Trust In The Media Hits An All-Time Low In New Polling

We have previously discussed how American journalism has been destroyed by years of openly partisan coverage in an age of echo journalism. Not surprisingly, the public has lost faith in what was once the leading nation in terms of journalistic practices and ethics. A new survey by the global communications firm Edelman (via Axios) found only 46 percent of Americans trust traditional media.  That mirrors polls by Gallup showing an even lower level of trust.  We are living in a new age of yellow journalism at a time when real journalism has never been more needed.

The loss of trust is greatest among Republicans, who view the media as openly aligned with the Democratic party and most recently the Biden campaign. Gallup’s 2020 results found that 73 percent of Democrats trusted the media, while only 10 percent of Republicans held such trust.

The plunging level of trust reflects the loss of the premier news organizations to a type of woke journalism. We have have been discussing how writerseditorscommentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. Even journalists are leading attacks on free speech and the free press.  This includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll has denounced how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation.

One of the lowest moments came with the New York Times’ mea culpa for publishing an opinion column by a conservative senator.  The New York Times was denounced by many of us for its  cringing apology after publishing a column by Sen. Tom Cotton (R, Ark.). and promising not to publish future such columns. It will not publish a column from a Republican senator on protests in the United States but it will publish columns from one of the Chinese leaders crushing protests for freedom in Hong Kong. Cotton was arguing that the use of national guard troops may be necessary to quell violent riots, noting the historical use of this option in past protests. This option was used most recently after the Capitol riot.

There is no evidence that American journalism will return to its prior position of independent reporting. Reporters continue to offer openly partisan takes on stories (including clearly false stories) while burying other stories entirely. No editor or journalist wants to find themselves subject to same the treatment of the Times’ editor or others forced out for running unpopular positions or reports.  The result is that audiences and readers are now left with siloed media sources that keep them within a comfort zone of reporting — maintaining narratives that neither challenge them nor educate them. That is why a majority of citizens do not trust the media as a source for information.  In one generation, contemporary editors and journalists have utterly destroyed their profession — tossing aside generations of struggle by journalists to maintain strict principles of neutrality and integrity.  The sad fact is that you can have the greatest protections for the media in the world in the First Amendment but our journalism will be no better than the journalists themselves. The Constitution can stop the government from government coercion but not media duplicity.

The great tragedy is that we need a legitimate media now more than ever. Citizens are facing deep and violent divisions without trust in what is being reported in our newspapers, television programs, and Internet sites.

123 thoughts on “Trust In The Media Hits An All-Time Low In New Polling”

  1. Funny. An essay about bias that is 100% biased! Turley bashes the highly fact-checked NYTimes for recent decisions about editorials but no mention of the fact the rightwing media (Fox, OANN, Newsmax, InfoWars) not only have politicized editorials but pass them off as facts as well. Fox just settled a case for spreading disinformation about Seth Rich. Tucker Carlson recently claimed in court that no reasonable person could consider his show to be fact based, and fired his head writer for explicit racism. So as usual Turley says Real News like NYTimes are the problem when FOX is the problem. Republicans don’t distrust NYTimes because of its editorial policies. They distrust it because it does not tell reassuring lies, which is all many Republicans want to hear nowadays. Climate change is a hoax, liberals are out to destroy your way of life, BLM and AntiFa are threats to your life, Trump rebuilt American manufacturing. All factually incorrect.

  2. Yellow Journalism True but that’s being kind as it’s also in the day and age when that is the age when it’s heavily embellished with the colors of la bandera rosa though they hid the hammer and sickle. Maybe I was hasty thinking GOP took the very short end of the stick when they took Red in stead of red white and blue but that is obviously referring to RINOs.

    So far only the Democrats have been flying false colors as blue is not indicative of any of the socialist countries present or past. of course they are more used to lying about anything and everything knee jerk automatically as the experienced political goose steppers

    The only shocking event was when the military turned traitor to it’s oath of office. We expected it of the civilians but of course it was the civilians who sent us to war and predominately the socialist disguised as democrats in a country that was and is not a democracy.

    I’ll stick to my oath of office and allegiance to my countries Constitutional Republic system. After all it can’t last. Every democracy has turned mobocracy just as this one did and every socialist country had failed. They have a way of committing political suicide. Best you can say about them is we now have them openly exposing their rejection of USA citizenship. for a foreign ideology that has been rejected by it’s own citizens and for good reason.

    No time for the bleedingi heart bleeters of the far left to turn on the Comrade Collective machines and a round of Pretend We’re Human.

  3. Shorter JT: Why are you hitting yourself?

    POTUS spent the last four years calling the media enemies of the people and fake news, you don’t think that might have something to do with it?

  4. I don’t know what to think it would mean to “trust the media”. I suspect that a large fraction of the respondents who said they do “trust the media” meant only that they expect their favored media sources to keep telling them what they already believe to be true or like to think is true. In other words, the media is “trusted” to continue their thoroughly biased, untruthful and selective reporting/opining for partisan purposes. Unsurprisingly, the poll results are consistent with the fraction of the U.S. electorate willing to vote for Democrats.


