WASHINGTON, DC – Earth to Oliver Darcy, Don Lemon, Jim Rutenberg, Steve Schmidt, and Brian Stelter: Call your offices!
Despite attempts by Morning Consult and Politico Thursday morning to put a spin on the findings of their latest poll, their poll found that more Americans blame the news media (by an eight-point margin) for dividing the American people than President Trump.
The poll of registered voters found that 64 percent believed the press has “done more to divide than unite the country” while 56 percent thought that answer applied to the President.
Upon being broken down by party affiliation, the results were stark with the media being seen as the chief divider by independents (67 percent) and Republicans (80 percent). Since they share the same world view as the press, only 46 percent of Democrats blamed them.
The President was not without blame. To the shock of no one, 88 percent of Democrats claimed the President was to blame and that’s compared to 54 percent of independents, 25 percent of Republicans.
As Townhall’s Guy Benson seemed to argue, the President certainly is divisive. But the reality is that the establishment media have demanded Fox News, the masses, and really anyone but themselves engage in soul-searching after the mail bombs and synagogue shooting while continuing to hurl venom at those they disagree with.
Alas, both Morning Consult and Politico tried to make the President the story. Here’s the lead graphs from the Morning Consult article (click “expand”):
President Donald Trump’s combative relationship with the national news media has been a staple of his White House tenure, perhaps reaching a fever pitch in the wake of recent acts of anti-Semitic violence and attempted domestic terrorism.
Days after authorities discovered a string of pipe bombs addressed to prominent Democratic politicians, donors and anti-Trump celebrities and after a gunman took 11 lives during a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the president suggested that “The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People,” was to blame for the division in the country.
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“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news,” he said Monday on Twitter.
To a certain extent, a new Morning Consult/Politico survey suggests Trump’s criticism rang true for roughly two-thirds of Americans, although it shows a majority also says he has been a mostly divisive presence.
It was only in the next paragraph that Eli Yokley conceded that more blamed the press than Trump. Down in paragraph eight, Yokley reminded readers of a July Morning Consult/Politico poll that found voters having more than twice (28 percent to 13 percent to 14 percent) “confidence in the presidency” than “television news” and newspapers. Ouch.
Politico’s Steve Shepard offered spin as well both in the article and headline (“Poll: Majority blames both Trump and media for dividing country”), but at least he got to the main gist by paragraph two (click “expand”):
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted over the past fractious, violent week shows a majority of voters think that President Donald Trump has done more to divide the country than unite it since he took office last year — but that the national news media are even worse.
Just 3 in 10 voters, 30 percent, said Trump has done more to unite the country, compared with 56 percent who said he’s done more to divide it. Even more voters, 64 percent, said the media have done more to divide the country, while only 17 percent say they have done more to unite it.
Majorities of Democrats (88 percent) and independents (54 percent) said Trump has done more to divide the U.S., while 55 percent of Republicans said Trump has done more to unite the country instead.
But few voters in either party — 28 percent of Democrats, 9 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of independents — said the national news media have done more to unite the country.
With suggestions such as Fox News being part of what ills America, NewsBusters being responsible for last week’s violence, and claiming that “something” must be done about white men in America receiving no blowback, the media have a long way to go when it comes to being unifiers and should think twice before lecturing the masses about how uneducated they are.