A post-election survey by the Media Research Center (MRC) released Tuesday revealed that more than two-thirds of voters “do not believe the news media are honest and truthful,” and an even larger majority thinks news coverage of the presidential campaign was biased.
That survey, reported by Newsbusters, also said 59 percent of the respondents believe the media “were for (Hillary) Clinton vs. for (Donald) Trump (21%).”
Adding to the tarnished press image, one-third of Clinton voters think the media were “pro-Clinton.”
Here are the key findings: 69 percent of the voters do not believe the media are honest and truthful, while 78 percent think coverage of the presidential campaign was biased. Thirty-two percent of Clinton voters even think the media were “pro-Clinton.”
However, the biggest slap-in-the-face for the press was the revelation that a whopping 97 percent of voters said they “did not let the media’s bias influence their vote.”
It amounts to a devastating indictment of the news media, and underscores the “non-apology” message to New York Times subscribers a few days ago from publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. following Trump’s stunning trouncing of Clinton in the Electoral College tally.
Without actually admitting to press bias in its election coverage, Sulzberger promised the NY Times would endeavor to be fair and balanced, a claim that perhaps only Fox News might be able to make.
“(W)e aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism,” Sulzberger wrote. “That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.”
Many think the press literally self-destructed with its biased coverage of the presidential campaign. Rather than fulfill its mission to be the “watchdog,” the Fourth Estate essentially assumed the role of lap dog for Clinton and the Democrats. Now, more than a week after the election results left pundits at CNN and other news agencies aghast, Sulzberger is telling readers that they “can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.”
This might be the opportune moment to ask whether that includes the newspaper’s coverage of guns and Second Amendment issues, and how it treats gun rights organizations and firearms owners in general.
Many would argue that the newspaper’s track record for supporting every type of gun control that comes along makes that an impossible expectation.
For many years, it has seemed that the Times newsroom considers there are only nine amendments in the Bill of Rights. The newspaper has treated the gun issue as though the Second Amendment should be a government-regulated privilege, rather than protective of a fundamental civil right.
In a scathing commentary, Michael Goodwin, writing for the New York Post put it bluntly about Sulzberger’s promise to his readers, “Had the paper (the Times) actually been fair to both candidates, it wouldn’t need to rededicate itself to honest reporting. And it wouldn’t have been totally blindsided by Trump’s victory.
“Instead,” Goodwin wrote, “because it demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president.”
It’s not just the NY Times, but most of the mainstream press, that blew it. They were, as critics have suggested, “in the bag” for Clinton.
But not gun owners. As Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation noted following Trump’s surprising victory, “It cannot be ignored that this nation’s tens of millions of honest firearms owners turned out to protect their constitutional rights. From the outset, Mr. Trump made it clear that the Second Amendment will be safe on his watch.”
According to the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, gun owners made all the difference at the polls.
“In the wake of this historic event,” LaPierre said in a statement, “the same disgraced group of so-called experts, talking heads, pundits and pollsters that got everything wrong before the election are trying to deceive you once again. So let me remove all doubt: gun owners made this election happen. Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she’s on permanent political vacation.”