America cannot be a true democracy without a free and vibrant press. If Donald Trump has accomplished one thing, he’s shown us that we have for too long taken that maxim for granted. Not even a year into his presidency and Trump has done more to divide the nation and tear down the press than any previous occupant of the White House.
The latest evidence comes from a new poll by The Poynter Institute that shows Democrats trusting the media more, Republicans trusting the media less. And those who follow the GOP flag are generally in lock step on buying into the “fake news” mantra of their party leader.
“The researchers found that Republicans and Trump supporters are today “far more likely to endorse extreme claims about media fabrication, to describe journalists as an enemy of the people, and to support restrictions on press freedom.”
This is scary stuff. In fact, more than 60% of Trump supporters believe the press is the enemy. And it gets worse. A quarter of Trump followers believe in severe restrictions on press freedom going so far as to give the government the right to stop a media outlet from publishing a story. On the other side, the survey found a surge in press confidence among Democrats to levels not seen since 1997, the year Poynter began asking the question.
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