1 in 5 politically active Americans (the ones who
dominate elections), liberals and conservatives, have segregated
themselves into strikingly different news sources, that reinforce their views .
And nearly all the sources trusted by one side are heavily distrusted by the
other. And on both sides, half say most of their friends share their
Mostly Conservative: -
47% --- Fox News
"main source of information about government and
10% each -- CNN, MSNBC, NPR, New York
84% -- Fox News
got news in the week they were surveyed.
50% -- NPR or CNN
"trusted"--- 3% New York Times or NPR
--- 88% Fox
72% NPR, 62% New York Times.
"distrust" 81% -- Fox
-- ( including Rush
Limbaugh and the
||" out of 36
news sources -- more trusted than not"
Wall Street Journal
trusted than not" (common to both)
Wall Street Journal
than trusted (common to both)
CNN (common to both)
ABC and NBC news
(common to both)
||trusted CBS (common to both)
80% Rush Limbaugh
75% The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,
||most of their close friends shared their political
||stopped talking to or being friends with someone
because of politics
||discuss politics ONLY with folks from the same party
||all or most
of the posts about politics they see on Facebook are in line with their own
SOURCE: Pew Research
FOX NEWS mostly false 21%, completely false 31% and blatant lies 9%
Trump’s drastic campaign promises
|Nearly half of consistent conservatives (47%)
named Fox News as their main source of
information about government and politics, and 84% said they got news from
the cable channel in the week they were surveyed.
No single source
dominates the audience on the left the way Fox dominates the right.
CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the New York Times each were cited by 10%
or more of consistent liberals as their chief sources of political and
government news. Just over half of consistent liberals said they had
gotten news from NPR or
CNN in the week of the survey. Almost no consistent liberals cited
Fox as their main source of news.
Consistent liberals overwhelmingly said they distrust
Fox, and only 3% of consistent conservatives
said they trusted the New York Times or
The survey's finding about Fox's
overwhelming reach among conservatives dovetails with a
2012 USC Annenberg/Los Angeles Times poll, which found
that nearly half of Republicans turned to Fox
at least daily. Because of its ubiquity among conservatives, getting
coverage on Fox has become crucial for
Republican political candidates.
Among 36 news sources in the survey, including print, online and
broadcast outlets, liberals rated 28 as more trusted than not, and
conservatives trusted just eight, including Rush
Limbaugh, the radio talk show host, and the online
Only the Wall Street Journal, which combines
a mainstream news report with a conservative editorial page, was rated as
more trusted than not by people across the ideological spectrum. At the
other end of the scale, one source, BuzzFeed,
was more distrusted than trusted by liberals as well as conservatives and
those in between, although only about one-third of those responding to the
survey had heard enough about the site to have an opinion.
Fox News Audience
- Seven in 10 Republicans
either doubt or completely disbelieve that President
Obama was born in the United States.
- Six in 10 think he’s a
- Half believe global warming is possibly or definitely a
concocted by scientists.
- Among just Trump voters:
- 7 in 10
believe government economic data are fabricated.
don’t trust that votes will be counted accurately in
the November election.
About many news sources, liberals and conservatives disagreed overwhelmingly.
By 81% to 6%, for example, consistent liberals said they distrusted
Fox; consistent conservatives trusted the cable
news channel by 88% to 3%. Although only 3% of consistent conservatives said
they trusted either the New York Times or
NPR, among consistent liberals, 72% trusted
NPR and 62% trusted the New
Among respondents overall, 54% said they trusted CNN
and 50% trusted ABC and NBC
news. No other sources were trusted by half or more of respondents, in part
because many of them were not widely recognized. CBS
was trusted by 46% overall.
The Journal’s audience comes about equally from each part of the ideological
spectrum, the survey indicated. Many other programs, websites and other sources
that people use for political information have audiences that tilt strongly in
one direction or the other. Nearly three-quarters of the audience for Comedy
Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” for
example, holds consistently or mostly liberal views. More than 80% of
Rush Limbaugh’s audience holds consistently or
mostly conservative views.
The polarization of information sources also extends to friends. Two-thirds
of consistent conservatives and about half of consistent liberals said that most
of their close friends shared their political views. Among consistent liberals,
about one-quarter said they had stopped talking to or being friends with someone
because of politics. About 1 in 6 of consistent conservatives said the same.
When asked to list three people with whom they discuss politics, half of
consistent conservatives listed only people whom they identified as
conservative. Just under one-third of consistent liberals listed only other
Americans who have more mixed political views don’t pay nearly as much
attention to politics as those on either extreme, don’t talk about it as much
with friends or family and don’t participate as much. When they do seek out news
about politics and government, they rely on a more mixed array of news sources,
the survey found.
