POLL: Americans Name Politicians, News Media the Main Culprits for ‘Toxic’ Culture in U.S.

Monica Sanchez | December 17, 2018
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After the Oxford English Dictionary revealed that “toxic” was the 2018 Word of the Year last month, used to refer to pollution, politics, and culture, Rasmussen Reports conducted a poll to see what or whom Americans deem responsible.

According to the new poll's data, Americans think politicians (33%) and the news media (26%) are the most to blame for "toxic" culture in the U.S. Other named culprits include the internet and social media (18%) and Hollywood (9%).

Fourteen percent (14%) say “something else” is to blame or poll undecided.

Americans as a whole are divided on whether "toxic" is the right choice for "Word of the Year," with 43% who agree with the Oxford English Dictionary's selection and 37% who disagree.

A significant 20% report unsure.

Notably, “Among adults who think toxic is the word of the year, 42% think the politicians are to blame. Forty-one percent (41%) of Americans who disagree with toxic as the word of the year think the news media creates a toxic culture,” Rasmussen reports.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, “From 'toxic air' to 'toxic politics', the sheer scope of its application in 2018 made 'toxic' the stand-out choice for our Word of the Year.”

It is explained that the word “toxic” was used to describe pollution, workplace culture, politics, and "masculinity" as a product of the "#MeToo movement," among other uses.   

Other dictionaries chose different words of the year, some political and some not, such as digital dictionary Dictionary.com which chose “misinformation,” Merriam-Webster which chose “justice,” and Cambridge Dictionary which chose “nomophobia,” or the “fear or worry of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it.”  

The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Dec. 13-14 and has a margin sampling error of 3 percentage points.

(Cover Photo: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator)
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