Nearly 6 in 10 young Americans believe that Donald Trump encourages violence against journalists, according to the results of a new NowThis/PredictWise poll.
The poll surveyed 750 people between the ages of 18-34 and asked them if they believed that Trump — either directly or indirectly — encouraged the use of violence and intimidation against journalists. Fifty-seven percent of the surveyed pool said that Trump did encourage violence against reporters.
The poll also asked questions to older Americans, and not unlike the results of recent polls which have seen the country polarized on partisan lines, the results of the NowThis/PredictWise poll could be clearly demarcated on party lines. For instance, when the same question was asked to people who identified themselves as Democrats, a whopping 71 percent Americans said that Trump encouraged violence against journalists. For Republicans, that number fell to 17 percent.
Trump has come increasingly under fire in the last few days for his responses to attacks on journalists. He blamed mainstream media’s “hostility” and “anger” for the spate of attacks on Democrats earlier this week, which also included pipe-bombs being sent to the New York studios of CNN. Trump has long decried CNN as “fake news” and has regularly lashed at them and other mainstream media houses in front of his supporters, dubbing journalists “enemy of the people” earlier this year — a characterization that even left his daughter Ivanka scrambling to control the damage.
Just last week, Trump praised the actions of Republican Greg Gianforte during a rally in Montana after he had body-slammed a Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, for asking him a question on healthcare.
“And by the way, never wrestle him, you understand that? Never,” Trump joked at the rally. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my guy.”
Also this month, Trump took ages to condemn the actions of the Saudi Arabian administration and its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for allegedly murdering Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist went missing from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul when we went to collect some paperwork earlier this month, with Turkish media reporting in the aftermath that the Saudi defector had been killed by Saudi agents. Despite apparent proof of Saudi involvement existing, Trump made no effort to condemn the prince or the Middle Eastern nation, instead calling the prince’s defense “credible”. He later backtracked from that position, but Trump’s glowing endorsement of the prince despite his country’s terrible record of killing dissident journalists doesn’t appear to have sat well with younger Americans.