Similar patterns hold true in the way people use social media, the survey
found. About half of all those surveyed said that they encountered some news
about government or politics on Facebook. But those who held ideological
consistent views, either on the right or the left, were much more likely to pay
attention to those items.
The ideologically committed were also more likely to see mostly items online
that reflected their own views, largely because they are more likely to have
ideologically compatible friends.
Among Americans overall, just over 1 in 5 said all or most of the posts about
politics they see on Facebook are in line with their own views. But among
consistent conservatives, almost half said that. Among consistent liberals,
about one-third did.
The Pew study was based on an online survey this spring of
2,901 respondents selected to reflect overall U.S. demographics. The data have a
margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
data from a
Pew Research Center project on political polarization and
Donald Trump says the election is ‘rigged.’ Here’s what his supporters think
Jenna Johnson October 18 Washington Poast
At Wisconsin Trump rally
- load people on buses in Chicago and bring them to
Wisconsin to vote,
- Democrats will go to Chicago and pay homeless people
to vote for Hillary Clinton
- “the stealth thing that they can do electronically
or some other way to really either erase somebody's valid vote or get a bunch
of people in secretly voting to load it up for the other side.”
- voting machines might be “skewed”
- absentee ballots are intercepted and destroyed
- TRUMP: people that died
10 years ago” and undocumented immigrants are casting votes
- doesn't think fact-checks are fair
- barely knows about Trump and Clinton's policies
- News Sources: Fox News, the
Drudge Report, Rush
Limbaugh, Sean Hannity
- to the media: "You are no longer being the fifth
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump held a campaign rally Oct. 17,
2016, in Green Bay, Wis. Supporters weighed in on recent accusations of voter
fraud hampering Election Day results. (Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)
GREEN BAY, Wis. — For months, Donald Trump has insisted that the electoral
system is rigged against him and that he could lose because of voter fraud. But
how exactly would that happen?
At a campaign rally here Monday evening, Dave Radtke, 66, said he expects
Democrats will load people on buses in Chicago and bring
them to Wisconsin to vote, where legal residents are allowed to register
on Election Day. Josh Eilers, 22, said he expects
Democrats will go to Chicago and pay homeless people to vote for Hillary Clinton,
something that he says happens “way too much.” Sue Rosenthal, 74, said
“something seems off” with early voting programs in large cities that she says
allow a stream of people to have access to voting machines ahead of Election
Day. Gene A. Wheaton, 68, said the Democrats will use “any means necessary” to
win, so he worries about “the stealth thing that they can
do electronically or some other way to really either erase somebody's valid vote
or get a bunch of people in secretly voting to load it up for the other side.”
Trump supporters were insistent that such fraud is rampant and that major media
outlets are conspiring to hide the issue. While many said they are glad that
Wisconsin now requires an identification to vote, they said polls need more
Tammy Petras, 57, said that she thinks some of the voting
machines might be “skewed” after undergoing routine maintenance and that
some absentee ballots are intercepted and destroyed.
Petras has worked at the polls in previous elections, and she admits that she
has never witnessed anything fraudulent.
“I think it more so would happen in the larger cities, in your Madisons and
Milwaukees,” said Petras, a mother of three who lives in Green Bay and works for
an international manufacturing company. “It's easier to keep control over things
in a smaller town than it is when you get into the larger ones.”
Trump added to the list during the rally, claiming
that “people that died 10 years ago” and undocumented
immigrants are casting votes in elections, even though local
jurisdictions are supposed to regularly update their voter rolls and only U.S.
citizens can register to vote in presidential elections. At other rallies, Trump
has told his supporters to go to polling locations on Election Day and watch for
fraud, which some voting rights advocates worry could lead to voter
intimidation, especially in states that allow the open carry of firearms.
Members of Trump's party and his own staff have pushed back
against his claims that election results cannot be trusted, however, with
Trump's running mate saying over the weekend that the campaign “will absolutely
accept the result of the election.”
Talk of voter fraud is nearly always coupled with attacks on the media, which
Trump and his supporters have accused of coordinating with Clinton's campaign,
refusing to investigate scandals involving her and fabricating news about
Trump's treatment of women over the years. As Trump's standing in the polls has
diminished, the ire directed at reporters who cover Trump has exponentially
increased. While the most popular chants at Trump's political rallies used to be
“Lock her up” and “Build that wall,” on Monday night it was this: “CNN sucks!”
The crowd also repeatedly chanted, “Tell the truth!”
