Gallup: Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low

fox and friends holderedited
In what is unlikely to be any surprise to liberals and progressives, at least, Gallup is reporting that Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low.

According to Gallup, “Four in 10 Americans say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the mass media” – newspapers, TV and radio – “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.” As I said, nothing new: “This ties the historical lows on this measure set in 2014 and 2012.”

The rub is that, as pointed out, “Prior to 2004, slight majorities of Americans said they trusted the mass media, such as newspapers, TV and radio.” Trust peaked at 55% in 1998 and 1999. Trust in television news alone was at a dismal 23 percent in 2013.

Which means, of course, that 77 percent of you were thinking, “Yeah…not so much.”


Have people become more cynical, or is the media genuinely less trustworthy?

It is easy to blame the loss of the Fairness Doctrine, eliminated by the FCC, but that event took place in 1987, yet most Americans continued to trust the media up until 2004. Another event often pointed to by liberals, the Fox News channel, launched October 7, 1996.

Perhaps more significantly, in 2003, the Bush administration launched the illegal invasion of Iraq based on widely reported but soon to be proven false claims about WMDs, and the lies kept on a rolling.

Gallup tells us that “Trust has typically dipped in election years, including 2004, 2008, 2012 and last year,” but they point out that 2015 is not a major election year.

Though Gallup doesn’t analyze the reasons, we can point out here that elections begin earlier and earlier, and this year has featured prominently the on-and-off again feud between Donald Trump and Fox News. Trump has been turning viewers away from Fox News in a concerted effort – including delegitimizing an easy target, the most prominent woman on Fox News, Megyn Kelly – to personally control all news about himself.

This lack of trust is particularly prominent among the 18 to 49 demographic. And mistrust grows as the sample gets younger: A Harvard University Institute of Politics poll undertaken in 2014 of people between 18 and 29 found that only 11 percent thought the media could be trusted to do the right thing “all or most of the time.”

On the other hand, those 50+ are more likely to believe what they hear (45 to 36 percent compared to 18-49 year-olds). This is not surprising, and of course, Fox News owns the older demographics; Wikipedia tells us that “The median age for Fox News viewers is listed as 65+ as Nielsen does not give exact figures for ages over 65,” and the Fox News audience remains the oldest on television.

Perhaps unrelated (but perhaps not) is Pew Research Center telling us that “By almost every measure, fewer people tuned in to watch cable news in 2014.”

Pew Research Center found in 2014 that 47 percent of conservatives make Fox News their main news source. Ironically, and inexplicably, we are told now by Gallup that “For more than a decade, Republicans and independents have been significantly less likely than Democrats to trust the media. This pattern continues in the latest survey.”


Fox-News MathThis backs up Pew’s findings from last year, when they revealed that liberals “trust more than distrust” 28 of 36 news sources surveyed, while conservatives “distrust more than trust” 24 of the 36 news sources surveyed.

I would submit that the difference is explained by sheer rampant paranoia. Conservatives mostly watch and mostly trust Fox News and distrust all others. We have seen often enough the accusations that right-leaning MSNBC is the liberal “Fox” and that the right-leaning New York Times is some sort of “leftist propaganda” organization.

Yet the mainstream media is far more conservative-friendly than liberal, for the simple reason that corporations control the mainstream media just as they do the Republican Party. This didn’t stop conservatives from claiming the mainstream media stole the 2012 election for Democrats, simply because they actually reported accurately the crazy nonsense Republicans were spouting.

Evidently, all the Palinesque cries of “lamestream” media and “liberal media elite” – a term which has entered the “Conservapedia” – have paid off for Republicans, albeit in a rather weird way. And don’t expect things to get any better as we head into an election year.

14 Replies to “Gallup: Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low”

  1. You got that right, buddy. Even MSNBC which used to counter Fox is now a christonazi tool. When I want news, I watch PBS or BBC America. Screw the others.

  2. I think the reason people don’t trust the media is because they are not really informed on the issues. So when the village report a story and it turns out to be false they say to hell with it.

