Trump supporters view the media landscape differently than the general public

August 28, 2017, 2:00 PM GMT+0

36% of Trump voters rate the New York Times as "very untrustworthy"

Donald Trump’s condemnation of the national media in his Phoenix speech Tuesday must have made his supporters happy. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll (completed before the speech), Trump voters said the “failing” New York Times and the Washington Post – media outlets attacked by name in Trump’s speech – were untrustworthy.

The President’s attacks on the New York Times and Washington Post were met with favor from his supporters, most of whom view each of those papers as untrustworthy. Once again, the public as a whole disagrees.

However, while the anti-mainstream media fervor among Trump voters is still intense, it has slackened somewhat since mid-October. Then, in the heat of the campaign, 70% viewed the New York Times as untrustworthy and 65% said that about the Washington Post.

In the apparent war between the President and the news media, there is a lot of disapproval on both sides. Americans disapprove of the way the media treats the President but also disapprove of how the President treats the media. Trump supporters see it differently: nearly three in four approve of the way the President handles the media; while nearly all disapprove of the way the media is handling the President.

Trump voters do see some friends in the media, however. One is Fox News. A majority of Trump voters view Fox News as trustworthy today, as they did during the campaign. And they have a positive assessment of Breitbart, too, the website to which the former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has returned.

Both of these assessments mirror how Trump supporters felt during the election campaign, suggesting that their feelings about news sources has hardened. But it is worth noting that there are many who can’t evaluate Breitbart. About half the public – and half of Trump voters -- couldn’t describe it as trustworthy or not.

The return of Bannon to Breitbart could make the site more visible, and garner more opinions about it. Bannon was not liked by the public – in the latest poll, twice as many adults held an unfavorable as a favorable opinion of him, and disapproved of the way he was handling his job.

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