By Jon Dougherty
President Donald Trump coined the phrase “fake news” to describe the legion of phony reporting surrounding his presidency, especially as it pertained to the garbage “Russian collusion” hoax.
Turns out that most Americans are with him on that and, what’s more, they see it as a greater threat to our republic and its future than terrorism, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
â€œMany Americans say the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation and needs to be stopped,â€ the pollster noted.
â€œMore Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way. Additionally, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say made-up news and information greatly impacts Americansâ€™ confidence in government institutions, and roughly half (54%) say it is having a major impact on our confidence in each other,â€ the researchers said.
Eight-in-ten of those surveyed believe steps should be taken to combat fake news, First Amendment aside, while just 20 percent disagreed.
Also, the survey noted that 54 percent believe that fake news erodes Americans â€œconfidence in each otherâ€ while 51 percent say it impedes political leadersâ€™ ability to get work done, theÂ Washington Times reported.
Oddly, survey respondents blamed our politicians mostly for the fake news, not the news agencies themselves, as the Times noted:
Six-out-of-10 also fault the political community for the trend, while 53% point the finger at activist groups. Just 36% cite journalists themselves while 35% felt that â€œforeign actorsâ€ were to blame.
â€œU.S. adults blame political leaders and activists far more than journalists for the creation of made-up news intended to mislead the public. But they believe it is primarily the responsibility of journalists to fix the problem. And they think the issue will get worse in the foreseeable future,â€ Pew researchers said.
There is evidence that fake news outletsÂ are suffering, however, even if — oddly enough — journalists aren’t being blamed.
“Roughly six-in-ten (63%) have stopped getting news from a particular outlet, about half (52%) have changed the way they use social media and roughly four-in-ten (43%) have lessened their overall news intake,â€ the poll found.
This is a huge problem, and certainly much bigger than most Americans understand.
Our founders established a free press for the purpose of keeping the electorate informed –Â properlyÂ informed — of the important issues of the day. Somewhere along the line the Left took over journalism education and newsrooms around the country and began pushing their views as propaganda disguised as ‘news reporting,’ leading to a far-less informed population.
Information is only as good as its accuracy. If we’re not getting good, accurate information from our news organizations, there is no way we can successfully continue this experiment in self-government. It’s really that simple.
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