President Trump, Donald Trump, Democrats discussed on The Takeaway

The Takeaway


Trust. You are now on the inside. I like to call circle trust trust. You don't use big words. You don't understand news consumers have gone into their corners for who do you? Trust of a plenty. Amount of money. Trump what we have to begin to do is look to ourselves but given up why and trusting in? This is the takeaway. I'm Tanzania Vega. And trust is on our minds today special counsel, Robert Muller's investigation into Russian interference in the two thousand sixteen election is over and President Donald Trump and Republicans are claiming victory Democrats on the other hand are pushing for the Justice department to release the full Mullah report because as of now we've only seen the attorney general summary. But what about you now that the special counsel's investigation has wrapped up? How are you feeling about our country's institutions? Here's what you had to say. Gene, oregon. Miami. This is Greg Johnson from mililani Hawaii. It's reassuring to know even for those of us that don't like Trump that they're still fair impartial and honest forms of our government. I no longer trust the major media outlets which hype the collusion myth for two years. And now, they're unfold Jedi institutions only work when we have a balance system where divisiveness and money don't get to. I'm absolutely convinced. If there's no truth in politics are lower for my trust any way of government ever since the war gate case, which I lived through the first time in my seventy seven years. I don't have faith in the system, and that lack of faith has been growing in nineteen fifty eight the Pew Research Center found that about seventy three percent of Americans said they could trust the federal government all or most of the time. But in two thousand seventeen just eighteen percents at the same. Things. Don't look much better. When it comes to public confidence in the media last year, Georgetown, University assess the public's confidence in twenty major institutions, and here's what they found. Democrats ranked the press seventh out of twenty Republicans place the media dead last joining me now to add some context to those numbers as Margaret Sullivan media columnists at the Washington Post. Welcome back, Margaret, thank you very much Tenzin a-. And also with us is Huck a law professor at the university of Chicago Z's. Thanks so much for being with us aren't phones evil. So let's start with you. As is the completion of the mullahs report and example of our country's institutions working properly, and what I would love if you could explain here is the difference between procedure and politics. I think the Miller report is going to be a missed opportunity and Thames of rebuilding trust in our institutions. The Miller report was intended to establish the truth of whether that was Russian interference. In the two thousand sixteen election, and whether members of the Trump campaign, we're involved and we've seen both of those things which would doubts it by the president have been established. By by the Miller reports the reason I say it's going to be a missed opportunity is that the policies in response to the investigations completion has aimed not just at vindicating the president. But at costing doubt upon the motives, if those who sought the investigation in the first place, and that I think is going to further erode trust in both the media that reported on the Muller investigation and also in the FBI and the Justice department are key Lauren fulsome institutions, Margaret, I want to bring you in here. Because yesterday as the report or should I say the summary of the report was being debated online fella game of telephone. We had the report itself, which no one's actually seen than we had a summary of the report, then that summary was then interpreted by people who are interpreting the interpretation, what do you think of how the major national media? Outlets covered the investigation and is conclusion with the usual flaws and foibles of the news media. I'm afraid I think that when the summer when when attorney general bars summary of the report was disseminated. It was jumped on, you know, there was so much anticipation. What does the overall Muller reports say that the summary was probably accepted with too much credulity in the initial hours and resulted in some headlines that the major news media outlets have been backing off from ever since, you know, the idea that President Trump was completely as he says, you know, completely and totally vindicated and exonerated is actually not the case the report, even according to bar does say that in terms of obstruction of Justice. It does not exonerate him. I mean, that's one of the few things that we know for sure because it's a direct a quote from from the report, so. So I think that you know, as always in the initial moments after a breaking news event. We don't always nail it down and get it. Right. And then it sometimes takes a little time to sort it out. But meanwhile, it's being interpreted and touted politically, and that's an issue. And also one thing that's come up a couple of times here, including in your column is how much the public was interested in this report, and in this story, and I tend to think that the bar should not be necessarily us. The media being told what to report on based on what people find interesting versus news. What how do we figure that out? I mean, if they're not interested are we doing too much? So, you know, these things don't need to be mutually exclusive. We don't need to say we're either going to cover an important government investigation or we're going to cover affordable housing, you know, healthcare and the economy, we can actually do both. It is a question of of priority. I think you can make a reasonable argument. That we the media have paid far too much attention to the Mahler investigation. It's been very important, and certainly very interesting. But it probably should not have been the huge preoccupation that it has been to the exclusion of other things as we mentioned at the top of the show, a Georgetown