Published on Feb 25, 2017
By Neil Munro
The lopsided 52 percent to 26 percent trust in Trump is hidden in the crosstabs of the poll, which was released Feb. 17. Overall, by a narrow margin of 45 percent to 42 percent, Americans think Trump is more likely to tell the truth than are reporters.
But that topline result is skewed by sharply skewed partisan opinions. Only 8 percent of Democratic voters trust Trump more than reporters, and only 9 percent of Republican voters trust the media reporters more than Trump.
So the 52 percent pro-Trump to 26 percent pro-media attitudes among independent-minded swing voters push the final result into Trump’s favor — and also give him a political and electoral advantage as the left-leaning established media repeatedly slams Trump, his deputies and his popular policies, such as curbs on immigration.
Those February 2017 numbers show a huge shift from past polls when the public trusted politicians much less than journalists.
In a June 2006 poll cited by Fox, 5 percent of respondents said they have more trust in government officials, 40 percent said they more trust in journalists and 26 percent said they trusted neither.
In an October 1997 poll cited by Fox, only 6 percent of respondents said they trusted politicians more than journalists, 61 percent said they trusted journalists more than politicians, and 20 percent said they trusted neither.
So the 2017 numbers show journalists have lost one-third of their trust level, or 19 points, from the 1997 level of 61 percent to the 2017 level of 42 percent.
The Fox news poll is validated by a recent poll from Emerson College.
The poll also shows that the public believes the media is far tougher on Trump than it was on President Barack Obama. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents told Fox News that the media has been tougher on Trump compared to Obama, while only 18 percent believe they have been easier on Trump. Twelve percent said they were treated equally.
Still, despite the skepticism towards the media, a solid majority of Americans want the media to push Trump hard. Fifty-five percent say the media should “cover the president aggressively,” while 38 percent say the president should be given the benefit of the doubt.
The telephone poll of 1,013 registered voters was conducted Feb. 11 to Feb. 13.
By Tyler Durden
Hoping to make their case stron, state politicans pointed at their balanced budget and high jobs numbers in the latest dustup between the populist Republican and the progressive state. Quoted by Reuters, the state’s top Democrats called Trump “cruel” and his proposals unconstitutional, after the businessman-turned-politician threatened to withhold federal funding from the most populous U.S. state if lawmakers passed a bill protecting undocumented immigrants. “President Trump’s threat to weaponize federal funding is not only unconstitutional but emblematic of the cruelty he seeks to impose on our most vulnerable communities,” state Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said in a statement on Monday.
The latest war of words between Trump and Democratic leaders in California, where voters chose his opponent, Hillary Clinton, two-to-one in November’s election, began Sunday, in an interview between Trump and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. During the interview, O’Reilly asked Trump about a bill in the state legislature, authored by de Leon, to ban law enforcement agencies in the state from cooperating with immigration officials in most circumstances. Cities who have enacted similar bans are known as sanctuary cities, and de Leon’s bill, if passed and signed into law by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would effectively extend such rules to the entire state.
“I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,” Trump said.
“If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”
Trump told O’Reilly that he didn’t want to defund a state or a city and would like to give them “the money they need to properly operate.” But the president added that “if they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”
California’s mostly democratic leadership was not amused. State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, an L.A.-area Democrat, said the state has the most manufacturing jobs in the nation, and produces a quarter of the country’s food. “If this is what Donald Trump thinks is ‘out of control,’ I’d suggest other states should be more like us,” Rendon said.
Sunday’s shot across the bow of Sacramento followed a similar threat last weak, when Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from the University of California at Berkeley, where violent rioting led to the cancellation of a speech by famous “alt-right” winger Milo Yiannopoulos.
Experts have said it would be difficult for the President to withhold funds from either the university or the state. Court rulings have limited the power of the president to punish states by withholding funds, and most appropriations come from the Congress and not the executive branch. Then again, this is Trump we are talking about, and while it may ultimately indeed prove impossible, should this particular animosity between Trump and the state continue, Trump will certainly try…
As a reminder, a proposal for California to break away from the United States has been submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office in the state capital. If it qualifies, it could trigger a vote on whether the most populous US state should become a separate nation. The group behind the proposal, Yes California Independence Campaign, was cleared on Thursday by Californian Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin the bid to collect some 600,000 voter signatures required to put the ambitious plan on the ballot, AP reported.
