts over the week and that one was produced by ABC News. On Monday’s Good Morning America, Mary Bruce allowed a scant 10 seconds to the ABC News/Washington Post survey finding the President at his lowest point ever: “The big picture, the President is going into this speech in a very difficult position. Our latest poll shows he has just a 37 percent approval rating. That’s the lowest point of his presidency.”
Here’s the entirety of the polling mentions on Monday’s GMA.
In a more general sense, she added, “But the president is also going to have to tackle many challenges here at home, everything from inflation to rising gas prices and the pandemic.”
On Sunday’s Good Morning America, Deputy Political Director Averi Harper managed an additional 37 seconds on another gloomy finding from the network’s own poll: “If you look at our latest ABC/Washington Post poll, 75 percent of Americans say the economy is in not a great or poor place. That is going to be a concern for this White House going forward on top of a new crisis that is the Russian invasion in Ukraine.”
Looking at the Sunday and Monday broadcasts of Good Morning America, as well as the Sunday World News Tonight, those 47 seconds were it for the network morning and evening newscasts. The only other exception came briefly on Sunday’s This Week. On that show, reporter Jon Karl was admittedly tough on Biden:
His approval ratings are at the lowest point of his presidency. Truly grim. If you look at his approval rating, it’s virtually indistinguishable from where Donald Trump was at the various low points of his presidency.
Not mentioned on any of these shows, however, were the devastating results on mental fitness. You have to go to ABCNews.com to find it:
There’s also the matter of Biden’s personal attributes, which track generally with his approval overall. Forty-three percent say he can be trusted in a crisis; 52% think not. Just 36% call him a strong leader, down 7 points since last measured during the 2020 campaign; 59% don’t see him this way. And 40% think he has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively, down 11 points from spring 2020; 54% think not.
The Washington Post, ABC’s partner in polling, buried the bad news on page A-2 of the print edition. The article, by Dan Balz, Scott Clement and Emily Guskin, didn’t get to that point until paragraph 18 of a 25 paragraph story.
Click “expand” to read how the Post finally covered it:
On an even more personal question, 54 percent say they do not think Biden has the mental sharpness it takes to serve as president, while 40 percent say he does. The last time this was asked in a Post-ABC poll was in May 2020. At that time, the findings were roughly reversed: 51 percent said candidate Biden possessed the mental sharpness needed to be president compared with 43 percent who said he did not.
Not surprisingly, Republicans and Democrats have wholly opposite views on this question. Among independents, a critical group in the upcoming election, 59 percent offer a negative assessment of the president’s mental sharpness, a rise of 13 points since May 2020.
The Biden administration is cratering on almost every metric. The network newscasts are still trying to hide the awful numbers. But clearly, they are failing.
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Partial transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more.
Good Morning America
WHIT JOHNSON: I want to turn to President Biden’s state of the union address coming up on Tuesday. Americans facing a variety of economic concerns, rising inflation and worries of higher energy costs because of the Russian invasion into Ukraine. How is the President expected to reassure the public?
AVERI HARPER (deputy political director): If you talk to the folks at the White House there are hopes that the president uses this speech in order to convince the American people that the economy is moving in the right direction. If you look at our latest ABC/Washington Post poll, 75 percent of Americans say the economy is in not a great or poor place. That is going to be a concern for this White House going forward on top of a new crisis that is the Russian invasion in Ukraine. That is something we’ll be continuing to watch closely on Tuesday. There are also reports that the president could be taking that message out on the road after the State of the Union.
Good Morning America
MARY BRUCE: The president, we are told, is likely going to highlight the steps he’s taken to fight back against Putin’s invasion and to support the Ukrainian people. He’s also likely to tout the united response from the west. But the president is also going to have to tackle many challenges here at home, everything from inflation to rising gas prices and the pandemic. The President also likely to hit on big agenda items, much of which remains stalled here on the hill. The big picture, the President is going into this speech in a very difficult position. Our latest poll shows he has just a 37% approval rating. That’s the lowest point of his presidency.