On Friday, Lisa Marie Pane and Emily Swanson at the Associated Press betrayed more than a little sadness that "The slaying of five dozen people in Las Vegas did little to change Americans’ opinions about gun laws." This unfortunate (in their view) polling result was achieved despite a ridiculous weighting of the poll's sample towards Democrats accompanied by a failure to identify the overall political outlooks (vs. party affiliations) of those who were sampled.
According to a poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, nearly half of American voters distrust the media’s reporting on President Trump and his administration. Not only that, but they believe journalists deliberately fabricate stories about Trump. More surprising, it’s not just Republicans or Trump supporters who believe this.
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, frequent MSNBC Republican guest David Frum lamented over the trend towards loosening gun laws -- even after high-profile mass shootings -- and then predicted that it would be necessary to convince gun owners that "you're a bad parent if you have a gun in the house" to get the public to support more gun restrictions.
This isn't a great poll number for the press. Gallup reports that “Just over a third of Americans (37%) in 2017 say news organizations generally get the facts straight, unchanged from the last time Gallup asked this question in 2003.” While overall perception of the media’s accuracy is stable, major partisan shifts emerged over the past 14 years. Republicans' trust in the media's accuracy has fallen considerably, while Democrats' opinions on the matter have swung in the opposite direction. Sixty-two percent of Democrats believe the media get the facts straight...compared to just 14 percent of Republicans.
Taxpayer-funded PBS and NPR are now in the polling business with Marist College, and like the other networks, their polls are often used to support putting heat on Republicans. On Wednesday, they announced they had found a majority of Americans were disappointed with the president’s responsive to the violence in Charlottesville. PBS then ignored their own finding that 62 percent favored leaving Confederate statues in place, while only 27 percent want them removed. NPR reported it once, and then insisted that had nothing to do with Charlottesville.
Buried in the weeds: They also asked if Americans approve or disapprove of Black Lives Matter: 50 percent disapproved, and only 33 percent approved. They even asked about approval of Antifa, but few had heard of them yet: Five percent approved, 24 percent disapproved.
It was ironic on Tuesday that the network that continues to employ proven liar Brian Williams accused the Trump White House of having a “credibility problem.” During a Today show interview with United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, co-host Savannah Guthrie demanded: “...there’s a new poll out just last night and it shows that the vast majority of Americans do not trust the information they’re getting out of the White House....Does the White House have a credibility problem? Does that concern you?”
The front page of the Saturday Metro section of The Washington Post offered breaking news on Christian attitudes. “Christians are far more likely than non-Christians to blame poverty on a lack of effort, a poll found.”
This poll from the Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation is three months old, taken from April 13 to May 1. This is not just a poll question; it’s begging for overgeneralization, with “the poor are mostly lazy” being judged by liberals as akin to “Muslims are mostly terrorists” or “Catholic priests are mostly child abusers.”
Longtime liberal pollster Stuart Rothenberg apparently had a hard time handling President Donald Trump's visit to West Virginia on Thursday. During that visit, Mountain State Governor Jim Justice officially announced his switch to the Republican Party, thereby consolidating full GOP control over the executive and legislative branches in that state, and bringing the total number of Republican U.S. governors to 35.
CNN host Alisyn Camerota has been making appearances recently to discuss her new book, Amanda Wakes Up, which is a fictional work that is nevertheless based in part on her past experiences working as a FNC host for the weekend edition of Fox and Friends. Camerota -- who left FNC to join CNN three years ago -- has been showing this past week a greater willingness to criticize her former employer -- yesterday on CNN's Reliable Sources, going so far as to charge that her old FNC show "unnecessarily stoked outrage" and "took a really myopic view of, say, President Obama or the current administration."
Throughout the 2016 election, journalists were technically correct and yet unrelenting in their criticism of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s reliance on the accuracy of entirely insignificant and unscientific surveys that reflected well on his candidacy and debate performances. On September 27, for instance, CNN posted a “fact-check” article, arguing that Trump “[misled] people by citing unscientific, unrepresentative Internet polls” in the wake of the first presidential debate in the general election. The Washington Post similarly argued that “the online polls are, again, garbage,” and impugned Trump for mentioning them in his speeches.
Monday's PBS NewsHour spotlighted the low trust in the news media, according to the results of their latest poll. Only 30 percent of those surveyed by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist trust the press "a good deal" or "a great amount." The Trump administration scored seven points better in the same poll. Guest Stuart Rothenberg bemoaned the "horrible trend" towards distrust of the media over the past several decades.
CNN’s eccentric Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta had been all over CNN and social media this week throwing a temper-tantrum over how the White House press briefings were being conducted. But during an appearance on The Situation Room, Wednesday evening, Acosta went full liberal activist as he decried the Trump administration and tried to smear a conservative panelist: “What we're witnessing right now is just this erosion of our freedoms in terms of covering the president of the United States.”