Trust in Media Declines: Majority of Voters Agree that the Media Are the ‘Enemy of the People’

Ken Meekins | May 25, 2023
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A recent poll conducted by Rasmussen found that only 30% of likely U.S. voters trust the political news that they receive, a seven point decrease from July of 2021.

Fifty-two percent of likely U.S. voters now say that do not trust news media, up from 43% when a similar poll conducted in 2021 asked if they “trusted the news media.”

Strikingly, a majority of likely U.S. voters, 59%, say they agree that “The media are ‘truly the enemy of the people?’”

Rasmussen says that its question refers to former President Donald Trump’s 2019 tweet, which specifically restricts “enemy of the people” to “Fake News”:

“In the wake of the 2019 Mueller Report, which found no evidence of the “Russian collusion” the media had hyped, Trump tweeted: ‘Fake News is truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!’” with former President Donald Trump's characterization of “fake news” media as the “enemy of the people.”

Two-thirds (66%) of Republicans believe media coverage of politics favors Democrats and 39% of Democrats also think that the news favors their side, mostly unchanged from 2021.

Broken down by income, voters earning between $30,000 and $50,000 a year are more likely to say that they don’t “trust the political news that they are getting,” while voters earning more than $200,000 are least likely to agree that the media are the “enemy of the people.”

By racial category, 58% of whites, 51% of black voters and 68% of other minorities at least somewhat agree that the media are the “enemy of the people.” However, black voters are less likely to believe that news coverage favors Democrats, but also less likely to trust where they get their news.

One surprising result of the poll is that 45% of government employees today “strongly agree” the media are the enemy of the people, more than entrepreneurs (40%), employees of private companies (33%) and retired Americans (30%). In 2021, when government employees were asked if they “trust the political news” that they were getting, 45% said that they did trust the media.

Rasmussen conducted the survey of 1,002 U.S. likely voters May 16-18, 2023.