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Who trusts the media?  Anyone?

Who trusts the media?  Anyone?

The print media and the airwaves are flooded with polls claiming to reflect the public’s opinion on just about everything except … the media.  Rarely does a polling organization undertake surveys regarding the news media.  Of course, we cannot expect the news media – that does innumerable public opinion polls on politics, issues and the economy — to undertake a poll asking the American people what they think of the news media – generally or specifically.

We may be able to draw some comparative information from ratings.  In that case, it would appear that the majority of Americans trust FOX News over its cable news competitors of CNN and MSNBC.  In virtually every rating survey, FOX has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined.

A lot of the polling information concerning the news media has been developed.  It is standard operating procedure for news organizations to frequently poll the popularity of the platform … specific shows … and specific personalities.   I have been involved in focus groups that deal with such matters as the “look” of the hosts and anchors – clothes, hairstyles, ethnicity, etc.   Of course, they never reveal that information even though it is arguably newsworthy.

But even now and then there is a public poll dealing with the public’s opinion of the American news industry — and even then, it does not get the same level of coverage on the news platforms as the political stuff.  When you see the results, you can understand why it does not.

Weeell … you may not have heard that the Gallup organization recently conducted and published polling results on the news media.  Their report was headlined: “Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Record Low.”

Gallup Research Consultant Megan Brenan opined: “At 34%, Americans’ trust in the mass media to report the news ‘fully, accurately and fairly’ is essentially unchanged from last year and just two points higher than the lowest that Gallup as recorded.”  

In the September survey, Gallup asked, “In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media — such as newspapers, TV and radio — when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly — a great deal, a fair amount, not very much or none at all?”

Only 7 percent of respondents had a “great deal” of confidence in the media.  Conversely, 38 percent had no trust at all.  None.  Nada.

As may be anticipated, there is a significant difference in the responses from Republicans and Democrats.  Only 14 percent of Republicans trust the media as opposed to 70 percent of Democrats.  This is largely due to the fact – as revealed in other polling – that most of the news is produced and presented by progressive Democrats with a significant bias in favor of … Democrats.

So much for the Rs and Ds.  What about the all-important independents?  According to Gallup, they are much closer to the Republicans than the Democrats – with only 27 percent trusting the news media.  This may explain why Democrats complain about their “messaging” problem.  They argue that their message does not get to the public.  In reality, it may be that it is being borne on the wings of a news media that lacks credibility beyond the Democrat hardcore base.  Most of the public distrusts the message and the messenger. (Another example of the inherent collective wisdom of the American people.)

This is not startling new information.  Just a year ago, Gallup measured the public’s opinion in terms of honesty and ethics.  Newspaper reports garnered only 17 percent on the honesty and ethics scale.  Television journalists were at 14 percent.

The “none at all” and “not very much” trust in the media is an astounding 60 percent of the public.  Compare that to the profession high point in 1976, when the same categories amounted to only 26 percent of the public — and the trust level was at 72 percent.  

Back in 1976, both Democrats and independents had a 75 percent confidence in the news media, with Republicans at 63 percent.  The latest poll has the lowest trust rating among independents ever.  Since 1998, independents have been tracking much closer to Republicans – which explains why Republicans win national elections even though there are more registered Democrats than Republicans.  The GOP tends to win among independent voters, who are not taking their election cues from a media they distrust.

Members of Congress were at a lowly 9 percent.  Of course, politicians are expected to be suspect in their statements and positions.  Journalists, however, are expected to be the referees and arbiters of fact and truth – to have the highest standards of honesty and fairness.   Distrust based on manifest dishonesty of the news industry is a serious threat to the functioning of a small-d democratic Republic.

The Gallup report noted that “Notably, this is the first time that the percentage of Americans with no trust at all in the media is higher than the percentage with a great deal or a fair amount combined.”  

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski once said that “it is our (the media’s) job to tell the public what to think.  Fortunately, the public is not so gullible.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

20 Comments

  1. Frank stetson

    The Miki quote is taken out of context, misquoted (dealt with Elon Musk), totally debunked, and factually incorrect.