    Trump used an old Russian playbook to create the impression that mainstream media was out of whack. Time and time again, Trump put out statements that sounded insane. Then he either denied making the statement, or claimed he was misquoted.

    The most notable example was that pandemic press conference last spring when Trump mused about “injecting bleach”. Personally, I think that statement began as an inappropriate joke. But in mid-sentence Trump realized how bad it would sound. So it came instead as a mumbled half-question. However it was meant, that statement led to several days of arguments over what Trump ‘really said.

    That bleach controversy embodied the Trump era; endless arguments over what Trump actually said or meant. No responsible politician is misunderstood as often as Donald Trump. In fact I read just days ago that since Trump’s Twitter account was closed, the volume of misinformation circulating online is down significantly.

    It is impossible for mainstream media to cover an irresponsible president who is constantly spreading falsehoods, promoting conspiracies and launching mean-spirited personal attacks. Daily coverage of such a president invariably looks biased to supporters. How can it not?? That was the deliberate calculation Donald Trump made. It was part of his (successful) plan to polarize America.

    1. – It is impossible for mainstream media to cover an irresponsible president –
      You wrote that?
      Are you utterly insane?
      Any irresponsible president is very easily covered. We have over 240 years of doing that, right? Trump was not the first polarizing president, and won’t be the last either. We have a polarizing president in office now, right? So – would it be OK for biased journalists to start attacking Old Joe needlessly?

      Claiming that a president is irresponsible, does not permit irresponsible journalism. Never has, never will.

      Also – enough with the Russia crap. Everyone has moved on except the idiots. Proof – the whole Trump/Russia thing was a hoax. We got it on video. We got it on tape. We got it in reports. Enough. You are embarrassing yourself.

      1. Wapoo is making the point that you just need to trust its boss Jeff Bezos. Buy more shiny junk from China off amazon dot com and everything will be ok now.

        Sal Sar

    2. “Trump’s plan to polarize America”, this is breathtaking in that somebody would actually believe and write this statement. After 4 years of outright lies, extreme attacks by media and blatant coverup of Biden’s backdoor money schemes with Ukraine and China by the media to help the democrats it is not Trump who polarized America. It is democrats who are willing to destroy 1st amendment rights of fellow Americans. I’m always amazed at democrats who claim they are for free speech yet demand other opposing opinions be silenced.

  6. Journalism doesn’t exist. What does exist is an American Pravda whose sole purpose is to misinform on behalf of the democratic party.

      1. NEWSFLASH: When new contributors join Turley’s blog, their ID appears out of nowhere. Ironically, had David not used a specific ID, he’d be Anonymous and you’d go into vapor lock trying to affix an ID on him.

      2. This actually isn’t true. On WordPress websites, the admin can see the email addresses associated with posts. They know which of us are us and which aren’t. If a new email address popped up in conjunction with the comment, it’s there for the admin to see.

  7. The Explanation is simple

    The People are beginning to understand:

    1. BILLIONAIRES are the enemy



    There you have it.

    Does it sound Marxist? Sure it does. I had a few people jab me about that the past weeks. But guess what. Who cares. If it’s true that’s what matters.

    Saloth Sar

    1. The Explanation is simple

      Yours sure is. I’ve asked you before and you failed to answer. Are billionaires the root cause of our problems? For instance, when you eliminate billionaires from the equation, will our problems go away? Money is not the root of all evil, it’s the love of money.

      1. Olly

        You can’t eliminate evil. It is inside human nature and will not go away. There will always be greed.

        But LAW defines the LIMITS of “private property” and LAW can curtail its abuse by those who have accumulated it like King Midas only dreamed about.

        Specifically, ANTITRUST LAW is an obvious and moderate tool which can break them up and limit their abuses.

        Republican President Theodore Roosevelt helped our country bring these tools into existence as law. We need to use them.

        Cut these billionaires down to size and they will do less harm. That’s what we can hope for, at best. There will always be difficulties, no utopia is possible, only marginal improvements.

        Saloth Sar

        1. But LAW defines the LIMITS of “private property” and LAW can curtail its abuse by those who have accumulated it like King Midas only dreamed about.

          You’ve dodged the questions. Are billionaires the root cause of our problems? For instance, when you eliminate billionaires from the equation, will our problems go away?

          LAW doesn’t justly define the limits of private property. The LAW can only justly be applied to prevent the abuse of the rights of others that that private property can inflict. What you’ve obliquely admitted is the root cause of our problems does not lie with those accumulating vast wealth, it lies with the lawmakers that have failed or are complicit in enabling this wealth to abuse the rights of others.

          1. If you can’t see that billionaires are acting globally to destroy the nation state as such, and their focus is on doing it to us, after they have already done it to so many other nations, then you are failing to see, and failing to see, you will fail to adapt.

