A staggering 60% of Americans do not trust the mainstream media and think they regularly publish “fake news”, according to a new poll.
The Monmouth University poll, published Wednesday, found that six in ten Americans believe TV and newspaper outlets in America deliberately publish propaganda on behalf of the government and large corporations.
79% of Republicans view most mainstream outlets as fake, compared to 66% of Independents and 43% of Democrats.
The survey found that even more people distrust online news websites, with a whopping 80 percent believing such outlets report fake news regularly or occasionally.
The three groups of respondents were more equally aligned on the topic of whether online news outlets report fake news deliberately, with Republicans and Independents tied at 57 percent. Democrats weren’t far behind, at 52 percent.
US President Donald Trump has long lambasted mainstream media for reporting “fake news,” opting to communicate to Americans directly through Twitter and allowing local news stations to take part in daily press briefings, in an effort to bypass national networks.
At his inauguration ball in January, Trump asked the crowd whether he should keep tweeting once he moved into the White House, ultimately deciding that he would.
“Enemies keep saying, ‘Oh, that’s terrible.’ But you know, it’s a way of bypassing the dishonest media, right?” he said at the time.
Trump’s relationship with the media was reflected in the Monmouth poll, with 81 percent of respondents stating that he has a worse relationship with the media than past presidents. The majority (58 percent) said the bad relationship has hurt Trump’s image.
However, Trump isn’t the only one suffering from his feud with mainstream media – just over half of those surveyed (51 percent) said the bad blood between the two sides has also hurt the media’s image.
“It is an understatement to say the new administration’s relationship with the Fourth Estate has not cannot be characterized as friendly or even respectful. This ugliness has hurt each side’s reputation,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
However, when Trump was pitted against three major national news outlets – ABC, Fox News, and MSNBC – he came in last when it came to trustworthiness.
Even so, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Republicans were still more likely to trust Trump over all three of the media outlets.
“If you are a Republican, Trump is a font of truth. For other Americans, not so much,” said Murray.
He went on to state that most Republicans “seem to assume that every source that isn’t conservative must, by definition, have a liberal bias and is therefore less trustworthy.”
The Monmouth poll was conducted by telephone from March 2-5, with 801 adults across the United States. The results of the survey have a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.