By Curt Mills
President Donald J. Trump’s administration is more trusted among U.S. voters than the media, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by Emerson College, found that the administration is considered truthful by a slim majority, 49 percent, versus 48 percent of registered voters who said it was untruthful. By way of comparison, only 39 percent of registered voters view the media as truthful, with 53 percent saying the news media is dishonest.
Partisanship plays a role.
“The partisan split on this topic is clear – 89 percent of Republicans find the Trump administration truthful, versus 77 percent of Democrats who find the administration untruthful. Conversely, 69 percent of Democrats find the news media truthful, while a whopping 91 percent of Republicans consider them untruthful. Independents consider both untruthful,” Emerson reports.
Trump’s teams have been at war with members of the traditional press since before he won on Election Day. At a December press conference, Trump, then president-elect, pointedly called one major outlet “fake news.” And in his first address from the White House podium the day after the inauguration, press secretary Sean Spicer berated the press for what he deemed as false coverage of the event’s crowd sizes. Steve Bannon, White House counselor and chief strategist, has reportedly referred to the media in Washington, D.C. as the “opposition party.”
At the same time, the president is noted for his veracious media habits, and he and other administration officials have pointed out that they don’t view the press as uniformly dishonest. Spicer has set up the ability for journalists outside the beltway to ask the White House a question by using Skype during the daily briefing, seen as a part of a larger series of moves to empower nontraditional players in the industry.