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Half-Truths and No-Truths

You can’t just make something up out of the total thin air like, oh, I don’t know, saying that Gallup has Barack Obama as the second-least popular president at the 100-day mark of the last 40 years, and get away with it, can you?
You can if you live in Fringeland, where down is up, up is down, and the new president and his 63 percent average approval rating for his first 100 days, is somehow less popular than presidents whose average first-term approval ratings at their 100-day marks were at 62 percent (Richard Nixon), 60 percent (Ronald Reagan), 58 percent (George W. Bush) and 57 percent (George H.W. Bush).

Obama’s 63 percent average rating put his popularity at a solid #2 among the presidents of the last 40 years, which sort of puts the ol’ lie on that Washington Times editorial that the local blogosphere has been touting this week and using as the basis for snarky commentary on how the mean ol’ liberal media is coddling their favorite son again.

Except that the can’t-read-numbers conservative media, well, can’t read numbers, or rather, doesn’t think you can read numbers. Media Matters has tracked the source of the lie down – a blog post that claimed Obama’s approval rating was at 56 percent from Gallup, which is interesting because a look at Gallup’s daily tracking numbers for Obama’s approval ratings has him slipping below the 60 percent threshold only two times in his first three months, the low-water mark there being 59 percent.

Granted, had Obama’s average approval rating for his first 100 days been at 56 percent, yeah, he would have been the second-least popular president of the last 40 years. No question about that. Only Bill Clinton, whose approval rating for his first 100 days averaged 55 percent, would have been below that mark.

‘Course, if we’re just going to make stuff up and call it the truth, why not just say that Obama’s approval rating is 0 percent, and that he’s the least-popular president in the history of presidents for all time amen pass the cornbread?

Perhaps there’s a reason comments have been disabled on the Washington Times column that has been linked in the local blogosphere.


– Story by Chris Graham



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