The initiative would ask voters to repeal part of the state constitution that declares California an “inseparable part of the United States of America.” Being a US state is “no longer serving California’s best interests,” the movement claims.
“Not only is California forced to subsidize this massive military budget with our taxes, but Californians are sent off to fight in wars that often do more to perpetuate terrorism than to abate it. The only reason terrorists might want to attack us is because we are part of the United States and are guilty by association. Not being a part of that country will make California a less likely target of retaliation by its enemies,” the campaign argues, among other things.
“America already hates California, and America votes on emotions,” Marcus Evans, vice-president of Yes California told to the Los Angeles Times. “I think we’d have the votes today if we held it,” he added.
Since California must submit the valid voter signatures by July 25 to qualify for the November 2018 ballot, it is shaping up to be an especially volatile summer.
In “Fail Stream Media,” RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky and Anya Parampil take a look at why the mainstream media failed at objectivity when reporting the important stories of 2016. While outlets from CNN to even Fox News called Republican Donald Trump “a clown” and “a joke,” they were also responsible for his meteoric rise to the White House.
Media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) looked at 128 front-page campaign stories by three major newspapers over the course of two months. Their analysis found that Trump got twice as much coverage as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“The coverage did not focus on the issues much ‒ it covered less than 12 percent ‒ and the majority of it was campaign strategy pieces that really just focused on the horse race… who was teetering or who was gaining ground,” FAIR’s Ben Johnson told RT. “A lot of polling, too. That made up around 60 percent… which didn’t really tell the voters anything.”
Once Trump surprised the pundits and pollsters by winning the election, some news outlets, like the New York Times, issued a mea culpa. Others remained defiant, seemingly declaring war on the incoming administration. RT became a favored scapegoat, with some analysts (and even the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI) suggesting that the network had chosen Trump as its favored candidate ‒ even though “News with Ed” host Ed Schultz recorded numerous exclusive interviews with darkhorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the same candidate ignored by the mainstream outlets.
“I was waiting to see the case made,” media and legal analyst Lionel, of Lionel Media, told RT America. “I’m a lawyer by trade, and I have this thing called proof, and I understand that if an accusation is made, there should be some kind of connector, the accusation to the proof, and nothing was there.”
“If this was an indictment, it would be dismissed basically for lack of a case,” he continued. “To say that it was breathtakingly incoherent would be complimentary.”
The media’s black eye on politics culminated with the reporting on accusations that Russia interfered with the election. Between the ODNI report that heavily featured RT and the release of a questionable dossier of blackmail material on Trump supposedly collected by the Russian intelligence Kompromat program, journalists salivated at the idea of tying the incoming American leader with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the point that they never took a step back to see how realistic these documents actually were.
“The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh told The Intercept in an interview for Jeremy Scahill’s inaugural podcast. “They were hectoring. They didn’t do reporting.”
The ODNI report wasn’t “a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force ‒ they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief,” Hersh said.
The presidential election wasn’t the only topic on which media outlets failed to remain credible. Its coverage of Syria, especially the retaking of Eastern Aleppo by government troops, was questionable. The mainstream media appeared to do everything possible to discredit Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict, mainly by stressing that Moscow backed President Bashar Assad, rather than the Washington-backed rebels. They also ignored reports that Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Nusra had infiltrated the American-supported Free Syrian Army.
Journalists reporting in Syria burned their relationships with Assad by getting access to the war-torn areas of the country with security and access provided by the government, “and then they say, ‘What an evil dictator Assad is,’ and there isn’t a second side to it,” RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev told Yaroshevsky and Parampil. “Interestingly enough, they never seem to go in on the side they’re reporting, on the rebel side.”
Gazdiev has been on the ground covering Syria from a different angle. He was the first journalist to report that the black Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) flag was flying in East Aleppo. It took a month for those journalists to acknowledge misdeeds by the rebels, he said, and they never reported Russian and Syrian actions that didn’t fit their preconceived narrative.
