February 22nd, 2009
09:03 AM ET
4 years ago

Media treatment of Obama fair, majority say

Most Americans think the media is fair on Obama.
Most Americans think the media is fair on Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans think the media's been fair in its treatment of President Obama.

Fifty-five percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday say they believe the news media's been fair in covering Obama since he was inaugurated as President on January 20. Twenty-six percent suggest that the media's not been critical enough, with 18 percent feeling that the news media's been too critical.

But the poll indicates that there is a partisan divide.

"Democrats and Independents view media coverage of Obama as fair. But 56 percent of Republicans say the media have not been critical enough of Obama," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, with 1,046 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Virginia

    Obama has done a lot after being in office only one month. Given the mess he inherited, I think he has done a wonderful job so far. Let him alone and let him do his job.

    February 22, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Brian

    John in Tampa... do you read anything besides CNN? This was started by the housing crisis, from loosening the mortgage lending rules by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and they were warned to fix it by the Bush Administration. Republicans didn't have the majority at that time.

    Why is the media not grilling these guys on lobbyists, lies, special interest earmarks "pork", what happended top "Hope"? All I hear is FEAR. The media is definitely not being fair.

    Politics is cyclical. I thought it might take 4 to 6 years to vote the dumbacrats out of power. Now, I predict it will happen in at least one house in 2010.

    February 22, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. John G

    The media loves Obama. They have since the campaign. That's why he won. Every other candidate was treated like they were running for office, Obama was treated like he was competing in a beauty contest.

    The media got Obama elected so now they are treating him MORE than fairly. He would have to screw up really bad to get the media to come out against him and amazingly enough blowing almost a trillion dollars on a spending package disguised as "stimulus" doesn't qualify as a bad enough screw up.

    February 22, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. John Wilson

    I think the media is still giving Obama a long, long honeymoon, and I'm an Independent...

    They should have addressed his speech regarding his willingness to be friendly with Muslims, followed up within a day of his giving Gates and the Army approval to launch still another unmanned Predator attack on civilians in Afghanistan.

    They should have hammered him on the 5 Democrats he wanted in his cabinet who he knew had significant tax problems: when asked about the latest, Daschle: Do you still stand behind him? His reply was "Absolutely." That is arrogance by any standard and it is shameful. It was lucky for us that the very next day, Daschle himself dropped out.

    They really should have hammered him on continuing Bush's war, in fact, by expanding it by sending 17, 000 more troops into Afghanistan. We need to get out of Iraq & Afghanistan and stop enlarging our Empire; acting tough to appease the war hawks is not any change I can believe in.

    They should have hammered him on leaving an "Exception provision" open in our torture policy; and they really should have nailed him to the wall on leaving Rendition open as a USA Policy.

    Finally, with Hillary over in China, telling them that human rights do not matter, as long as they continue to fund our debt is not the kind of message I want Hillary or the Obama Administration sending to the world about my country!

    Human rights is what America is suppose to be all about; take that away and we are simply another third world country with the world's most powerful military!

    February 22, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. John from LA

    So NOW the media is covering this subject-A LITTLE TOO LATE!!!-The media spun him soooooo hard that he's the Pres.-Our first American Idol President-too bad!

    February 22, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Brandon from Ohio

    No the media is not too soft on Obama. The fact is the majority of people in this country are flat-out pumped to have someone in office who is actually trying to help them. This is why he's being given some latitude. Personally, I don't plan to judge him on the economy or Iraq for atleast 1-2 years to give him time to form a solid plan, and execute it.

    February 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Pinai

    The media has been too nice in its treatment of Obama. The majority of the media during the election was very critical of John McCain and Sarah Palin, but was nothing but praise for Obama-everyone can see that. Even now the reporters are not doing their jobs by asking Obama the hard questions. When a cartoon came out about shooting the chimp that wrote the stimulus bill, uneducated people were outraged and cried "racism" because they thought it was aimed at the president. For one, it is not the president who writes the bill, but Congress; the president merely signs; two, people should quit looking for racism under every stone. I am Asian, and anytime someone is critical of me, I don't cry racism. So I see that the American people are making the media tread lightly on Obama as well.

