One of the most surreal parts about this surreal period in American history for me is the outsized importance Nielsen ratings have had as a barometer of political success. It is the thing that most makes me feel like we are all part of a tail-wagging-a-dog scripted reality TV show: "The Trump Presidency."
At a time when certain local broadcasters are becoming more aggressive in their political advocacy (think Sinclair Broadcasting), more Americans say they trust their local TV news outlets by a margin of two-to-one over national sources of news. The finding, which comes from the just-released 2018 edition of a bi-annual survey by Washington, D.C-based agency Rad Campaign and analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies, indicates that two-thirds of Americans trust local TV news vs. only 35% who say they trust the next most trusted news source: national evening news.
From the Arab Spring to Russia's hacking of America's Fall 2016 elections, technology -- especially automation -- has been a disruptive political force. But what role is it playing in the disruption of the workforce that may or may not undermine democracy? That was the motion postulated by Intelligence Square U.S. during a debate this week. Based on the outcome of Monday's discussion, the the jury was still out among the live audience participants in New York City, but a decisive majority of online observers believe that will indeed be the case.
In his latest attack on America's free press, President Donald Trump this morning threatened to take "press credentials" away from the news outlets he deems "fake news." How many news outlets would that impact? Depends on how Trump defines fake news, but by his own estimate, "91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake)," which presumably means only Fox News would be credentialed.
Political affiliation, more than wealth, religion, ethnicity, gender or any other attribute, is the No. 1 factor dividing society, according to a multinational survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BBC. The study, "A World Divided," found differences in political views are perceived as being the greatest cause of tension between people by a wide margin (44% vs. the next closest factor, wealth's 36%). That's the global average among more than 19,00 adults surveyed in 27 countries, but in the U.S. the divisive nature of politics was cited as the No. factor by a majority of respondents (53%).