    But we knew that five years ago.

    Do you ever write anything that is the truth?

    Do you apologize when caught in a lie? Sorry, misstatements.

    BUSTED

    • Micala

      Sorry, but any “Poll” is NEVER ACCURATE BECAUSE THE POLLSTERS KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO CAST THEIR POLLS TO GET THE NUMBERS THEY WANT! It is ALL B.S.!

      As for the Media…..HA HA HA HA!! Those megliomaniacs only want to feel powerful and use a lot of Sensationalistic rhetoric to either control the masses or scare them! Anyone believing even one Poll, OR MEDIA DIALOG, needs to back up and survey the whole subject and location! It’s NOT about telling truths but about many “little white lies”! WAKE UP AMERICANS! I KNOW YOU ARE SMARTER THSN TO BELIEVE ANY POLL!!!!

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. Once again you do not know what you are talking about. The Mika quote was NOT in conjunction with Elon Musk. You just assume and talk crap. BROKEN BEYOND REPAIR.

  2. Tom

    I am one of those Independent / Unaffiliated who do not trust media but I will make one exception, I do like the interviews on CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning. 1) Any news story that does not come with a live interview I consider suspect and if I am concerned I will fact check it. Often I find its not blatant lies or even spin, but rather I often times find they do not report all of the facts. Sort of like spin by omission. 2) As far as Dems go on their ideas about their messaging…. well… its not that I do not hear their message. It is that I think their message often stinks. Woke-ism, LGBTQ junk, Trump big lie whining, student debt relief, bad bad oil, green environmental garbage, bad bad white people, and the attitude of that goofy White House spokeswoman for Biden, well, it just all turns me off big time! Yet the Dems keep driving home those same old tired revolting messages. 3) Many of the local and national news stations are owned by Sinclair Media Group that pre-programs what the news jockeys must say – and Sinclair often injects political opinion into the news. I have noticed that Dems seem to get a lot more air time than GOP candidates. Sort of like free advertising. 4) Polls are rarely accurate because of design flaws at the procedural and question level, population subgroup selections, and biases built into the questions. Some polls seem to already know the answers they want so the questions appear designed to drive desired answers and conclusions. So I take no stock in polls, and rarely bother participating in them anymore.

  3. Tom

    Frank and Larry, you both are correct and incorrect.

    Frank is incorrect in that he attributes the quote to someone named “Miki” which I checked is actually “Mika”. Frank is correct that this misquote of Mika was known and attested to by Mika back in Feb to April, 2017 which was 5 years ago. Frank is correct in that while the original quote by Mika were not in conjunction with Elon Musk, the inaccurate retweeted quotes of what Mika said did mix in Elon Musk because she had talked that story in the same timeframe. But it was the retweeters on Twitter that mixed in Musk, not Mika.

    Larry, You seem to have used a snipet of the whole quote by Mika on Feb 22, 2017. Below is Mika’s statement on this issue:

    Source: https://apnews.com/article/Fact-Check-Morning-Joe-Elon-Musk-874291142902

    Brzezinski responded: “Well and I think that the dangerous, y’know, edges here are that he’s (Trump) trying to undermine the media, trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that is our job.”

    Brzezinski’s comments attracted attention at the time, and in a tweet later that day, she claimed they were misinterpreted, saying: “Today I said it’s the media’s job to keep President Trump from making up his own facts, NOT that it’s our job to control what people think.”

    So Mika was talking about keeping Trump out of his Trump world alternative universe and not allowing him to steer how people think with alternative facts – this is what she was saying is media’s job. Unfortunately she stated this rather clumsily, and then the retweets made it worse.

