Diving deep into Russian conspiracy theories and hysterical Trump bashing has meant big money for lefty outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN. But it also destroyed their credibility, causing Americans to view them as a divisive force.
When President Trump accuses the media of dividing the country, most voters agree.
In the new Morning Consult/Politico poll, 64 percent of registered voters said the press has done more to divide the country than unite it since Trump took office, compared with 56 percent who said the same was true of the president. The poll of 2,543 voters was conducted Oct. 25-30, after news first broke of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc’s attempted acts of politically motivated violence and amid news of a shooting by suspect Robert Bowers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The view that the national news media has been a mostly divisive presence was shared among partisans: A plurality of Democrats (46 percent) said the national media has done more to divide than unite — about half the share of Democrats (88 percent) who said the same of Trump. Eight in 10 Republicans agree that the media has done more to divide, while a quarter of Republicans said Trump has been mostly divisive.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll in July found that 28 percent of voters said they had “a lot” of confidence in the presidency — more than twice the 13 percent who said the same of television news and double the 14 percent who said the same of newspapers.
The media still controls much of the information space, but the public distrusts it, dislikes it and is looking for alternatives. That’s why the media has had to intensify its social media censorship project.