    The reason republicans trust fox is because from birth they are trained not to question so-called authority. Be it the church, the police or anything that would upset their narrow-minded world view.

    Liberals always will question anything. We question even our own blogs and the few liberal writers out there. Even here when a thread by any of our great writers publish they will be questioned. I know when the baggers come on here they think we are always in agreement when that is not true.

    Just be inform and educate yourself on the subject and then you would know when someone is bullshitting you

  3. I don’t know about cynical. For me the awakening came when an acquaintance of mine husband was shot. About the same time A bad back operation crippled me. So I had more time to see things that rushed right past when I could work. I saw first hand how facts I KNEW to be true were twisted and the outright lies reported in the news.
    Then came the Internet and I wasn’t limited to local rags for what I was supposed to believe. After a few months of that CYNICAL fit. As I have said many times I may not have had the opportunity to get an education but that does not mean I am too stupid to see, hear and process information. Over the years I have learned to fact check every thing I can. I saw an earlier post calling the MSM Cristonazis. I agree with most of the post. But look up who owns and CONTROLS all the MSM most of Americans have to relied on for news. Jesus Christ is just to be used for brainwashing and PROFIT.

  4. …what do we expect??? On MSNBC, the Chunky Toady finally got his show…{MTP Daily} so I don’t even turn on my TV until 6pm{Hardball}…can’t wait until next pollster calls…corporate control o’ the news outlets simply tightened the noose on our necks so-to-speak…I get a lot o’ my news HERE…

  5. What do you expect when people who are supposed to be journalists come out and tell you that they don’t call out their guest’s lies because they’re afraid they won’t return to their show? It reveals exactly why you can’t trust the media. If they’re going to allow lies to be told unchallenged, how can you trust anything you hear on their news show? Chuck Todd is certainly not the only one guilty of this. It’s rampant throughout the so-called news industry. Chuck Todd was the only one stupid enough to admit it.

  6. How can you trust the media when they openly admit that they won’t correct misstatements made by the people they interview. The news media today is all a ratings game.

  7. Todd’s a vacuous gasbag. His “reporting” is based solely on his opinion or what little he reads online. Tim Russert used to have contacts on Capitol Hill that he relied on extensively so when he said something it was based on facts. Anyone who reads PoliticusUSA is at least as well-informed as Chucky.

  8. The founding fathers valued a free press & protected it in the 1st Amendment. They saw the press as an outside, independent force that could be relied on to expose government misdeeds.

    Fast forward 200 yrs. Elimination of FCC’s Fairness Doctrine & ‘bye balanced reporting. Consolidation of major news outlets into the hands of plutocrats. Transformation from “news” to “news entertainment.” Increasingly partisan “reporting.”

    Good thing we have the internet, as long as we can keep it away from government/ global control. The Web may be freedom’s last stand if the Christo-nazis take over.

    A shout out to Jason Easley for his article back in May: New Study Finds That Fox News Is Brainwashing Viewers And Hurting The Republican Party

    How’s that for a prediction?

  9. Jane, As long as we have the Internet & stay informed we can keep the White House!

    POLITICSUSA is the most Intelligent, hard-hitting, up-to-date and fast-paced website in America!

  10. Oh yeah, let’s all trust the six corporations that own “our” media. They would never lie to feather their own or a close ally’s bed, would they?

  11. That’s not true.

    “Journalists” don’t question Republican interviewees. They continuously question Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives, though.

  12. The five top Republican presidential candidates are against net neutrality, as are just about every Republican congresscritter that have tried to push bills to combat net neutrality (which Democrats have fought against successfully so far).

    That alone should tell us that the Republican Party and their propaganda machine are well aware of the one-sided benefit of controlling news, and that more and more people are turning to the internet to get their news.

    The internet is a grave threat to the goal of the plutocracy to brainwash American voters – something that has been happening since these moneyed interests got rid of the Fairness Doctrine and infiltrated and infested our mass media to the extent that they have today.

  13. The right wing has been trying to get total control of the media since the Powell memo came out in the early 70’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.