In the truth war between the news media and the Trump administration, A new Emerson College poll shows that voters find the Trump administration to be more truthful than the news media. As you no doubt recall, President Donald J. Trump recently and controversially referred to the news media as the “opposition party,” but maybe he just should have said “opposite,” since it seems voters find them the opposite of truthful. And find the Trump administration more honest. Go figure.
The poll found that the Trump administration is considered truthful by 49 percent of voters, while 48 percent of voters consider it untruthful. The news media, on the other hand, is considered untruthful by a majority of voters – 53 percent. Only 39 percent find the media as truthful.
President Trump and numerous members of his administration have been frequently criticized by the news media for making false statements. That criticism often uses the word lie without recognizing that the word requires an intent to deceive. That may help explain why the news media is losing the truth war. Another factor may be the way the various news media so-called fact checkers have devolved into partisan nuancing as opposed to actually checking facts.
The partisan split on this topic is yuge:
- Eighty-nine Percent of Republicans find the Trump administration truthful, while 77 percent of Democrats find the administration untruthful.
- Sixty-nine percent of Democrats find the news media truthful, while 91 percent of Republicans consider them untruthful.
- Independents consider both untruthful – the Trump administration by a margin of 42 percent to 52 percent and the news media by a margin of 45 percent to 47 percent.
The news media is losing the truth war because they seem at least as reckless with facts as is the Trump administration. Writing at “The Federalist,” Daniel Payne describes 16 fake news articles that the news media has published since President Trump’s election. Those fake news stories include:
- Early November: Spike in Transgender Suicide Rates
- November 22: The Tri-State Election Hacking Conspiracy Theory
- December 1: The 27-Cent Foreclosure
- January 20: Nancy Sinatra’s Complaints about the Inaugural Ball
- January 20: The Nonexistent Climate Change Website ‘Purge’
- January 20: The Great MLK Jr. Bust Controversy
- January 20: Betsy DeVos, Grizzly Fighter
- January 26: The ‘Resignations’ At the State Department
- January 27: The Photoshopped Hands Affair
- January 29: The Reuters Account Hoax
- January 31: The White House-SCOTUS Twitter Mistake
- January 31: The Big Travel Ban Lie
- February 1: POTUS Threatens to Invade Mexico
- February 2: Easing the Russian Sanctions
- February 2: Renaming Black History Month
- February 2: The House of Representatives’ Gun Control Measures
As Payne puts it, “We are in the midst of an epidemic of fake news. Despite Trump’s constant railing against the American press, there is no greater enemy of the American media than the American media. They did this to themselves.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” hits the news media hard for not doing there job well:
There’s consternation in a lot of press shops because they have been rushing to try to get Trump.
Wow. This is not saying Trump is not making stuff up. This is not saying we’re not all disturbed by what everybody else is disturbed by. This is to say they have got to do a better job. By the way you have media editors saying they’ve got to do a better job.
You can watch the Morning Joe panel discussion below:
There were a couple of other interesting findings in the Emerson College poll.
The nomination of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was opposed by 51 percent of registered voters. The DeVos nomination was opposed by voters who attended both public and private school.
Attorney General designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions is supported by 45 percent of registered voters, versus 40 percent who oppose him.
Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is supported by voters 52 percent to 32 percent. Voters prefer Gorsuch to former Obama nominee Merrick Garland by a 10-point margin, 39 percent to 29 percent.
The national Emerson College poll was conducted February 5-6 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.