President Donald Trump’s attempts to get people to distrust the mainstream media — through his criticisms of “fake news,” both on Twitter and in front of cameras at the White House — seems to be getting through to people, most notably his most supportive backers.
According to data compiled by Pew Research, the more one supports Trump, the more likely they are to be mistrustful of media in general.
Taking a look at studies and polls they’ve conducted over the past year, Pew found that Republicans in general believed that journalists had “low or “very low” ethical standards, with 79 percent of GOP respondents saying as much. For comparison, about 36 percent of Democrats agreed.
But the number who held to that viewpoint tended to increase as support for Trump increased as well. Among Republicans who “somewhat” approved of Trump’s job performance as president, 76 percent said they had a “low” or “very low” view of journalists’ ethics. Among Republicans who “strongly” approved of Trump’s job, that number went up to 85 percent who viewed journalists’ ethics as low.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) December 12, 2019
Conversely, among Democrats, trust in the media tended to increase as disapproval went up. Among Democrats who “somewhat” disapproved of Trump’s job performance, 48 percent said they had at least some or even strong misgivings about journalists’ ethics. Among those who said they “strongly” disapproved of Trump’s job so far, that number went down to 31 percent.
Partisanship appeared to play another role in how people viewed the media’s role in society. Asked on whether journalists or media organizations are critical in being a “check” on political leaders, only 50 percent of Republicans agreed with that sentiment, Pew’s study found, while 82 percent of Democrats said as much.