More than 40 percent of Republicans believe that when President Trump castigates "fake news," he should be allowed to shutter certain outlets as punishment for "bad behavior."
A new poll conducted by Ipsos and published by The Daily Beast on Tuesday found that 43 percent of Republicans think Trump should have that authority, while 36 percent disagreed that he should be able to close news outlets. Smaller proportions of other groups also thought Trump should be the media watchdog-in-chief, with 12 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents saying the president should have that authority.
Meanwhile, 48 percent of Republicans agree with the president's assessment that "the news media is the enemy of the American people," with just 28 percent disagreeing. While many agreed that the "mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly," most Republicans did not think that Trump should specifically shut down CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
The general anti-press sentiment was somewhat in conflict with some of the poll's more general questions. When asked about whether the media industry as a whole was valuable, 57 percent of respondents said it's "necessary to keep the Trump administration honest," and 85 percent called freedom of the press "essential for American democracy."