CNBC’s Geraldo Distorts Poll Numbers; Betrays Love for Clinton

The Zogby Poll

During the panel segment on Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Brit Hume on Tuesday night, Hume pointed out that the “positive” and “negative” ratings of the Zogby poll were determined from questions which offered respondents four options: Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor, with Excellent and Good totaled as “positive,” and Fair and Poor combined as “negative.” An FNC graphic offered these more detailed numbers for Zogby’s poll on Bush’s job performance:

Excellent: 17 percent

Good: 30 percent [17 + 30 = 47 percent positive]

Fair: 34 percent

Poor: 17 percent [34 + 17 = 51 percent negative]

Hume asked his colleagues: “Is ‘fair’ really negative?”

Not really. And with a 3.2 percent margin of error, the panelists questioned the hard-and-fast conclusions drawn by some of their colleagues.

(This update courtesy of the Media Research Center.)

On Monday night, Geraldo Rivera offered a distorted summary of how a recent Zogby poll shows most have a “negative” view of President Bush’s job performance as he contrasted that with how Bill Clinton “soaked up the sunshine and love” earlier in the day while opening his Harlem office.

On the July 30 Rivera Live on CNBC, Geraldo exclaimed that he “couldn’t be happier” about the “hero’s welcome” for Bill Clinton in Harlem. Rivera hailed how Clinton is “looking like indeed he is the comeback kid.” After all, Rivera contended, “he was basically a good man who was hounded out of office.”

Rivera teased an upcoming segment: “And Bill Clinton makes this heroic re-emergence into the public, at least the domestic public spotlight.”

He set up the discussion with Congressman Charles Rangel and commentator Ann Coulter: “Now the return of the Prodigal Son. The, you know, the man who left office disgraced, burdened down by at least three major scandals that I can think of, got a hero’s welcome today. [covers his mouth with hand to hide giddiness] And I couldn’t be happier.”

Rivera elaborated: “After impeachment, after Pardongate, after the fake stories about their pilfering of the White House, Bill Clinton’s appearance today in Harlem must have been the feel good event of the season for the former President and he soaked up the sunshine and love. He looked like he was running for something. Maybe he’s running for the office of honored ex-President, after all. And while the ex-prez was singing, Clinton’s successor George W. Bush, got some bad news today. Receiving the first negative job performance rating of his presidency. In a brand new poll only 47 percent of those asked gave a thumbs up to Mr. Bush’s performance in office. That’s down from 51 percent last month. And on the negative side of the ledger, 51 percent are unhappy with the way President Bush is carrying out his duties compared to just 48 percent last month. So while the 43rd President seems on a kind of slow slide — I mean he’ll come up and down. In some ways I like him, in some ways I think he’s kind of boring. But he’ll have ups and downs. But the 42nd President, though, is looking like, indeed he is the comeback kid.”

This exchange soon ensued between Rivera and Coulter: “Ann Coulter, why isn’t this a big step toward the rehabilitation of the image of the 42nd President?”

Coulter: “Well I do think this huge spectacle of his moving back to New York City will allow us to see if Giuliani’s boast is true. He’s cleaned up the city and gotten the hookers off the street. So at least we’ll get that out of it.”

Rivera: “What, what do you mean by that?”

Coulter: “What do you think I mean by that?”

Rivera: “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

Coulter: “Clinton’s in town!”

Rivera: “Oh, oh. So get the hookers off the streets because, now isn’t that why people think the people who hate Clinton are extremists? Kinds of jabs like that?”

Coulter: “No I think you should keep running pictures of him. I think you and, and Charlie Rangel may be the only ones who think that’s a good face for the Democratic Party.”

Rivera: “I don’t, I’m not a Democrat at all. I just think he’s a good face because he was basically a good man who was hounded out of office by people who, who seized on his personal weaknesses to make him look like he didn’t care about running the country.”

Geraldo's not a Democrat? Not a registered one, perhaps. But it's obvious to any cable news junkie that the Democratic Party has no greater media cheerleader than Mr. Rivera.

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