For someone who is obsessed with castigating the news media as “fake” and “enemies,” Donald Trump is sure suffering from an approval deficit by the American people. He tweets furiously at all hour of the day and night about how dishonest the press is, but all of that animus and bile has produced nothing in terms of respect from the public at large.
A survey conducted for the Brand Keys Research Intelligencer rated the levels of trust for each of the major television news networks. The results placed the BBC at the top of the pile (with 90%) as the most trusted source. Fox News came in second (87%), followed by PBS (86%). It’s important to remember that this survey was conducted by surveying respondents who watched the rated network at least three times a week. So to some extent it was collecting the views of people who were regular viewers. That would explain the Fox number, whose viewers are devoted and worshipful cultists.
The placement of the rest of the broadcast and cable news networks ranged respectably from MSNBC (80%), CBS (72%), NBC (70%), ABC (69%), and CNN (69%). But the most interesting number in this survey was the one for Donald Trump. He managed to pull in a paltry twenty-nine percent who say that he is trustworthy. That’s less than a third of what the BBC did. Even more troubling from his perspective is that it’s less than half of what his arch nemesis CNN did. And when the numbers were broken down by political affiliation, Trump’s base of Republicans still only rated him at a measly thirty-five percent. Even lower, of course, were Independents (22%) and Democrats (14%).
So while Trump has spent the past two years relentlessly attacking the media in the most vicious terms, he has managed to achieve nothing but solid goose eggs in terms of respect or trust from the public. This survey affirms similar polls conducted in the past that found Trump trailing every news enterprise, TV or print, on the question of trust. And by wide margins.
It also affirms the results of a unique study published by The Economist this week that revealed that the media that Trump hates the most (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) actually became stronger and more popular during the seventeen months since Trump was inaugurated. So despite his efforts to drag down any press operation that wasn’t unflinchingly adoring, he actually had the opposite effect of boosting their profiles with the public. What’s more, his reliance on, and promotion of, Fox News and Breitbart produced sharp downslopes for those flagrantly biased outfits. And if that’s what he means by “winning,” let’s have more of it.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.