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July 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A remarkable 58 percent of the public agrees with former President Donald Trump’s infamous declaration that the mainstream media is the “enemy of the people,” according to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports.
On numerous occasions throughout his presidency, Trump referred to purveyors of “fake news” as “enemies of the American people.” According to Rasmussen’s July 7-8 poll, 58 percent of likely voters at least somewhat agreed with the statement that “The media are ‘truly the enemy of the people,’” with 34 percent “strongly” agreeing. Just 36 percent disagreed. Notably, 61 percent of independents and even 37 percent of Democrats agreed with the statement.
Even larger margins agreed that “fake news” is a serious problem: 83 percent overall, with 82 percent of independents and 74 percent of Democrats. This finding is more open to interpretation, however, as Left and Right intensely disagree on what constitutes “fake news.”
Regardless, the results are consistent with various surveys over the years finding the news media to be one of the least trusted institutions in the United States, as well as that Americans trust their media far less than citizens of dozens of other countries trust theirs.
LifeSiteNews has covered many incidents of the type that fueled this mistrust, such as widespread dismissal of the possibility that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory, which persisted for a year until being recently abandoned; the January 2019 smearing of pro-life teenagers based on misrepresentations of selective video clips; open partisanship on issues such as abortion and explicit contempt for pro-Trump Americans from ostensibly independent journalists; factually-misleading coverage on disfavored policies such as election-security measures; and suppression of stories harmful to their preferred candidates, such as the business dealings of presidential son Hunter Biden.
In March, D.C. Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman actually took a dissenting opinion in a defamation case as an opportunity to argue that the press’ near-unanimous support of one party over another presents a “threat to a viable democracy.”
“It would be one thing if this were a two-sided phenomenon, (but) the increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions,” he wrote. “Ideological homogeneity in the media — or in the channels of information distribution — risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government.”