Society

Poll: Majority View Media As Trump's 'Opposition Party'

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates that a majority of American adults believe the press has become an opposition party for President Donald Trump, who has described media outlets that have given him critical coverage as an enemy of the public.

On March 6, an IBD/TIPP poll found that 54 percent of U.S. adults view the media as an unofficial opposition party against Trump. The survey found 55 percent of respondents were "weary from the media's persistently negative coverage of President Trump."

The data found that the vast majority of self-identifying Republicans hold this view, with 88 percent stating the press is too negative about the president. Poll results showed 55 percent of self-identifying independents agreed. Only 29 percent of self-identifying Democrats said they were weary of the negative press coverage, according to Investor's Business Daily.

Of Republican respondents, 83 percent were not confident the media would cover the Trump administration fairly while 62 percent of independents agreed. Only 26 percent of Democrats shared the same concern.

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The survey also found that only 41 percent of overall respondents approved of Trump's job performance while 53 percent disapproved.

Statistics site FiveThirtyEight provides analysis of other polling groups' biases and reliability. It assessed that IBD/TIPP has a mean-reverted bias of 0.6 percentage points conservative-leaning, which indicates it has a slight Republican bias. Based on margin of error, races called correctly and methodology, it rates IBD/TIPP an A- in reliability.

Trump has been vocal in his criticism of how the media covers his presidency, describing outlets that have been critical of him as "fake news."

On Feb. 17, the president took to social media to describe these outlets as a public enemy.

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"The FAKE NEWS media... is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!" Trump tweeted.

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has also been a vocal critic of the media. On Jan. 26, he accused critical reporters of serving as an opposition party.

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut ... The media here is the opposition party," Bannon told The New York Times. "They don't understand this country."

Before serving as an adviser to the president, Bannon was CEO of Breitbart News, a media outlet that has drawn accusations of elevating the white nationalist alt-right movement.

On March 7, a poll conducted by USA Today/Suffolk University found that 42 percent of respondents believe the media is unfairly biased against Trump while 48 percent believe reporters are holding the president accountable fairly.

The poll also found that 34 percent of respondents agree with Trump's assertion that the media is a public enemy while 59 percent disagree.

FiveThirtyEight gives Suffolk University a mean-reverted bias of 0.7 points liberal-leaning and a B+ in reliability.

Sources: Donald J. Trump/TwitterFiveThirtyEightInvestor's Business Daily, The New York TimesUSA Today / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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