Connect with us

Culture

Trust In News Hitting Lows During Trump Presidency

Published

on

(Via AP News)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When truck driver Chris Gromek wants to know what’s really going on in Washington, he scans the internet and satellite radio. He no longer flips TV channels because networks such as Fox News and MSNBC deliver conflicting accounts tainted by politics, he says.

“Where is the truth?” asks the 47-year-old North Carolina resident.

Answering that question accurately is a cornerstone of any functioning democracy, according to none other than Thomas Jefferson. But a year into Donald Trump’s fact-bending, media-bashing presidency, Americans are increasingly confused about who can be trusted to tell them reliably what their government and their commander in chief are doing.

Interviews across the polarized country as well as polling from Trump’s first year suggest people seek out various outlets of information, including Trump’s Twitter account, and trust none in particular.

Many say that practice is a new, Trump-era phenomenon in their lives as the president and the media he denigrates as “fake news” fight to be seen as the more credible source.

“It has made me take every story with a large grain, a block of salt,” said Lori Viars, a Christian conservative activist in Lebanon, Ohio, who gets her news from Fox and CNN. “Not just from liberal sources. I’ve seen conservative ‘fake news.’”

Democrat Kathy Tibbits of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, reads lots of news sources as she tries to assess the accuracy of what Trump is reported to have said.

“I kind of think the whole frontier has changed,” said the 60-year-old lawyer and artist. “My degree is in political science, and they never gave us a class on such fiasco politics.”

Though Trump’s habit of warping facts has had an impact, it’s not just him.

Widely shared falsehoods have snagged the attention of world leaders such as Pope Francis and former President Barack Obama. Last year, false conspiracy theories led a North Carolina man to bring a gun into a pizza parlor in the nation’s capital, convinced that the restaurant was concealing a child prostitution ring. Just last week, after the publication of an unflattering book about Trump’s presidency, a tweet claiming that he is addicted to a TV show about gorillas went viral and prompted its apparent author to clarify that it was a joke.

Trump has done his part to blur the lines between real and not.

During the campaign, he made a practice of singling out for ridicule reporters covering his raucous rallies. As president, he regularly complains about his news coverage and has attacked news outlets and journalists as “failing” and “fake news.” He’s repeatedly called reporters “the enemy of the people” and recently renewed calls to make it easier to sue for defamation.

About 2 in 3 American adults say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current affairs, according to a Pew Research Center report last month. The survey found that Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to say that “fake news” leaves Americans deeply confused about current events. Despite the concern, more than 8 in 10 feel very or somewhat confident that they can recognize news that is fabricated, the survey found.

Victoria Steel, 50, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, said it’s important for people to invest time in finding reputable media sources or even friends to get the most information they can.

“You’re probably not going to get enough information out of sound bites, and you’re certainly not going to get it in a tweet,” said Steel, who says she voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news from social media, Pew found.

“I think part of the problem is that now people are getting too much information and it confuses them and they don’t know how to decipher the true and the fake,” said Trent Lott, a former Senate Republican leader from Mississippi who’s worked in Washington for nearly half a century. He isn’t fond of Trump’s Twitter habit, but also says he sees bias in the coverage of Washington by the mainstream media.

There’s been no love for the media for decades. The percentage expressing a great deal of confidence in the press has eroded from a high of 28 percent in 1976 to just 8 percent in 2016, according the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

“Trump didn’t invent this. He didn’t cause people to start feeling this way. He’s tapping into a vein that already existed,” said Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the Times-Gazette of Hillsboro, Ohio, one of the few daily papers that endorsed Trump. People, he added, “are nodding their heads right away because that’s how they’ve felt.”

Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, views Trump as a symptom of long-term trends. “Now, can he accelerate them and make them worse? Almost certainly.”

When Trump labels something “fake news,” ″I just have started assuming … whatever he’s talking about must be true,” said 46-year-old Joseph Murray of Mustang, Oklahoma, a registered independent. “I feel like that attitude didn’t start until he took office.”

Trump tends to inflate the significance of what he’s done. He claims his tax cuts are the biggest in history, his accomplishments surpass those of all previous presidents, and his election victory was a “landslide.” None is true.

He still insists there were millions of illegal votes cast in the 2016 election, even though there’s no such evidence.

Even on matters existential, Trump makes things up.

Taunted on Twitter by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump responded Jan. 3 that his own nuclear button “is a much bigger and powerful one than his, and my Button works!” There is no such physical button.

Trump often bypasses the vast information-gathering apparatus that reports to him in favor of getting his reality from TV, or sometimes just his gut. That has led him to conclude wrongly that a rare riot in Sweden over a drug crime was instead linked to refugee extremism. He also falsely claimed that Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower in the campaign.

“I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” he told Time magazine. Besides, “I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.”

Kellman reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Dan Sewell in Cincinnati, Claudia Lauer in Dallas, Bob Moen in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Calvin Woodward in Washington contributed to this report.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Culture

OCD: Conservatives Suffer From Ocasio-Cortez Disorder

Published

on

What was the #1 mistake the media made in the 2016 election?

In the past, the mainstream media ignored anti-establishment candidates it disliked.  Slowly, but surely, their poll numbers would fall.  Yet they couldn’t help themselves when Donald Trump came on the scene in 2015… and they covered him all the way to victory.

Now, Conservatives begin to make the same mistake:  memeing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez like the world is going to end in 12 years.  It would be fine if AOC memes weren’t so juvenile, shit-tier, & flat out not funny.

They fall into a category called “Boomer memes.” It’s a term that pokes fun at the “2nd Greatest Generation” for not being particularly tech savvy, but it’s used here to describe low quality content:  Think fuzzy/irrelevant pictures, generic fonts, usually too much text, and toilet humor.  They might as well call her a “poo-poo” head, because they aren’t changing minds.

Note: The “Boomer” meme

You cannot scroll down your Facebook timeline without seeing her face on one of these perversions posing as “memes.”

Like an ex-girlfriend, she wants your attention.  She wants you to call her back.  She wants you to hate on her.  It fuels her.  You’re essentially working public relations for the DSA Party when you continue to post about her.

“I need you to hate/So I can use you for your energy”

You may think you’re doing some kind of public service calling out her stupidity.  In reality, you’re pushing the disenfranchised right into her arms.   Like an ex-girlfirend, the best thing you can do is be indifferent to her existence.  The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference… and drives women crazy.    Hanging on her every word and blunder is what the media did to Trump, and it skyrocketed his campaign at every turn.  Think “Grab her by the p*ssy.”

Stop memeing Cortez unless you’re going to do it intelligently.

And if you think she can’t be president, you weren’t paying attention during 2016.

P.S.  Notice I didn’t use her image once.  I did this even though I knew posting it would have given me 100s, if not 1000s of likes.  Don’t be a slave to AOC.  She IS your boss if you meme her.  You don’t work for her.  And neither do we.

Continue Reading

Culture

Desmond’s Amazing Parent’s Ask Facebook Followers To Ban Conservative Pages, Including This One

Published

on

As of the past hour, Desmond’s Amazing Parent’s, who apparently own and operate his Facebook page full of photos of the who some call a ‘drag’ or ‘transgender’ kid, are asking their Facebook page to ban and report pages that are sharing their posts in a disagreeing way. This includes this companies Facebook page and another page called VFC – Vigilantes For Children, a group self-pronounced to protecting kids.

Photos Below of Desmond’s Amazing Asking Facebook Followers to Report Two Pages:

Continue Reading

Culture

13 Reasons Why America Is Already Dead

Published

on

Continue Reading

Trending

Donate to Populist Wire

*Note: Every donation is greatly appreciated, regardless of the amount.