As President Donald Trump and members of the media ratchet up their boxing match, hurling lefts and rights that accuse the other of causing harm to America, a poll was just conducted that addresses that very topic.
Morning Consult/Politico conducted its poll from Oct. 25-30 — amid the furor over pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and a mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue — and the responses to a pair of questions stood out:
- Generally, would you say President Trump has done more to unite or divide the country since he took office?
- Generally, would you say the national news media has done more to unite or divide the country since President Trump took office?
When the tallies were counted from 2,543 voters, 64 percent said the media has done more to divide the country than unite it since Trump took office.
But when it comes to Trump doing more to divide than unite America? Only 56 percent said that was the case, according to the survey.
As you might expect, the breakdown of these results reflected political partisanship.
- Only 46 percent of Democrats said the media has done more to divide than unite America, while 88 percent of Democrats said the same about Trump.
- On the other hand, 80 percent of Republicans said the media has done more to divide than unite America, while 25 percent of Republicans said the same about Trump.
- Independents came closest to mirroring the overall numbers, with 67 percent of them saying the media has done more to divide than unite America, and 54 percent of them saying the same about Trump.
There was a margin of error of +/- 2 percent, the poll said.
How did the president of Media Matters react?
The president of left-wing Media Matters for America — which hunts down "conservative misinformation in the U.S. media" — actually told the Morning Consult that many media members have taken to covering the news through a Trump prism.
“The press themselves have become a tribe as opposed to a foundational source of information," Angelo Carusone told Morning Consult. "They’re viewed as much as a political player as advocate groups or partisan interests are."
And that's coming from the head of an outfit that devotes a section of its website to "The Trump Administration's War on the Press."
Remember what Jon Stewart just said
Comedian Jon Stewart — a longtime critic of the media — said much the same in an interview this week, chiding journalists who battle back against Trump’s anti-media barbs.
“I think that journalists have taken it personally,” Stewart told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. “They are personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them, and they dive in. And what he’s done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego. … And the journalists stand up and say, ‘We are noble, we are honorable, how dare you, sir!’ And they take it personally.”