Media-Battered Goldman Sachs Polls Lower than Toyota in Favorability

A concerted effort by the White House to tarnish the image of a particular entity along with a compliant mainstream media can be very effective. Just take a look at what a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll revealed.


According to the poll, Toyota (NYSE:TM) had a 31 percent approval rating versus only a 4 percent approval rating for the investment bank giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). What is curious about that result? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has linked Toyota to 52 deaths due to acceleration problems. Compare that to the charges against Goldman Sachs from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which according to Taesik Yoon of Forbes Media will be much more difficult to prove.


A recent Business & Media Institute analysis of the coverage of Goldman Sachs as a Wall Street boogeyman found that the broadcast network news coverage (ABC, CBS and NBC) gave a lot of coverage to Goldman Sachs and the circumstances surrounding an SEC investigation. In fact, they mentioned it 37 times.


Trish Regan, fill-in co-host for CNBC’s May 13 “Power Lunch,” noted this in a segment about the poll.


“It is pretty startling, when you look at these numbers and you realize, you know – people lost their lives as a result of Toyota’s problems,” Regan said. “And yet, the country approves of Toyota far more than Goldman Sachs – 31 percent versus 4 percent.”


However, the push for financial regulation by attacking Wall Street, in particular Goldman Sachs, isn’t much of a battle according to CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood. He explained neither is polling all that favorably and in the end, financial regulation reform would likely pass.


“This is a fight between two weaklings – 98-pound weaklings,” Harwood said. “You know, nobody has got healthy poll numbers and on – as for financial regulation reform, this has been in train for a long time. It is going to pass.”