Media Outlets Are Crucial to the Trump Administration

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr

It has only been about one month since President Donald Trump took office, but with all of the scandals, panic and lawsuits surrounding his presidency already, it may as well have been a year.

A Gallup poll from this past weekend has President Trump’s approval rating at 40 percent. For context, the average approval rating of U.S. presidents at this time in their term is 61 percent. President Clinton was on the lower end at 51 percent, while the forever-popular President Kennedy had a staggering 72 percent approval rating at the time. President Obama’s approval rating during mid-February of his first time was 64 percent. Clearly, the close to 66 million people who voted for Secretary Clinton in the presidential election are not happy, and likely, neither are many that voted for President Trump.

His choices for cabinet members are troublesome at best and dangerous at worst. They range from severely unqualified like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Housing Secretary Ben Carson, to out-right scary with Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon, a figurehead of the nationalist alt-right movement.

The travel ban on members of seven Muslim-majority countries was met with large protests. People everywhere around the United States are frightened. However, Trump still believes that he is being unfairly targeted in the press. I disagree.

Most mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and others have rightfully criticized President Trump’s actions since taking office.

As he has made clear throughout his campaign, Trump does not have a high regard for the media. He has turned the phrase “fake news” into something to be hurled at anyone who says something he does not like.

Recently, a survey was sent out to people on Trump’s email list called the “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey”. This survey contained misleading questions, misinformation and was inherently biased as it was only sent to those already subscribed to a Trump-supporting email list.

Clearly, President Trump is much more interested in confirming the views that he already holds than he is in encouraging media outlets to be as fair as possible.

Additionally, President Trump’s vitriol of the mainstream media is a blatant attempt to misguide the American people. He has referred to the New York Times as “failing” on Twitter and at press conferences; however, the newspaper has actually received a net of 276,000 new online subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016.

It seems that the president is attempting to lessen the credibility of the news outlets that dare to report the truth about his administration and its potential consequences.

Luckily, his low approval rating appears to show that the majority of his citizens are not being fooled.

It may seem as though the media has been unnecessarily harsh on the new president, but I believe they are actually doing a great service to the American people by refusing to sugar-coat the reality of the Trump administration.

I urge my fellow Americans to not be led astray by President Trump and his supporters’ admonishment of the press. The so-called “crooked media” is now more necessary than ever in spreading truth and awareness about the danger we will be facing as a country for the next four years.