            Come on Kurtz, why do you continue to dodge the questions? Of course I can see what billionaires are doing. I can see what globalists are doing. I can see what AOC is doing. I can see what the homeless are doing. In civil society, they all have something in common, what is it? If you could magically eliminate billionaires, would our problems go away? If we got rid of globalists, would our problems go away? They all have the lawmakers and by extension, the law. Perhaps instead of trying to eliminate billionaires, we should eliminate lawyers. 🙂

        2. “Olly You can’t eliminate evil. It is inside human nature and will not go away. ”

          Sal, can there be good if there is no evil?

      2. “, it’s the love of money.”

        People love many things. Why do you specify the love of money as the root of all evil? Money is an artificial means of allocating resources.

        People have a love of art.
        People have a love of their boat.
        People have a love of the food they eat

        1. Why do you specify the love of money as the root of all evil?

          9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 9-10 NIV

          Prove the Apostle Paul wrong.

          1. I don’t know why Paul said what he did, but his words at the time might have meant something else. I don’t know.

            He would have been better off saying power is the root of all evil, but I don’t know that that would be correct either. I’d prefer to know what his context was and how money was perceived at the time. Are you saying everything he said then is correct today despite translations and the changing meaning of words?

          2. I am Catholic. I was taught that the vice of pride, in the sense of vanity, is the source of all sin. Greed is derivative of pride. One might say the love of money is a manifestation of vanity, which puts the self over God, and over others. Human nature is fallen and everybody can feel the tug of pride which leads to other errors.

            I believe this teaching is similar in other major religions, though it may be rendered differently. There’s wisdom in this teaching.

            Contemporary society, if not the whole modern age, is one big long episode of human vanity. It is pervaded by Luciferian pride at every juncture. I suspect it will not end well.

            I believe that we can make a small corrective action, together, if we aim to humble the vain billionaires and their wicked schemes.

            Sal Sar

            1. I would go back to the root cause, which of course is our sinful nature. It’s unchanged since the beginning of time and it will remain unchanged until the end of time. The framers understood this and it’s quite remarkable they designed our system to try and protect the people from this nature in the elected. We’d be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of those elected that would design that system today.

              1. they are certainly less brave and less intelligent and less wise

                but make no mistake, the Framers were acting both in their war, and in the framing of the constitution, to protect men with very very large accumulations of money too

                in their time, it may have been a more defensible position than it is today

                Sal Sar

    2. Dorsey, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and the Google crew are enemies. Billionaires who stick to business or to conventional civic and philanthropic promotions are not enemies.

      1. One by one they have varying merits and faults. it is the group which needs a correction and antitrust law could give us all we needed to accomplish it with proper leadership in place.

        But their collective actions as a group, ensure, that we get no proper leadership.

        Hence, they must be addressed as a group.

        The American notion of individualism likewise has its merits and faults. I see too often conservatives are hobbled by individualistic notions and thus unable to deal with groups like the billionaires effectively, and wrongly extend them a mercy which they do not deserve

        Sal Sar

      1. Keep on looking in the rear view mirror joe and reprising conversations about Orange Man Bad which are now stale as your breath.

        Trump was no more the enemy than biden is now. Billionaires as a group, not one by one, but as a group, are the enemy.

        Sal Sar

  8. Have we reached dystopia- it seems both Orwell and Huxley were correct.

    From Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death”:

    What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

  9. What you have described has happened to the once venerable Wall Street Journal. It’s shocking how ignorant the news reporters are there regarding economics and history. There are stories that are exceedingly narrow in focus so as to conform to wokeness, sometimes to the point of scraping anecdotes together to seem to show a trend or problem that isn’t really there. Other subjects are completely ignored or its implications brushed aside with a sentence or two, such as the Hunter Biden laptop. One reporter with the initials RB is a hate factory of anti-Trump propaganda pieces–her stories are full of anonymous sources, accusations and manipulative wording to work up the new cheap-seat leftist subscribers.

  10. Once again JT ignores the obvious, that Fox is very partisan and continuously lies to its viewers and pushes the narrative that all other media is untrustworthy. That is why Rs are so distrustful. Once can come up with times that the other networks and media have issues, but Fox is by it’s nature partisan.

        1. No, that was for you. it’s my daily reaction to seeing your handle. I usually scroll right through.

    1. Once again JT ignores the obvious, that Fox is very partisan and continuously lies to its viewers and pushes the narrative that all other media is untrustworthy.

      Says someone who hasn’t watched Fox in about five years and is too dim to evaluate PBS with critical distance.

    2. When you are ready with date and time we can both watch or record whichever shows you decide. Then you can prove the validity of your claim.

      This offer has been extended many times to people that have said the same as you but never accepted. There is a good reason for that. Your claim is false.

      Quite the contrary many of the opinions and predictions made by Fox’s opinion shows have proven to be true despite what the MSM initially said.

    3. Rs are distrustful because the mainstream media lie their arses off constantly. It has nothing to do with Fox since the lies can be fact-checked by each individual without mediation.

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