Majority of Americans View Media as ‘Enemy of the People’

The news media, dubbed by former President Donald Trump as “the enemy of the people” in April 2019, continues to face waning trust among American voters, according to a recent national telephone and online survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports.

A staggering majority of likely voters voiced skepticism about the accuracy of political news they receive.

Rasmussen Reports’ latest survey reveals that “just 30% of Likely U.S. voters say they trust the political news they’re getting,” a significant drop from the 37% reported in July 2021.

This sentiment is further underscored by the finding that “52% say they don’t trust political news.”

Additionally, “19% are not sure,” highlighting a level of ambivalence that could potentially add to the pool of mistrust.

The survey, conducted from May 16-18, 2023, gathered responses from 1,002 U.S. Likely Voters.

Rasmussen Reports, working in conjunction with Pulse Opinion Research for field work, ascertains a “margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.”

This deep-seated distrust in the media, as the survey indicates, aligns with the viewpoint held by Trump and echoed by his followers during his tenure as President.

The controversial characterization of the media as “the enemy of the people” seems to have left a lasting imprint on a significant portion of the voting public.

In the wake of this pervasive distrust and ambiguity surrounding political news, the media industry is faced with the challenge of regaining credibility and rebuilding trust among U.S. voters.

This challenge is further compounded by the evolving nature of media consumption and the surge of misinformation in the digital age.

The report concludes with the assertion that while “the media’s role is crucial in a democratic society,” the marked lack of trust as revealed by the latest Rasmussen Reports survey poses significant questions for the industry as well as policymakers.

How these questions are addressed could play a vital role in determining the future trajectory of American democracy and the role of media within it.

Back in January 2022, Rasmussen reported that 58% of likely voters either strongly agree (34%) or somewhat agree (24%) with the statement that the media are “truly the enemy of the people.”

That survey found some bipartisan agreement regarding “fake news” being a serious problem, with a supermajority of Republicans, 92%, saying it’s a problem, and 74% of Democrats.