This anger was stoked by several speakers before Trump took the stage. Milwaukee
County Sheriff David Clarke criticized the “lame-stream media” for reporting on
a tweet that he sent last week encouraging Trump supporters to pick up
pitchforks and torches to fight for their causes, but not reporting enough on
hacked emails involving Clinton that were released by WikiLeaks. He twice told
the crowd: “It is pitchfork-and-torches time in America!” Both times, the crowd
began to chant: “USA! USA! USA!”
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, once the director of the Defense Intelligence
Agency and now one of Trump's most prominent surrogates, described reporters in
the room that night as an enemy army.
“There is an assault, there is a barrage attack going on right now by the media
against Donald Trump. It's unbelievable,” Flynn said, as the crowd booed
reporters. “The folks that are here, you know, they're here like a soldier.
They're not in charge.”
Those in the audience said they get their information from a variety of sources,
but the most commonly named outlets were Fox
News, the Drudge Report and
Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Many said they read
much of their news online, following links posted by friends on Facebook or
forwarded in emails. They criticized the rest of the media for writing or airing
far more negative stories about Trump than Clinton. They frequently accused CNN
of being pro-Democrat, even though the news network frequently features panels
of Republicans and Democrats and currently employs Trump's former campaign
manager, Corey Lewandowski.
“I will not watch CNN in my house. I just believe that they are a sole
Democratic station,” said Eric Wendt, 39, a Trump-supporting construction worker
who watches Fox News, reads USA Today and
gets a bulk of his news online. “A lot of my friends put stuff on Facebook, and
I go on and read that stuff. ... The media should just leave everything alone.
Republicans pretty much state the truth. I mean, Democrats with this stuff with
Donald Trump and these women — this couldn't come up 20 years ago? He's a
billionaire. And all of a sudden, four weeks before the election, all of this
Eilers, who works for a fast-food restaurant, said that he gets his news from
flipping from station to station and searching on
the Internet. He was surprised that coverage of a Republican campaign office in
North Carolina being firebombed and defaced over the weekend quickly turned into
a story about how Trump tweeted that “animals representing Hillary Clinton and
Dems” were to blame.
“Trump got bombed essentially in Carolina, and they swayed it towards being his
fault,” Eilers said. “Obviously you could see it wasn't his fault.”
Supporters wait for the start of a Donald Trump rally in Green Bay, Wis., on
Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Rosenthal, who lives in Navarino, said she mostly gets her news from
Fox News, talk radio
and some local newspapers. She doesn't think
fact-checks are fair, and she's frustrated that local newspapers will
put a headline about Trump's controversies on the front page, then bury articles
about Clinton inside the section. Sometimes she will switch over to CNN
or MSNBC “just to keep my eye on what the other side is doing.”
“CNN is the worst, okay?” said Rosenthal, who came to the rally with her
son. “Don Lemon and Anderson and Wolf Blitzer and the girls. ... They skip
what's going on for Hillary. They will have nine things that Trump has done or
said wrong, and they have all of this stuff that's coming over that they won't
report or they devote such a little bit of time to it.”
Janet Angus, 56, said media bias came up as she hosted a party at her home
during the Packers game this weekend.
“I had 10 CEOs of companies at my house in the kitchen. They're all voting for
Trump, and they were all like: 'We need Sean Hannity
to actually do the debate. Hillary has had her people already. We need
Sean Hannity to be the moderator,' " said Angus,
referring to the Fox News personality who
does not consider himself a journalist and has been a cheerleader for Trump's
candidacy. “You just want fair. You want fair and impartial. ... You want
someone who is actually going to be a moderator.”
Angus said she barely knows about Trump and Clinton's
policies because debates have been so focused on petty controversies
like comments that Trump made about women years ago. She hopes that this will
change at the final debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday, which will be moderated by
Fox News's Chris Wallace.
Before the rally began, Steve Pope walked up to a Washington Post reporter who
was interviewing Trump supporters and yelled: “You have to tell the truth!
You're always negative about Donald Trump!”
Pope, who is in his 60s and lives in Appleton, said the media has fixated on
things that Trump did decades ago while ignoring things that former president
Bill Clinton did. He said that the media should write more about Trump's plans
for the country and his rally speeches.
“It is no longer fair. You are no longer being the
fifth estate,” said Pope, seeming to refer to the media,
usually considered the fourth estate. “You
are no longer holding them accountable.”
Pope said that he gets his news online from websites like the
Drudge Report and the Free
Republic, along with the Wall Street Journal.
“Theirs is fair. It's fair, they're telling both sides and letting you make the
decision,” Pope said of the media outlets he reads. “We are being manipulated.
We are being, you know, led down a certain path, and we ain't going there any