Free Markets, Free People

Media distrust at an all time high

Gee, I wonder if they’ve figured out they’re being a little too obvious about it?

Yeah, probably not. They have “3 layers of editors” after all.

Gallup has the goods:

Now there are those out there that say, much like voter fraud, there’s really no bias in the media, they’re professionals.

Well, we may call them that, but that doesn’t make them professionals.

More importantly, much like voter fraud and a myriad other things, it ignores human nature.

What there’s been in the past, for the most part, is plausible deniability.  It just wasn’t obvious or if it was, it was arguable.  Now?

Well now it is really hardly arguable anymore.  Treatment of recent events brings that into startling focus.  Yesterday on QandO Facebook, we linked to an article that listed 6 plausible headlines if Obama was a Republican president.

And yes, they’re quite plausible.  In fact, I think that it is almost inarguable.

As interesting as the first graph above is, the second it telling in another way:

How is it telling?  Well, who is the most satisfied demographic?  18 points higher than the average in the above of those who are a great deal or fairly satisfied with the media.  And, as expected, at least if you follow the news media at all, the GOP is horribly dissatisfied.  In fact 74% have little or no trust in the media.

But that’s not the important story in that graph.  It’s the slide of the independent voter from a postion of trust to one of distrust.  A 21% drop from 2001 to now.

It is that demographic’s distrust that best tells the story.  They really have no dog in the hunt in terms of strong ideology.  Their claim is they vote the candidate that best represents them at the time.  So if anyone’s view is less tainted by ideology or concern, it would be independents.  And they’ve shown a marked downward trend in trust for the media.

The point?  Well the point may be that the media’s best biased efforts may not pay off quite as well as they hope or they’ve enjoyed in the past.

One of the reasons is there are a multitude of other sources out there that are readily available and help point out the half-truths and spin that is seen quite often in media reports these days.  It also says, at least to me, that such sources are being both sought out and believed (if the independent number has any validity at all).

Gallup concludes:

On a broad level, Americans’ high level of distrust in the media poses a challenge to democracy and to creating a fully engaged citizenry. Media sources must clearly do more to earn the trust of Americans, the majority of whom see the media as biased one way or the other. At the same time, there is an opportunity for others outside the “mass media” to serve as information sources that Americans do trust.

That’s precisely what is happening.  The media monopoly has gone the way of feudalism.  The digital printing press has seen to that.  The problem is, the media, for all their self-lauding and claims of being “professionals” haven’t yet caught on to the fact that they’re fast becoming the equivalent of the buggy whip in an automotive society.

And it’s their fault.


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22 Responses to Media distrust at an all time high

  • Quite some time ago, I read an article where a journalism student said, “I went into journalism to make a difference.”  Decades ago, students went into the field of Social Work to make a difference.  For some, then, journalism may be an alternate form of social work.  Compared to Social Work, journalism has this bonus feature: you don’t really have to soil your hands by working with needy people.
    But whether an aspiring “difference maker” goes into Social Work or Journalism, they agree on this: the key to making American life better is a larger, more active government.  And they also agree that those who want to reduce the size and influence of government are against the poor and the needy.
    —Tom Nally, New Orleans

  • Note the year when the trust level of the media in all three components got closest – 2002.   Independents stayed unchanged, Republicans rose in trust and Democrats declined.
    Wasn’t that the year we didn’t get much discouragement about the US,  Bush and his nefarious policies of world domination?  Isn’t it interesting that made the Democrats unhappy?

  • “Distrust” is one word for what is happening.
    I prefer “disjoint”, or better still “disgust”.
    There is no “bias” in the Mushroom Media.  They are full-tilt propagandists now, and their partisanship is a grinding reality to Americans.
    We all can see how disjointed they have become from the rubes, and how condescending they are.

  • If you check with some liberals sometimes, you’d find that they agree with you on this subject.  You’d also find that liberals, in general, put more stock in the media is because they are comparing the content of such new sources as FOX—which promotes so many falsehoods, it makes the rest of the media look good.  On the other hand, conservatives—who believe everything they hear on such networks and programs like FOX, that serve the same ideological base—and don’t believe anything that’s reported by the remainder of the media. The independent position rests somewhere in the middle—whether or not there is any greater truth-value there.

    • Moron.