    February 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Shayne in NH

    26% percent believe the media is not critical enough.....hmmmm.....this wouldn't happen to be the same 26% of our nations redneck idiots who believe Bush was the best president in modern history, would it?

    February 22, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. What's all the fuss about

    The media is sensationalist driven. They are looking to report/comment on items that raise eyebrows. They do not control those who can think for themselves. Americans are too quick to credit them with having some influential value. Only if you are dumb enough to believe what they say. No matter who the source is.

    February 22, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Scott L

    HAHA yeah right whatever.

    If any republican appointee had the tax problems Geithner did they would have been crucified by the hypocritical media. Instead they allow him to become Treasury Secretary.

    What a joke that guy is. At least Dashle had the guts to step down.

    Geithner is a fraud. Wait until a lot of Americans do not pay tax penalties and cite their leaders of the country as not paying them. IRS gonna lose in a court with a jury of a defendant's peers.

    February 22, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Joan , Ontario

    Coverage of President Obama himself has been pretty positive but how can it be anything else when various polls have him at 70-80% popularity? Coverage of his policies and plans has been all over the place. There has been a lot of air time given to the Republicans to voice their criticisms and complaints about some aspects of the bills but people should realize where their views are coming from. They want him and his policies to fail to make themselves look good which is pretty evident. Not enough time has been spent on the POSITIVE aspects of the bills and how they will affect people down the road. The media seems to like to focus on the little controversies because it makes for juicier stories. People are starting to be more critical of the coverage of the issues and can see which journalists are really credible. Tabloid type headlines and coverage is not being taken seriously.

    February 22, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Mike O

    Of course, the poll didn't include the 38% that fell over laughing so hard they couldn't answer.

    In the month Obama has been in office, he's had to withdraw a ridiculous number of appointments, backtracked on changing policies in Iraq, Gitmo, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and had the market express its confidence in his leadership by shedding over 2,000 points. But the 'smarter' president is not to be questioned.

    February 22, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Mike

    Um duh, Katie Couric would pay thousands to felate this idiot on the evening news. I

    February 22, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. smokey

    The media is and will continue to be soft on Obama. This is in part because of their heavy bias during ther election that they would look foolish to write otherwise now.

    In fairness though, it is erasonable to give the new administration sometime but I suspect the ehavy commitment to Afghanistan and the ehavy draw on Treasury will be very promblematic for Obama. Really, the USA needs to get out of both wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, They ahve too many domestic issues to fix.

    February 22, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. independent

    How does this internal headline: 'Media treatment of Obama fair, majority say' compare with the main headline: 'Is media too soft on Obama?'

    Why was the critical headline the main headline, and the actual news headline (the one reporting on the poll results) buried inside the story?

    February 22, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Fitz

    Oh give me break with some of the comments here. The media is very critical of Obama, everything he does is scrutinized daily on every station. The notion that they are in the tank for him is ridiculous. He was just the superior candidate and connected with more people and it became obvious so yes the media followed him because he was he bigger story. Our President is busy doing what he has to, to make our lives better, Democrats and Republicans alike. You don't have to like him but he is doing what he has to. The media is trying to increase ratings so they go with the bigger story. What is bigger than Barack Obama right now, he is a historic candidate that inherited a historic mess thanks to BUSH!

