One way to look at the presidency of Donald Trump is as a contrarian indicator. Whatever he tries to achieve ends up producing the opposite results. For instance, when threatened Kim Jong Un with “fire and fury,” he later embraced him as an “honorable” man who would abandon his nuclear ambitions. And now we learn that Kim is actually escalating his intercontinental ballistic missile program.
Trump is a sort of reverse King Midas: everything he touches turns to – let’s say garbage. His tax scam has benefited the wealthy while adding a trillion dollars to the deficit. His EPA has ignored environmental protection in favor of loosening regulations for polluters. His border wall is nonexistent and Mexico definitely isn’t paying for it. What he calls “winning” is just papered over failure, much like his casinos and university.
Now the Economist has published the results of a study that tracked the fortunes of the mainstream media for the eighteen months he has occupied the White House. During the entirety of that time, Trump has castigated the supposedly free press as “horrible people,” “liars,” “sleazy,” and he has adopted Stalin’s rhetoric by calling the media “the enemy of the American people.” Lately he has also adopted the behavior of tyrants by trying to ban journalists who dare to challenge his omnipotent (more accurately, impotent) authority.
It turns out that the media enterprises that Trump has attacked the most have gained popularity and success. The Economist’s poll asked a representative sample of Americans to rate large American news organisations on a scale from “very trustworthy” to “very untrustworthy.” The outcome of this survey is a useful lesson on the ineffectual tactic of childish browbeating that is Trump’s sole method of interacting with society. According to the Economist:
“From October 15th 2016, shortly before he was elected, to this month, confidence in Mr Trump’s two most frequently targeted newspapers, the New York Times and Washington Post, has actually grown. During the same period, trust in two media outlets that offer him reliably fawning coverage, Fox News and Breitbart, has withered.”
So the outlets Trump hates most are flourishing, and the ones that suck up to him are suffering. The study also found that this growth was not limited to liberals stepping up their support for news that affirms their biases. Even Trump supporters were leaning more favorably toward the objects of his hostility. And the allegedly “failing” New York Times saw monthly online readership double to 130 million since Trump’s inauguration.
Combine this with other polling that shows that the American people trust the media far more than they trust Trump and you have a recipe for continuing delusions from a president who is already acutely disturbed. And this new study proves that Trump’s rabid attacks on on the Constitution are only strengthening the subjects of the First Amendments protections. Nice work, Dotard.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.