    • larry Horist

      Mike ….The Mika quote is not out of context. She was accusing Trump of telling people what to think as a general statement — and she clearly stated that it is her job to tell people what to think. It is reflective of what he media does routinely, Trump notwithstanding. One of the problems is the media operating as an opinion providing — interpreting facts (spin) to sell opinion. In other words, telling folks what to think. That is why I agree with you about media folks saying what other said. We do not get enough voices on both sides — especially on MSNBC. The big lie of this election is the claim that if the GOP wins democracy is over in America, Folks like Mika push that crap because that is what she wants voters to think. I think the “snippet” it is a very fair summary of her view. I am not even convinced that it is the media’s job “to keep President Trump from making up his own facts.” But rather the medias job to put on other stakeholders to refute Trump. But instead, they peddle one view — and that is why the trust in media is so low.

      • Frank stetson

        Fact checkers everywhere agree with Mike, say Larry is wrong.

      • Ben is back

        What a putz. The article shows how wrong you are. Can’t you ever admit you copied FOX without checking. You lie just like Trump now. Like all Republicraps.

  4. Frank st

    Wrong? It’s a typo….

    Larry’s is a lie. Especially given the double down and the ad hominem.

    It’s called fact check. Really good to use before reprinting quotes pulled from blogosphere hacks unless you want to emulate them.

    BUSTED on the double down too

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Frank, your fact checks consist of rereading what you just wrote. Did I say it before? Then it must be right.

      • Frank stetson

        Actually Tom said it first; he corrected Larry’s misspeak, he added a link and verbatim source. Larry doubled down. I noted that was erong too and sugested a fact check. Then you piled on, obviously you did not read Tom’s link or run a fact check.

        This was is pretty cut n dry. You are wrong, on the facts, links, transcripts, multiple sources, whatever. .

        JFGI.

        BUSTED for not reading your own site. Hoisted on your own petard.

        And yet in your bizarre world of untruths, you will never admit the error. Let’s see what happens this time.

  5. FraNk stetson

    Caught in a lie and there’s no shame.
    Because you can double down in the blame game.

    Bad facts and personal attacks.
    That’s just journalism gone whack slack, Jack. .

    BUSTED again on the double down.

    Sorry for the Miki typo. Damned autocorrect.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. you are just like the left-wing press. You make biased points and they congratulation yourself by declaring victory ..LOL. You are a real piece of work. And “Miki” you claim was an autocheck error? A typo is not big deal, but you actually cannot take ownership? And no one was caught in a lie. Again like the biased media, you view other opinions as lies. Perhaps you are just projecting your own intellectual dishonest.

  6. Frank stetson

    Larry,
    More personal attacks. That’s enough.

    Mike provided the truth; you lie.

    There are a half dozen fact checks on it and they all say you are wrong. Given you still keep on; you are a liar.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … Thank you proving my point that those on the left believe their opinions are fact. I have one opinion about what Mika said and what it means in terms of the news profession. You have another. But You call me a liar. I never called you a liar of your opinions — as baseless and shallow as many are — because I understand and respect your right to have those opinions. It is the arrogance of folks like you that causes division and makes civil discourse impossible. To me, your constant obsessive need to put me down and engage in self-praise suggest a pitiful old man with a rather low self-esteem. But that is just my opinion based on your writings and your incessant efforts to demonize me with the Larry Horist of your mind as the foil. And just for the record … my family, friends and even political adversaries have described me as a very honest person — intellectually and other wise.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. Watched Mika this morning. They were on the issue of what people think and what they are supposed to think. All about what Republicans THINK about Trump … about election irregularities .. everything think the left believes. They would have you believe that the entire GOP thinks like a few nuts on the fringe … left or right. Although they do not talk about the left-wing nutcases. Most American think pretty clearly and do not need the media to endocrine them. But that is the role that Mika and the folks at MSNBC think they must do. It is their role in life.

      • frank stetson

        Good points, as does FOX in the mirror. But your summary does not a fact make so I don’t know what they said, just what you said they said. Back on the matter at hand…….

        Larry has misquoted an out of context soundbite that he triples-down as being the truth. He continues to launch personal attacks against those pushing back on his lie. Fact is she never said it; even as a paraphrase it’s out of context, and she clarified it twice.

