Nearly half of likely US voters say media coverage of Rittenhouse trial was unfair, poll

Politics clearly influences opinions about the fairness of media coverage, pollsters said

Published: November 23, 2021 2:24pm

Updated: November 23, 2021 2:44pm

Nearly half of likely U.S. voters say the media coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial was unfair to the teenage defendant, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The poll by Rasmussen Reports and Human Events found  47% of the likely voters believe the trial coverage was unfair, including 28% who say the coverage was "not at all fair."

Rittenhouse, whose legal team proved their client acted in self defense on a night of chaos in August 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted Friday on all charges, including two for fatally shooting two men.

The national telephone and online survey also found 36% of respondents thought the coverage was fair, including 14% who said it was "very fair." Eighteen percent said they were not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

"Politics clearly influences opinions about the fairness of media coverage," the pollsters said, pointing out 54% of respondents identifying as Democrats believe the media coverage of the trial was fair, while just 27% of those identifying as Republicans shared that belief.

President Biden's strongest supporters were most likely to think the media covered the trial fairly, the poll also found. 

Among voters who "strongly approve" of Biden's job performance, 69% said the trial media coverage was fair. By contrast, among voters who "strongly disapprove" of Biden's performance, 77% said the coverage was unfair.

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