The president of the United States is the nation’s chief executive. In our system the free press, not mainly the president, should be a reliable source of information in a national crisis. But that situation is not the reality in the America of today.
A Monday Monmouth University poll, asking who is doing a better job on the coronavirus, gave the president a 50% approval rating and the media a full five points lower. The remaining poll response was mixed. The rating for Congress was even lower than that of the media, at 42%.
In effect this is saying the president is beating the media on their own turf. And as any recent poll number must be seen as an indirect election poll, the anti-Trump number of 45% would make for a double digit trouncing of the Democrats in November.
Another recent poll, by ABC, showed similar results.
Will this profound lack of trust in the mainstream media cause a shakeout after the public health crisis has past?
Many media viewers expect, and some revel in, partisan coverage when things are normal. But in extraordinary times people desire facts, not pure politics. They are fully aware that facts, not undiluted leftist ideology, could more seriously affect themselves and their families.
So when media outlets continue to spew the same old anti-Trump lines when they should be focusing on the coronavirus, it may make swing voters and others soon reassess their media choices.
And what of poor Joe Biden, the media’s choice in the fall race?
Just when his campaign should be consolidating support and gaining momentum he is almost shut out of the limelight. His few forays into coronavirus commentary have come across as comically confused and hopelessly out of touch. He and his campaign are reduced to hoarsely barking their talking points in a thunderstorm. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving campaign.