Most Republicans Are Devoted Fox News Cultists According to Study on Media Trust

Fox News was built from the bottom up to be a right wing propaganda machine. And for twenty years the network has faithfully pursued that mission. For their effort they have attracted an audience of glassy-eyed disciples who believe everything that Fox News tells them and none of what any other media source reports. And with the advent of Donald Trump, other media sources have all been tagged as “fake news.”

Pray for Fox News

A new study by the Gallup/Knight Foundation is confirming the spiritual bond between Fox News and its viewers. the Gallup/Knight’s “Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy” asked Americans a variety of questions about their viewing habits and opinions about the media. The results reveal that strikingly narrow minded conservative news consumers are listening to only one voice in the media: Fox News. According to the study:

“More than eight in 10 U.S. adults believe the news media are critical or very important to our democracy. They see the most important roles played by the media as making sure Americans have the knowledge they need to be informed about public affairs and holding leaders accountable for their actions. At the same time, Americans are more likely to say the media perform these roles poorly than to say they are performing them well.” […]

“Less than half of Americans, 44%, say they can think of a news source that reports the news objectively. Republicans who can name an accurate source overwhelmingly mention Fox News, while Democrats’ responses are more varied.”

The survey asked what news sources respondents considered to be objective. Twenty-four percent said Fox News. That left forty-nine percent divided up between several other sources including CNN, NPR, MSNBC, the New York Times and others. What stood out though, was that sixty percent of Republicans chose Fox News. By comparison, only twenty-one percent of Democrats chose CNN. While Democrats’ preferences were dispersed among a variety of news sources, Republicans were clutching tightly to their ideological security blanket, Fox News.

Another significant finding was that Republicans have a peculiar definition of “fake news.” Rather than the conventional view that regards made up stories intended to deceive as fake, forty-two percent of Republicans (versus seventeen percent of Democrats) consider “accurate news stories that cast a politician or political group in a negative light to always be ‘fake news.'” Let that sink in. They actually said that accurate reporting is fake if they don’t like it. That also happens to be the way Trump looks at it. Anything that he thinks is critical of him, even if it’s true, is automatically dismissed as fake.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The groupthink on the part of Republicans and conservatives is driving the party into a Fox News flavored abyss. They have a single source of information that is notoriously biased and often chases conspiracy theories that lead to embarrassing collisions with reality. And it’s also Trump’s base. Which means that as Trump continues to set records as the most unpopular president ever, Fox News and their viewers will become more isolated and irrelevant. And the sooner that happens, the better.

Trump Loses to Obama Again: Gallup’s ‘Most Admired Man’ is Gonna Give Trump an Aneurysm

The single most compelling motivation for everything Donald Trump has done as president has been his relentless mission to undo everything Barack Obama did. It’s what drives his fetish to kill ObamaCare. It’s why he has issued a frantic flurry of executive orders mainly reversing those Obama issued. It’s why he still can’t stop talking about, and disparaging, the former president after nearly a year in office.

Donald Trump

So it can be safely assumed that Trump isn’t going to take this news very well. According to Gallup’s annual poll, Barack Obama is once again the man that is “Most Admired” by the American people. It’s his tenth consecutive win. For a narcissist like Trump this would be painful no matter who beat him. But to be beaten by his arch nemesis Obama has to be devastating.

It’s notable that on Wednesday morning after the release of the survey Trump has gone silent on Twitter. As of this writing it has been twenty-two hours since his last tweet. It isn’t possible to make a direct link to the Gallup poll as a cause of this uncharacteristic hush, but neither is it inconceivable that he’s sulking and muttering to himself about how unfair life is rather than tweeting. He could be plotting some revenge to show Obama who’s boss. Or he might have had a small stroke and is gurgling soap bubbles in his gold-plated bathtub.

To make matters worse, this is the first time that a first-year president has not been named “Most Admired.” Other sitting presidents have missed out on the honor, but later in their terms after they had a chance to make sufficient numbers of people hate them. Trump didn’t need that extra time to fail. He came out of the gate with the worst approval ratings of any president since polling began.

