The poll shows a stark political divide on the subject of how news outlets should cover the Trump presidency. Of the more than 1,o00 people surveyed, 29 percent think that the news media is the enemy of the American people. When a “plurality of Republicans” are polled on the same question, that number jumps to 48 percent.
The poll also found that 68 percent of Democrats think the press is doing its best when it comes to adversarial reporting on Trump, with only 29 percent of Republicans agreeing with that sentiment. Additionally, only 12 percent of Democrats agreed that Trump should be able to shut down news outlets, with a whopping 43 percent of Republicans saying he should have the power to do so.
When asked if Trump should shut down legacy news outlets like CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times, 13 percent said they believed that should happen, including 8 percent of Democrats, 23 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Independents.
A large majority of Republicans think the media is unfair in its coverage of Trump, with another 80 percent saying that the media has a liberal bias.
The poll also gave a hint of hope.
A final statistic is somewhat reassuring, only 13% of Americans agree that “President Trump should close down mainstream news outlets, like CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times.” Here less than a quarter of Republicans (23%) agree along with fewer than one in ten Democrats (8%).
The poll comes on the heels of social media and tech companies purging their platforms of content by Alex Jones and his InfoWars brand. As expected, Jones and his most vocal supporters used the banning of his content as a rallying cry against what they perceive to a “censorship” campaign from an elite cabal of liberals. Writing in USA Today, Brad Polumbo says that action against Jones’ content will only “reinforce his conspiratorial narrative.”
“Infowars followers will be pushed deeper down the conspiracy rabbit hole, and this controversy has just given Jones millions in free advertising,” Polumbo writes.
“The objective was to lessen Jones’ influence, but this censorship will prove to be self-defeating.”
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