esteem. And the recent decline in approval is due entirely to Trump’s daily bashing.
A Gallup poll in September found a historic low for trust in the mass media: just 32 percent, down eight points from 2015. But Gallup speculated that this was a “result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press,” noting that trust of the press among Republicans dropped to 18 points in a year.
Was the press really hard on Trump? Thirty-nine percent of voters think so, according to a Pew Research Center poll this week. But looking at it another way, 59 percent thought the press was either too easy on Trump (27 percent) or fair (32 percent).
There is much the press should do differently: Ditch the horse-race coverage, the discredited data journalism and the tendency among news reporters to express their opinions in social media.
But for those who think the media could gain public support if we stop hassling Trump about his conflicts of interest, the rise of white supremacists alongside him, the Trump Foundation’s self-dealing and the $25 million Trump University legal settlement — too bad. We’re not here to be popular.
Dana Milbank is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.