And the pain for Trump doesn’t end there. In addition to being beaten by his predecessor, he also must face the news that his past (and surprisingly still) opponent, Hillary Clinton was named “Most Admired Woman” for the 22nd time (16th consecutively). She barely edged out Michelle Obama. Melania scored a single percentage point down in eighth place. Not that Trump cares about that. He’s only interested in his own performance and his desperate prayers for the failure of his foes.

So Trump has now lost to Obama twice. Once at the end of the year that saw him lose the popular vote to Clinton, and once after his first year in office. This is a man whose ego is so fragile that he forces his cabinet secretaries to recite humiliating love letters to him in official meetings. He resorts to paying tribute to himself on Twitter and during press avails to make sure that someone says something nice about him. And he whines incessantly about not being shown the adoration that he’s convinced he deserves.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Now Gallup has provided further documentation of how despised he is by the nation. And subsequently his Twitter voice has disappeared. Somebody better check on him to make sure he hasn’t done something rash. Like paint a mustache on the official Obama portrait, or launch a nuclear missile at “Rocket Man” in North Korea, or some other typically infantile behavior that we’ve all come to expect from him.

On the other hand, Trump may not even know about this poll since it doesn’t appear to have been reported on Fox News and still isn’t on the Fox News website. Since that seems to be his only source for news, this item may not have made it through to the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Trump must have some awareness of the deep dislike Americans have for him. And he must know deep inside that 2018 isn’t going to get any better.

Trump Sinks to Historic New Low in Approval Due to His Asinine Actions on Climate Change

There seems to be no bottom for Donald Trump in the minds of the American people. His job approval rating continues go down with almost every action, statement, or tweet that he excretes. He is a political avalanche that is hurtling down the mountainside crushing weak-kneed Republican defenders it its wake.

Donald Trump

Gallup’s latest tracking poll shows that Trump fell six points to thirty-six percent in just the last week. Needless to say, there are lots of pending calamities facing Trump and his administration. Most notably the ever-tightening noose that is his unsavory relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Not only is that not going away, it is getting more treacherous with the investigation by special prosecutor, Robert Mueller. But the week just concluded had a couple of specific anchors dragging Trump ever deeper underwater.

The most prominent news event last week was Trump’s highly promoted address in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Excluding the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday that occurred to late to impact the poll). He gathered the media to announce that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords on Climate Change. His interminably long and rambling speech was ridiculed and riddled with factual misrepresentations and outright lies. And it appears that the public didn’t buy any of it.

The American people are more concerned about Climate Change now than ever. Unlike Trump, they do not believe it’s a hoax perpetrated by China. And specifically with regard to Trump’s actions, there is overwhelming support for remaining a part of the Paris Accords. Even a new poll by Fox News showed that Americans fear Climate Change more than Terrorism.

Consequently, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s approval rating took another dive. Following his rebuke of 147 nations who signed onto the accords, Trump seems petty, ignorant, and rabidly nationalistic. It’s a position that can only be explained as pandering to his wingnut base and corporate, fossil-fuel benefactors. Conversely, it’s a slap in the face to rest of the country – and world.

And speaking of the world, it plays a role in another news event from last week that is likely affecting Trump’s dismal polling. He just returned from his first trip overseas as president. To put it mildly, it didn’t go especially well. He praised Saudi Arabia as a “magnificent” kingdom without any mention of its severe human rights abuses. The sold them billions of dollars of weapons that previous administrations explicitly withheld from them. When he landed in Israel he mentioned to his hosts that he was just returning from the Middle East. Then he posed for some of the most awkward photos ever with the Pope. And finally, he insulted our NATO allies with ignorant rants about how awful they are.

