top of page

Americans Identify Media As Democracy’s Biggest Threat, And The Response Proves Them Right


Media assume the last few vestiges of the American constitutional republic are the top dangers to our freedom. But the American people know differently.

American corporate media are somewhere between a “major” and “a minor threat to democracy.” Far from a crotchety, back-bencher sentiment, this is now the opinion of a majority of the American people, according to no less than corporate media icon The New York Times.

In a poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute and the Times from Oct. 9-12, 74 percent of the “likely voters” polled believe “democracy is currently under threat,” and 83 percent believe the corporate media themselves are the threat.

While President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, Democrats, Republicans, the Supreme Court, mail-in-ballots, electronic voting machines, and even the Electoral College all polled terribly, the media outperformed them all, with 59 percent of likely voters calling them a “major threat to democracy,” and another 24 percent calling them a mere “minor threat.”

This was a surprise to Times’ chief political analyst, who admitted in his write-up that he’d been focused on the same “threats to democracy” his colleagues had been focused on: Republicans, as well as “undemocratic elements of American elected government like the Electoral College, gerrymandering and the Senate.”

To put it more bluntly (a difficult task), he’d assumed we all thought the last few vestiges of the American constitutional republic (the Electoral College and the Senate), plus gerrymandering and free political opposition were the top dangers to our freedom.

The American people, it seems, knew differently. Hallelujah! It’s never good to learn you have a deadly illness, but if there’s any shot of treating it in time, well — it’s best to know you have it. This is the case in our current situation: Trust in American institutions is at all-time lows, and deservedly so — broadly speaking, our institutions deserve less trust than at any time before.

Washington Post senior political reporter Aaron Blake reported on the findings later Monday morning. The problem, he wrote, is Democrats had failed “to make 2022 about the threat to democracy” posed by Republicans.

While a lot of Democrats, he lamented, believe Trump is a threat, they had failed to make that translate to the half of the country who support him. He was surprised to learn Americans outside of D.C., New York, and San Francisco think Democrats are a greater danger to democracy than Republicans, and even more surprised to learn independents agreed.

The answer, he claimed unironically, is for Democrats to double down on their messaging of calling their political opponents dangerous terrorists and fascists. Unsurprisingly, his analysis failed to note the corporate media he is a part of scored lower than anything else — self-awareness is rarely the “political analysts’” strength.

Later that very day, MSNBC host and former Bush White House staffer Nicolle Wallace claimed the Jan. 6 riot was the “deadliest attack on the U.S. Capitol in our, you know, in history,” bypassing both the British burning of the building and the deadly planned Flight 93 attack on the Capitol during the administration she’d later work for.


8 views0 comments


bottom of page