The Trump administration is more trustworthy than the media, according to a Fox News poll released last week. That judgment by the public is perfectly understandable, because the Trump administration is more honest and better intentioned than most media, as any objective person can discern.
Not Democrats as a rule. Only eight per cent of them agree with the question posed, “Who do you trust more to tell the public the truth — the Trump administration or the reporters who cover the Trump administration?” But Republicans by a factor of nine to one (81 per cent to nine per cent) and Independents by two to one (52 per cent to 26 per cent) side with the Trump administration.
Trump’s reference to refugees in Sweden at a Florida rally Saturday illustrates why the press is so distrusted. “Trump Alludes to Terror ‘Last Night in Sweden’ That Never Happened,” ran the Vanity Fair headline. “’Last Night in Sweden’? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation,” said a bemused New York Times. “Trump’s invention of a Swedish terrorist attack was funny. But it likely comes from a dark place,” decided VOX. “Baffled Sweden asks Trump to explain terror remarks,” ran the Los Angeles Times.
From the headlines — literally hundreds were like these — you’d never know that Trump didn’t invent a terror attack. The press invented it by jumping to an erroneous conclusion. Trump was referring to a TV interview he had seen the previous night on Fox News that described the refugee-related crime wave that hit Sweden. The transcript of his Swedish rally-reference mentions “problems,” not terror attacks: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”