Trump Collecting Data on Media Bias

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his party have taken his attack on the media to a whole new level.

Last week, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which comprises Trump’s presidential campaign committee and the Republican National Committee, sent an email alert to supporters proclaiming, “We’re not just fighting against [Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton … We are running against the very dishonest and totally biased media!” and attempting to collect data to back up that opinion.

The email said Trump was looking for his own poll to offer up in media interviews to support his loud and repeated claims of media bias — the New York real estate developer/television personality-turned-politician has pulled credentials from outlets whose stories anger him.

The survey targeted cable news outlets — CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel — with individual questions, but not network news operations or local news outlets.

“It’s time to hold the media accountable for trying to rig this election against us,” the email said over Trump’s signature, asking supporters to take a “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey.”

“All too often I’m asked about a ‘poll’ put out by a liberal organization that says the American people disagree with our common-sense reforms to fix our country,” the email said. “Well, with your help today, the next time I’m being interviewed, I will have my own poll that shows that the American people disagree with the dishonest media!”

Among the — in some cases leading — questions the Republicans want “yes” or “no” answers on include:

1. “Hillary Clinton still gets a free pass from the media as she continues to lie about sending classified information on her secret server.”

2. “The mainstream media needs to do more to expose the shady donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

3. “The RNC was right to drop CNBC as a partner after they failed to fairly moderate the October debate.”

4. “More time is spent covering fake ‘scandals’ involving Trump than real scandals involving Hillary and our national security.”

5. “The media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats.”

The survey launch followed a barrage of antimedia Twitter posts from Trump after the embattled candidate took heat for comments about President Obama being co-founder of ISIS and about gun-rights activists maybe being able to do something to stop Clinton.

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.