Enemies of the People

When we started this site, exposing mainstream media bias was a big part of our mission. Using the then-new internet, we and many others held liberal outlets (i.e., virtually all of them) accountable in a way that hadn’t happened before. The effect of that effort was not that the liberal press became more accurate or more objective. Rather, they came out of the closet. For the most part, they no longer make any serious pretense of neutrality. Whether that is an improvement or not is debatable.

But, in any event, it no longer makes sense to criticize, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post for being biased. That would be like, if you were a soldier in World War II and a Panzer division was approaching, you were to say, “Those Germans are biased against us!” It isn’t a question of bias. They are just the enemy.

Donald Trump was perhaps the first major Republican politician to abandon the effort to curry favor with the press establishment. He famously denounced the fake news press (sometimes abbreviated to the press in general) as enemies of the people. The good news is, most Americans agree with him.

Rasmussen finds that Trump’s characterization is the majority view:

60% of Likely U.S. Voters agree that the media are “truly the enemy of the people,” as Trump said in 2019, including 30% who Strongly Agree. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree, including 21% who Strongly Disagree.

That is an extraordinary finding. Respondents were asked this question:

Do you agree or disagree with this statement: The media are “truly the enemy of the people”?

And a clear majority said that they agree. The press has utterly squandered whatever respect it once enjoyed.

The Rasmussen survey also asked about the Democrats’ “bloodbath” hoax:

Former President Donald Trump recently said that it would be a “bloodbath” if he didn’t win in November. Which is more likely, that he was talking about auto workers losing jobs or that he was talking about widespread political violence by his supporters?

The result:

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters believe Trump was talking about auto workers losing jobs when he warned of a “bloodbath,” while 40% think Trump was talking about widespread political violence by his supporters if he did not win the election. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

Basically, Democrats follow the Democratic Party press and swallow the Democrats’ talking points:

Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 78% believe Trump’s “bloodbath” comment was about widespread political violence by his supporters if he did not win the election. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, 84% think Trump was referring to auto workers losing jobs.

But again, returning to good news, most voters believe that the media’s coverage is driven by the Biden administration’s talking points:

Among all Likely Voters, 63% believe it is likely that the major news media’s political coverage is dictated by talking points from the Biden campaign, including 42% who say it’s Very Likely. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t think it’s likely media coverage is dictated by the Biden campaign, including 11% who say it’s Not At All Likely.

Majorities of every political category – 78% of Republicans, 50% of Democrats and 61% of unaffiliated voters – believe it’s at least somewhat likely that the major news media’s political coverage is dictated by talking points from the Biden campaign.

So even half of Democrats admit that the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press are servants of the Democratic Party. The bottom line is that the liberal press serves certain functions on behalf of the Democratic Party: it reinforces Democrats’ talking points and keeps Democratic voters riled up. Those are valuable contributions, to be sure. But the days when the liberal media could actually drive public opinion are long gone.

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