Many Trump Supporters BackCalling Out Offensive Speech

WASHINGTON — While Donald Trump has been criticizing the media for reporting on statements he made about groping women, more (49%) of Republican presidential candidate’s supporters say the news media should emphasize a candidate's "offensive statements" than say they shouldn’t (45%).

Supporters of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who’ve been having a field day with Trump’s comments, were even more enthusiastic about reporting offensive comments: 72% of Clinton supporters who responded to a Pew Research Center survey said such comments should be reported, while only 26% said they should not.

Of course, it’s up to individuals to decide which remarks they conclude are offensive and deserve calling out.

Pew’s survey polled 3,616 registered voters (1,396 were Trump reporters and 1,775 were Clinton supporters) from Sept. 27-Oct. 10. The margin of error for the Trump supporters was 4.7 percentage points and for Clinton fans, 4.2 percentage points.

Respondents were also overwhelmingly in favor of the media calling out candidates for false statements. More than four out of five Clinton supporters (83%) said that the media should "emphasize inaccurate statements," while only 16% said they should not. Almost as many Trump supporters (71%) said they should call out inaccuracies, while 25% said no.

On that subject, the majority (53%) of Trump supporters said it is a major responsibility of the news media to fact-check candidates, while only 24% said that is a minor responsibility and 10% said it’s not their responsibility at all.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.