That misadventure surely had some impact on Trump’s plummeting popularity. And along with his short-sighted, boneheaded move on Climate Change, he is assuring that his ratings will remain in the cellar for the foreseeable future. That isn’t going to help his floundering legislative agenda either. His attempt to repeal ObamaCare was rejected by the public and went nowhere in Congress. The tax proposal he put forward was equally disliked and there’s no sign that Congress will even consider it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

All of this is going to make it much easier for Republicans to abandon him when Mueller concludes his investigation. If impeachment hearings are in order, the GOP will have free reign to go along in order to save their own skins. Trump won’t have any leverage to bully them or even beg for help. He is in a downward spiral of his own making and likely already knows that there is no way out. So look for him to get even more desperate and irrational. And fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be bumpy ride.

Fact-Challenged Trump Cult’s Blind Hate Drives Trust In Media To Historic Lows

Let’s face it, the media has very little to brag about lately. It has been embarrassingly inept in its coverage of the election. It lets Donald Trump get away with a torrent of lies unseen in modern times (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). Simultaneously, it harps on Hillary Clinton’s alleged scandals despite the absence of any evidence of actual wrongdoing.

Donald Trump

Consequently, it should come as no surprise that a new poll by Gallup reveals that trust in the media has sunk to historic lows. Gallup’s survey asked people “how much trust and confidence” they have in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.” The respondents who said “a great deal” or “a fair amount” totaled to only thirty-two percent. That’s the lowest score in over forty years that Gallup has been asking this question.

The cause of the decline becomes more apparent when the numbers are broken out by political affiliation. Gallup notes that “Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally.” Since last year those groups have fallen four percent and three percent respectively. However, Republicans have taken a dive of mammoth proportions, dropping twelve percent. Says Gallup:

“With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more.”

This part of Gallup’s analysis may be true so far as the perception of Republicans is concerned. As a group they are notoriously whiny about what they believe is unfair reporting. However, as a matter of fact it is demonstrably false. A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy showed that from the start of the campaign “Trump’s coverage was positive in tone — he received far more ‘good press’ than ‘bad press.’” The same study showed that “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” And people wonder why Clinton is wary of the press. But there is another reason Republicans lost faith in greater numbers. Gallup highlighted it saying that:

“It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press.”

Bingo! Donald Trump has taken a sledgehammer to the media from day one. He has complained relentlessly about a perceived bias by a press corps that has shamelessly coddled him. They air his repetitive stump speeches in full and uninterrupted. They fall for his stunts designed to draw more attention to him. They even admit that they cater to his whims because they are addicted to the ratings they think he generates. CBS CEO Les Moonves famously said that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Even worse, Trump frequently disparages reporters personally. He calls them dummies, losers, sleazy, and scum. He points at them viciously during his rallies while spitting insults and “joking” about killing them. An NBC reporter once had to be escorted to her car by Secret Service after a rally due to threats from Trump’s hostile followers.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the media. It is a humongous industry controlled by a few monolithic, multinational corporations. It often pursues its own self-interest rather than the interests of the public they purport to serve. However, the delusional rantings of Donald Trump and his surrogates in no way justifies a loss of trust for the press. His unhinged rage is representative of a paranoid diversion from reality. And unfortunately, the damage he does to the public’s relationship with the media will far outlast this election season.

New Poll Shows HISTORIC Post-Convention FLOP For Trump And The GOP

The 2016 general election has officially begun. Both party nominating conventions have concluded and the candidates are spreading out across the country soliciting votes. As they do so, the impact of the conventions is beginning to be revealed in the first polling since the balloons dropped. And it’s terrible news for Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Donald Trump

Gallup has been surveying post-convention impressions for more than thirty years, but the results of this year’s poll have Trump scraping rock bottom with regard to public approval. In a first for Gallup, the majority of respondents (52%) say that they have a less favorable view of the Republican Party after the conventions than before. By contrast, a plurality of respondents (44%) view Democrats more favorably. Similarly, a majority of Americans (51%) are now saying that they are less likely to vote for Trump, while more voters (45%) say they are more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton following the two conventions. According to Gallup:

“The 2016 Republican convention is the first after which a greater percentage of Americans have said they are ‘less likely’ rather than ‘more likely’ to vote for the party’s presidential nominee.”