    • “If you check with some liberals sometimes, you’d find that they agree with you on this subject”
      They are comparing nothing – they aren’t watching FOX any more than the average person who’s set themselves to watch FOX is watching MSNBC.  There are few people who have the time to constantly check and cross check how stations report the news to see what the slant is.  Your ‘some liberals’ are parroting whatever liberal source they trust and then tuning in some suitably liberal show.  They have better things to do than check if Hannity is contradicting Chris Matthews.
      “who believe everything they hear on such networks and programs like FOX,”
      Like ‘conservatives’ are the only people who believe every thing they hear from the anointed sources.  You’re classic example of it, you come over here with your frequently non relevant barely thought out talking points, drop a line and then flee.  There’s a reason I dubbed you Washing Machine Charlie, and it hasn’t changed much.
      And your final point – picking good positions for your argument isn’t your most honed skill is it –
      “The independent position rests somewhere in the middle—whether or not there is any greater truth-value there.”
      Yes, look at the chart, the independents are a mere 6 points better in trust than the Republicans – their trust level has declined 21 points since 2001.  The Democrats trust the media today only 7 points LESS than they did 11 years ago.  The Republicans have dropped 13 points.
      Since no one trusts them more, the Republicans trust in media has declined at twice the rate the Democrats have, and the Independents, the guys in the middle, the guys who aren’t supposed to have a dog in the fight, have lost 3 times as much trust in the media as the Democrats.
      The “middle” group sees things closer to the way the Republicans see it.  And who caused that?  I suppose all those stupid Independents have started to watch FOX and believe everything they hear.  Aside from FOX, which OTHER network is giving out a conservative view?  MSNBC? CBS? NBC? ABC? CNN?  WHICH freaking major network is deluding the independents with the idea that ‘media’ can’t be trusted?

      • It’s really not just about Fox and MSNBC … they’re simply the most obvious. However, among the whole of the media world and to one degree or another, there are a whole heck of a lot more representing the MSNBC slant than the Fox slant.

      • Right, I just picked, well, one of the most flagrant on the progressive side and Fox, and only FOX because I’m honestly damned if I know of another video broadcast network that is reputedly that conservative.
        I don’t watch either one – I can read the same news the talking heads read to me and I don’t have to hear about the horror of Duchess Kate’s topless photos between news that matters (yes, it matters, damn shame, horsewhipping and all that, but it’s not going to affect world future much).

    • Using Media Matter as your reference, no doubt.
      Gawd, what a piece of s&$(t! Go away until you get past puberty.

    • Liberal version of media bias is whining when the media paints (INSERT ENEMY DU JOUR HERE) as anything less than the new-age Hitler and does not call for their immediate jailing. Most of ue here would settle for them being LESS unfair, the left is upset they’re not MORE in the bag.

  • Objectivity is difficult, but subjectivism is the default for humans. What’s more, it is the basis of training instilled in the Journalism schools for the past fifty years. Billy Hollis’ recent piece regarding post-modernism hit on this nicely.

  • McQ- They are “professionals” though. That’s a nickname for a prostitute. Seems fitting

  • “they’re professionals.”

    That describes them perfectly.  Whores for Obama.

  • I think that the proper explanation for all of this is that people are just not as simple, trusting, and gullible as they used to be.  We go on and on about my fathers generation, the “greatest” generation, but one area where they failed is that they trusted government. They trusted Democrats especially and they trusted the media. They actually thought that biased left wing liar Walter Cronkite was a beacon of truth.
    No one believes anything they hear anymore except for the brain-dead 30% who are hard core left. And in my book cynicism is a GOOD thing.

    • We go on and on about my fathers generation, the “greatest” generation, but one area where they failed is that they trusted government.

      In the beginning, a Ponzi scheme always looks good. Most of the “successes” of government that fooled that generation were Ponzi schemes.
      The rest of the fooling was done by a collectivist academia and a collectivist journalism establishment, often using a brand new propaganda tool called “TV news”.

  • It Does not change the topic of your post but you need to make a correction “In fact 84% have little or no trust in the media.”
    The chart shows 74% not 84%.


    We should all be very glad that we have a Democratic president right now; otherwise the news would be terrible. We would be seeing a rash of horrible and depressing stories in the newspapers about strategic failure, with unremitting second guessing and belittling of a president…”
    Yep.  And this is from a former Obama voter…!!!