Trump vs. The Media: Who Do Americans Trust More?
Two days after he announced his candidacy, Donald Trump blasted The New York Daily News for running a front page story depicting him as a clown. In an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said the left-wing tabloid was just using him to sell papers.
“The New York Post gave me a front-page cover that I wish you held up instead of the failing Daily News,” he said, referencing a cover image that showed the White House with the iconic “TRUMP” logo gleaming atop the roof. “The Daily News is going to be out of business very soon. It’s doing no business whatsoever. And they do that for circulation.”
So it began. For the next 20 months (and counting), the media waged war on Donald Trump and Donald Trump waged war right back. Over the course of the campaign, Trump has taken pointed shots at The (Failing) New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Fox News, and nearly every other mainstream media outlet under the sun. These outlets, in turn, have spent every single day attacking the billionaire from every conceivable angle.
So here we are, three weeks into a presidential administration that no one in the press believed possible, and the war between the media and President Trump shows no sign of abating. Seems like a good time to ask the American people: Who is winning the battle for your trust?
That’s the question Emerson College posed to the public, and while the numbers aren’t great for either side, it appears that Trump is coming out ahead. According to the poll results, 49% of registered voters find the Trump administration “truthful,” while only 39% of respondents think the same of the news media. Meanwhile, 48% of registered voters believe that Trump is “untruthful,” while 53% of voters think the mainstream media is fibbing.
As it is with everything these days, the numbers are deeply divided by party alliance. 90% of Republicans think the Trump administration is generally honest with the public; 77% of Democrats think just the opposite. As it pertains to the media, 91% of Republicans think they’re blowing a lot of hot air while 69% of Democrats trust what they read in the mainstream press.
For a week or two after the election, it seemed like a few of the biggest media offenders were poised to reevaluate their coverage of Trump. The New York Times even published a mea culpa to their readers, promising a return to basic journalistic values. So far, unfortunately, we’ve seen just the opposite. In a remarkable display of Fourth Estate arrogance, the press has attacked this administration with even more energy than they attacked Trump’s campaign.
So much for learning lessons.