That’s a notable milestone. Trump scored a net negative of fifteen percent who were put off by his nightmarish presentation at the most significant campaign event of the election cycle thus far. That vastly under performs the second worst historical showing in this poll previously, which was a net positive of two percent for Mitt Romney in 2012. And thirteen percent of those saying they are less likely to vote for Trump are Republicans.

Gallup also polled reactions to the candidates’ acceptance speeches with results that should be equally worrisome to the Trump camp. Only thirty-five percent of Americans rated Trump’s speech “Excellent/Good.” Another thirty-six percent said it was “Poor/Terrible.” Clinton fared much better by comparison with forty-four percent rating her speech “Excellent/Good,” and only twenty percent holding the negative view. These numbers contribute to Gallup’s conclusions:

“In the short term, it appears the Democratic Party will leave the convention phase better off than before it began. Gallup tracking finds Clinton’s post-convention favorable rating at 44%, up six percentage points from mid-July. That is much higher than Trump’s 32% favorable rating in the days after the Democratic convention. Also, Obama’s job approval rating is now up to 54%, tied for the highest it has been since early 2013.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These survey results are closely aligned with the Nielsen ratings for the two conventions that showed the Democrats drawing in far more viewers than the Republicans over the four nights of television coverage. Not surprisingly, Americans prefer hope and unity to fear and division. And the failure of the GOP convention, and Trump’s horror show speech, explain why Trump himself is laughably trying to pretend that he had nothing to do with any of it. So now it’s on to the debates, assuming that Trump doesn’t chicken out (for which he is already laying the groundwork).

Majority Of Americans (Including 41% Of Republicans) Favor Socialist Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been a contentious point of debate in the media ever since it was proposed by a timid Congress that worked fervently to water it down and excise its most progressive elements. In subsequent polling the nation has appeared divided on whether they favored the insurance reforms, although the polls often neglected to differentiate from those who opposed it because it went too far and those who who opposed it because it didn’t go far enough.

Medicare For All

This week Gallup released a poll that definitively settles that question. They gave respondents a clear choice that included the option of “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.” That option, which is essentially universal healthcare, received a clear majority of 58% favoring it.

What’s more, when Gallup broke down the responses by party, it revealed that 41% of Republicans were in favor of the federally funded option as well. Not a majority, nor even close to the 73% of Democrats, but a surprisingly high figure representing the heretofore unknown socialist wing of the GOP.

The other options in the poll were “Keeping the Affordable Care Act in place,” which was divided 48-49%, and “Repealing the Affordable Care Act” which was also close at 51-45%. However, as Gallup noted:

“…the group of Americans in this survey who favor the law’s repeal, a core policy proposal of many Republican presidential candidates during this campaign season, includes some who apparently want the ACA repealed to replace it with an even more liberal system.”

ObamaCare, in its present form, has been an unqualified success. It has brought the number of uninsured down to historically low levels. It has kept the cost of healthcare down, both in premiums paid to insurers and direct costs of care. It has guaranteed access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions and provided equality of cost and care for women. These are just a few of the reasons that, despite a concerted effort by Fox News and other conservative media to scare Americans away from it, ObamaCare continues to enjoy widespread popularity.

Considering the broad appeal of a universal, Medicare-for-all style healthcare program, it would be advantageous for the presidential candidates to pay heed to the will of the people. To date, only Bernie Sanders has taken a position that fully embraces this policy. Hillary Clinton, though, has been inching toward it with a recent statement in support of a public option.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would also be helpful if the media would cover this preference on the part of the American people. This may not be as sexy a subject as Donald Trump’s latest sleaze mongering, but the press is supposed to be a source of credible information, particularly in the midst of a presidential campaign. No one would expect Fox News to report the results of this poll, and they haven’t. It would completely contradict their phony free-market, crony-capitalist, Republican sponsored narrative. But the rest of the national television newscasters have largely ignored it as well. And without a responsible media giving this issue the attention it deserves, the candidates for both national and local offices will feel no pressure to address it either.

