In Donald Trump's latest blast at the media — and there have been many — he called out ABC reporter Tom Llamas in the middle of a press rally, pointing at him and using some permutation for the word "sleaze" three times. Although the immediate topic involved questions about Trump's charitable donations to veterans' groups, his broader grievance has been the general dishonesty and bias of the political press, who use their platform to influence popular opinion for or against particular candidates.
Past insults Trump has leveled at the media include his remark that "the political press is among the most dishonest people that I've ever met."
Pointing to the press at the back of the room, Trump declared at another campaign rally, "The mainstream media, these people back there — they're the worst. They are so dishonest ... . And by the way, some of the media is terrific. But most of it — 70 percent, 75 percent — is absolute dishonest, absolute scum."
And at a different rally, also gesturing to the press, Trump said, "By the way, the world's most dishonest people are back there; look at all the cameras going. Look at all those cameras. Unbelievable. They are dishonest — most of them, not all of them, but most of them."
Love him or hate him, Trump is saying something we all know: The mainstream media can't be trusted as an accurate news source, most especially during election season. Little wonder — the vast majority of staff in the newsrooms and top TV networks are liberal. Survey after survey has consistently shown over the past several decades that journalists and media personalities overwhelmingly vote Democrat and give money to liberal causes.
As recently as last year, results show only 7 percent of journalists describe themselves as Republicans. Self-identified Democrat journalists lead Republicans four to one, the number skewing even more leftward as you approach top news correspondents who offer national political coverage. More than 90 percent of Washington, D.C. journalists vote Democrat, with even more donating to left-leaning political action committees.
Watch the panel discuss media bias in "The Download—The Power of the Media."