A survey from President Trump’s campaign team meant to gather antimedia answers has turned into an online proxy war between those who support the president and those against him.
On Thursday, moments after he completed an hour-plus press conference, in which much of the time was spent attacking reporters and “fake news,” Trump’s team emailed out a survey to all his supporters imploring them to help fight the mainstream media. Such surveys are a common way to collect supporters’ emails, which can later be used for fundraising pitches.
“You know that I don’t trust the media to report on anything we achieve,” read the email. “Instead, you — the American people — are our last line of defense against the media’s hit jobs. You are our greatest asset in helping our movement deliver the truth to the American people.”
The email then linked to a 25-question “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey,” asking about the levels of trust in different cable news networks and posing other questions such as:
Do you believe that political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism?
Do you believe that the media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights?
Do you believe that contrary to what the media says, raising taxes does not create jobs?
Do you agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people?
While it’s possible Trump and his campaign get the answers they’re looking for to tout in the future, it’s not just supporters of the president who are spreading the link to the survey around. MTV News’ Jamil Smith’s tweet urging followers to take the “deranged” survey garnered over 7,000 retweets. It joins hundreds of similar messages with joke answers mocking the survey.
Another battleground was Reddit, the hub for a myriad of different communities with millions of daily users. The BlueMidterm2018 group — dedicated to helping Democrats win the 2018 midterm elections — rallied to vote the survey to the site’s front page, earning triple the activity of the pro-Trump community The_Donald’s top post.
“URGENT!!!!” read one of the many The_Donald posts linking to the survey. “The left is having people fill out this survey to taint the results. Please..If you support Trump make sure you fill it out. Let’s stop the left and their attempt to rig our survey!!!”
At the conclusion of the survey, the campaign is soliciting contributions, a quarter of which go to the Republican National Committee. The RNC posted the story on its Facebook page, but a number of the highest-rated comments are anti-Trump and anti-RNC.
You can read the survey in full below: