In unison, the media has worked to create a narrative that the Trump administration botched their response to the Coronavirus outbreak – even while many of these same outlets downplayed the outbreak and denounced actions Trump had taken to combat its spread through travel bans in January.
Even in the time of a global pandemic, the media can’t help themselves in spreading fake news in an attempt to damage the Trump presidency. The media told us that Trump dismantled our nation’s pandemic response team – which wasn’t true. Despite (or perhaps because of) the untruth of the claim, over 100 outlets reported that falsehood.
After President Trump announced that Google would be helping create a website to facilitate testing, CNN reported that was a lie, and that Google had no knowledge of any such thing. They cited an unnamed source at Google for the claim – which was immediately met with a rebuttal from Google who clarified that they indeed were working on the website Trump described.
In a call with the nation’s governors, President Trump told them “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment – try getting it yourselves. We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.” After the New York Times reported that, two of their reporters posted the article to social media and cut to the quote after the first sentence to give the impression that Trump told the nation’s governors that they wouldn’t be getting any help.
Needless to say, the media is more interested in politicizing crisis than combating it. A new poll of U.S. adults from Rasmussen Reports has found that people are taking notice, with most rating the media’s coverage as either “fair” or “poor” as opposed to “good” or “excellent.”
Among all adults, 42% found the media’s coverage to be excellent or good, while 21% found it fair, and 32% poor (with 5% not sure). There was a clear partisan divide, with Republicans more likely to have negative views of current coverage than the average respondent, and Democrats a more positive view. Only 32% of Republicans found reporting to be excellent or good, while 26% found it fair, and 41% voted it negatively (with only 2% not sure). The numbers for Democrats were 60% excellent/good, 16% fair, and 18% poor (with 5% not sure).
Interestingly enough, the political demographic that rated the media’s coverage the second worst are those who don’t affiliate with either party. Among the unaffiliated (who could be either independents or swing voters), 32% rated coverage excellent or good, while 60% rated it fair or poor (and 9% not sure).
It’s a disservice that the media is politicizing a public health crisis, but the demographic that ultimately decides elections isn’t buying it.