Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, said he would support any politician who comes up with a law requiring fact checking for any company that calls itself a "news" organization.
Cuban's proposal focuses on cable news, a medium which has been marked with a blurring of the lines between factual news coverage and opinion-based analysis and punditry.
"Any politician that says they will push for a law that says no tv or streaming network can brand, market or name themselves a News Network unless the 6 most viewed hours of every night is >80% fact checked news and opinion is clearly labeled as opinion only, gets my vote," Cuban tweeted. "IMO, It would reduce the partisanship in this country almost overnight."
IMO, It would reduce the partisanship in this country almost overnight— Mark Cuban (@Mark Cuban)1572842643.0
Much of the response to Cuban's proposal was opposition to the idea that government should have any responsibility or authority over media content. Cuban later clarified that he didn't want government to dictate coverage, but rather to force news outlets to uphold a certain standard of factual accuracy in order to brand themselves as "news."
"We already have laws saying you can't mislabel products," Cuban wrote. "I'm not saying a network can't air whatever they want. Just that they have to be honest about what they are airing."
@MarkDice I have. And I know what it did. Do you ? We already have laws saying you can’t mislabel products. I’m no… https://t.co/qIOJgkGvP4— Mark Cuban (@Mark Cuban)1572843170.0
Americans, in general, have a low level of trust in mainstream media outlets, according to a recent Gallup Poll. In October, it was reported that only 41 percent of Americans have "a great deal" or a "fair amount" of trust in mass media.
Democrats are typically more trustful of mass media than Republicans, especially in the years since the election of President Donald Trump. From Gallup:
Recent Gallup data showed that Republicans' trust in most specific news sources in recent years has stagnated or declined, while Democrats' has risen. Fox News is the only national news source with majority-level trust from Republicans while majorities of Democrats trust six national news sources. Likewise, data from last year's Gallup/Knight Foundation surveys found similar results and also found that Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to perceive bias, inaccuracy and misinformation in newspapers, on television and on radio.