In what was billed as a major televised address on Iraq, President Bush last week “recycled tired rhetoric” and “mumbo jumbo” about staying the course. Sen. Jack Reed delivered a direct response, pledging the Democratic leadership would “exercise our Constitutional duties and profoundly change our military involvement in Iraq.”
In case any more evidence was needed that the American public has tuned Bush out and is anxious to hear ideas for a responsible exit strategy from Iraq, we received it today. On both Fox and CNN, more viewers watched the Democratic response than they did the Bush speech. And on MSNBC, only a narrow sliver separate the viewership of the two speeches. Courtesy of TVNewser:
Network Time Program Viewers FOX 9:00 Bush 745,000 FOX 9:19 Dem. Response 813,000
MSNBC 9:01 Bush 455,000 MSNBC 9:20 Dem. Response 446,000 CNN 9:00 Bush 454,000 CNN 9:20 Dem. Response 507,000
In January, in the lead-up to Bush’s speech announcing the escalation, Tony Snow claimed, “My sense is that the American people want to hear what the President has to say.” Bush decided not to listen to the public, so the public has increasingly decided not to listen to Bush.