President Trump conflicted with the legacy media in America as soon as he announced his campaign in 2015, and even insiders like Politico’s senior media writer Jack Shafer admitted back then that his campaign was run “directly against the media.”
The conflict resulted in “copious” attention and surpassed previous conflicts with the press that came under Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Then he won, and throughout his tenure in the White House, the media was the “enemy” and “fake news.”
Turns out many Americans believe he was right.
A Rasmussen poll obtained by Paul Bedard for his Washington Secrets column explained that “a sizable” 58% of likely voters believe the media are “truly the enemy of the people.”
“Some 46% disagreed, but the highest number (34%) said that they ‘strongly agree’ with Trump,” Bedard reported.
“President Joe Biden’s election might have made the media feel good, but it’s done very little for the industry’s reputation with news consumers,” he noted.
He explained, “As with similar surveys during the Trump era, Democrats believe the media far more than Republicans. Now, 56% of Democrats ‘trust’ the news they receive versus 58% of Republicans who don’t.”
He explained, however, there was “some agreement on ‘fake news,’ another Trump phrase, being a serious problem. A supermajority of Republicans, 92%, said it is a problem, as did 74% of Democrats. Overall, 83% said it is a big problem.”
Rasmussen found 61% of independents agree with Republicans on the “enemy of the people.”
Rasmussen’s report said the survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on July 7-8, 2021. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Shafer reported back in 2016, even before Trump made Hillary Clinton a two-time loser in the presidential race, that “Trump’s secret was almost exactly the opposite of what even the best-paid consultant would advise. He has run a media campaign directly against the media, helping himself to the copious media attention available to a TV star while disparaging journalists at every podium and venue.”
The media, of course, was on the side of the Democrats in the race and unabashedly and uncritically carried claims that later turned out to be completely false about the Trump campaign’s “collusion” with Russia.
Shafer claimed Trump took “press-baiting further than anyone else in public life would have imagined possible. He has isolated the press as his genuine rival, campaigning harder against it sometimes than the other candidates. He’s fought it on a personal level, ridiculing reporters—often by name—as ‘sleazy,’ ‘extremely dishonest,’ ‘a real beauty,’ ‘unfair,’ and ‘not good people.'”
The result then, he said, was that “For perhaps the first time in U.S. history no mainstream outlet has any influence over the voters backing one of the presidential nominees. This neutering of mainstream media by Trump has made it more difficult for the press to frame the issues effectively.”
The New York Times at the time noted Trump got $2 billion in free media by being the personality he was.