SURPRISE! Fox News Audience Overwhelmingly Anti-Obama Republicans

Gallup just released the results of a new survey on where Americans get the their news. Not much about the findings are particularly earth-shattering, however, a couple of points reveal something notable about the Fox News audience.

Gallup reports that 55% of respondents cite television as their main source for news. As usual, the breakdown of that data reveals that a fair chunk of the viewers selected Fox News as their go-to network (8%), with the remainder of the legitimate news networks dividing the majority of the audience who are not blinded by the right. In fact, more than twice as many respondents chose sources other than Fox.

Somehow, these results have produced a flurry of stories proclaiming that Fox is the most popular news network. The shallowness of that conclusion is typical of media analysts who can’t see past a simple list of possible responses.

The method Gallup used for their inquiry was to ask an open-ended question that leaves it up to the respondent to choose how much specificity to apply. The answer with by far the most mentions was simply the generic “Television,” which received 26%, and is more than three times the mentions of Fox. The only thing that this tells us about Fox is that their viewers are more cultishly attached to the network and will recite its name upon command.

The most revealing part of the Gallup survey was the question that broke down the responses by political views. In this category, Fox News registered some astronomically high numbers for bias. Fully 94% of respondents identified as Republican or leaning Republican said that Fox News is their main source for news. Conservatives chimed in at 79%. And a whopping 97% of those who do not approve of President Obama pledged their allegiance to Fox. None of the respondents on the left came within 30 points of that level of extreme partisanship.

Fox News - Gallup

For more Fox-aganda bias, get the acclaimed ebook:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault on Truth

Surely Fox is aware of the character profile of their audience. And just as surely, their editors react to such market research by tailoring their programming to viewer preferences. Consequently, it should surprise no one that a network where more than 90% of its audience are conservative Republicans who hate President Obama spins every story in favor of the right and virulently against Democrats or anything remotely liberal. At this point, anyone denying the reality of this is desperately in need of intensive therapy and high doses of medication.

Brent Bozell To GOP: Set A Torch To That Big Tent

Brent Bozell, the president of the uber-conservative Media Research Center, has issued a bit of advice for the Republican Party that ought to make Democrats everywhere ecstatic.

“Incoming memo to the GOP: Set a torch to that big tent of yours. People are flocking from liberals’ failing policy and ideals.”

The impetus for this counsel is new polling from Gallup that says that Americans in recent years have become more conservative. Bozell’s knee-jerk reaction typifies the shallow and partisan analysis for which he is known.

The Gallup poll cited by Bozell does indeed show that 39% of Americans consider themselves more conservative than they did a few years ago. What Bozell fails to reveal is that a significant majority of those who say they have become more conservative were conservative to begin with.

Plus, it is mostly Republicans whose views have shifted more to the right. So what we are seeing is primarily a hardening of ideology by those who were already on the right side of the scale.

In addition, a prior Gallup poll showed that Republicans already reside in the smallest of tents, with 73% describing themselves as conservative and only 4% as liberal and 24% moderate. Democrats, on the other hand, breakdown to 38% liberal, 40% moderate and 22% conservative, a much more balanced community.

The obvious conclusion from the data in this poll is that there isn’t any advantage for officeholders or candidates to swing to the right. Even if the American people are sliding slightly rightward, that doesn’t mean that they will vote Republican. Just take a look at the results of last November’s election when Democrats took the White House and added seats in both chambers of congress. And contrary to Bozell’s contention that “people are flocking from liberals’ failing policy and ideals,” Gallup explicitly debunks that claim in their polling on specific issues.

Consequently, Bozell’s advice to the GOP to circle the wagons and become more exclusionary than ever can only help Democrats, who are presently viewed as more tolerant of diverse opinions. The public still blames Bush for the economy and Iraq; still prefers Obama’s approach to healthcare and immigration; and still has a 63% approval rating for the President.

So light up your torches, Republicans. Fan those embers of your party’s support. Feed the flaming rhetoric of your right flank. You are only going to burn down your own house.