Thursday, April 27, 2017


Trump fans continue to give the president high ratings, and Greg Sargent thinks this is the result of a successful Trump con job:
Trump’s lies are working brilliantly. This new poll proves it.

... [Trump] has insisted that the press is misrepresenting his record, while also vastly inflating it himself — thus preparing his voters to dismiss everything they are being told about his historic lack of accomplishments.

A new Post-ABC News poll suggests that this may be working for Trump. It finds that enormous majorities of his voters believe the news media regularly publishes false stories. Even bigger majorities of them believe the news media’s falsehoods are a bigger problem than the Trump administration’s falsehoods are, while only small fractions think the administration tells falsehoods or that his lies are the greater problem. Just look at these findings, which I pulled from the crosstabs:

* 80 percent of Trump voters think it’s a bigger problem that news organizations produce false stories, while only 3 percent of them think it’s a bigger problem that the Trump administration makes false claims....

* Only 17 percent of Trump voters think the Trump administration regularly makes false claims, while 76 percent of Trump voters think it doesn’t....

* By contrast, 78 percent of Trump voters think that news organizations regularly produce false stories, while only 19 percent of them think otherwise....

* Meanwhile, 84 percent of Trump voters think he’s keeping most of his major campaign promises, while only 4 percent think he isn’t, and 89 percent of them think he’s honest and trustworthy.
Trump, a cable news addict, has certainly defined himself in opposition to the press more than most politicians. But Republican voters mistrusted the press even before he announced his presidential candidacy, as Pew noted in 2013:

Republicans have hated the media for a long time:

(This bumper sticker wasn't from 2004 -- it was from 1992.)

And while Trump's frequent references to the "lying media" echo the Nazis' use of the word lügenpresse, which means the same thing, you have to remember that the Fox News slogan "Fair and Balanced" has implied for a generation that all of Fox's competitors are the lügenpresse (and Fox on-air personalities have been more explicit about this than the slogan, as have the hosts of right-wing talk radio).

The right has long believed that the non-conservative media lies. The only difference now is that Trump made this discussion central to his presidency. And of course he would, because, as an eager consumer of the right-wing media, he's absorbed the message for years.

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