University confidence poll, why do you think our public trust in our political leaders so low I mean, we saw of course, they were partisan splits. Democrats felt held the president tight slightly higher esteem than Republicans did. But at the end of the day, what is going on just to responsibly that migrants at fest that remembers that the president douse head that that was Russian interference with the election and the molar establish though that doesn't seem to be a trivial, and it goes to this question of how trust has been declining in the United States. I think that this to prices at what the first is a distinctly American one in which you have one political posse since the nine thousand nine hundred. Describing the federal government asked the source of the problem rather than as a potential solution to important public policy problems forty years if that kind of anti-government rhetoric has had deep effects on both sides of the partisan isle. The second dynamic, which is global rather than distinct to the United States. We've is that since at least the financial crisis of two thousand and two thousand and nine we've seen in excel arising sense that government doesn't said the general body of people, but Roth R protects the interests of economic and political elites, and that sense of disenfranchisement in Thames at weather government, protecting you has had an important corrosive influence upon people's identification with government and market. I wanna I wanna just ask you turning pivoting a little bit back to the media's role here in how it really impacts our trust in the government and political figures one thing that is concerning to me is how many people get there. News from cable news, full disclosure. I've worked at CNN in the past. But what's interesting is? How more political operatives are being hired by news outlets? Blurring the line. I think between what's actual news in what political punditry how do we fix that? So one of the things that I always like to say in these discussions is that we need to be a little bit careful when we talk about the media what on earth does that mean? And what does it mean in the minds of people who are being asked about their trust in the media? Are we talking about cable news? Are we talking about the New York Times Saturday Night Live, you know, something else or some amalgamation of these things? So we need to be really careful about that. You know, when CNN hired of a recently, Sarah Florus who had been Jeff Sessions spokesperson until very recently and called her political editor I objected to that. I I mean, I can imagine putting someone like that on the air as talker as a as an opinionated. But when you say. Say they're a political editor who you would imagine would be directing coverage. I think that's a problem. They have changed that sense. But you know, you're right. There's always been a revolving door and the lines do get blurred. It'd be interesting to know it as things, but I do think that that's part of what what erodes trust as your thoughts on that. And also, do you think that where do we go with what impact will this distrust in institutions play going forward? I don't think it'd be distrust in institutions has going anywhere tickly as long as we have one political party that plays the called of governmental distrust, ASA key move in. It's rhetorical. Also. And I fully agree with market that we ought to treat different parts of the media differently. That was a study about ten years ago and the American comics revue, which countries leading economic review that showed that being exposed to Fox News shifted people's partisan preference about. Two or three points on one hundred point spectrum. Right. And it and it showed this by an interesting mess. Logical device. That's not relevant here that that finding I think is tremendously important because it demonstrates that capacity off a news network that is all Kanye's around partisan principles to shift the understanding of the public in ways that are entirely predictable. And I don't think that you would see any effects of that kind with all the full GMs off of media outside of cable news, including I would add things like bright ball or internet based on uses. Yeah. I mean, you know, we we we have a lot of work to do in the media, but one of the most important roles, we have is watchdog journalism and accountability journalism. And I think the more we stress that and tell our story to the public the better off will be and the more we can rebuild trust. As do you think? Either party. Here has any. Incentive to rebuild public trust in the country's institutions. And sadly, we've got a minute left for that deep question. The problem is is that the Democrats have procedure and the Republicans for their party. And it's hard to see how the nation ends up winner in that contest. You know? I I don't think that that's at the top of anybody's agenda is is rebuilding trust. I think that we're really backed into our our partisan echo chambers. I think the the parties have their priorities, which are political ones. And I don't really see anybody thinking about that very hard. What about the ads I'm thinking, for example, CNN came out with an ad campaign. A television ad campaign. These are not cheap. These take a lot of time. Do those you have any impact. Or is this just there? There's too much gapped assume at this point. I mean, I think it's useful for media organizations to tell their stories to say this is what we're about. We're trying to get to the truth. We are fact-based. This is our job. Our job is not to prosecute crimes, but to uncover facts, I think. The more we can take people behind the curtain. I don't know if you can do that in an ad campaign with an apple and an orange or whatever it was. But you know, I think saying that we're about facts is helpful. These hug is a law professor at the university of Chicago. And Margaret Sullivan is a media columnist at the Washington Post and the former public editor for the New York Times. And we thank you both so much for your time. Thanks for having us.

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