Survey Says: Fox News Would Get Fake News Trophy
According to a Rasmussen Poll, Fox News would get the Fake News Trophy, if there were such a thing, including from almost a quarter of the Republicans polled.
President Donald Trump tweeted earlier in the week: "We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!." But while he excluded Fox from the running, given that he is generally happy with how it covers him, Rasmussen did not.
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017
Related: Fake News Charges Hurt Social More Than Traditional Media
According to the poll, "40% of all voters think Fox News should be the winner of the first annual Fake News Trophy."
The wording of the question was a tad awkward: "If the broadcast media established an annual Fake News Trophy, which network should be the first winner – ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC or someone else?" The candidates included both cable nets and broadcast media, but it did not appear to affect their answers.
CNN came in second at 25%, followed by MSNBC (9%), ABC (4%), CBS (3%) and NBC (2%). Six percent cited another outlet and 11% said they were undecided.
Not surprisingly, politics had a lot to do with the picks. More than half of Democrats (53%) tapped Fox News, while only 24% (still, almost a quarter) of Republicans said so. A plurality (40%) of Republicans picked CNN to get the trophy, while only 13% of Democrats said so.
Related: Trump Uses Lauer Exit to Suggest Need For Comcast/NBC Execs Firing
About half the respondents said the media's coverage of political issues and events was "worse" than in the past, with 19% saying it is better and 27% about the same.
The poll found that 65% of respondents consider fake news a big problem, with 42% who saying it is a "very big" problem. But the poll does not define the term, so that could be read as what most agree is fake news--completely fabricated stories, like some Russian election-meddling plants--or the morphing political definition of stories that the President doesn't like, which his proposed competition targeted.
The poll was of 1,000 likely voters and was conducted Nov. 28-29 by Rasmussen Reports. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Image: By Wikirishiaacharya (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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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.