Inside the Beltway: Americans finally smell a media rat


Americans are very aware that presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden got better coverage from the news media during the presidential election than President Trump. There are some very telling new poll numbers from a very major pollster to consider. The journalism community — if there is one — may not care much about what the survey reveals.

They should. Here are those numbers:

“When asked to assess media coverage of the two presidential candidates’ campaigns more generally, Americans think the coverage of Biden’s campaign was significantly more fair than coverage of Trump’s campaign, 74% to 55%, respectively,” reports a new Gallup/Knight Foundation released on Monday.

Yes, that’s right. Amid all the distractions, melodrama and very real pandemic fears of 2020, the public did not overlook the fact that the press was not “fair” to Mr. Trump.

Then there’s this:

“More than four in five Americans believe they were exposed to either ‘a great deal’ (50%) or ‘a fair amount’ (34%) of misinformation in this election year. Republicans (92%) are more likely than Democrats (80%) and independents (83%) to say so,” the analysis continued.

To be exact, 84% of the public detected misinformation.

“Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say they were exposed to more misinformation in 2020 than in 2016,” the pollster advised, noting that three-fourths of the respondents cited Facebook as the most frequent source of misinformation.

The simple takeaway here: The public is paying more attention to the integrity of news than journalists might think. Many Americans are now “woke” — to use a term which was very popular this year — to media trickery. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.


Just in case you are curious, one journalist is tracking what Joseph R. Biden pays attention to in the media world.

“The President-elect’s media diet is what we would call the classics. He relies on things like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal. He reads some of The Economist and The New Yorker. A lot of it in print,” New Yorker staff writer and CNN contributor Evan Osnos told network host Brian Stelter on Sunday.

“He also relies on Apple News to help him get headlines from other reputable media sources. What he is not doing, of course, is reading things like Newsmax, he’s not watching One America News Network,” Mr. Osnos explained, adding that Mr. Biden does not “parse” everything that is written about him.

Mr. Osnos will soon explain a lot more, however. He has a has a book titled “Joe Biden: The Life, The Run, and What Matters Now.”


Election uncertainty goes on, and everyday heroes have emerged from it, says Frank Miele, a columnist for Real Clear Politics, who took the time to examine testimony from witnesses who saw evidence of voting irregularities in several states and came forward to share it.

“If the mainstream media were interested in covering the news instead of covering it up, they would be offering nonstop 24/7 coverage of the election fraud story just as they do for hurricanes and terrorism. If they did that, then no one could get away with the lie that there is ‘no evidence’ of fraud. There is a tsunami of evidence that has been rolled out in public legislative hearings in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan,” Mr. Miele writes.

“Those presenting the evidence are everyday Americans — a diverse group of white, black, Republican and even Democratic Party people — who saw things that cried out for investigation and weren’t intimidated by the media’s intimation that they were liars or right-wing kooks,” he continues.

“Watching the testimony, I have never been prouder of my fellow citizens — people who volunteered their time, cared enough to risk public condemnation, and signed their affidavits under penalty of perjury to bring to light what they considered to be violations of law that raise questions about the integrity of the 2020 election. Call it the Revenge of the Deplorables,” Mr. Miele advises.


We’ve heard presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden calls for cuddly unity for quite some time. Some smell, not necessarily a rat, but some ulterior motives.

“If Joe Biden truly wanted unity, rather than political power, he would not be claiming himself ‘president-elect.’ He is most certainly not ‘president-elect’ and cannot be so until one of two things happens. Either President Trump must concede the election in order to make Biden truly president-elect or the Electoral College must meet and award Biden 270 of its 538 votes. Neither of those has happened,” writes Scott McKay, a columnist for the American Spectator.

He reminds everyone that Mr. Biden is busy appointing Cabinet heads, pushing a “far left” agenda, advocating a national economic shutdown and not communicating much with Republicans. Questions about the election also continue to percolate.

Mr. McKay believes that Americans would agree that “integrity in political processes” is a big positive, and that the presumed president-elect should focus on these processes — and remain loyal to them.

“Which Biden has not done. So what he’s asking for is not unity. It’s obedience,” Mr. McKay writes.


• 28% of U.S. adults think the news media was “very responsible” in reporting on the 2020 election; 9% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.

• 31% overall say the media was “responsible” in its reporting; 12% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 41% of Democrats agree.

• 15% overall say the media was “not very responsible”; 24% of Republicans, 19% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

• 26% overall say the media was “not responsible at all”; 55% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup/Knight Foundation poll of 2,752 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 9-15 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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