Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Media — Rick Moran @ 6:52 pm

The death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi occurred early Thursday morning, almost 3 days ago as I write this. Do you notice anything missing in press reporting of this huge story?

Usually, within 24 hours of a major event, we have at least a half dozen “flash polls” that gives us a snapshot of the American people’s attitudes toward that particular story. And, if the story is bad news for the President, we usually get the headline “Bush Approval Drops to Lowest Level in the History of Human Civilization” or some other eye catching drivel.

Have the pollsters taken the weekend off? Maybe they’re watching the World Cup. Or maybe the possibility of a significant bump upwards in the President’s approval ratings would spoil the appetites of network news executives prior to their weekend barbecues.

Whatever the reason, the lack of polls on Zarqawi’s death is eerie, almost like The Cone of Silence has descended over the news media, and a temporary blackout on gauging public opinion has been called for. In fact, I was only able to find one poll (part of a poll, actually) and it was done by Investors Business Daily:

The president’s lagging poll numbers got a swift boost from Thursday’s news that U.S. warplanes had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted-terrorist in Iraq.

Polling done on Thursday for the IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index gave Bush a 44.2 rating, up from 39.1 in the prior days of June and 38.9 in May. The last time the Index reached this level was in December, when it hit 44.3.

Readings below 50 are negative. The complete June index will be released on Tuesday.

Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, said the sudden rise in sentiment on a range of issues, including America’s standing in the world, suggests Bush’s bounce is “totally attributable” to Zarqawi.

(Via Drudge)

Is it possible that news executives believe this story isn’t important enough for one of their instant polls? Well, within 24 hours of the NSA phone records story breaking last month, ABC was on the job using their polling resources to get the public’s reaction. And within 24 hours of Saddam’s capture, every major news outlet had polls out that included the significant jump in the President’s approval ratings. There was even a quickie poll overnight about public reaction to the President’s immigration speech last month.

This is the most significant war story since at least the bombing of the Samarra Shrine in February after which, within 48 hours, pollsters were asking the American people about the likelihood of a civil war in Iraq. It begs the question:

Where are the polls?

Not positing a conspiracy theory here, just asking a legitimate question.


  1. Bush Trumpets Iraq Terror Leader’s Death

    President Bush was celebrating “a good week for the cause of freedom,” with the killing of terrorist

    Trackback by Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator — 6/10/2006 @ 7:32 pm

  2. The antique MSM can’t poll this one. They’re too busy trying to find someone else to surrender to. Their white flags are getting dusty. Great job by all the guys and girls in Iraq, now find every sucker that stands up as a replacement and send him to join the rest of the goat ropers. I understand Zarqawi had met his 72 virgins they were turned in the pen with him strapped buck naked face down over a log. Who said 72 billy goats wouldn’t know what to do. They fought, but finally took turns on each end.

    Comment by Scrapiron — 6/10/2006 @ 7:33 pm

  3. Looking at the Rasmussen poll, bouncing Zarq didn’t bounce Bush’s numbers.

    That might be a function of the near ubiquitous “it won’t mean a thing” reporting from the media on the issue. But what might matter is once the followup raids are done and we are able to see just how much other stuff was gained, we might get a bounce later.

    Although the bombings continue in Baghdad, one has to expect that some number of them were already approved and “in the pipeline” when we zapped Zarq. Give a week for those operations to work their way through the pipeline and for some indication of what the additional raids (56 raids so far is the number I heard last) have netted to come in.

    Also, while bombings do continue, it seems the casualty rate has decreased. Through the past month and a half or so, Iraq was running at near 30 civilians a day average death rate. We seem to be running below that since “the event”.

    Comment by crosspatch — 6/10/2006 @ 7:53 pm

  4. [...] Rick Moran finds more proof that the MSM is complicit in the Bush bashing: Usually, within 24 hours of a major event, we have at least a half dozen “flash polls” that gives us a snapshot of the American people’s attitudes toward that particular story. And, if the story is bad news for the President, we usually get the headline “Bush Approval Drops to Lowest Level in the History of Human Civilization” or some other eye catching drivel. [...]

    Pingback by Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » Our Victory Against Al-Qaeda — 6/10/2006 @ 8:56 pm

  5. Now we have the nutcakes on the left ‘banning’ Ann Coulter’s book in New Jersey. When was that last time we had a mass book burning/banning and who was in charge. Think Germany in the 30s. Ann is 100% correct about the Jersey Girls, they turned grief into greed within 30 day of 9-11. Whatever they have said or done since then is stricly for the camera exposure and money. Ain’t no grief in those broads.

    Comment by Scrapiron — 6/11/2006 @ 12:11 am

  6. Interesting observation. Frankly though, I’m more interested in Iraqi polls, especially with regard to the Sunni population.

    Comment by Andy — 6/11/2006 @ 1:36 am

  7. Now we know for sure. After the phony and impossible story of the ’soldiers’ beating a dead horse (Zarqawi) will the dense still believe anything that has the ‘AP’ label on it? I haven’t believed anything from the AP or Reuter’s for months and they prove me right on a daily basis. There really is more truth in a Super Market Tabloid than in any of the antique MSM outlets.

    Comment by Scrapiron — 6/11/2006 @ 6:52 am

  8. It was an arranged assassination. They are trying to fugure out if MSM, the ‘KOS crowd’ were informing, or which country informed and why.

    Comment by Bloghop — 6/11/2006 @ 10:23 am

  9. Actually, I am glad there is not a spate of “instant polling”. I think those things are ridiculous. All they manage to do is to capture the buzz of the moment when only the first, surface level impression of an event are current. Good news might spike up the administrations numbers, bad news might spike them down. What do we learn from that that we couldn’t have predicted? The relevant question is how the information is assimilated into people’s minds, and what, if any, are the longer term consequences for how they feel about the administration’s performance.

    We see this all the time with things like major speeches (SOTU the obvious example). The president’s side (no matter which president) will trumpet an instant poll which inevitably shows some uptick, and use that as an anchor point for an ongoing spin campaign.

    We all have seen this often enough to see through it all, haven’t we?

    BTW, as pointed out above, Rasmussen does a daily tracking poll with a very pro-Bush sampling strategy, and they have found no movement whatsoever over the two days since the capture.

    So maybe the leftie spinners can complain that the big bad MSM is suppressing the “news” that Bush remains historically unpopular despite the capture!

    Comment by Tano — 6/11/2006 @ 1:28 pm

  10. Not even Fox News issued a poll.

    Comment by Svenghouli — 6/12/2006 @ 1:35 am

  11. I get the feeling that the Zarqawi story is a bit over the heads of the general pop. I’m enlisted and I haven’t heard a peep from my battalion about it. I’m support, but still, it tells me that people are just trying to ignore some things going on in Iraq. It’s either Iraq is something they don’t want to talk about, or Zarqawi’s death is something that they don’t grasp the significance of.

    Rick, I’m a defector from the conservative movement but I must tell you that your site is by and large improperly named and now in the category of irony as I find you one of the more level headed conservative bloggers out there.

    Comment by RonB — 6/12/2006 @ 3:52 am

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