Cheerleading: Poll underscores public distrust of the press

Is the press biased toward Hillary Clinton? A Rasmussen survey suggests most people think so.

When it comes to perceived “liberal press bias,” there may be no better example of the mainstream press’ credibility gap than a new Rasmussen survey showing that 69 percent of likely voters “say reporters try to help the candidate they want to win.”

This year, that bias tilts toward Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to today’s Rasmussen Reports revelation. Rasmussen says its new poll shows 52 percent of likely voters believe that the press gives Clinton “the best treatment so far” in the campaign, while only 27 percent think Republican Donald Trump gets good treatment. Only 24 percent believe reporters try to offer balanced coverage, the survey found.

Half of those surveyed predict most reporters will try to help Clinton, and only 11 percent think reporters will do the same for Trump.

Is there really a liberal press bias? Are political reporters actually Clinton cheerleaders?

One way to find out may be to watch how the press reports on the gun issue, which is a major subject of the campaign. Clinton has made her war on guns a cornerstone of her drive to the White House.

The other day, Politico noted that the group led by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly is “pushing to rebrand” the gun control effort to something softer. This is not a new strategy. Democrats and their gun prohibitionist allies have been trying to soften their message since their party lost control of Congress in 1994 because gun control measures passed under former President Bill Clinton brought angry gun owners to the polls in legions.

Nowadays, according to the Politico story, anti-gunners are still substituting new phrases such as “gun violence prevention” to mask their gun control agenda. They want Clinton to stop talking about the National Rifle Association, which has high favorable reviews, to the more generic “gun lobby.”

So, watch the reports to see whether journalists portray anti-gun lobbying organizations as “gun safety groups.” In Washington and Nevada, pay close attention to coverage of two gun control initiatives. If these are repeatedly portrayed as “gun safety measures,” that will confirm the suspicions of gun rights activists that “the fix” is in.

Returning to presidential politics, according to Rasmussen, back in 2012, a slight majority (51%) of voters “expected most reporters would try to help Barack Obama get reelected.” Only nine percent believed the press would be biased toward Republican Mitt Romney. It was essentially the same story back in 2008.

With so much at stake this year, including the Supreme Court makeup for the next generation, the mainstream press should wake up, some critics suggest. In the firearms community, gun rights advocates warn that if the Second Amendment can be eroded, it is a virtual certainty that the First Amendment will be right behind it.


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