CNN being CNN, the left-wing cable news network is likely to spend the next few days blasting out its wildly misleading poll that shows the public disapproves of the political process surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming March 3 speech to the U.S. Congress. Yet, when asked directly in a poll commissioned by the Israel Project if they want Netanyahu to speak before Congress next month, only 25% are opposed, while a plurality of 43% are in favor of the speech.
What CNN’s dishonest poll chose to focus on was the inside-inside baseball way in which the Prime Minister was invited. Apparently, House Speaker John Boehner violated protocol by not informing the White House prior to extending the invitation. The same White House that regularly violates the Constitution was upset over this violation of diplomatic protocol, mainly because Obama despises Netanyahu and is working behind the scenes to see that he is unseated in the next election.
To further embarrass the Prime Minister, the White House is attempting to convince congressional Democrats to boycott the speech.
To protect Obama, CNN commissioned a poll that can only be described as a whopping lie of omission crafted in pursuit of a specific anti-Netanyahu narrative — a poll that asks only if Boehner’s protocol violation was bad form. Sixty-three percent said it was bad form, 33% said it was the right thing to do, and from that CNN crafted this intentionally misleading headline: Majority of Americans Oppose Netanyahu Invite.
Americans do not oppose the invite, they oppose the protocol violation.
The Israel Project (TIP, a non-partisan pro-Israel group) got to the heart of the matter with a bigger sample size (1563 respondents compared to CNN’s 1027) and honest questions.
Here is the statement only 25% agreed with:
Some people say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the middle of an election at home, and it is inappropriate for the U.S. to host him for a speech only two weeks before the election is being held. They say this is a Republican attempt to make Netanyahu look stronger before his election.
Here is the statement a plurality of 43% agreed with:
Other people say Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon. As one of the world’s most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should address Congress before the March 31st deadline for a political framework with Iran.
Another question CNN seemed afraid to ask was how people felt about the White House’s reaction to the speech. TIP asked and found that 47% disapprove, while only 32% approve.
By an almost equal margin, 47% to 33%, respondents oppose the Democrat boycott of the speech.
Newsflash to anyone dumb enough to trust CNN: Americans want Netanyahu to speak and think both Obama and Boehner could have handled this better.
Over at Bloomberg, Josh Rogin perfectly sums up the CNN and TIP polls:
Taken together, the CNN and TIP polls show that Americans are unhappy with both the Republican Congressional leadership and the Obama administration over their handling of the speech. But that does not mean that Americans don’t want to hear what the Israeli leader has to say. Perhaps both Congress and the administration should recognize that Netanyahu is a known entity to Americans, people understand his politics and his motivations, and the success or failure of his speech will depend on its content, not on how leaders in Washington react.
In his analysis of the CNN and TIP polls, Rogin found that “Just over half of [TIP poll] respondents described themselves as ‘supporters’ or ‘strong supporters’ of Israel.”
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC