A new Monmouth University poll finds that over three quarters of Americans believe that the old media, that being the likes of CNN and The New York Times, regularly report ‘fake news’.
The survey asked respondents “Do you think some traditional major news sources like TV and newspapers ever report fake news stories, or not?”
A majority of 77 percent replied in the affirmative, an increase of 14 percent on last year.
Further breaking down the figures, 31 percent said the believe it happens regularly, while 46 percent said they think it happens occasionally.
Less than a quarter, just 21 percent, said they do not believe the legacy media reports fake news, a drop from 32 percent on last year’s findings.
The survey also probed further, asking “Do you think these sources report these stories on purpose in order to push an agenda or do they tend to report them more by accident or because of poor fact checking?”
Most respondents, 42 percent, said they believe it is to “push an agenda,” while 26 percent went with “poor fact checking,” and only seven percent answered “both equally.”
In addition, the survey found that 83 percent believe special interest groups are intentionally trying to implant false information into the news cycle. A further 87 percent said that they believe those interest groups have tentacles in social media sites and YouTube.
So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2018
It isn’t just Conservatives who are expressing these views. Even a majority of Democrats believe the legacy media is putting out fake news. A majority of 61 percent of Democrats are in agreement, an increase from 43 percent a year ago. A whopping 89 percent of Republicans answered in the affirmative, while 82 percent of independents agreed old media is fake news.
“These findings are troubling, no matter how you define ‘fake news.’ Confidence in an independent fourth estate is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Ours appears to be headed for the intensive care unit,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
The findings come in the midst of a back and forth between ‘traditional media’ and broadcasting giant Sinclair, which recently had local news anchors warn about the spread of fake news in the media.
President Trump again waded in on the matter Tuesday, saying that the “Fake News Networks” have a “sick and biased AGENDA.”
The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast. The “Fakers” at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
Trump previously defended Sinclair earlier in the week:
So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018