The media have been a large focus of attention during the past few years. Yet, day after day, they do their job. And, over four in five Americans (85%) say the media are important to American Democracy with over half (52%) saying they are very important. And, while there are some partisan differences, three-quarters of Republicans (76%), almost all Democrats (95%) and nine in ten Independents (89%) say the media are important. This is from an online survey conducted by Regina Corso Consulting among 1,037 U.S. adults, 18 and older between January 13 and 15, 2020.
There is also generational alignment on this. Over four in five Gen Zers (84%), Gen Xers (82%), Baby Boomers (82%) and Greatest Generationers (81%) as well as over nine in ten Millennials (93%) also say the media are important to American Democracy with seven in ten Millennials (69%) saying it is very important.
But, this is where getting along ends. While two-thirds of Americans (68%) say it is dangerous when President Trump call the media “the enemy of the people,” this drops to less than half of Republicans (46%) and rises to almost nine in ten Democrats (88%). Almost two-thirds (64%) believe the media are biased against the White House. This then rises to nine in ten Republicans (90%) and drops to over two in five Democrats (42%); Independents are in the middle with over three in five (62%) saying the media are biased against the White House.
Looking at the three main cable news stations, one-quarter of Americans each say that Fox News (26%) and CNN (24%) do the best job delivering straight news with no bias while one in ten (11%) say this about MSNBC. One-quarter (26%), however, say none of them do and they are all biased while over one in ten (14%) are not at all sure. Among Republicans, over two in five (44%) say Fox News does the best job delivering straight news, almost one in five (17%) say CNN does and one-quarter (24%) say they are all biased. As you might expect, it’s a little different for Democrats as over one-third (36%) say CNN does the best job, less than one in five say MSNBC (18%) and Fox News (16%) do the best job and one in five (19%) they are all biased.