- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Nearly nine-in-ten Republicans believe major U.S. news organizations report fake news for political reasons, pollsters said Tuesday.

The Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University included the statistic in a report summarizing the results of a recent survey of 1,001 likely 2020 presidential election voters.

Respondents were asked a series of questions, including whether they agree or disagree that the nation’s “major news organizations publish fake news stories for political purposes.”

Eighty-six percent of Republican voters answered that the “agree” that major outlets publish fake news for political purposes, pollsters wrote in the report.

“President Trump’s rhetoric regarding the media appears to be having a massive impact on voter confidence in the media,” said Rachel Bitecofer, Wason Center’s assistant director.

“It’s not because of some nut job on fringe radio,” she said in an interview with Courthouse News Service. “It’s because for two years the man in the Oval Office, with the presidential seal, has been telling them it’s so.”

Fewer than one-third of Democrats surveyed – 31 percent – said that they believe major news organization report fake news for political reasons, the report said.

Sixty-one percent of Independents, meanwhile, answered that they “agree” major news outlets push bogus stories for political purposes, according to the report.

The poll was conducted between February 3 through 17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.

President Trump explicitly referred to the “fake news” media on Twitter three times during that same two-week span.

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