The mainstream media had a golden opportunity, circa November 2016, to make a dramatic turn towards the unbiased, objective truth that Americans are starving for. After the election results came in and it was shown, in bold and underlined, to the American public how much they had been lied to about Trump’s chances in the horse race with Hillary Clinton, the media had an opportunity and an obligation to make some serious changes in the way they present the news.
Instead, they went in the exact opposite direction. They doubled down. Angry and scorned by the “bad taste” of the Trump-voting electorate, they made it their mission in 2017 to destroy this president and to shun, mock, and humiliate anyone who voted for him. That has provided their guiding light throughout the opening stages of this presidency, and there are no signs of retreat. If anything, things are getting worse by the day.
No doubt about it, the public has noticed. That’s why, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 46% of Americans believe that the news media sometimes makes up stories about President Trump and his administration simply to make them look bad. Only 37% of voters believe that the media never does this, and another 17% aren’t sure.
To little surprise, there is a sharp partisan divide in the results. On the Republican side, 76% of voters think that the news media is peddling fiction when it comes to Trump and only 11% think they play it straight every time out. Only 20% of Democrats feel that the media fabricates Trump stories.
In an interview with radio host Chris Plante on Tuesday, Trump said that he expected the media to change its tune after he won the election.
“Actually, dishonesty in the media is one of the things that surprised me the most,” the president said. “I thought after I won, the media would become much more stable and much more honest. They’ve gone crazy. CNN is a joke. NBC is a total joke. You watch what they report, it bears no relationship to what I’m doing. But the media is absolutely dishonest — and frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
Nor have any of us. The mainstream media has been in the tank for Democrats for a long time, getting worse by the year, but the Trump phenomenon took it to a whole new level of lies and deceit. We’re not sure what the major media outlets can do or should do at this point to win back the trust of the electorate, but we’d damn sure invite them to give it a try.