Everything's about to get really, reallllly, weird.
A new Ipsos poll provided exclusively to the Daily Beast finds that 43% self-identified Republicans say they think “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”
Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement. When asked if Trump should close down specific outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23%) agreed and 49 percent disagreed.
Republicans were far more likely to take a negative view of the media. Forty-eight percent of them said they believed “the news media is the enemy of the American people” (just 28 percent disagreed) while nearly four out of every five (79 percent) said that they believed “the mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly.”
Democrats, of course, didn't have the same feeling (what with the liberal slant of the mainstream media). Just 12% of self-identified Democrats think “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior," while 74% disagreed.
President Trump has bashed the media since he began running for the White House and has labeled outlets like CNN and the Post as "fake news."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, Senate Democrats are reportedly circulating plans for a government takeover of the internet, Reason reports.
A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets," it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including "comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation" of the sort enacted in the E.U.
Titled "Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms," the draft policy paper—penned by Sen. Mark Warner and leaked by an unknown source to Axios—the paper starts out by noting that Russians have long spread disinformation, including when "the Soviets tried to spread 'fake news' denigrating Martin Luther King" (here he fails to mention that the Americans in charge at the time did the same). But NOW IT'S DIFFERENT, because technology.
So brace yourself. It's all going to get much worse — and much weirder — in the coming days.