A new Pew Research Journalism Project study found that Americans trust Jon Stewart’s fake newscast to deliver the news about government and politics more than they trust Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
The Pew survey analyzed political polarization and media habits. One of their conclusions was that a comedian delivering a fake newscast is more trusted than the top three conservative talk radio stars who influence Republican politics.
The study asked who people trusted most to deliver the news about politics and government. ABC, NBC, and CNN all topped 50% in trust. They were followed by CBS (46%) and Fox News (44%). The least trusted sources were Rush Limbaugh (39%), Fox News (37%), Glenn Beck (24%), and Sean Hannity (21%). The sources least trusted by the overall population were the ones that conservatives trusted the most. Conservatives most trusted Fox News (88%), Sean Hannity (62%), Rush Limbaugh (58%), and Glenn Beck (51%).
Here’s a chart from Pew ranking the overall trust level of many mainstream media outlets:
Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show was trusted by 16% of total respondents and distrusted by 18%. Stewart’s trust level of 16%, which was higher than Sean Hannity’s (12%), Rush Limbaugh’s (12%), and Glenn Beck’s (10%).
This means that Jon Stewart is a more trusted source for news than the three of the four sources that conservatives trust the most. The disconnect between what the population as a whole deems trustworthy compared to what conservatives trust is more evidence that conservatives are living in an ideological bubble.
When a comedian has more credibility than three of the four most trusted conservative media figures, it is a sign that the conservative movement is reinforcing it’s own beliefs with a self fulfilling cycle of ideological flim-flam.
Jon Stewart has more credibility than most of the conservative media, because he doesn’t shape his program to fit an agenda. The American people aren’t stupid. The only people being fooled by Limbaugh and Hannity and the others are the desperate true believers of the conservative movement.
Score another point for reality, truth, and Jon Stewart.