For decades, members of the elite media have told Americans to trust that their political coverage is objective and fair. A new poll released today indicates that most of the people simply do not believe that.
The good news is that 46 percent of Americans agree with the correct statement that the media are “excessively sympathetic” to President Obama and that only 17 percent believe the media are fair. The bad news is that 28 percent maintain the delusion that the press “deliberately tries to hurt Obama.”
Those results were among several questions posed to likely voters on behalf of The Hill newspaper. Another interesting fact shown by the poll is that people seem more inclined to believe that Obama has exaggerated the impact of the budget sequester that just recently went into effect:
Obama has since toned down his rhetoric, admitting that the cuts won’t be “an apocalypse.” But voters are not letting the president off easy: The Hill poll shows that a strong plurality of voters, 48 percent, said Obama and his team exaggerated the negative effects of the sequester cuts, while just 31 percent said the White House did not overplay its hand.
A plurality of the American public also believes the political news media are too soft on the administration. According to the Hill Poll, a solid 46 percent of respondents said the news media are excessively sympathetic to the president, while 28 percent said the press deliberately tries to hurt Obama and just 17 percent said they offer unbiased coverage.
Voters were mostly split along party lines on the question, but those who identified themselves as “Other” tended to agree with a strong majority of Republicans who said the news media are overly sympathetic to Obama.
The three options on the media choice only add up to 91 percent so presumably the other 8 percent were unsure. One wonders just how many of the 28 percent who imagine the media are trying to hurt Obama think that conservative talk radio and a handful of cable news shows equate to the entire national press.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.