There is no level of perfidy or autocratic power abuse that Trump can commit that won't have a majority of the country blaming the media for everything wrong in America.
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted over the past fractious, violent week shows a majority of voters think that President Donald Trump has done more to divide the country than unite it since he took office last year — but that the national news media are even worse.
Just 3 in 10 voters, 30 percent, said Trump has done more to unite the country, compared with 56 percent who said he’s done more to divide it. Even more voters, 64 percent, said the media have done more to divide the country, while only 17 percent say they have done more to unite it.
Majorities of Democrats (88 percent) and independents (54 percent) said Trump has done more to divide the U.S., while 55 percent of Republicans said Trump has done more to unite the country instead.
But few voters in either party — 28 percent of Democrats, 9 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of independents — said the national news media have done more to unite the country.
The poll was conducted Oct. 25-30, a tumultuous week that included the Oct. 26 arrest of a Florida man on charges of sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and other Trump critics, and the Oct. 27 murder of 11 Jewish worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
A majority of voters, 58 percent, said they consider political violence to be widespread, including 63 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents.
Asked who’s more to blame for political violence, 36 percent said Trump, while 9 percent pinned the blame on congressional Republicans. Fewer than a third, 31 percent, hold Democrats in Congress more responsible. Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, had no opinion.
“Voters across the political spectrum agree that political violence is widespread, but have different viewpoints on who’s responsible for the growing wave of unrest,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “Notably, 58 percent of voters say political violence is widespread — including 63 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. However, while 77 percent of Democrats say President Trump and the GOP are responsible for political violence, just 14 percent of Republican voters say the same.”
And the media plays into Trump's hands time and time again, as they have been for more than three years now. The best thing they could do is stop covering him altogether, for the White House press to walk out in disgust. We all know however that a choice like that will never be made, and so the media will continue to feed Trump's ego and increase his followers.
Whether or not our democracy will survive another two years of this remains to be seen, but even if the Democrats win the House (for the Senate is at best long odds) the media will turn on them in order to placate Trump. We'll see what happens when Trump makes his move to bury or end the Mueller probe after the Midterms, and the media's role in that.