In his news conference with White House reporters, Donald Trump told members of established media outlets that “the public doesn’t believe you people anymore” — and a major TV news host actually agrees with him.
Trump’s flat statement came in response to a question put by CNN’s Jim Acosta, who asked Trump if he felt responsible for “undermining the peoples’ faith in the First Amendment and freedom of the press when [he calls] stories fake news.”
Acosta was the same reporter from CNN that Trump had dismissed as “fake news” at a previous news conference.YouTube/Screenshot
The president laid out his rationale for his statement about the loss of faith in the press:
Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. The press — the public doesn’t believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that, I don’t know. But they don’t believe you.
…[Y]ou’ve got to be at least a little bit fair. And that’s why the public sees it — they see it. They see it’s not fair. You take a look at some of your shows and you see the bias and the hatred. And the public is smart. They understand it.
On Friday morning’s Hugh Hewitt radio show, his guest John Dickerson, who’s the host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said it’s not Trump’s fault that people don’t trust the press.Getty Images/Alex Wong
He told Hewitt that it’s their fault:
[Y]es. I mean, yes, it’s true, and it’s not because of anything obviously Donald Trump did. The press did all that good work ruining its reputation on its own, and we can have a long conversation about what created that. Part of it, though, is what you mentioned about the local weather report, which is to say a lot of hysterical coverage about every little last thing that doesn’t warrant it. Having said that, it doesn’t mean, and in fact, it most explicitly does not mean that the press just throws out the standards.
Dickerson said the press has a duty to keep the president honest:
“One of the roles of the press is to make sure that the president in the voice of the people is telling the truth.”
Trump’s low opinion of the press is certainly mirrored in the opinions of Independents and Republicans.Gallup/Screenshot
A recent Gallup poll shows that faith in the media is at an all time low. Gallup says Republicans’ faith in media plummeted from 32% to 14% last September, influenced by the more positive media coverage of Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.