President Trump’s PR campaign to delegitimize the media as the “enemy of the people" appears to have gained traction among his supporters. That's the sad finding from an Ipsos survey released Aug. 7.
Nearly half (48 percent) of Republicans strongly or somewhat agree with the president’s enemy of the people rant, compared to 12 percent of Democrats. A mere 29 percent of them “totally agree” that “most news outlets try their best to produce honest reporting.”
Eight-in-ten Republicans say most news outlets have a liberal bias, and 79 percent agree with our over-sensitive tweeter-in-chief's view that the press treats him unfairly.
Though 83 percent of Republicans claim “freedom of the press is essential for American democracy,” an amazing 43 percent of GOPers are willing to grant the president dictatorial power to “close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”
TrumpLand, of course, defines “bad behavior” as just about anything reported from his “fake news” outlets CNN, MSNBC, New York Times and Washington Post.
At 55 percent, CNN ranked No. 2 in the GOP “total unfavorable” rankings, trailing only president Obama who weighed in with a healthy 75 percent score. MSNBC (55 percent), NYT (53 percent) and WaPo (50 percent) trailed CNN.
A silver lining for CNN, WaPo and NYT: less than a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) agree (for now) that Trump should close them down.
Ipsos confirmed the love-fest between Republicans and Trump’s favorite cable channel, Fox News, which scored a sturdy 79 percent net favorable rating.
At 43 percent, Fox is the No. 1 source of TV news for Republicans. ABC, CNN and CBS follow with eight percent each. CNN (20 percent) is the top TV news source for Democrats.
Republicans, Democrats and Independents have one thing in common. They give The Weather Channel at least a 90 percent trustworthy grade.
Ipsos noted that while a large majority of Americans support the First Amendment, “there are worrying signs that freedom of the press might be conditional to many people.”
Trump has another two years to work on that.