Hold on to your seats, but there’s a new CNN poll out analyzing Sen. Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected president in 2008. What a shock, huh? During Thursday’s “The Situation Room,” host Wolf Blitzer and political analyst William Schneider were having a hard time hiding their glee concerning these poll results as well as a possible return to “the good times under the Bill Clinton era” (hat tip to Expose the Left with video link to follow). In fact, the viewer got a glimpse of how thrilled both of these supposedly impartial reporters were as soon as the segment began.

Blitzer introduced Schneider thusly: “Let's bring in our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, who is already smiling. He hasn't even started to tell us about the results of this poll -- Bill.”

Isn’t that special? The results are so heartening to Schneider that, as you can see from the attached picture, he’s smiling ear to ear. Then, after discussing the plusses and minuses of Hillary using or not using her maiden name of Rodham – a question that clearly must be keeping most Americans up at night – Schneider took the opportunity to contrast President Bush’s current poll numbers to former President Clinton’s:



Leading with Karl Rove's grand jury session, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer painted CBS's coverage through a set of facts forwarded by Bush enemies as he justified his news judgment, “It is the story that is keeping Washington on edge: Who outed one of the CIA's secret agents whose husband happened to be a critic of the President and his war policy?” Jim Axelrod framed his story around how Rove being “called back in front of the grand jury yet again makes it crystal clear” that he's “still very much under a cloud of suspicion.” Axelrod seemed almost sorry for the Bush team as he concluded: "The President's poll numbers are at an all-time low, gas prices are through the roof, he's got an unpopular war and a divisive immigration debate to handle, and his chief political advisor is under this cloud. It just couldn't come at a worse time for the President.” Then, as if the media's news judgment has nothing to do with it, Schieffer observed: "I would agree that this White House just can't seem to talk about what it wants to talk about. I think today probably what they wanted to talk about was the naming of a new Press Secretary."

On the NBC Nightly News, which also led with Rove, anchor Brian Williams similarly marveled at how “the White House today was hoping for favorable coverage of one story in particular: The naming of the President's new Press Secretary, Tony Snow. And it was the story of the day from the White House right up until Karl Rove became the story.” Williams also highlighted “a new record the President may not be so proud of," an "all-time low" approval number for Bush in “our polling.” But the 36 percent approval in NBC's new poll is three points higher than a Fox News poll last week and four points above what CNN found this week. (Transcripts follow.)



This may be a little dated, but Jim Geraghty has absolutely captured something that conservatives need to remember as they listen to liberal-media outlets forecasting doom daily for the GOP in the midterms. Remember how every week in 2004 seemed like a bad week for Bush, save the week President Reagan died and the week of the GOP convention? Every week, the media suggested everything was another problem for Bush, and Kerry's weaknesses were ignored, or downplayed, or wiggled around, or were a vicious, lying, Rove-inspired attack?



On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann plugged the Rolling Stone cover story by historian Sean Wilentz which argued that George W. Bush may be the worst President ever, citing the opinions of over 400 historians. As he introduced his interview with Wilentz, Olbermann sympathetically referred to the recently fired CIA employee who leaked classified information on the agency's use of secret prisons in Europe in the War on Terrorism, calling her a "whistleblower," and asked the question: "President Bush, whose administration is now firing, perhaps prosecuting whistleblowers, is he simply the worst?"

While introducing the segment, Olbermann listed several of Wilentz's attacks against Bush without challenging their validity, including accusations of "fabricated evidence" of WMD, a "retro fiscal policy" of "massive tax cuts" for the wealthy that "racked up monstrous deficits," and a criticism citing an unnamed Republican strategist who claimed that the Republican Party is "the first religious party in U.S. history." Olbermann, who perennially makes comparisons between George Orwell's novel 1984 and the Bush administration, managed to work in yet another reference to Orwell as he ended the interview mocking the administration's use of the term "pre-9/11 thinking," charging that Bush would accuse Wilentz and the other historians of being "guilty of pre-9/11 thinking, as George Orwell might have said." (Transcript follows)



When Ellen Ratner went a couple weeks without any major liberal loopiness, one wondered whether perhaps Jim Pinkerton was having a salubrious effect on her. But things got back to normal this morning when Ratner let Pinkerton goad her into boasting that she supports "open immigration."



On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann highlighted a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which shows President Bush's approval rating "plummeting even further" and, as the Countdown host observed, "for the first time in the Bush presidency," the President's approval rating among Republicans has fallen below 70 percent.



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: