Though the president is a documented serial liar, a relatively large portion of the U.S. electorate—and an even higher proportion of his Republican base—think the media is publishing made-up stories about President Donald Trump.
According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll out Wednesday, 46 percent of all people surveyed believe that news stories about Trump stories are "fabricated," while 76 percent of Republicans say the media publishes made up stories about Trump.
The president has aggressively pushed the narrative that the media publishes "fake news" about him. He has attacked news outlets for relying on sources who choose to stay anonymous—a practice often used in investigative journalism and one that has become especially prevalent during the Trump administration, as sources have shared controversial details of the White House's inner workings with the press.
Trump has also called journalists "liars" and "sick people" for the press's coverage of his comments about the Charlotteville protests, falsely accused news outlets of turning off their cameras at his rally, and suggested last week that NBC's broadcast license should be challenged due to its reporting of so-called "fake news."
He also frequently claims that others who share negative stories about him are deliberately lying, most recently on Wednesday morning when he tweeted that Rep. Frederica Wilson's (D-Fla.) account of his conversation with a military widow was "totally fabricated"—further contributing to his base's apparent belief that negative stories about the president are automatically untrue.
Some in the media took Politico's poll as a warning sign to the media to reduce its use of anonymous sources, while others pointed to Trump's persistent portrayal of the media as untrustworthy, as the direct cause of the public's low opinion of news outlets.
Some in the media took the poll's findings as a warning for journalists to reduce their use of anonymous sources, while others pointed to Trump's persistent portrayal of the media as untrustworthy to be the real cause of the public's low opinion of news outlets.
Reporters need to take this poll seriously.— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 18, 2017
When we report stories based solely on anonymous sources that are then refuted on the record, and it then becomes he-said-she-said, we lose. https://t.co/1aZRksU2hm
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He says what he says because it works. https://t.co/9IjKdbONP6— Michael Kruse (@michaelkruse) October 18, 2017
Poll: 46 percent think media make up stories about Trumphttps://t.co/C3VkaUePRe— Ernesto (@StratoMasterGuy) October 18, 2017
1st step of totalitarianism is to discredit the media.