Of all the polls taken in the last couple of weeks over the President’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis the one that stands out is this from Gallup:
Americans are generally positive in their evaluations of how each of nine leaders and institutions has handled the response to the coronavirus situation.
Eight of the nine receive majority positive ratings….
Only the news media gets a more negative than positive review.
The survey started polling on March 13, the day President Trump declared a national emergency over the virus, and ran through Sunday, March 22. U.S. hospitals got the highest approval rating, at 88 percent. The president received a 60 percent approval rating while the news media scored a dismal 44 percent.
This was roughly in line with polling results from ABC News and CBS News (at 53 percent approval of the president’s handling of the crisis) and Monmouth University’s (at 50 percent). Monmouth’s poll tagged the media as well, reporting that its survey revealed 43 percent of those polled said the media was doing a poor job of reporting on the crisis.
It must have cost CNN’s Grace Sparks and Jennifer Agiesta dearly to have to report that its “Poll of polls” – an aggregate of the last five polls on president’s overall job performance – indicated that “President Donald Trump’s approval now averages higher than his approval rating has been at any point in CNN’s polling during his presidency.” And the public’s approval rating of how the president has handled the crisis jumped 11 percentage points in just the last three weeks, from 41 percent earlier this month to 52 percent, according to the two CNN journalists.
The polling reflects the viewership of his daily press conferences. According to Nielsen Ratings 12.2 million people watched the president’s briefing on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC last Monday, “up there with Monday Night Football” exuded Liberty Nation’s James Fite. And that doesn’t count those watching on CBS, NBC or online streaming sites.
This is causing considerable angst among members of the mainstream media who were hoping that the coronavirus would finally at long last bring down the Trump presidency. With his increasing approval numbers the media is now urging that those press conferences be tape-delayed and not covered live so that they can line up their responses in advance.
Their excuse? Trump lies, exaggerates, misleads and deliberately misinforms the public during those pressers. Tweeted Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post’s media columnist: “The media must stop live-broadcasting Trump’s dangerous, destructive coronavirus briefings.... He’s just using them as a substitute for his rallies. Put him on tape-delay so journalists [like me] can counter his rush of misinformation.” Rachel Maddow of MSNBC echoed Sullivan: “If it were up to me I would stop putting those briefings on live TV. Not out of spite but because it’s misinformation.” Then she snipped: “If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape.”
Those watching Trump’s press conferences know that they are professional and informative, with experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the president’s response coordinator for the Coronavirus Task Force, bringing relevant, vital and timely advice and commentary on the virus, its trajectories and mitigation efforts being done across the country.
Not only are those watching hungry for information they are also approving of the president’s leadership style under pressure. As his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump (wife of Trump’s son Eric) expressed it: “Unprecedented times call for a strong leader. My father-in-law, President Trump, is showing what leadership looks like in time of crisis.”
The media, on the other hand, have so soiled their reputation over their coverage that they are coming in last in the public’s view.
Photo of President Trump: White House