Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ cries are working as voters believe journalists are biased against him

Four in ten voters believe that journalists are biased against Donald Trump according to a new poll for the Independent

Harriet Alexander
Saturday 31 October 2020 13:00 GMT
Trump claims polls fake 'like 2016' and threatens to block vote counting beyond November 3

Donald Trump’s accusations of “fake news” have had the desired affect, an exclusive poll for the Independent shows, as a significant chunk of the US electorate believe journalists are biased against him.

Asked whether they felt the media was against him, 41 per cent of voters said yes. Thirty four per cent said no.

The poll was carried out for the Independent by JL Partners, who surveyed 1,002 people between 26 October to 28 October.

Mr Trump has made the rallying cry of “fake news” a cornerstone of his presidency.

On Monday he claimed the worsening coronavirus outbreak is a “Fake News Media Conspiracy,” saying the nation has the most cases in the world only because “we TEST, TEST, TEST.”

On Wednesday he tweeted: “Covid, Covid, Covid is the unified chant of the Fake News Lamestream Media. They will talk about nothing else until November 4th., when the Election will be (hopefully!) over. Then the talk will be how low the death rate is, plenty of hospital rooms, & many tests of young people.”

In January 2018 he even staged the “Fake News Awards”, garlanding journalists from CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post and other outlets who he felt had published the most egregious falsehoods. In almost all cases, a retraction or clarification of the error was published shortly after. 

Lesley Stahl, the host of 60 Minutes, who Mr Trump walked out on, mid-interview, earlier this month, said in 2018 that she had confronted the president about his rhetoric.

"I said, 'You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing it over and over? And it's boring and it's time to end that,'" she said, recalling their talk.

"Why do you keep hammering at this?'

"And he said: 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.'

"He said that. So put that in your head for a minute."

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