Harry Smith was at it again on CBS’s "The Early Show" this morning. He had two segments of note today. In the first notable segment, during the 7:00 half hour, he interviewed former Bush Administration aide Mary Matalin about the staff shakeups at the White House. And in the 8:30 half hour, he interviewed Jane Fonda about her memoirs, My Life So Far, which are being released in paperback.

The bad news keeps coming for the Bush administration, at least that’s what we were told on PBS’s "Washington Week." For those not familiar with the program, it is moderated by Gwen Ifill, and is a roundtable discussion of reporters, each reporter taking a turn focusing on a political topic while the others ask them questions.

Sometimes they just can’t contain themselves.

Now this is something you don’t see every day: Media outlet does an Internet poll about a movie star, and then claims that friends of the star intentionally skewed the results of the poll to make the star look good.

As amazing as it might seem, this is exactly what representatives of Parade magazine – yeah, that thing that’s stuck in your Sunday papers along with all the advertisements and coupons you typically throw in the gargage without reading – are claiming according to a New York Post piece Tuesday (hat tip to HuffnPuff). It appears Parade recently ran an online poll asking whether Cruise was to blame for his failing public image or the media, and the results displeased the media outlet doing the questioning: “A shocking 84 percent of respondents blamed the press.”

As you can imagine, Parade being a member of said press didn’t like the poll’s outcome. So, it began investigating how the answers could have been different from what they wanted…er, expected. According to a Parade spokesperson:

On the politics beat in Wednesday's Washington Post: first, don't ever let them tell you that liberal reporters don't want to be stenographers to power. They don't mind writing news stories that read like a press release...if they're about Hillary Clinton.

On a light news day, why not run a generic piece on President Bush's low poll numbers and his assertedly bleak prospects for reviving them? That was apparently the thinking at the Today show this morning.

Today themed the segment "Can Bush Save Presidency?", and NBC White House reporter Kelly O'Donnell seemed to answer the question in the negative, kicking things off with this gloomy assessment:

A March 29 article published by the Free Market Project addressed the recent full-court press by the media to advance the concept that global warming is an imminent threat to our planet. From television reports, to lead articles at major magazines, March was a month filled with madness not just on the basketball court.

Yet, a recent Gallup poll reported by Editor & Publisher indicated that Americans aren’t buying into the insanity: “Contrary to what one might expect, Gallup found that while public concern is higher than in 2004, it is ‘no higher than it has been at several points in the past.’ In fact, Americans are more worried about water pollution, air pollution, and toxic waste than global warming.”

Do you mean that Americans are starting to ignore media propaganda? It appears so:

You could see this one coming a mile away. As soon as Matt Lauer announced that Today was inaugurating a series called 'One Nation Under God' on the role religion plays in our country, and that the first episode would focus on President Bush, you knew we were in for a bumpy ride.

The TV Newser at Media Bistro reported earlier today (hat tip to Drudge) that the Gallup organization is dropping CNN as a partner citing declining viewer rates as the reason.

According to TV Newser:

In a memo dated Wednesday, March 15, CEO Jim Clifton wrote: ‘We have chosen not to renew our contract with CNN. We have had a great relationship with CNN, but it is not the right alignment for our future.’

"'CNN has far fewer viewers than it did in the past, and we feel that our brand was getting lost and diluted,' Clifton continued. '...We have only about 200,000 viewers during our CNN segments.'"

Apparently, CNN is disputing this, saying that Gallup’s decision had nothing to do with the network’s declining ratings. However, Drudge has gotten an exclusive copy of the actual memo from Clifton. Here is another one of the reasons Clifton listed in his memo for this decision:

A day after leading with how a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put President Bush's approval at a low 37 percent (see this NewsBusters item), Thursday's NBC Nightly News again emphasized the negative for Bush and ignored how its own survey found public support for Bush policies which the media have derided, such as majority support for the NSA wiretapping program, the Patriot Act and makin

You'd think that of all days, they'd be believers over at Today this morning. After all, they were blessed with presidential poll numbers for which they were surely praying.  Numbers so low that Matt Lauer, Tim Russert et. al could spend an extended first segment reveling in them. 

Without their own poll with which to batter President Bush, last Friday the NBC Nightly News led with how “the latest Associated Press poll has the President's job approval at 37 percent” as anchor Brian Williams pointed how “that matches President Clinton at the lowest point in his presidency.” (NewsBusters item with details.) But NBC caught up Wednesday night with the other networks, and though its new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found the exact same 37 percent presidential approval rating -- so no fresh news -- Williams nonetheless led with the poll number. Bringing aboard Tim Russert, Williams prompted him: “Tim, let's start with that all-important benchmark for Presidents, the approval rating." Russert outlined: "It is not good news for President Bush, Brian. Approve: 37 percent. Disapprove of his job: 58 percent. And look at this Brian, 'direction of the country.' Only one in four [26 percent] Americans say the country is in the right direction; wrong track, 62 percent.”

Russert proceeded to highlight how “Democrats will take great joy in” the finding that 50 percent want Democrats to control Congress, “a 13 point bulge” over the 37 percent who prefer Republicans. “Analysts, of both political parties,” Russert stressed, “say with that kind of number if the election was held today they [Democrats] could re-capture the House and Senate.” But, Russert noted, “inside the poll, voters still say they prefer Republicans to manage the war in Iraq and to deal with homeland security.” (Transcript follows.)