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Media Coverage of Trump Government's Flaws Might be Backfiring

Fortune

Mathew Ingram

10 hrs ago

 

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

 

Since Donald Trump took office in January, there has been a steady stream of critical articles in the mainstream press about potential problems with his administration and its policies. These have ranged from the government's immigration ban to allegations of conflicts of interest with Russia, with dozens of smaller controversies in between.

 

Is all of this coverage increasing public mistrust of Trump and his government? There are some signs this could be the case, including polls that show a low approval rating for the president. But there are other signs that the opposite may be true.

 

For example, a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that just over half of those surveyed said the media are being too critical of Trump and his administration. And a similar amount-53%-said that the media's coverage has exaggerated any problems within the Trump government.

 

Not surprisingly, an even greater proportion of regular viewers of conservative-leaning Fox News said they believed the media has been too critical of Trump's problems.

 

According to the survey, almost 80% of those who picked Fox as their primary news source agreed that the news media and other elites are exaggerating the problems of the Trump administration, because they are uncomfortable and threatened by the kind of change that Trump represents. Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter.

 

Even among viewers of more mainstream or less conservative-leaning networks such as MSNBC, however, the survey found that about 40% of those who answered the survey agreed with the statement that the media are exaggerating Trump's problems.

 

Although it's often unwise to extrapolate from a single survey, the Journal/NBC poll raises the possibility that the mainstream media's coverage of the Trump administration could be backfiring, and creating more mistrust of the media rather than more mistrust of Trump.

 

This effect could also be fueled by Trump's repeated attacks on what he calls the dishonest media, including the failing New York Times and other outlets that have been critical of him. The president recently described the mainstream press as enemies of the American people, and his chief strategist Steve Bannon has said the media acts as though it is the opposition party.

 

Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer excluded the New York Times, CNN, the BBC and BuzzFeed from an off-the-record press briefing, in what appeared to be retaliation for critical stories about the Trump government's ties with and potential conflicts of interest in Russia.

 

Even before these attacks, however, surveys have shown that public trust in the media is at all-time lows, the result of a sustained downward slide of more than a decade. Last fall, a poll done by Gallup found that only 32% of those surveyed said they had either a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the media, down from more than 50% in 1997. And in Edelman's recent Trust Barometer study, which it does annually, the public-relations firm found that just 35% of respondents said that they trusted the media.

 

Much like the Journal/NBC News poll, the Edelman survey also found significantly lower levels of trust in the media among those who voted for Trump. Just 15% of Trump supporters said that they trusted the press to report the news fairly, compared with about 26% of Clinton voters.

 

Since a significant proportion of the public don't appear to trust the press to begin with, critical stories about Trump and his government's policies or decisions may not be seen as credible. So instead of encouraging people to be more skeptical or critical of the Trump administration, these stories are instead seen as evidence of bias on the media's part.

 

This narrative is one that Trump's attacks play into, painting the press as out to get him, or engaging in what he and his spokespeople call fake news. And the Journal/NBC News poll suggests that this strategy may be having some impact on the way people see the president.

 

This article was originally published on FORTUNE.com

 

 

 

 
20 min ago / @rv1501 +
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9 hrs ago / @cornholio23 +
Livin' on a prayer

So this is strange and out of character sorta but

 

My grandfather and step-grandmother have purchased a house about 15 minutes away from my parents. They plan to be snowbirds (old people who live up north during the Summer and in Florida during the winter) for awhile until Sharon finally retires (she’s a lot younger than my grandfather haha). So anyway my grandfather is going to be here until April 8th but Sharon is only here right now until Tuesday so they invited us over for a family dinner tonight.

 

We used to do this a lot with them when we lived in Jersey, but it was our whole extended family. Of course, both my immediate and extended families were smaller when I was in elementary school. I hated family get-togethers then. It was just too many people, too much anxiety . . . too much.

 

As I grew older and we moved down here I tended to even dislike most of my extended family, because where the fuck where they when my dad was in jail or stealing money from the family funds and nearly OD-ing but really it’s not like they wouldn’t have helped had they known the true extent of it. I just had so many problems at home that I didn’t even have the energy to let my extended family in. I had to devote all of myself to my immediate family.

 

This still rings true until today however I honestly have really not minded and even at times enjoyed the company of my grandparents here. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m older… maybe it’s because I am finally at an age where my grandfather feels comfortable sharing a bottle of wine with me or maybe it’s because he’s just actually kinder after his stroke a few years ago… I’m not really sure what is but tonight (granted, I am 4 glasses of wine in) I feel like it might actually be nice to have them around. It might be nice to do big family dinners again. It might be nice to pretend like we’re a big happy family like we used to even when my dad was a junkie. I mean my brother’s the junkie now so the pretending is still there.

 

Hell, I even like Rachael. I don’t like her as a mother but I understand her situation that she’s put herself in and it’s shitty. I like her overall “I don't give a fuck and I’ll focus on myself” attitude. My parents are here to raise her baby so what does it matter if she’s like this? She can be part of my family, it’s cool. I’ll take her side over Lou’s any day, anyway.

 

And Aubrey really loves me. So maybe that’s another thing. Maybe my outlook on family is changing… or just… my family is expanding and I’ve accepted it?

 

Maybe I’m just more mature now, I don’t know.

 

 

 

 

Or maybe it’s all the wine I drink . . .

 

 Have a Bear x 1
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(no subject) The family all had an awesome weekend up at the cabin in Minnesota. Ice fishing for the first time,…
 
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Yeah so I got dumped. I don’t have any angry feelings or resentment. Just sadness, really. A lot of…
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(no subject) I also need more positivity in my life. I feel like I am surrounded by too much negative. I try and want…
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Oh, Joy - follow-up... At 2200 last night, it was FIFTY degrees Colder ( 21 degrees) than it was on…
 
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Oh, Joy!... Yesterday, we reached an all-time high temperature for the month of February… 71…
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3 days ago / @rv1501 +
I'm still a performer, btw

I created a SoundCloud account and uploaded all my old Justine the Guillotine stuff there. Well, I have had a SoundCloud account for a while but I only FINALLY uploaded shit on to it even though I did a search and I couldn’t find any other poets on it really??? So I think maybe this is the wrong medium to use. If anyone knows somewhere where I can upload my spoken word (besides YouTube, I’m already there) let me know.

 

Real shit: I finally uploaded my stuff on to SoundCloud because a) I really have wanted to do it for a while and b) I know Harry uses the site so when I finally upload all the shit about how I hate him, he can listen to it (or he can not listen to it, but at least wonder if it is about him). *insert peace sign emoji here*

 

 

 

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At a loss... If you knew your fiance’s ex was regularly texting him.. calling him.. etc. Would you…
 
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Moving along and software nonsense So my paper is divided into (currently) 6 sections: introduction,…
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Grr

I might be lying if I said I would not be fucking PISSED if the boyfriend doesn't visit this weekend..

 

He doesn't have the kids and the last 2 kid free weekend's.. He was busy. First one he wanted to just relax. Which I get. Must be nice. Second one he had a group thing With some work buddies.. Which is fine.

This weekend? Idk. I get we have next weekend together... but... I seriously need to get laid.. Like... Its been a good while since I've had an orgasm.

... I mean... Spending time together would be cool too......…

BUT SERIOUSLY SEX IS MY ONLY OUTLET!

I don't really drink.

Don't do any recreational drugs or any such.

I don't even hang out and vent with friends.

 

 

I just... I just want some sex. :(

 

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5 days ago / @chel2thec +
Did you know... The End
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6 days ago / @rv1501 +
 

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