Jon Stewart Is Now More Trusted Than MSNBC To Provide Accurate Information


A new survey from the Brookings Institute found that Jon Stewart and The Daily Show are now more trusted than MSNBC to provide accurate information.

The Brookings Institute survey found that while Fox News dominates with Republicans and conservatives, there is no one unifying source among Democrats and liberals. In fact, MSNBC has fallen behind The Daily Show on the trust scale with all Americans, Independents, Liberals, and Democrats.

Here is the chart from Brookings:



Jon Stewart is trusted by 8% of Americans. MSNBC is sixth, and is trusted by 5% of Americans. Independents trust The Daily Show almost three times more than they trust MSNBC (11%-4%). Liberals trust Stewart more by a margin of 17%-10%, and MSNBC barely edges The Daily Show among Democrats (10%-9%).

These numbers are more evidence that MSNBC’s move to go nerd/wonk with their lineup has been a complete failure. The addition of a group of pseudo-Maddow hosts to MSNBC lineup has actually made the network less trusted than when opinionated hosts like Keith Olbermann were anchoring high profile programs. Supposedly, an emphasis on wonk would lead to a more fact based network, but viewers are trusting MSNBC less.

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is one of the smartest news based programs in the country. Stewart’s ability to blend information with satire, and the fact that his loyalty is to the joke, has built a great deal of credibility with his audience. The new data raises the question of who is real opinion maker on the left? Jon Stewart could very well be more influential than MSNBC. There is a reason why President Obama appears on The Daily Show, but rarely turns up exclusively on the Lean Forward network. The real power to influence the left resides on Comedy Central not MSNBC.

MSNBC has some really big problems. It seems almost impossible, but the network is losing revenue. Ratings have reached their lowest point since 2007.

The programming itself has become a redundant mix of talking heads with too little reporting on the news. The shows on MSNBC look alike, sound alike, and in many cases are boring. There are still nuggets of good work to be enjoyed. Rachel Maddow is still delivering a quality broadcast every night, and Chris Matthews is the ultimate love him/hate him host, but MSNBC contains an uncomfortable mix of old school liberals (Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton) and wonder boy wonks (Ronan Farrow and Chris Hayes).

What is missing at MSNBC is a reliable and trustworthy newscast. The kiddie wonks are running MSNBC into the ground. If the network doesn’t shift course and recapture their viewers, things are going to get worse.

It speaks volumes about the state of MSNBC, and the media in general, that the most trusted name in news for many Americans is a guy who anchors a fake newscast.

17 Replies to “Jon Stewart Is Now More Trusted Than MSNBC To Provide Accurate Information”

  1. I watch less these days because your coverage of the atrocities committed against eastern Ukraine has been miserable. Trot out all the ambassadors and Natl Endowmet for DemocraCIA goons you want. We know they’re dishonest.

    One exception. 15 April with Chris Hayes, the report by Ari Shapiro from Slaviansk. That was brilliant. The Congressman afterward, not good.

  2. In my opinion what is running MSNBC into the ground is that turd Morning Blow. All he does is sit and give his ignorant opinion while surround by his lackeys who look like bobble heads agreeing with him. Mika sits there acts like she’s in time out or something. I say fire Morning Blow and bring back Martin Bashir.

    Jon Stewart is great and he really is far more accurate with the facts. You can get a laugh and the news. Beats Faux where everybody is pi**ed off and spouting rage (and lies). It’s Stewart, Colbert, and Maher against the giant noise machine.

  3. I don’t place the blame on the so called wonks. The blame lies solely on Phil Griffin. Its the double standard when it comes to his employees. Sarah Palin who is a joke to most of the country reared her ugly mug from baking halibut pie and led the effort to get Martin Bashir fired but morning joke can whore at republican functions and spew utter bullshit and get a raise. Don’t think people are not keeping score and they voted by not watching you

  4. Huckleberry, you said it better than I. This morning the entire group including Mika were ranting against Hillary. I suppose they needed a break from bashing President Obama for three hours.

    Morning Joe is the worst person on teevee.

  5. I think the problem with MSNBC is not the nerds/wonks – it’s that they cannot decide what they want to be.

    Are they going to be progressive or not?
    Plus, they seem to think this “objective” notion means they can’t stand up for their people and instead cut them loose whenever someone from the right yells loud enough.

    Ronan Farrow doesn’t belong hosting his own show right now. Chris Matthews needs to stop yelling and let his guests talk. Morning Joe needs to go – no one cares what he has to say. They need to showcase other people, which they could do on weekends instead of running “Lockup” all the time. They don’t need to give someone a show right away – why can’t they do a mix of news and topic coverage on weekends?

