Politics

Trump campaign sends survey on media bias that is, well, pretty biased

At a press conference on Thursday, President Donald Trump promised to take his message “straight to the people.”

He didn’t take very long to try and make good on his vow.

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An e-mail blast sent from the Trump-Pence campaign asked supporters to take a survey “to do your part to fight back against the media’s attacks and deceptions.”

“Over these next four years, our movement will be subjected to some of the nastiest attacks you can imagine,” the e-mail stated. “That’s why I’ve made it a point to cut through the media’s noise and go straight to the American people.”

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However, the survey — dubbed the “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey” — tends to lead participants in a certain direction by the way the questions are phrased.

The survey appeared to be similar to what experts in the industry describe as a “push poll,” a kind of negative campaign technique in which the questions are skewed to sway people to a particular candidate.

For example, in a part on the president’s controversial travel ban, one question asked: “Were you aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported President Trump’s temporary restriction executive order?” No other information on the poll was provided.

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Public opinion on Trump’s travel ban has been split in recent polls. A Morning Consult/Politico survey showed that 54 percent of respondents did agree with Trump’s travel ban.

However, other polls show the majority disagreeing with Trump’s travel order. A CNN/ORC poll found 53 percent opposing the executive order. A Fox News poll found that 52 percent surveyed disapproved of the ban, compared to 46 percent who were in favor of it. And a Quinnipiac University poll found 51 percent of participants disagreed with the order.

Another question asked, “Do you believe that people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media?”

Other queries seemed to attack the mainstream media and accuse it of severe liberal bias, including questions like: “Do you believe that the media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?” and “Do you believe that the media creates false feuds within our Party in order to make us seem divided?”

One of the questions even appeared to defend the Trump administration’s tendency to grant White House press credentials to pro-Trump blogs or favor pro-Trump media outlets in press briefings: “Do you agree with the President’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the White House Press Secretary questions?”

One question even seemed to call for the Republican Party spending “more time and resources “ to hold “the mainstream media accountable.”

The survey also included a request for funds at the end.

The e-mailed survey came after Trump blasted the media in an extraordinary press conference, accusing it of being ‘‘out of control’’ and calling recent reports about his campaign’s connection to Russia “fake news put out by the media.”

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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