President Donald Trump is beating the media, and it’s about damn time. For years, there’s been a real detriment to conservatives that’s never been confronted by any Republican leader, at least not to this extent. That’s including former President George W. Bush. And the great thing is, Trump is winning on it.
In yesterday’s episode of “The Media Misses the Point,” the latest WSJ/NBC poll showed that just over half of Americans think the media has been too critical of the Trump administration, and 53 percent think that the media is exaggerating the problems within the Trump White House. So, despite the repeated, near-constant wailing from the fourth estate on Trump’s “War with the Media,” it seems that the average American is siding with the president in this fight.
The poll doesn’t tell us whether Trump has led voters to this view with his repeated criticisms, but it’s a safe bet. The president gets more air time than anyone else in the country, so the media is forced, by the nature of their jobs, to report on his attacks against them. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called the media the “opposition party” to roaring cheers at CPAC, and it’s likely that many of them are repeating that moniker now that they’ve gone home. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a betting man, and I’m going to go out on a very strong limb and say that Trump is winning on this issue.
That doesn’t mean that critics are wrong to say that President Trump entered the White House with a notable disapproval rating, but we’re starting to see that change. Quinnipiac reported that across the span of two polls, Trump’s approval rose from 36 percent to 42 percent. The Morning Consult poll from last week showed that most Americans expect job growth, the economy, and national security to improve under Donald Trump.
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Look deeper. Play Nate Silver and break the polls down. Forty-three percent of Americans said they want Neil Gorsuch, the president’s nominee for Supreme Court Justice, confirmed (Politico/MC). Fifty-five percent approve (with varying fervor) of Trump’s 90-day travel ban on the seven specific countries (versus the 38 percent who disapprove). Forty-seven percent approve of his requirement to cut two regulations for every one passed.
Forty-seven percent are in favor of President Trump ending federal aid for international abortion providers, versus the 42 percent who preferred Barack Obama’s opposing position. Ending funding for sanctuary cities, restarting the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, and withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership — to make a long success story short, it’s hard to find a policy Trump has enacted that the public doesn’t love.
So while the “opposition party” is stuck in the same, worn-out game, thinking that freedom of the press means they can do no wrong, Trump is outplaying opponents in all corners, and the people are loving him for it. After so many years of Republican leaders getting bullied by the media, it’s enough to give hope to even a bitter conservative political veteran like me.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore