FOLBAUM: Were they -- what were they doing if not to show a political bias?
POWERS: It was an accident...
POWERS: What is really particularly atrocious about this, and I'm not a huge Netanyahu fan per se, but the fact that they seem to have so much animus towards him that they just don't display towards people like Ahmadinejad. You know, I mean it's just -- I mean if you compare the two, even if you gave them that they should, you know, I don't think they should be allowed to send out a picture like that, but you don't ever see them expressing any kind of anger or disgust towards somebody who actually discusses wiping off a nation of the map, for example.
FOLBAUM: No confusing the animus on the part of The New York Post when it comes to Ahmadinejad, The Post is owned by the same parent company of this network and Jim that was the front page the other day.
PINKERTON: Right. And just to pick up on what Kirsten is saying, you know, Piers Morgan said, well, this was actually by Ahmadinejad, and it was pretty good. I mean he was -- they were kind of looking -- but let's now go back on the thing about how the media covered President Obama's speech. Judy, I mean, you know, the same Charles Krauthammer counted six apologies in that speech for the Mohammed video. And then at the same time they figured out the way to arrest the guy who makes the Mohammed video. Again, if this had been, you know, Bradley Manning, you know, free speech champion, on the leaking thing, it would have been much different. They are clearly letting Obama get away with trouncing the person here to soothe relations, which maybe a decent enough strategy in terms of keeping the Middle East from boiling over. However, they are not making that connection...
POWERS: What was wrong with the speech is that he was talking about terrorists and radical crazy people as if they care about any of the things that he was talking about. I mean he was speaking as if -- if you just understood these things, if we can just all sit down and talk, then you would stop doing it. They don't care.
POWERS: They do not care, the argument that he was making was completely and utterly wasted and the speech he should have given should have been a lot more like what Netanyahu was giving, which was a very serious sober speech playing out the threats that the country and the western world is facing.
MILLER: Now, on the contrary, I think he put it to our "allies" if Egypt is still an ally. And we seem to be changing our mind about that every minute. But he put it to them. Do not try and ask for our assistance or want us to stay and help you if you don't take care of your violence problem. Your violence problem, not ours.
POWERS: And it was so effective that President Morsi stood up and accused us of having a war against Islam.
I mean is -- can President Morsi...
MILLER: Did the one thing he was supposed to do, which was to make sure that American personnel and property was protected in Egypt after an hour long conversation that has been covered pretty well by the media at this point.
FOLBAUM: All right. More "News Watch" straight ahead. But first, if you see something that you feel shows evidence of a media bias, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming up next on "News Watch," how the media are using polls to push an agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The polls have them up, the polls have them down. Which polls can you trust? And are the media using the polls to focus on Romney and ignore the terror attacks in Libya and the other real issues? Answers next on "News Watch."
FOLBAUM: Well, just over five weeks until Election Day and both candidates are doing all they can to get their message out. And the media seems to be helping one candidate more than the other. A new Fox News poll asks who do you think national news organizations spend more time defending and attacking. 47 percent say news organizations spend more time defending President Obama and attacking Governor Romney. Only 16 percent think it's the other way around. Jim, are the polls and the media all tilted towards the president?
PINKERTON: It could be. I mean, for example, when -- when the durable goods orders falls 13 percent in one month, the headline in The Washington Post the next day is, "Business Investment Cools Down."
PINKERTON: A 13 percent plunge in month, which is annualized below 100 percent, is just a miracle event.
FOLBAUM: Kirsten, you read a lot of the coverage and it sounds like the race is over. We even haven't had the first debate yet.
POWERS: Yeah. Well. Look, to be fair looking at the polls, it doesn't -- I personally don't think it looks great for Romney right now, but the race could change five times between now and election day, especially because we haven't had the debates. So, the media sort of wishful thinking trying to write off Romney. And I normally do not buy into the ideas that the media is completely on board on one side. This is the exception. This campaign, this campaign season has been especially egregious in terms of them just ignoring things that are bad about President Obama and obsessing over things that, you know, that Mitt Romney has done wrong.
FOLBAUM: Cal, why?
FOLBAUM: Yeah, why?
THOMAS: You would have to ask why?
FOLBAUM: I have to ask.
THOMAS: Oh, my goodness. Well, look, first of all, these polls, we talk about this before on the show. I'm opposed to news organizations doing their own polls and making news from them. What you're going to see about ten days, two weeks before the election is a lot of the story line being, hey the race is tightening because they want ratings, they want to sell newspapers. But these things are a sophisticated form of fortune telling. You know, it's just like -- I passed on the way to the studio today a psychic, almost said stop the cab, let me go in there and see who is going to win the election, a little less sophisticated, but it's the same approach.
FOLBAUM: Judy, the narrative that gets played out in the media that it's almost over. That if Romney doesn't score big in the first debate in Denver this coming week that it's definitely over. That his donors are going to jump ship. Who creates -- does the media actually create the narrative and then push it, or do they just sort of cherry pick for stories and polls that they like and then push those?
MILLER: Well, I think this is where polls become so important and influential. If you can cite a poll showing the gap between Romney and Obama growing and Obama running away with it. Then you can really pile on and say, wow, this race is over. And look, voting, early voting has already begun in more than 20 states and 25 percent of the vote is actually determined by those early voters. And you can make a case for doing precisely what Kirsten warned about, which is prejudging the outcome of this election.
FOLBAUM: Jim, conservatives obviously are not happy with these mainstream polls that are out there. A lot of talk about the polls being weighted incorrectly for a news consumer listening to your pearls of wisdom. What would you say as far as how all they should interpret the polling that's being done right now?
PINKERTON: Well, I mean if you are curious for another take, go to unskewedpolls.com, which is an attempt to re-weight the polls this way. But look, when the Fox News poll has Romney down five points, it suggests Romney is down. I mean, but Pat Caddell, who is not a Republican and was a pollster -- both for President Carter and Gary Hart, and so on, and says, look, what the media -- he wrote this in (inaudible), what the media are doing is hitting hard, spending their own money and newspapers are all supposed to be broke, and he said they are spending all the money on polls in Virginia and Ohio and Florida, those states where Obama clearly is clobbering Romney in terms of television buys. And they say, oh, see, he is down eight points in Ohio or whatever. He must be losing nationwide. And it's not completely wrong, but it's clearly intended to create as Judy was suggesting a sort of bandwagon effect obviously Romney is a goner.
FOLBAUM: Kirsten, do you agree with Cal that we're going to hear stories about tightening of the race and is that because the media wants to generate ratings and sell newspapers and magazines, or is it perhaps because there is a little bit of guilt on the part of the mainstream media, that hey, maybe we should be covering this a little bit more fairly than we have been. You are shaking your head no?