Before Donald Trump, there was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in 2014 accused the media of “dividing us” because they asked him about some protesters who had chanted “NYPD was the KKK and calling for police officers to be killed. He also accused the media of McCarthyism when they dug into the personal life of an aide of his, who reportedly had a relationship with a convicted murderer. The mayor also publicly and privately accused Bloomberg News of being biased against him, since it is owned by his predecessor. However, de Blasio is not terribly popular within his own party, so Democrats in New York did not buy what he was selling.
Donald Trump, however, was able to effectively weaponize people’s distrust of the media, especially among his base. He and his supporters dismiss any news that does not portray him in a positive light, labeling it “fake news.” Trump received almost no pushback at all from the GOP base when he called the press the “enemy of the people.” A June 2018 Axios/SurveyMonkey poll revealed that 92 percent of Republicans believe that the media intentionally reports false stories.
Trump, then, moved beyond the media and his critics to now accuse facts themselves as arrayed against him. To hear the president tell it, reality has an anti-Trump bias — and his supporters are eating it up.