At The Daily Beast, Sam Stein writes about a new Ipsos poll:
43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement. When asked if Trump should close down specific outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) agreed and 49 percent disagreed.
Forget about the fact that no president has such power. I wonder how those same people — who would probably vote to remove “freedom of the press” from the Bill Of Rights — would respond if a Democrat was president and the media outlets in the question were Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh, and The Daily Caller.
However, there’s some context missing, which is when I step in as my alter-ego, Mr. Perspective.
Only about a quarter of Americans self-identify as Republicans. They’re nowhere close to a majority. Neither are those who call themselves Democrats, for that matter. The largest group in the US identifies as Independents, a segment that is rarely polled about such matters.
If 23% of Republicans say something, the simple math (about a quarter of a quarter) means that one-sixteenth of the entire population believes it. Hell, there are more idiots who believe we’ve been invaded by extraterrestrials, so don’t sweat this one.
Unless you realize that one-sixteenth of the US population is about 20 million people. Or the population of Florida.
Which, as you know, has never caused us any trouble.