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THE INC. LIFE

Researchers Asked 1,000 Americans Who’s Really the Enemy of the People. The Results May Make You Shudder

Is it the press? Is it an individual?

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 07 Aug 2018

Researchers Asked 1,000 Americans Who's Really the Enemy of the People. The Results May Make You Shudder

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

Sometimes we like to point a finger at a whole industry and say the world's parlous state is its fault.

In 2008, for example, it was fairly clear that complete and total bankers had ruined the world economy.

Oil companies haven't always shown a penchant for responsible behavior either. So much so that they started doing ads claiming that, no, really, they're trying to save the world.

And now it's the press.

It seems that these hardworking souls have become, at least according to the president, the Enemy of the People.

So PR company Bospar got together with the researchers at Propeller Insights to ask real Americans what they thought.

The results have just dropped onto my screen and I'm not sure what to think at all.

Save for wondering whether the Apocalypse has already begun and Americans' brains are already being played with by Edward Snowden's fellow residents.

You see, when asked who is the Enemy of the People, 30.7 percent of Americans said it was Donald Trump.

A mere 10.7 percent said it was the press.

An extremely optimistic 29.5 percent insisted the People have no Enemy at all.

I can already feel America's editors-in-chief preparing their vast headlines of hope.

I can already imagine Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews preparing at least 10,000 words each on the subject.

I scrolled, however, a little further down the results.

Another question asked: How much do you agree with the following statement,'The press is the enemy of the people'?

Oddly, 15.2 percent of Americans strongly agreed with this statement. Another 21.3 percent insisted they agreed with it, but less than strongly.

Which, some might observe, means there's a vast contradictory fault running through many American brains.

Let's recap. Only 10.7 percent believe the press is the Enemy of the People, but 36.5 percent agree with the statement: The Press is the Enemy of the People.

I pause for your frowning, head-scratching and booking of tickets to Canada or New Zealand.

Then I'll tell you there was more.

Yet another question asked: Do you think the press distributes 'fake news'?

A hearty 65.7 percent said yes.

Perhaps they weren't all talking about the same press. Perhaps some still had Alex Jones vibrating in their skulls.

Yet the fact that many Americans seem well what? Befuddled? Animated? Incited? Tired? suggests that a whole industry has, indeed, become a focal point for the causes of existential anger and despair.

What's that industry supposed to do to show it's not what Americans seem to think?

Well, the oil industry turned to ads. The bankers merely asked the government to bail them out.

Might either of those things work? (I am, indeed, kidding. In a way.)

Perhaps the most troubling piece of data from this research, though, is this: a mere 15.6 percent believe that Vladimir Putin is the Enemy of the People.

You want some more data? Only 11.8 percent believe Hillary Clinton is the people's enemy. And just 1.7 percent think Special Counsel Robert Mueller is.

Well, it's good to know the legal industry still enjoys a little respect.

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