A majority of Republicans said that they agree with President Donald Trump’s contention that the media is “the enemy of the people” according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
“Republicans say 51 – 36 percent that the media is the enemy of the people rather than an important part of democracy,” the poll said, while also noting that GOP voters were “the only listed group to feel that way.”
Americans overall had a positive outlook, with 65 percent of respondents defending the media as an important part of democracy.
The poll also found that a majority of Americans thoughts that threats against the media inspired by Trump’s rhetoric were overblown, with majorities of independents and Republican voters saying they were not concerned. Democrats said that were they worried about Trump-inspired anti-media violence by a margin of 76 – 21.
A majority of Americans — by a 66-26 margin — also said the president should stop issuing official pronouncements through Twitter, with even Republican respondents (44 percent say tweet and 47 percent say stop, per the poll) closely divided on the issue.
President Trump has long had a fraught relationship with the national press, which he routinely derides as fake news. Trump’s “enemy of the people” barb has offended some due to its authoritarian origins. Among the president’s critics on the issue has been his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, who told an audience earlier this month that she did not agree with her father’s characterization.
While the president has tried to suggest that he isn’t talking about all media when he says “enemy of the people,” he has in the past cast a very wide net over which outlets fall into that category. Among those cited in the past include the New York Times. NBC News, ABC, CBS and CNN.