It isn’t easy to discover any bright areas amidst our ongoing slide into failed-state status, but here’s one: Much more Americans trust the news media than trust President Trump to tell them the truth about our coronavirus crisis.
A brand-new poll from NPR, PBS News Hour and Marist discovers that just 37 percent of Americans have an excellent offer of rely on the information Trump informs them about coronavirus. By contrast, 60 percent have little to no trust.
Meanwhile, the poll likewise finds that 50 percent have a bargain of rely on the news media’s details about the illness, versus 47 percent who do not have trust. That’s not ideal, to be sure, but it’s great that far more trust the media than trust Trump.
I wish to recommend that a lot is at stake here. Our national action to a crisis with extremely far-reaching harmful potential is basically under the control of a megalomaniac who, with the eager support of his media allies, greatly prioritizes securing his reelection possibilities over safeguarding the nation.
Some crucial brand-new reporting assists underscore these stakes. The Post reports that Trump propagandists like Sean Hannity have stampeded in herd-like fashion from at first assaulting the media for supposedly hyping coronavirus to claiming its dire nature in fact shows Trump’s heroism.
Such attacks on the media have been central to the wider job of securing Trump’s reelection chances at all expenses. First Trump and his propagandists implicated the media of exaggerating the risk to secure his initial instinct to minimize it himself, all to prevent rattling the markets, to buoy his reelection hopes.
Then, when it became obvious the crisis was extremely serious undoubtedly, Trump attacked the media to discredit its aggressive reporting on his failure to react to it competently and with urgency. And now, Trump’s propagandists are supplanting that reporting with their own narrative– one in which the really exact same crisis they formerly downplayed now showcases Trump’s definitive and “vibrant” management.
New details reveal Trump is unsuited
Meanwhile, another report, from the New York City Times, searches out disconcerting brand-new behind-the-scenes details that underscore just how unsuited Trump is to the task at hand. It shows that Trump’s rejection to accept the seriousness of coronavirus, and his failure to put down clear pecking orders and elaborate a genuine long-lasting plan, created a circumstance in which authorities scrambled to address the crisis nearly behind his back.
Trump’s technique likewise resulted in detrimental infighting. The Times reports that after Trump put Vice President Pence in charge of the reaction, Trump’s ongoing fealty to the guidance of son-in-law Jared Kushner– who likewise initially downplayed the crisis– led to Kushner handling an outsize role that bumped up against Pence’s, in spite of Kushner’s absence of pertinent understanding and experience.
Americans take coronavirus seriously, regardless of Trump
In this context, it’s rather heartening that the brand-new NPR survey discovers that 44 percent of Americans authorize of Trump’s handling of the crisis, while 49 percent disapprove of it. While 85 percent of Republicans authorize, crucially, only 40 percent of independents do, while 50 percent disapprove.
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One bit of bad news: 46 percent of Americans state the federal government is doing enough to fight coronavirus, which is obviously not the case, while 44 percent state it is not.
However, 70 percent are concerned that coronavirus will infect their neighborhoods, a huge swing from 44 percent last month, in spite Trump’s efforts to downplay it, which, amazingly, were still continuing in current days.
On The Other Hand, just 37 percent of Americans trust what Trump tells them about coronavirus, while 60 percent do not, and among independents, that’s an even worse 35 percent to 62 percent. Amongst women it’s a shocking 31 percent to 66 percent. When you contrast that with the 50 percent of Americans who do rely on the media on coronavirus, that’s likewise somewhat encouraging.
Such findings are supported by a current Quinnipiac survey, which found that Americans hold Trump’s handling of coronavirus in low regard, while just smallish minorities credit Trump qualities like honesty and leadership.
Grim new truths
All this comes as we are challenging very grim new realities. The White Home appears to have actually been jolted by new research study out of Britain demonstrating that if the federal government and individuals not do anything to fight coronavirus’s spread, as much as 2.2 million Americans might die.
On the other hand, that research study likewise reveals that doing what is necessary to seriously cut such numbers will require continual, extreme disruptions– and with them, a possibly severe economic decline.
All this implies that in addition to the danger it postures to the country, coronavirus likewise presents an existential threat to Trump’s presidency. This Trump-protection task will just grow more urgent– which will need more efforts to reject aggressive media reporting on his handling of the crisis, and on his inescapable hailing of the success of his mitigation efforts.
Trump and his propagandists have absolute faith in the power of their magical lies to discredit the news media and to replace their own version of reality for the one the media is reporting. And Trump has kept up the attacks on journalism for specifically this function
However, if we are to survive this with minimal damage, and if the federal government’s failures are to be met any form of responsibility, organizations like the media will have to hold strong in the face of Trump’s efforts to destroy public faith in them.
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