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© 2017 MERRY JANE. All Rights Reserved.

Less Than Half of Republicans Believe a Free Press Is Important for Democracy

Over three quarters of Republicans believe Trump is more trustworthy than the news.

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President Trump has made no bones about showing his disdain for the media, even going so far as declaring the press the “enemy of the people” on numerous occasions. A new poll by the Pew Research Center has found that the president is not alone in his opinion. The poll found that only 49 percent of Republicans and other conservatives said that having news organizations that are “free to criticize political leaders” was very important for American democracy.

In contrast, 76 percent of Democrats and other liberals believe that the free press is important for democracy. The same poll asked people to rate the importance of nonviolent protest. 68% of Republicans replied that it was, compared to 88% of Democrats. Eighty percent of Democrats also said they believed it was important that "rights of people with unpopular views are protected." Only 66% of Republicans agreed with the same statement.

Another poll, released last week by Quinnipiac University, found that 52% of Americans trust the news media more than the president. When broken down by political party, however, the University found that 78% of Republicans now trust the president more than the media, compared to 7% of Democrats.