In the letter “Liberal media bias” of Feb. 6, Brian Carlson hypothesizes that the real reason for President Trump’s low approval ratings is that the “mainstream” media is liberal. There are several problems with that.
Carlson left out Fox News and MSNBC from the list of mainstream media. When it comes to TV ratings, generally Fox News is the No. 1 overall cable channel. Fox has more people watching it than CNN and MSNBC combined. Carlson also left out newspaper, radio and websites. Of the top 20 national radio programs, nine are conservative talk shows and only one is liberal. The top talk show is Rush Limbaugh, with 14 million listeners a week. A 2017 Pew Research survey asked people from what sources they get their news. TV was a source for 50 percent, 43 percent for websites and radio/print were each in the 20 percent range. The days are long gone when network news and the local paper were the main source of news. Today, people have multiple choices over multiple platforms on where to receive their news.
The demographics of conservative news shows contain problems. The median person is over 70, white and male. Depending on the survey, 90-95 percent of people watching conservative TV or radio are white. The U.S. is only 60 percent white.60 comments on this story
If the liberal media is the problem, why haven’t they affected past presidents' approval ratings? For President George W. Bush’s first term, his approval rating was almost always above 50 percent. For President Obama’s first term, it was mostly in the 40-50 percent range.
Trump only has Trump to blame for his low approval ratings. When he spews racist remarks, he alienates a minimum of 40 percent of the population. When he says Democrats are traitors for not clapping, he inserts his foot into his mouth. The best way for Trump to increase his ratings is to use a teleprompter and stop using Twitter.