Somewhere Roger Ailes is smiling in his grave.
Courtesy of WaPo:
If President Trump catches a glimpse of the latest data from the Pew Research Center on media trust in the United States, he may well launch a celebratory tweet or two. In a survey conducted earlier this year, Pew found a considerable gap between Republicans and Democrats on the work of journalists.
Fifty-eight percent of Republicans/Republican leaners say “journalists create a lot of made-up news and information,” as opposed to 20 percent of Democrats/Democratic leaners. That political partisans have opposing views on the media is not news. Less than a year ago, Pew released a study showing a 34-point gap between Democrats and Republicans over whether news organizations “tend to favor one side.” Guess which group agreed with that assessment by 86 percent, and which clocked in at 52 percent.
Republicans’ thumbs-down view of the media has tugged down trust ratings for the industry, which cratered in 2016 and have recovered somewhat since then, according to Gallup. When those numbers were still tanking, Trump told radio host Fred Dicker in September 2016, “I think I had a lot to do with that poll … because I’ve exposed the media. If you look at The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and if you look at others: the level of dishonesty is enormous. It’s so dishonest. I can do something that’s wonderful and they make it sound terrible.”
This expert on dishonesty shouldn’t have taken so much credit. The advocacy campaign to undermine the U.S. mainstream media, after all, began decades ago, in the Nixon era, and assumed its modern, professional incarnation with the 1996 launch of Fox News — the leading purveyor of false and misleading statements about the performance of the media.
I have been banging on this drum for well over a decade now.
Undermining the American people’s trust in the media has been vitally important to the success of conservatives in this country, and Donald Trump dialed all of that up to eleven.
That mention of Fox News up above is dead on but leaves out the fact that Roger Ailes started that cable network specifically in order to push back on any news that showed the Republican party in a bad light regardless of its accuracy.
And they have been wildly successful.
I can say without equivocation, that without Fox News there would have been no President Bush, not Iraq War, and no Donald Trump.
And as long as Fox News exists running interference for the GOP, the truth will rarely reach the ears of their supporters.