        The genesis of Larry’s bastardized Mika quote is from a 2017 segment of Morning Joe. He quotes: “it is our (the media’s) job to tell the public what to think. Fortunately, the public is not so gullible. He only has the initial quote marks so it’s hard to know where Mika ends and Larry begins. Hopefully just a typo and not Larry’s lame attempt at embellishing the truth as he is known to do. Did he spin? Did he take out of context? Did he lie? The actual quote is: “Well, I think the dangerous edges here are that he’s trying to undermine the media, he’s trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job,” Mika said.

        As one can see, Larry is off the mark even with his careful edit accounted for. In context, Larry is way off the mark with his single-quote snippet of what she said in 2017. This from a guy who’s kvetching over my use of “Miki,” and whether it’s spell/grammar check or a typo. He accuses me “And “Miki” you claim was an autocheck error? A typo is not big deal, but you actually cannot take ownership?” This is a real slap against my dear relative Miki who I have loaded into my spell check as acceptable….. When you assume….. But I digress.

        After, as Mike says, Mika fumble mouthed this quote, there was an uproar. This was 2017. As Poynter notes “The comment drew some criticism at the time in conservative media, but Brzezinski said then her words were misinterpreted. “Today I said it’s the media’s job to keep President Trump from making up his own facts, NOT that it’s our job to control what people think,” she tweeted on Feb. 22, 2017. She followed up in another tweet: “Of course, that is obvious from the transcript but some people want to make up their own facts. SAD!” In other words, she attempted to better explain her clumsy wording, a correction that Larry totally ignored. Unlike Larry, she attempted to walk it back at least clearly stating “NOT that it’s our job to control what people think.” Apparently forgiveness is something Larry only saves for the Herschel Walkers and Donald Trumps of the world. https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2022/msnbc-morning-joe-mika-brzezinski-elon-musk-thats-our-job/

        This year, in April of 2022, blogosphere kindred spirits to Larry dragged the 2017 bastardized quote back, and like Larry’s out of context use, blogosphered it into a claim against Musk re:twitter takeover, Of course, as Mike’s link shows, it was shot down immediately. Then Larry picked it up, changed the text, left out the context, and says, after being told it’s wrong, after being asked to jfgi, “The Mika quote is not out of context.”

        The quote is not only out of context, it is not even the quote, it’s a out-of-context paraphrase at best. A lie at it’s worst. And given Larry’s triple-down, it’s a lie. Who trusts Larry?

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson …. WOW!!! What aa loooong name-calling ad hominin attack on me. The work of a man without much to say. You base you entire screed on that one quote. — which I still believe is relevant to Mika’s thinking.. But I am not basing my opinion on just one quote, as you mistakenly assume. I am referencing a habit of propaganda … indoctrinations … and telling viewers what to think about all things political, But I would not expect you to grasp larger concepts. As as for youf hyperactive insults … do you really think that have an impact on me or my reputation with others who know me … follow my writing ….. or are not so emotionally obsessed with your petty effort to tear me down. Come on, man, Your becoming more of joke as time goes by. Get a grip.

  7. Ricco

    There is no doubt the 2020 Election Drop boxes were stuffed with Fake Biden Ballots plus we all saw 2000 Mules witch shows some of the ways Democrats have been Cheating on Election’s for year’s but the 2020 Election was bay far the worst example of Cheating and Fake Ballots that I’ve seen in my life the Election’s need to be the same in all States and no Drop Boxes mail in Voting should be only for the Military people and Disabled people that can prove they can’t Cote in Person, there should also be a change in Funding an Election 98% of Americans can’t run for Office it’s now a Big Business to be able to run for office that’s not what the Founding Father’s had in mind about Election’s costing Million’s to Run for Office the Democrats are always talking about how there’s so much Discrimination the Election’s have become just that unless your a Millionaire or have friends with Million’s you will never be able to run for office in America todays to me that’s the real Discrimination against 98% of Americans.

    • Frank stetson

      Take it to court.

      You can’t

  1. Frank I can’t understand what’s wrong with MAGA. You idiots on the left are satanic bastards out to destroy patriots.…

  2. Don’t tell me nout proof. I’m too Young to need proof. I don’t need no stinkin proof. We all know…