Today, Eric Alterman writes:
Will Bush become the most unpopular president in the history of Gallup Polling? Here. (And will the mainstream media continue to refer to him as "well-liked" by the country?)"
I agree -- Bush's approval ratings make the phrase "well-liked" totally inappropriate. So I took Alterman at his word and tried to find examples of the media using the phrase to describe the President. But I couldn't find one example in the last six months (academic Nexis: bush w/10 "well-liked" and president w/10 "well-liked" in the major newspapers, magazines and journals, and news transcripts categories).
This is the same thing that happened when Alterman claimed in June that the political media was repeatedly calling Bush a "popular president" -- no one that I could find had done so since Bush's second inauguration except for Chris Matthews (a notable exception, to be sure, but still an exception).
The media does tend to overestimate Bush's popularity, but that doesn't mean you can just put phrases in quotes and claim people in the media are repeating them.