Donald Trump’s relentless campaign against the free press has been in progress for a couple of years now. At every opportunity he disparages news organizations and reporters as dishonest, corrupt, sleazy, and even called the media “the enemy of the American people.” It’s a transparent attempt to make people distrust what they see and read in the press so that any bad news about Trump is dismissed as fake.
Earlier this week Trump posted a proposal on Twitter to have a contest to determine the most dishonest television network. How ironic that the former reality TV game show host thinks this would be an appropriate method of establishing journalistic credibility. Needless to say, his proposal was somewhat skewed by his prejudices:
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017
Let’s just set aside his delusional suggestion that he is our favorite president (He’s not). The idea of competing for a fake news trophy is as silly as any of the childish notions that infect Trump’s cartoon brain. Nevertheless, it was taken up by Trump’s favorite pollster, Rasmussen Reports. Rasmussen is a notoriously right-wing outfit that exists to provide biased data to Republicans and conservative political operations. Which makes the results of this survey all the more interesting.
Rasmussen asked the respondents which network should win the hypothetical Fake News Trophy postulated in Trump’s tweet. They ignored his insistence on leaving Fox News out of the competition. And the results point to why that might have been. According to Rasmussen:
“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters consider fake news a big problem […] But 40% of all voters think Fox News should be the winner of the first annual Fake News Trophy.”
So Fox News was the runaway leader in the Fake News pageant. A distant second place went to CNN with only twenty-five percent of the vote. Rounding out the field were MSNBC with nine percent, and ABC, CBS and NBC each received less than 5 percent. The partisan breakdown by party was also notable. Not surprisingly, a majority of Democrats (53%) voted for Fox News to take the honors. However, a sizable chunk of Republicans (24%) felt the same way.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
This poll affirms what many previous polls have found. Fox News is not regarded as a credible news source. And despite Trump’s attempts to smear the media, most Americans continue to trust the press more than they trust the President. It’s not even close. Trump’s record of distortions, dodges, and deliberate lies has demonstrated his malice for the truth. Or worse, his inability to distinguish truth from lies, or reality from delusional fantasies.