Accuracy in Media

The constant bashing of President Trump has not helped mainstream media’s standing with America, but it may be helping Trump’s.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut found 59 percent of Americans disapprove of the way the media cover President Trump, and only 35 percent approve. Trump’s numbers on handling the media come in only slightly better – 38 percent approve the way his administration deals with the press and 58 percent disapprove.

It’s the continuation of a downward trend that began in 1999 when 55 percent of Americans trusted the media to deliver accurate news. By 2012, just 40 percent of the American public trusted the media, and by 2014, Gallup was recording the lowest levels of trust recorded since polling on this question began in 1972.

But Trump’s overall approval numbers continue to edge upward, even as those for Congress and the media inch downward. The Quinnipiac poll found 53 percent disapprove of Trump’s job performance – the lowest number in this poll since he took office.

Rasmussen, the only daily presidential tracking poll operating right now, has Trump at 46 percent approval to 52 percent disapproval.

Another Rasmussen poll finds reporters are more against Trump now than at the start of his presidency. Some 52 percent now believe that when most reporters write or talk about the president, they are trying to block him from passing his agenda. That’s up from 44 percent this time last year and 47 percent in August. Just 5 percent say reporters are trying to help Trump enact his agenda, down from 10 percent last year.

The Real Clear Politics average has him at 42.1 percent approval and 53.2 percent disapproval, a spread of 11.1. But it too reflects some media bias – with left-leaning polling outfits showing far higher gaps between Trump’s approval and disapproval ratings than others.

CBS News’ 19-point gap – 38 percent approve; 57 percent disapprove – is the largest in the RCP average, followed by Gallup’s 16-point gap (39 percent-55 percent) and differences of 13 points for Quinnipiac and the Economist/YouGov poll, Pew at 11 and CNN and NBC News at 10 each. Meanwhile, Fox News had the gap at 7, Rasmussen at 6 and Reuters/Ipsos at 8.

All in all, “the media no longer have the credibility or moral authority to affect public opinion,” wrote John Nolte at Breitbart. “In fact, based on these poll numbers, it is not unreasonable to believe that the media’s hypocritical, anti-Trump hysteria is benefiting the president – combined with the fact he is doing a solid job as president.”

Trust in the media has fallen farthest among the young and Republicans. In 2017, Rasmussen reported that 76 percent of Republican voters and 51 percent of unaffiliated voters thought reporters were out to get Trump and never would give him a fair shake and that just 34 percent thought the coverage was good, compared to 44 percent who described it as poor.

Moreover, 57 percent of voters say most owners of media outlets influence the news coverage generated by their reporters, and only 27 percent say owners allow coverage in their publications, websites or broadcast entities to be fair and balanced.

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