The determination of Donald Trump to malign the credibility of the media has taken a toll. However, the impact has been felt mostly by his own devoted disciples. The American people by and large continue to have little respect for Trump as a trustworthy source of information.
Trump’s problems are entirely of his own making. His frequent and shameless lying does not go unnoticed. He has been documented to have told more than 18,000 lies since his inauguration. And particularly with regard to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Trump has repeatedly disseminated easily verified falsehoods. As a result, the majority of the American people don’t believe what he says about pretty much anything. Even more painful from Trump’s perspective, and after years of vilification, they believe the media more.
A new poll by USA Today/Suffolk University affirms these views. When asked if they think Trump is honest and trustworthy, only 31% said that he is, while more than twice as many (64%) said that he is not. What’s more, when the responses were broken down by preferences for news sources, the ideological divide was starkly revealing:
“According to the Suffolk poll, of the 31% of Americans who believe Trump is honest and trustworthy, nearly two-thirds of them say Fox is their favorite news source. Among Fox-first viewers – who comprise about 25% of Americans in the survey – 78% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, while just 15% disagree.
The imbalance is even more striking when you look at people who don’t trust Fox the most. Among the three-fourths of the population who don’t list Fox as their No. 1, just 15% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, while nearly 80% say he is not.”
Let that sink in. The poll shows, firstly, that only 25% of the American people say they watch Fox News. The number is actually smaller than that as the Nielsen ratings show that only about 1% of TV viewers are actually tuning in the right-wing network. The poll respondents are likely just giving credit to the channel that reflects their political biases.
Of the 75% of Americans who are not Fox News viewers, a measly 15% of them regard Trump as honest and trustworthy. That compares to 78% of the Fox cultists who are only a quarter of the total respondents in the poll.
Consequently, Trump is suffering a huge trust deficit from which he is unlikely to recover in the few months remaining before the election. And his recovery is all the more difficult since there is no sign that he plans to be more truthful going forward, or that is even able to be. Trump’s commitment to spewing self-serving fiction has been a key component of his character (or lack thereof) for decades. And the more he puts himself in from of the people, the more he lies, and the more his credibility sinks into an abyss.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.