In late November, President Trump suggested a new contest for what he called the "Fake News Trophy." Which news network, he said "is the most dishonest and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)." We took him up on his offer, and the results surprised even us.
The IBD/TIPP Poll asked in its December poll "which television outlet is the most and least honest and fair in its coverage of President Trump?"
The answer to both questions was … Fox News.
The poll found that 27% rated Fox as the most honest and fair in covering Trump, beating the No. 2 CNN by 11 percentage points. But when asked which network was the least fair in covering Trump, 34% said Fox, while 24% said CNN.
The third-place finisher on both questions, CNBC, came in the single digits, with 7% saying it was most fair, and 7% least fair. Broadcast news networks barely registered among poll respondents.
We can hear liberals cheering. But look into the numbers and you see that the reason Fox tops both lists is entirely due to partisanship.
Sixty-percent of Republicans rated Fox as most fair, most likely because they think it's the only news network that isn't out to get Trump. But 59% of Democrats rated Fox as least fair, presumably because they also think Fox isn't out to get Trump.
A similar, but less pronounced split shows up with CNN, with 27% of Democrats saying it's providing the most honest and fair coverage of Trump, while 45% of Republicans say it's the least honest and fair.
Among independents, 23% rated Fox most honest and fair, while 14% said it was CNN. But 30% of independents ranked Fox as least honest and fair, with 27% giving CNN the thumbs down.
Regionally, urbanites rank CNN as more honest and fair than Fox (20% vs. 17%), while rural dwellers give Fox much higher marks than CNN (36% vs. 13%).
In essence, the poll results are less about the reliability and objectivity of the press and more a reflection of the deep division in the country when it comes to Trump. To Democrats, anything short of calling for Trump's head is to be dishonest.
But poll results aside, we can say without question that it is the mainstream media — which includes CNN, MSNBC, network news, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other major outlets — have been about as dishonest and unfair as they could possibly be when it comes to covering Trump. That's not just our opinion. That's what various surveys and analysis of news coverage have concluded.
Time and again, these news outlets have dropped all pretense of objectivity, and abandoned basic journalistic principles, in their Ahab-like quest to destroy Trump's presidency. In this context, any news outlet that isn't out to get Trump would look biased in his favor.
Just look at the case of ABC News' Brian Ross, who got a crucial detail about Michael Flynn's guilty plea wrong, which sent shock waves across the country and drove the market down.
Ross claimed Flynn said he'd been directed to contact Russian officials while Trump was still a candidate — that is, before the election.
But those meetings in question all took place after Trump won the election.
Any cub reporter would understand the difference, and the importance of getting such a crucial fact straight.
ABC suspended Ross for 30 days and has banned him from covering stories related to Trump.
That's good as far as it goes. But what about all the other Democratic activists pretending to be journalists? When will they be pulled off their Trump beats?
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