    February 22, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. The Rector

    well lets see, after the election, before the swearing in, he voted to give the auto industry billions of dollars, before that he voted to give the corrupt bankers hundreds of billions of dollars, since he has taken office he has signed into law nearly a trillion dollar pork filled spending bill, and tried to hire what three or four tax evaders, and actually did hire a registered lobiest, all while having time to play basketball what everyday. The stock market has somehow gone even further in the tank and he is increasing our troop comitment to afganistan, since that has worked out so well in the past eight years. long and short is he is exactly what anyone who pays attention to politics has come to expect, a self interested politician who will do his best to secure as many contacts for the post white house life that he will eventualy have to lead, think bill clinton and jimmy carter. he has not done a very good job of reaching across the isle, nor has he gone out of his way to keep some of his key promises to the voters who elected him, big surprise. I'm just saying, if this were mccain cnn and others would have unleashed the hounds before he was even sworn in and wouldn't have let up yet. I'm not a republican by the way nor did i vote for obama, I voted third party because only when more voices are included will we truly have representitive democracy in this country. After all only thirty three percent of the possible voters voted for the man, that my friends is not a mandate, it's desperation and picking the lesser of two evils, great way to run the "greatest democracy the world has ever known" (into the ground)

    February 22, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Peterson

    Way too soft. Remeber his comment about Presidents not needing new helicopetrs during the campaign. Then why is he now considering an 11 billion dollar presidential fleet because 'they are safer'. Is he kidding??

    He is a lot safer in the current helicopter that my family is in our 6 year old car. How about allocating that money to the people without health insurance.

    Obama is relishing his new rock star status. Time for him to realize he is president not God. He or any other person in this country does not deserve a high tech 11 billion helicopter fleet. Who does he think he is?

    While I am it, am I the only person around that the attorney general should be fired for his racist attacks against whites calling us cowards. My grandparents and parents lived through the depression, and fought in WWII and this niinny had the audacity to call whites cowards. Plenty of whites voted for Obama, maybe it's time for those blacks like the atty. general to stop their whining. I am sick to death hearing how "WE" tread upon the black population. Get rid of the attorney general.

    February 22, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Keith in Austin

    The Media's love affair with Obama is much like a hasty marriage based only on infatuation. After time, when both parties discover that the relationship is based isn't based on anything concrete,it typically crumbles!

    February 22, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Linda in MS

    Of course the media has been tremendously fair to Pres. Obama, especially Fox.

    February 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. survivor

    Go outside the US for news try BBC much calmer and with a holistic approach without so much bias I get tired of the soundbites and bias – I for one think we have a great new President!

    February 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. thatmarvelousape

    Hey guys, when the media lets Obama invade a country on the basis of FAKE EVIDENCE then, and only then, can we say they're being easier on him than they were on Bush.

    February 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. raj

    The media is obviously biased. When Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq, they cheered him on!

    February 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. SANDRA

    MARK AND OTHERS WHO SAY THE MEDIA HELP ELECT THE PRESIDENT I DON'T WHAT THE HELL YOU PEOPLE ARE DRINKING BUT 66 MILLIONS VOTED FOR OUR NEW PRESIDENT AND STILL SURPORTS HIM . I AM 56 YEAR I AM NOT A MEDIA FOLLOWER I MADE UP MY OWN MIND JUST LIKE THE 66 MILLIONS IF WE HAD LISTEN TO FOX NOISE OR ALL THE OTHER MEDIA NO HE WOULDN'T BE THE PRESIDENT FOR SURE THE NEGATIVE ABOUT REV WRIGHT ALMOST DESTROY HIM AND HANNITY PUSH THAT EVERY DAY EVERY HOURS 24 /7 SO YOU DEADBEATS ARE JUST SORE LOSERS WHO STILL CAN'T GET OVER THAT A BLACK MAN WON AND THAT THE PEOPLE ELECTED HIM FAIR AND SQUARE. YOU JUST KEEP ON BEING BIGOTS AND RACISTS THE NATION HAS A GREAT PRESIDENT WHO IS WORKING VERY HARD WE WILL MOVE ON WITH OUT YOU . SO YOU KEEP ON YOUR PATH OF SOUR GRAPES IF YOU MUST HE WON SO GET OVER IT.

    February 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. Former Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I have to disagree. I think media coverage of Obama has been totally unfair and very biased. President Bush received your positive press than Obama is currently getting.

    February 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
1 2 3 4