When it comes to mainstream media, more people trust Comedy Central than NBC News

Thursday, February 06, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: mainstream media, public trust, Comedy Central

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(NaturalNews) Perhaps it was destiny, given the overt political slant their news broadcasts, but a just-released survey shows that, among news outlets Americans trust, NBC News and sister cable network MSNBC rank at the very bottom.

And that's according to a rather liberal think tank, Public Policy Polling (PPP), which found that, in the same survey, Fox News and its "Fair and Balanced" approach led the way in overall trust factor among those polled:

In its fifth trust poll, 35 percent said they trusted Fox News more than any other outlet, followed by PBS at 14 percent, ABC at 11 percent, CNN at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, 6 percent for MSNBC and Comedy Central, and just 3 percent for NBC.

In what could be taken as sour grapes, the polling firm said the reason why Fox News scored highest on the trustability list is because Republican voters are so dedicated to the network.

"It leads the way because of its continuing near total support among Republicans as the place to go for news- 69 percent of Republicans say it's their most trusted source with nothing else polling above 7 percent," said PPP.

O'Reilly over Colbert

That would mean, by default, that Democrat-leaning voters would be more dedicated to the most liberal of all of the other news networks, right? Perhaps - and perhaps not. Maybe the dispersal of trust among the other networks - none of which could be considered politically conservative by any stretch - means that there are many more left-leaning cable and network news outlets for liberal Democrats to choose from.

In its survey, PPP tested voter attitudes about personalities. Cable news leader Bill O'Reilly, who conducted an interview with President Obama during the Super Bowl, was pitted against Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert; PPP said in a presidential matchup that O'Reilly would beat Colbert 38 percent to 35 percent (is that within the poll's margin of error?).

More than that, O'Reilly had a better favorability rating than any one of the candidates being mentioned for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination - though you should not expect O'Reilly to throw his hat into that morass.

Interestingly, Fox News also won the "least trusted" category, "because many Democrats don't like it," PPP concluded. And there is this:

When all the politics are stripped out, PPP said that the one outlet that appears trusted by both sides is PBS. Some 57 percent of Americans said they trust public TV news.

Still, overall there is little trust in all U.S. media.

Losing faith in our institutions is a bad thing

A September 2012 survey from Gallup found that Americans' distrust of one of the country's oldest institutions was at an all-time low; six in 10 said they had "little or no trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly."

The pitiful number "reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior," Gallup said. "The current gap between negative and positive views -- 20 percentage points -- is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s."

And while the media gets low marks, Congress gets even lower ratings. Talk about your political cellars; in November, Gallup released its latest congressional approval ratings, and overall favorability among the electorate had fallen to single digits: 9 percent.

Taken together, overall distrust of Congress and the media does not bode well for the republic. If the people cannot get satisfaction through representation or reliable news and information from those charged with delivering it, at some point that will affect civil society.

As it is, only about one-third of us even trust each other.


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