Using information from Edelman’s annual trust barometer, the report notes that trust in traditional media has plummeted even since 2020.
Axios states that just 46 percent of all Americans trust the media and, following the election, numbers dropped even further as just 18 percent of Republicans are expressing faith in purveyors of the news.
“Mistrust of media is now a central part of many Americans’ personal identity — an article of faith that they weren’t argued into and can’t be argued out of,” they write.
Trust in the Media Is Hitting Rock Bottom
It’s difficult to argue in favor of trusting the media after the absolute debacle that was coverage of the Trump administration since 2016.
Mainstream journalists on day one of the Biden presidency this week morphed from attack dogs to curled-up kittens. The displays were nauseating:
- CNN contributor Van Jones cried over President Biden’s inauguration wailing, “Thank God, hallelujah, and Jesus, I’m so happy.”
- Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who attacked Trump during the debates, hailed Biden’s inaugural speech as “the best inaugural address I ever heard.”
- MSNBC’s Brian Williams declared the country was “back and under new management.”
- ABC News’ Byron Pitts called Biden “papa-in-chief.”
- MSNBC’s Chuck Todd cooed that Biden is “the better angel president.”
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By contrast, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace told her audience she would create a policy “that a Republican must assert the truth before they’re allowed to share any other views.”
Pledge allegiance to MSNBC’s version of the news, or else.
With that kind of messaging by supposedly straight news sources, how are there even 46 people in America that trust the media, let alone 46 percent of them?
The Numbers Are Stunning
The Axios report offers up some stunning data on just how untrustworthy the media is in the eyes of the American people.
Let’s start with this chart that shows the trust arrow heading dramatically downward:
That’s a pretty remarkable plunge.
Two other revealing aspects of this report:
- 56% of Americans agree with the statement that “Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
- 58% think that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”
Axios notes that the media will be unable to blame President Trump for their woes, as they so often do, because the numbers are “mostly not a function of Donald Trump’s war on ‘fake news.'”
Meaning that while the former President frequently lamented that the media is the ‘enemy of the people,’ the people are actually starting to understand that on their own.