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The media hype and President Obama's polling numbers

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Google "Obama foreign policy" and what pops up is a litany of articles about the Presidents sagging poll numbers, commentary by legendary wrongos like Dick Cheney about how bad President Obama has handled foreign policy, particularly in Iraq (and oh how ironic that is), Obama's "lethal presidency," and the like. Google "Obama economy" and you find articles about his failed economic policies, young workers being unable to find jobs, queries about whether Obama's "toast" - and the like. What's fascinating about all this is that people love the individual provisions of Obamacare, but don't support Obamacare; people are finding it easier to get jobs, but don't believe President Obama has juiced the economy; people hated the Iraq war and are war-weary, but criticize President Obama for failing to do enough to still the havoc in Iraq today. People are being misled - by the shallow, drippy media.

Most people get their news on the internet these days - and most people even believe what they read. If you read Drudge, the sky is falling (and it's all President Obama's fault); Fox, we're in immediate danger of being stripped of every right provided under the Constitution (and it's all President Obama's fault); the Blaze, Breitbart, it's Chicken Little time. Duck for cover, find a bunker, arm yourself and wait for the FEMA bus to cart you off to indoctrinate you into liberalism.

It's no wonder President Obama's poll numbers have fallen: The media reports every word spoken by every high-profile know-nothing who wants to speak, and they report it as fact and they report it as news and they care not about fact-checking or challenging the assertions or pointing out the unfairness of saddling President Obama's presidency with everything from the economy to the unrest in Iraq. We can be thankful for fact-checkers like Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, and others who try to correct the record, but by the time they do their work, whatever story is out there has grown legs.

The media hasn't kept score on the truth of what it covers for ever so long, and its score on actual reporting is far worse than the President's polling numbers. As Jon Stewart (one of the only trustworthy media sources left, it seems) pointed out, as the Iraq situation deteriorates, the media has featured Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who in 2001 urged the overthrow of Saddam Hussein (which in part contributed to the rise of ISIS, the bad boys making lethal noise in Iraq today), Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who warned, back in the day, about Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction; Paul Wolfowitz, who earnestly assured us when we invaded Iraq that it would have the ability to finance its own reconstruction. Then there's Dick (the Iraq war hawk himself) and Liz Cheney (the daughter with Daddy issues), writing an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (emphasis on opinion) on just how bad President Obama has made the situation in Iraq. Far from covering these pundits who were, when we invaded Iraq, wrong on absolutely everything, with a jaundiced eye, the media, observed Stewart, have “rushed to get the band back together again.”

With right-wing pundits hammering every move President Obama makes - from rescuing Bowe Bergdahl to ending the war in Iraq to Obamacare to the economy - and the media greedily sucking up every word, however faulty the facts, one would think that every president before President Obama had enjoyed sky high poll numbers throughout their respective presidencies. Except - not quite. Reagan's approval ratings sagged to 35%, Bush Sr.'s to 29%, and George W's bottomed out at 25%. In fact, George W's average approval rating throughout his presidency was 36.5%.

With the media inviting every opinion and treating it as fact, force-feeding the American public punditry without factual backup, failing to challenge the veracity of what's offered, and treating facts as fluid things, it's no wonder President Obama's approval ratings have sagged; the mind of the collective public is being filled with little more than the news version of the National Enquirer. Let's face it: If we have to watch Jon Stewart, a political comedian, for hard news, the news media has become nothing more than mouthpieces for the squeakiest wheels.

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