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"Fair and Balanced" Fox Cherry-Picking Poll Data - Shows Only One Side

Reported by Janie - December 14, 2005

Yesterday (12/13) the hosts of Dayside interviewed Bob Beckel and Brad Blakeman about the war in Iraq and Bush's recent speeches on the war. During the course of the interview, Dayside host Juliet Huddy attempted to make a point that things are going well in Iraq, and that Bush is doing well, by showing the recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. However, she only portrayed one side of the information, and completely left out everything negative about both the war and Bush.

On two occasions during the segment, Fox displayed graphics with data from the recent polls.

The first stated:

Gallup Poll
42% Approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president
39% Approve of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq
Dec. 9 – 11 2005

Comment: Huddy lauded this as a success for Bush without mentioning that 59% of respondents actually disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, 58% feel that he does not have a plan for victory in Iraq, and that his overall disapproval rating is 55%! Is this what they consider "fair and balanced"?

This happened again shortly thereafter.

The second stated:

Life in Iraq: Percent Saying Good
7 in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well
6 in 10 Iraqis feel safe in their own neighborhoods
Two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead

Comment: These are fantastic numbers, and I was very pleased to see that the Iraqis are feeling better about their own lives, but the viewers of Dayside weren't getting the whole story. 46% of Iraqis say the country is better off than before the war, 44% feel that things are going well in the country (compared to the 71% that feel their own personal lives are better, which Huddy touted), while 52% feel things are going badly. Two-thirds of Iraqis oppose the presence of US and Coalition forces, 6 in 10 disapprove of how the US has operated in Iraq since the start of the war, and the gap between the Sunni and Shiites is continuing to grow (Sunni support of the war has decreased from 24% in 2004 to 4% - talking about winning the "hearts and minds").

Later in the segment, under the "Dayside Facts" banner at the bottom of the screen they included these statistics:

39 – 59% Disapprove of how Bush is handling Iraq
Bush's speeches on Iraq have not convinced Americans
38% say Bush has plan for Victory in Iraq
58% say Bush does not have plan for victory in Iraq
40 – 58% still disapprove of how Bush is handling economy

These statistics were aired without any mention from the hosts, as they attempted to appear mildly "fair and balanced" by displaying SOME poor poll numbers.

Comment: If the opinions of the Iraqis are so important to Huddy and the Right, why do they refuse to show how the Iraqis really feel? Are their opinions only good enough to use when it supports Bush?

Since Fox claims to be so "fair and balanced", wouldn't the application of that phrase mean that Huddy would give the audience all sides of this poll? Once again the Dayside viewers were left misinformed and were fed propaganda which virtually seemed scripted by Karl Rove himself.

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