Emerson College poll: Americans find Trump Administration more trustworthy than media

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday February 09th, 2017

So much winning.

How hard a win is this, really? Prevailing over the media is sort of like when you go to the gym and you glance over at the 400-pound guy on the treadmill and think to yourself, "I'm in better shape than him!"

Right. You're Mr. Universe, champ.

But even if the poll means nothing official and the margin isn't exactly gigantic, it's still quite something to be more trusted than a bunch of people with very big microphones who these days are pretty much obsessed with telling everyone what a liar you are. How's that working out for you, media?

Not well:

A key finding of the poll shows that voters find the Trump administration to be more truthful than the news media. The Trump administration is considered truthful by 49% of voters, to 48% of voters who consider it untruthful. Meanwhile, the news media is considered untruthful by a 53%-majority of registered voters, to only 39% who find them truthful (a 14-point gap). Numerous members of the Trump administration – including Trump himself – have been criticized frequently for making false statements. The partisan split on this topic is clear – 89% of Republicans find the Trump administration truthful, versus 77% of Democrats who find the administration untruthful. Conversely, 69% of Democrats find the news media truthful, while a whopping 91% of Republicans consider them untruthful. Independents consider both untruthful – the Trump administration by a margin of 42%/52% and the news media by a margin of 45%/47%.

Basically Trump wins on balance because even Democrats can't muster any better than 69 percent who believe the media, while independents actually distrust Trump more than they distrust the media, but they don't trust the media enough to put them over the top in the poll.

I know, the whole thing is an academic exercise in not very much. It's not as if the poll shows Trump has achieved "Most Trusted Man in America" status. But what it does show is that the media have proven a poor vehicle for selling the public on Trump's supposed dishonesty. The more they rant and rave about all Trump's alleged lies, the more the public sees a group of people who are upset their agenda isn't prevailing, and have become shrill and obsessive in their complaints about it.

The big question is whether they realize this at all, or whether they're still deluding themselves into thinking they operate with the high and mighty authority their self-importance would imply. Just about every day now some major media outlet is screaming a headline insisting Trump "falsely" said this or Trump "without evidence" asserted that. They expect people to accept their premise simply because they're the professionals who report the news, and why wouldn't they know these things?

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

But it's not as if the public's distrust of the media is a new development. Rob told you in September that their trust numbers with the public were in the toilet. They saw that same poll, you realize. Did they dismiss it as normal cynicism and figure that by and large people would still believe them, if only because they were the only game in town? Is this why they suddenly became so apoplectic about "fake news" after Trump won? Because they suddenly realized that the bumpkins out there in the hustings didn't know the difference between cheap clickbait and the proper, appropriate, correct professionals who work diligently each day to tell them how it is?

As for Trump, let's face it: His trust numbers are not great, and with as many radical changes as he intends to make in the governance of this nation, he could use an improvement in that area. But for a guy who's being accused daily of being a liar by hundreds of people with pretty big megaphones, he's really not doing so badly. Remarkable.

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!