Analysis: CNN’s Chris Cillizza perfectly demonstrates why trust in media is so low

Peter Hasson, DCNF

CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza perfectly demonstrated in an article Wednesday why trust in the media remains so low among the American public.

Cillizza blatantly misrepresented a recent poll to portray Republican voters as uniquely “unquestioning supporters” of President Donald Trump.

A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed that Republican voters said George Washington was a better president than Trump by a 44-37 margin. Cillizza pounced on the fact that 37% of Republican respondents chose Trump over Washington, which he said provides “a useful way into understanding just how rote the fealty is to Trump within the ranks of the Republican Party at the moment.”

But Cillizza left out something important: The same poll results he cited show Democratic voters saying former President Barack Obama was the better president by an overwhelming 63-29 margin. Nowhere in Cillizza’s article did he include that fact, which debunked his whole point. (After this article was published, CNN updated Cillizza’s article to briefly note the Obama statistics and added an editor’s note.)

“What’s amazing — at least to me — is that so many Republicans have turned into unquestioning supporters of Trump to the point where 4 in 10 go on record to say he is a better president than George Washington!” concluded Cillizza, who has yet to return an email seeking explanation on the misleading article. But what’s more amazing is the fact that a journalist working at a network whose motto is “facts first” would so blatantly mislead the public.

And it’s a perfect demonstration of why trust in the news media remains so low.

Just 41% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media, according to Gallup polling released in September. Those numbers are largely split along party lines, with 69% of Democrats expressing trust in the media, compared to 36% of independents and 15% of Republicans.

When you have hacks like Cillizza cherry-picking data to advance partisan narratives, is it any surprise that trust in media is a partisan issue?

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