A new poll by Axios and Survey Monkey has confirmed what has become increasingly apparent: a large number of Americans believe that the mainstream media is intentionally spreading fake news.
According to Axios media reporter Sara Fischer, “Nearly all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (92%) say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes …”
These results are not surprising; Media Research Center conducted a March study of the major news networks and discovered that 91% of the coverage was negative toward President Trump and the GOP.
MRC reported, “Our analysts also measured the spin of coverage by tallying all evaluative statements about the President and his top officials uttered by anchor, reporters or non-partisan news sources such as experts or voters. Out of a total of 712 such evaluative comments, only 65 were positive (9%) vs. 647 which were negative, or 91 percent. (Neutral statements, as well as the comments of partisans, were excluded from this measure).”
The more surprising portion of the Axios poll, which Fischer tries to downplay, is that a majority of Democrats and independent voters agree with their GOP counterparts.
Overall, a strong majority of Americans, 72%, believe “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading.” Of those, 53% of Democrats and 79% of independents feel that way. This comes as a surprise considering most of the mainstream media’s bias leans to the left.
The everyday Democrats who are just trying to get the straight facts, the same as their Republican friends and family members, are seemingly tired of the endless misleading reports and negativity aimed at traditional values that a majority of Americans hold.
Despite this, Axios seems in complete denial of the results. In the same piece, Fischer writes, “The data shows that trust in the media is heavily influenced by partisan politics, with Republicans more skeptical of mainstream media than their Democratic and Independent counterparts.”
It does not end there. Who does Axios blame for all of the consternation aimed at the media? Why, President Donald Trump, of course. “President Trump has exacerbated the skepticism amongst hardline conservatives with polarizing language (and tweets) about the mainstream media being “fake news,” the website claims.
It is true that the president has taken a tough approach toward what he calls “fake news,” but the mistrust of the press is nothing new. A 2008 Princeton University study showed that trust in the media was beginning to sour. Like Axios, the researcher was hard-pressed to find a reason, blaming it on the fracturing of the market.
Are the results really that shocking to the elites in the media? When they allow pundits, columnists, and celebrities to come on their programs and brand all Trump supporters as racist, sexist Nazis, without any pushback, can they really expect the American people to trust them to share the news unbiasedly?