Poll: Voters Give Press a Failing Grade in 2016

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By Andrew Stiles | 11:16 am, November 21, 2016

A majority of a voters think the U.S. media deserves a grade of “D” of “F” for its conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a recent Pew survey.

According to the survey, which conducted was conducted days after the election, voters gave the press lower ratings than both candidates and their respective political parties. Even political pollsters, which completely missed Donald Trump’s strong support in Midwestern swing states, received higher grades than the media.

Thirty-eight percent of voters said the press deserved an “F” for their handling of the campaign — the highest percentage of any group — while an additional 21 percent gave the media a “D” grade. Just 22 percent of voters said the press deserved an “A or B” for their efforts, while 19 percent gave the media a “C” rating.

Donald Trump’s hostile relationship with the press was an overriding theme of the 2016 campaign. According to the poll, the president-elect fared slightly better in the eyes of voters, with 50 percent giving him a grade of “D” (15 percent) or “F” (35 percent), and 30 percent giving him an “A or B” for his efforts.

Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton on Election Day caught many in the media by surprise. Many had expected to celebrate the coronation of First Woman President Hillary Clinton, but slowly realized throughout the night that Trump was running much better than the polls suggested in crucial states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Since the election, some members of the media have declared war on the so-called “fake news” websites occasionally promoted on Facebook and other social media networks, and have devoted hours to discussing how the media could have “shaped” their election coverage differently in order to have a more “positive” influence on the election. Perhaps the real problem is they have far less influence (and credibility) than they think they do.

The Media Has Only Itself to Blame for the ‘Fake News’ Epidemic