Real Trouble at Fox News as Viewer Trust Falls to An All Time Low


It looking like there is real trouble at Fox News. A new PPP TV news poll found that viewer trust in Fox News has fallen to an all time low. Only 41% of viewers trust Fox News.

First, their ratings sunk to a 12 year low. Now, viewers don’t trust Fox News.

Public Policy Polling has been doing this poll yearly since 2010, and while many trends have stayed the same, there has been a complete reversal in viewer trust of Fox News. In 2010, 49% of viewers trusted Fox News 37% did not. Today, 41% of viewers trust Fox News, and 46% do not. Trust in Fox News decreased by 8 points, and distrust of Fox increased by 9 points. Fox has maintained their trust level with Republicans. They have only dropped four points in four years, 74% to 70%, but distrust has soared with Democrats (52% to 66%), and Independents (44% to 52%).

The one trend that has stayed the same is that Democrats tend to trust everything but Fox News, while Republicans only trust Fox News. Democrats trust PBS the most (72%), followed by NBC (61%), MSNBC (58%), and CNN (57%). Except for Fox News, Republicans have negative trust differentials with every other news network. PBS is the most trusted non-Fox News channel at (-21), followed by NBC (-48), CNN (-49), ABC and MSNBC (-56 each). As usual in these polls, Fox News was both the least trusted network (39%), and the most trusted (34%). Ironically, that 34% figure is right around the ballpark number of self identified Republicans in the United States.

The reason why Fox News is the cable ratings leader is because their audience won’t watch anything else. Democrats split their loyalties four ways between PBS, ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, but Republicans only watch Fox.

After numerous wrong predictions and years of flat out propaganda campaigns against Barack Obama, it’s not a surprise that Democrats and Independents would no longer trust Fox News. What is surprising is that it took Independents four years to turn off Fox. When considered with Fox News’ ratings decline in the key 25-54 demographic, it is clear that the Fox audience is narrowing.

The portrait of today’s Fox News viewer is a white Republican with an average age of 66 years old. In other words, Fox’s viewership completely mirrors the base of the Republican Party. The network’s decision to drop Dick Morris was likely made to address this trust issue, but the larger problem is that Fox News is being left behind by the changing demographics of the country.

Firing Sarah Palin and Dick Morris was the rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic. Viewers will not trust Fox News as long as they continue to put Republican propaganda ahead of actual news reporting. Like the Republican Party, Fox News faces a demographic problem. They can’t attempt to broaden their audience or the old white Republican viewership base will rebel, but their current course is a ratings death sentence.

Fox News has a huge problem that won’t be solved with cosmetic changes. Fox News was built by powerful conservative white men. As their power diminishes, so does the relevancy of the television network that they created.

First, their ratings sunk to a 12 year low. Now, viewers don’t trust Fox News.

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