On Tuesday, the folks on CBS This Morning did their best to downplay the significance of a potential GOP-controlled Senate in this year’s midterm elections. Unlike ABC and NBC who provided mostly straightforward coverage of today’s elections, CBS made sure to push the line that regardless of the outcomes, the election was an indictment of both political parties. Throughout three segments, multiple CBS News contributors pushed the line that even if Republicans take control of the Senate “not only is this election not about either party's ideas, Democrats or Republicans, but really more about the fact that Americans just want to get rid of whoever is in there now and put somebody else in Washington.”
Appearing on Friday's CBS This Morning, Republican pollster Frank Luntz reacted to the latest CBS News poll showing Americans having a "crisis of confidence" in government institutions: "The problem is that the institutions that have the greatest impact on us, the CDC, the FDA, the EPA, those that are responsible for our health and safety, are the ones that have had the biggest collapse. In fact, in some cases it's 20-30-point drop in just the last 15-18 months."
On Friday, CBS This Morning hosted CBS News Political Director John Dickerson and pollster Frank Luntz to discuss America’s declining trust in government including its recent handling of the Ebola crisis. Despite two-thirds of Americans supporting a travel ban on Ebola stricken countries, co-host Charlie Rose did his best to dismiss such concerns by the public. Rose wondered if “public anger will play into the hands of people who want to call for radical answers, who will push for the most conservative, most, not in terms of Democrat Republican, but most toughest measures possible in terms of quarantine, in terms of inspection, in terms of all of that?”
Like many analysts in the “mainstream media,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters sought to explain how David Brat -- a 49-year-old economics professor and virtually unknown candidate -- won the Republican primary in Virginia on Tuesday, unseating Eric Cantor, a seven-term incumbent who has served as the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Peters' explanation? During a lengthy article the following day, he asserted that the upset victory was made possible by the intervention of “potent voices of the conservative media,” including GOP radio talk show hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.
Appearing on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Republican pollster Frank Luntz attacked his own profession following the surprising primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: "Right now there are 230 House Republicans who are waking up praying that they do not have Eric Cantor's pollster. Honestly – and I'm one of them – we Republican pollsters suck. We have no ability to be able to analyze the electorate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Luntz noted how Cantor's pollster "told him twelve days ago that he was going to win by thirty-four points and then he loses by ten....he didn't even see it coming." Luntz concluded: "...you have to be able to analyze who is actually gonna vote, who's gonna participate."
AOL executive Tim Armstrong last week publicly worried about how ObamaCare is impacting his company, but only CBS highlighted this complaint. NBC, instead, focused solely on his "outrageous" comments about how seriously ill babies have impacted AOL's 401k plan. ObamaCare went unmentioned.
In a CNBC interview on Friday, Armstrong explained why the company would cut retirement benefits: "As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?" On Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered, "Are a lot of CEOs concerned about the cost of Obamacare? " Pollster Frank Lutz appeared and retorted, "Almost every one I deal with." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The leftists at Mother Jones are brandishing another secret tape. Pollster Frank Luntz, denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks, told a group of college students at the University of Pennsylvania this week that Rush Limbaugh and right-wing talk radio are "problematic" for the GOP and that he and Mark Levin were “killing” Marco Rubio for his immigration proposals.
Democrats have “got every other source of news on their side. And so that is a lot of what's driving it. If you take—Marco Rubio's getting his ass kicked. Who's my Rubio fan here? We talked about it. He's getting destroyed! By Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others.” This might be a surprise to anyone who's listened to Rubio's actual interviews on conservative talk radio.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Rebecca Jarvis asked a pollster for a liberal anti-gun group what he thought of the NRA's response to the Newtown shooting.
CBS hosted Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist but also a pollster for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Co-host Rebecca Jarvis asked him, "what do you make of the NRA's strategy here to say there should be someone in every school system in America holding a gun protecting the kids?"
Pollster Frank Luntz got more than he bargained for on Tuesday.
In a focus group on Fox's Hannity program after the debate, one of the participants who voted for Obama in 2008 said of the President, "He’s been bullsh--ting the public with the media behind him" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
A revelatory humorous moment on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO: A single member of his studio audience supports Mitt Romney. How’d he get in?
When Republican political consultant Frank Luntz predicted Barack Obama would win re-election, loud applause broke out from those in the studio at CBS Television City in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. “How many of you out there support Mitt Romney?” A single person clapping could be heard, prompting Luntz to quip: “That’s the sound of one percent.”
Norah O'Donnell was ready to tie the toe tag on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, as the morning newscast hyped the latest numbers from the Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll, especially President Obama's 10-point lead in Ohio. After mentioning Romney's latest 60-second TV spot, O'Donnell twice wondered, "Is it too late? The voting in Ohio starts next week."
Charlie Rose spotlighted the President's "growing lead" in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, according to his network's poll. But it took the program more than an hour to mention only in passing that "Republican voters remain more enthusiastic about voting than the Democrats," without mentioning the specific numbers.
More than an hour into the program, Wednesday's CBS This Morning finally acknowledged that "this race is not over for Mitt Romney," based on the network's own polling. Norah O'Donnell noted that "in our new polls...Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting this year in general, and that enthusiasm has actually...grown since early August."
O'Donnell's reporting came almost an hour after Bob Schieffer's apocalyptic spin about the Republican presidential nominee's campaign. Before getting to the poll numbers, she pressed Frank Luntz on whether the hidden camera videos were "a turning point in the campaign," and claimed that "Romney was suggesting that those people are mooching off the system. He wasn't offering a helping hand in that statement, or, at least, that's how they might interpret it."