Juan Williams on public telling pollsters it favors Democrats on taxes: "[T]o me, that's crazy"

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

On Fox News Sunday, National Public Radio's Juan Williams acknowledged that "most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans," but then said, "To me, that's crazy." On The Chris Matthews Show, Chris Matthews again falsely suggested that the issue of taxes favors Republicans, even though recent polling shows otherwise.

On the November 5 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams acknowledged that "most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans," but then said, "To me, that's crazy," adding: "I'm sort of surprised." On the November 5 edition of the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, host Chris Matthews once again falsely suggested that the issue of taxes favors Republicans, saying that it "is still a great firewall" for the party in its attempts to retain control of Congress on November 7.

As Media Matters for America has noted (here and here), polls show that Americans have trusted Democrats more than Republicans on taxes for some time, a finding that is reaffirmed in the most recent Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on the subject, which showed a 46-to-35 percent Democratic advantage on taxes in February and a Democratic advantage of 45-to-30 percent in September.

Williams characterized as "crazy" the fact that "most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans." As Media Matters noted when Williams and NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson previously opined on Fox News programs, then-NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin admonished NPR reporters for going on programs "that are looking to appear fair and balanced" and expressing their opinions rather than simply recounting what their reporting shows. Dvorkin stated that "NPR reporters have an obligation to stay reportorial."

Despite the Democrats' advantage on taxes in polls taken as far back as February, Matthews has repeatedly claimed that Republicans have an advantage over Democrats on taxes, including on the October 19 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, when he falsely claimed that "Republicans know from the polls they got two strengths right now" -- "terrorism" and "[t]axes" -- "whether the current polls back that up or not." As Media Matters documented, recent polling is mixed on which party respondents prefer to handle the issue of terrorism.

From the November 5 edition of NBC's The Chris Matthews Show:

DAVID GREGORY (NBC News chief White House correspondent): You know the White House is worried about values voters down the stretch here -- that's what the president is talking about. Judges: If you want judges like the ones we've got on the court right now, you've got to stick with Republicans.

MATTHEWS: I know these are powerful messages but, for some reason, an angry public doesn't want to hear that kind of reasoning. They want to know what you're going to do now about your problem areas. I think the war --

GREGORY: Well, we'll see.

KATTY KAY (BBC News Washington correspondent): Which is why even though the economy is doing well, they're still not using that as an issue.

MATTHEWS: We are going to see. I think taxes is still a great firewall.

From the November 5 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

WILLIAMS: The last couple weeks, we've seen the Republicans push the tax issue as a potential, you know, saying, "Oh, [House Democratic Leader Nancy] Pelosi [CA], [Rep.] Charlie Rangel [D-NY] -- these people are going to raise your taxes." But look at what the polls show here again. At the moment, most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans. To me, that's crazy. You know, I mean, I'm sort of surprised. But that's the kind of landscape that we're dealing with at this moment.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes, Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, NBC
Person
Chris Matthews, Juan Williams
Show/Publication
FOX News Sunday, The Chris Matthews Show
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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