On Monday’s Today show, NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker eagerly touted the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that 50 percent of Americans blamed President Trump for the partial government shutdown. However, missing from her report was any mention of the survey showing a rise in negative opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“This morning, the government is open for business, for now. President Trump feeling the heat after conceding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a shutdown showdown over his border wall,” Welker proclaimed. Moments later, she selectively cited the poll results: “The historic standoff hurting the President politically. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 50% of respondents blame Mr. Trump for the stalemate.”
It’s no surprise that Democrats would be able avoid blame for the shutdown given the avalanche of negative press heaped on the Trump administration throughout the budget stalemate – as the media provided liberal lawmakers with political cover.
That same poll found that Pelosi’s negative rating among Americans stood at 47 percent, a six-point increase since the shutdown began. In December, her negative rating was at 41 percent. Respondents’ positive views of her held steady at a paltry 28 percent during that same time period.
In contrast, President Trump’s positive rating was at 39 percent, which actually ticked up slightly from 37 percent in December. His negative rating remained almost unchanged, moving from 52 percent in December to 51 percent in January.
Despite Pelosi’s abysmal standing with the American people, on the Today show, Welker completely ignored the unflattering numbers and instead offered liberal spin: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, praised by Democrats for her strength, now emboldened after telling Savannah earlier this month.” A soundbite ran of Guthrie’s softball interview with the Democratic leader in which Pelosi claimed: “Well, I don’t know if he [Trump] knows how to deal with women in power and women with strength, but we’ll see.”
Welker then used the end of the shutdown to tee up fawning coverage of Democrats jumping into the presidential race: “It’s all energizing Democrats as the race for 2020 heats up.”
The news media love to report on poll numbers that are unfavorable to Republicans, but reporters are loathe to mention polling results that present bad news for Democrats – even when both sets of statistics are from the same survey.
Here is a portion of Welker’s January 28 report on the Today show:
7:07 AM ET
KRISTEN WELKER: This morning, the government is open for business, for now. President Trump feeling the heat after conceding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a shutdown showdown over his border wall. And with just three weeks to make a deal, the President is striking a skeptical note, telling The Wall Street Journal overnight he personally thinks it’s quote, “Less than 50-50” that a bipartisan negotiating team can hash it out. Mr. Trump vowing he will still build his wall even if he has to go around Congress and declare a national emergency. Another option, shutting down the government a second time, a point his acting chief of staff echoed on Sunday.
MICK MULVANEY: He’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border.
WELKER: It comes amid new figures about the cost of the 35-day shutdown, nearly $6 billion according to the S&P, millions more than what the President was asking for, for the wall. The historic standoff hurting the President politically. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 50% of respondents blame Mr. Trump for the stalemate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, praised by Democrats for her strength, now emboldened after telling Savannah earlier this month.
PELOSI [JANUARY 2]: Well, I don’t know if he knows how to deal with women in power and women with strength, but we’ll see.
WELKER: It’s all energizing Democrats as the race for 2020 heats up.