Why being ‘anti-media’ is now part of the GOP identity

By FiveThirtyEight - April 6, 2021

There’s little question that the media is one of the least trusted institutions in Republican circles.

In the past two decades, trust in traditional media has plummeted — especially among Republicans. According to polling from Gallup, since at least the late 1990s, Republicans have been less likely than Democrats (and independents) to say they trust the media. But starting in 2015, trust among Republicans took a nosedive, falling from 32 percent to 10 percent in 2020. (Meanwhile, among Democrats, trust in the media has actually climbed back up, and by quite a bit.)

Part of this is because Republicans are often more vocal in their criticism of the media and have long perceived it as having a liberal bias. But now they are also more likely to say that being “anti-media” is part of their political identity, and this is likely driving the staggering gap in media trust that we are seeing.

Let’s start with Republicans’ media habits. In our fractured media ecosystem, it’s not uncommon for both Republicans and Democrats to seek out news sources that reinforce their political beliefs.


The video below isn’t directly related to the article but contains relevant information about the topic.

People Outside A Trump Rally Told Us Why They Hate The Media (HBO)
Vice News
Jul 2017

President Trump campaigned against the press. He governs against the press. And in February, Trump tweeted this about the press. There’s a reason for this: Republicans in general, and Trump supporters in particular, hate the media. A Pew poll from May found that in the Trump era, the partisan divide over the role of the press is the largest it’s been since they began asking this question. VICE News went to a Trump rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this week to ask his supporters why they hate the media.


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