President Trump is continuing to air his grievances against the press, calling them “the fake, fake disgusting news.” He told a rally crowd in Pennsylvania on Thursday that the media refuses to give him credit for a long list of accomplishments. (Aug. 2)
Nearly half of Republicans surveyed — 44 percent — believe the president should be able to shutter news outlets for “bad behavior,” according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The poll by Ipsos emphasizes the clear divide between party lines when it comes to the role of the media and its coverage of the Trump administration. Twenty-nine percent, nearly a third, of the more than 1,000 people polled said they believed the news media was the enemy of the American people, a phrase that was coined and popularized by President Donald Trump. That number jumps to 48 percent if you just examine Republicans surveyed.
Trump often rants about the press coverage he gets and has dubbed unflattering stories about him and his administration as “fake news.” While 68 percent of Democrats polled believe that reporters try their best to do honest reporting, only 29 percent of Republicans agreed, the poll shows.
Only 12 percent of Democrats in the poll said they believed the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in “bad behavior” but a stark 43 percent of Republicans said this should be a policy.
President Trump bestowed “fake news awards” to six highly respected media organizations.
But, when asked about whether the president should close down outlets like CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times, 13 percent of people polled said they believed that should happen, including 8 percent of Democrats, 23 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Independents.
But there were some areas that both parties agreed: There was a consensus of 85 percent that a free press is essential for American democracy and of 88 percent that free speech is one of the values that make America great.
Specifically, when polled about beliefs about coverage of the Trump administration, a large majority of Republicans, 79 percent, believe the mainstream media treats the president unfairly. Another 80 percent said they believed most news outlets had a liberal leaning. Eighty-four percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats believe that the mainstream media is more interested in making money than telling the truth, the poll shows.
The poll examined opinions toward specific media outlets, finding The Weather Channel, PBS and NBC News led the pack as the most popular between parties, while Fox News, CNN, MSNBC led for the most unpopular among Americans.
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