“These journalists come into Aleppo, they film whatever they want, they have access to pretty much the whole city, and they pump out enormous, almost exclusively anti-Assad, pro-rebel rhetoric,” he said. “All these journalists, western journalists from big companies that came into Aleppo while I was there, there was a month where there were no Russian airstrikes, no Syrian government airstrikes on Eastern Aleppo, the besieged part of Eastern Aleppo. None of them said so. None of them said that the Russians and the Syrians aren’t bombing.”
BY C.E. DYER
Current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest actually claimed on Thursday, in response to a question about the dust-up caused by the Clinton News Network, that he could “never recall a scenario where I was tempted to throw someone out of the room.”
The Hill reported that “The spokesman said dealing with tough questions from the media is ‘part of the process’ of leading a democratic country.”
This is so rich on a couple of levels. First, it’s hilarious for anyone from the Obama administration to lecture about handling “tough questions” when the mainstream media carried their water for eight years.
That brings us to the next point that catches Earnest in a big fat lie. He absurdly claimed that he has never even felt tempted to throw an outlet out. As we know, the one outlet that asked any tough questions, Fox News, was treated very unfairly by the Obama administration.
Moreover, Earnest himself wrote in an email back in 2009: “We’ve demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews,” as revealed by Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch reported:
… internal Obama administration emails obtained by Judicial Watch provide evidence that FNC was specifically singled out for exclusion. According to one October 22, 2009, email exchange between Dag Vega, Director of Broadcast Media on the White House staff, to Jenni LeCompte, then-Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs in the Treasury Department, Vega informs LeCompte that “…we’d prefer if you skip Fox please.”
Regarding general anti-FNC bias within the Obama White House in an October 23, 2009, email exchange between Jennifer Psaki, Deputy White House Communications Director and LeCompte, Psaki writes, “I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby – just cause”. In an email on the night of October 22, 2009, commenting on a report by Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier noting the exclusion of the network from the pool, Psaki writes to Compte and fellow White House colleagues, “…brett baier just did a stupid piece on it — but he is a lunatic”.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest bluntly described the White House’s position on Fox News Channel in an October 23, 2009, email to LeCompte:
JANUARY 13, 2017
Highlighting how CNN stood down while Fox News was repeatedly attacked by President Barack Obama, Cavuto pointed out it’s not much fun when the shoe is on the other foot.
“Ouch! How’s all that going down, CNN?” Cavuto asked. “How does it feel to be dismissed, or worse, ignored? How does it feel when your feelings are hurt? When your reporters are singled out? And you’re treated unfairly and unkindly? Even rudely? What is it like not to be liked? It’s not really fun, is it?”
Here’s the rest of Cavuto’s tirade, where he reminds CNN that “payback is a bitch”:
It is not fun when you think you’re doing your job, and the guy you’re covering thinks you’re the piece of work.
It’s insulting, isn’t it? Being called on the carpet by the next leader of the free world after years of giving the present one all but a free pass?
You can’t figure out suddenly not being in. It bugs you when someone questions whether you’re fair, doesn’t it? Or cuts you to your journalistic core, doesn’t it? It matters now when it’s about you, doesn’t it? Not so much when it’s about someone else.
Presidential pile-ons matter when you’re the subject, not so much — actually scratch that, not at all — when let’s say Fox is the subject.
[Video cuts to several clips of President Obama repeatedly denigrating Fox News]
And everyone chuckled. Take it from me, taking truth to power can be powerfully unsettling if that power sets its sights on you and attacks you and dismisses you and ignores you.
It didn’t matter so much when it wasn’t about you before, CNN. Very different now that it’s you being singled out, CNN. Doesn’t seem very fair now, does it? The shabby treatment of your reporter’s not very nice now, is it?
That’s life, I guess, not fair often, not balanced. And now you’re experiencing what we have been living. Now you’re the ones royally “foxed.”
And the irony is I feel your pain. Now you never came to our defense so allow me to come to yours: you are better than Buzzfeed.
But the buzz is you’re getting fed to the wolves. Isn’t it obnoxious and unfair how some celebrate your plight? Kind of feels like the way you celebrated ours, doesn’t it?
They say payback’s a bitch. If only you would take a moment to rewind the tape and see the shoe is on the other foot. Or am I confusing it with the one now kicking you in the ass?