This might be hard to believe for some of you, but the mainstream media and all those blue check marks on Twitter do not reflect anything close to reality. Not since the Access Hollywood tape have we seen the MSM go in for the Trump-kill as they did in last week post-Charlottesville, and the result in public opinion has been the exact opposite of what they had hoped.
One of the few journalists who realizes this is the National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, who writes of the Confederate statue issue ...
A PBS/NPR/Marist poll conducted after the Charlottesville protests found a whopping 62 percent of registered voters preferring to maintain Confederate memorials as a “historical symbol” over removing them “because they’re offensive to some people.” The issue united Republicans (86 percent approved maintaining them and only 6 percent disapproved), while dividing Democrats (47 percent approved removing them and 44 percent disapproved). Even a 44 percent plurality of African-Americans didn’t want to tear them down.
Kraushaar also points out that on the very issue the MSM is trying to bludgeon Trump with, his (appropriate) blaming of "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, 43% of Americans agreed with Trump, while 53% disagreed. Still, 43% is higher than his overall approval rating and if you watch the news media, 43% sounds impossible. Trump had been under withering 24/7 fire for days and the best the media could grab was 53%? That's pretty pathetic.
Moreover, by correctly blaming "both sides" for the violence, Trump has improved his standing with his base. A full 87% of Republicans agreed with him on this issue, an improvement of the 80% of Republicans who generally approve of the way he is doing his job.
On the overall job approval front, post Charlottesville, Trump has improved +4 points in Gallup, jumped +6 points with Quinnipiac (compared to the previous month), and held steady overall. Over at Real Clear Politics, Trump's average approve/disapprove improved from 37.4%/ 57.4% (-20) to 39%/55% -16) — hardly spectacular, but more proof that, at best, the media frenzy has had absolutely no effect whatsoever on public opinion. At worst (in the eyes of the media), the public has inched closer to Trump post-Charlottesville.
My theory about all of this was realized yesterday afternoon during a visit with my folks. The mistake Trump made on Saturday with his initial "both sides" comments about Charlottesville, was in his assumption the general public understood the truth about what he meant, that everyday Americans knew who this Antifa group was and just how awful they are.
My folks keep up with current events (and are not Trump supporters), but until last week they had no idea who Antifa was. And why would they? The MSM has been covering up the truth about these leftwing terrorists for a year. It was only after Trump's second presser, the one where he brought up the alt-left and forced the media to report on Antifa that they realized and were more forgiving of what he said.
By the way, both are also firmly on Trump's side about the removal of statues, Confederate or otherwise. "I was saying the statues of Jefferson and Washington will be next even before Trump was," my mom (and Barack Obama's biggest fan) told me.