The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

There is a rea­son why the main­stream news me­dia and the Demo­cratic Party are in an uproar: They’ve been left out of the po­lit­i­cal equa­tion by a player who un­der­stands the game bet­ter than they do. And that player is Pres­i­dent Trump, who has con­ducted a masterful war against his me­dia foes over the last 72 hours, launch­ing a se­ries of strate­gic tweets that deemed the hos­tile press not only “fake” but “fraud­u­lent.”

The pres­i­dent him­self re­cently de­clared that he was the vic­tor to his 31 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers, adding one more telling tweet that sum­ma­rizes his skill set: “My use of so­cial me­dia is not Pres­i­den­tial — it’s MOD­ERN DAY PRES­I­DEN­TIAL,” Mr. Trump ad­vised.

“Trump is Trump. He does what he does, which is what he did dur­ing the cam­paign and be­fore. And now, in the White House, he has en­listed his me­dia ad­ver­saries, wit­tingly or not, in a cam­paign against ‘fake news’ that res­onates with his core sup­port­ers,” writes Byron York, a colum­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner, who says that those who en­gage in “sloppy fights” with Mr. Trump of­ten emerge di­min­ished in the af­ter­math.

“Pres­i­dent Trump knows how to com­mu­ni­cate di­rectly with his sup­port­ers by us­ing Twit­ter and hav­ing cam­paign-style ral­lies. His sup­port­ers like this be­cause they see Pres­i­dent Trump fight the main­stream me­dia,” writes J. Marsalo, a con­trib­u­tor to Amer­i­can Thinker, who adds that jour­nal­ists fear Mr. Trump is mak­ing them ir­rel­e­vant.

This phe­nom­e­non has been build­ing for a while. In March, a Morn­ing Con­sult poll made this con­clu­sion: Trump scan­dals “make his vot­ers like him more,” re­veal­ing that, among other things, Mr. Trump’s claim that the news me­dia “is an en­emy of the peo­ple” caused his fa­vor­a­bil­ity numbers to rise by 31 per­cent­age points among those who sup­port him.

“As we know now, most of the me­dia to­tally missed Trump’s ap­peal to mil­lions upon mil­lions of Amer­i­cans. The prej­u­dice against him blinded those news or­ga­ni­za­tions to what was hap­pen­ing in the coun­try. Even more in­cred­i­bly, I be­lieve the bias and hos­til­ity di­rected at Trump back­fired. The feel­ing that the elec­tion was, in part, a ref­er­en­dum on the me­dia, gave some vot­ers an ex­tra in­cen­tive to vote for Trump. A vote for him was a vote against the me­dia and against Wash­ing­ton,” writes Michael Good­win, a New York Post colum­nist. Pub­lish­ers. Amer­i­cans are pretty sus­pi­cious al­ready.

“They’re con­vinced that the truth is be­ing hid­den from them on a mas­sive scale. That some­one is ma­nip­u­lat­ing what they see on the news and on­line. Con­spir­ing to hide se­lect facts and ad­vance par­tic­u­lar nar­ra­tives. Col­lud­ing on plots to smear cer­tain peo­ple,” Ms At­tkisson writes. “Their sus­pi­cions are cor­rect, even if their no­tion of truth is of­ten con­fused. In fact, the con­fu­sion is of­ten by grand de­sign.

Ms. At­tkisson, who also hosts the syn­di­cated Sun­day talk show “Full Mea­sure,” re­cently com­pared her find­ings with Ka­te­rina Matsa, a Pew Re­search Cen­ter an­a­lyst.

“In the early days of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, what did you learn about whether Amer­i­cans feel that news me­dia crit­i­cism of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers is pro­duc­tive, or not pro­duc­tive?” Ms. At­tkisson asked her guest.

“That was one of the widest gaps that we saw be­tween Repub­li­cans and Democrats, ba­si­cally on the me­dia as watch­dog, or what we say is the watch­dog role,” Ms. Matsa replied. “Nearly 90 per­cent of Democrats say news me­dia crit­i­cism serves to keep lead­ers in line. But less than half of Repub­li­cans — 42 per­cent — say the same.”

She noted that in early 2016, sup­port for the me­dia’s watch­dog role was about the same among Democrats (74 per­cent) and Repub­li­cans (77 per­cent.)


Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­sponses to neg­a­tive me­dia re­ports only make his fans adore him all the more, a sur­vey finds.



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