    Their programs shouldn’t be based on “left vs. right” or “Democrat vs. Republican” – their programs should be based on the progressive ideology, plain and simple. It’s not complicated but MSNBC is showing how NOT to do this.

  6. MSNBC wants it both ways. It’s like they want to be Liberal and somewhat Republican.
    You cannot have it both ways.

  7. Very well said, I agree with your breakdown of the current host. They might to try and break it up with a true news hour as well, all the opinion and yelling gets tired, IMO.

  8. Jason – Nice piece, and I think you hit the nail on head on why people trust Jon Stewart with this line.

    “Stewart’s ability to blend information with satire, and the fact that his loyalty is to the joke, has built a great deal of credibility with his audience.”


  9. Yes, if you watch MSNBC in the morning, the shows are extremely conservative, but have been getting rather moderate lately with the blond newscaster being more verbal. At night MSNBC is totally progressive. I think they need to go one way or the other. In addition, they need to stop airing those prison shows so often – there is only so much of that people can take.

  10. I doubt the numbers on MSNBC are accurate. Even though the Bookings Institution is considered to lean liberal, I would like to see details of how the survey was done. If one looks at the record of MSNBC vs Fox News as to the accuracy of their reporting as reviewed by such organizations as politifact or factcheck, Fox has a much, much, worse record. The survey claims that only a few percent of the population believe that MSNBC is truthful. If this is the case then the the vast majority Americans are very poorly informed. But we have known this for a very long time. I remember a survey done not that long ago where a large percentage of Republicans in the State of Louisiana blamed President Obama for the poor US government response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina! And on a plane ride two college educated people claimed that I was wrong when I said many other countries besides the US had nuclear weapons! What can I say! Maybe the survey is right after all.

  11. It’s been known for years that young people get news from Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show”, not from any other “news source.” Jon is both accurate and trusted in his presentations actually even more-so than MSNBC.

  12. There are many people that would be brilliant hosts at MSNBC..Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang,Thom Hartmann,Bill Press,Tom Joyner…etc. We have great, smart hosts in the Liberal community…there is no need for MSNBC to have Moanin Joe and Lock Up.

    As to MSNBC…more and more young people are not watching TV..they are watching on line. MSNBC has a great web site and you can see all their shows streaming on their site. Is Brookings taking that into consideration?Its us old folks that have to have our tvs..though I also will watch online if I miss anything.

    MSNBC has some hosts that I love…Rachel Maddow is fact based, as is most of MSNBC.. they prove their facts. So Brookings that was a liberal think tank is now siding with Fox? Really? And liberals are agreeing?

  13. I have to agree that a lot of people are getting their news on-line (not just young people – I’m 56). I hardly turn on the TV unless I turn it on for the dogs to watch, or because I need some “noise”. The computer is much more enjoyable, because you easily control what you watch. There are a couple of sitcoms I like and NCIS and Criminal minds. That’s it for me and I miss them half the time because I’m here on the computer.

  14. I’m looking at other things because Msnbc rides my last nerve, but I do realize the name of the game is throw shade on Msnbc cause most ppl don’t want the truth. especially white pple Y’all should make your own mind up and stop following the herd, You call them conservatives I call them racist fools who will follow the leader over the cliff even when you see the cliff y’all still follow your leaders to hell. Your hatred of OBAMA has blinded y’all and made y’all dumber and on your way straight to hell. I know who has my best interest so I’ll vote my own mind and not what anybody else tells me, MSNBC or FOX

  15. I still don’t *fully* understand why MSNBC is rated so low.

    A factor may be that fans of Stewart, Colbert, Maher, and now Oliver, and progressives in general, are pissed of at MSNBC for running Joe at all, firing Bashir instead of supporting him , Todd’s barely disguised Republican shilling, the demoting of Ed Shultz to purgatory, etc, and are thus taking it out on the network in their poll results; that is, they may not distrust the progressive hosts–old liberal or new progressive, wonk or sparkler–but distrust the network, and that’s what’s expressed in the polls.

    Hayes and O’Donnell are smart and bring thoughtful analysis, but this is TV after all, and both shows are, well, often boring, as are the hosts. That may make them less watched, but why distrusted?

    Finally, viewer average/median ages, via NYT: Fox, average 68.8; Medians for CNN, 62.8; MSNBC, 62.8. So lots of younger people are not even watching those networks. That’s gotta have some bearing on this.

  16. I’ve been getting my news from The Daily Show for the past 8 years–when I started watching it religiously. I trust Jon Stewart above anyone else. I’m not a nerd/wonk or a youngun’ either. I agree with the article about MSNBC–they have too many talking heads and little news–just like FOX News, but from the left. It drives me nuts.

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