The Media’s Massive Credibility Problem


By L. Brent Bozell III

On her weekly Sinclair TV show, “Full Measure,” on Aug. 18, former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson interviewed pollster Scott Rasmussen about journalists’ standing in the public square. They’re about as trusted as Wikipedia, the website considered so unreliable that school teachers often tell students they can’t cite it as a source for their research papers.

Only 38 percent said national political coverage is accurate and reliable, while 42 percent said it is not. “We asked about national political reporters. Are they credible? Are they reliable?” said Rasmussen. “And you know, a little more than 1 out of 3 people say yes. When we ask about Wikipedia, we get the exact same answer. So what’s — what’s happening is we have a world where people look at journalists like they look at Wikipedia.”

You hear the media elites often break out the nostalgia for an era when the American people had “shared facts.” Translation: a time when all Americans had the “mainstream” media to tell them what the “facts” were, and when those in that “mainstream” enjoyed a monopoly in their industry. Facts always seemed carefully arranged for political impact. For example, the TV anchors told us the Vietnam War was an unwinnable quagmire. Watergate was the worst scandal in American history. The Soviet Union only wanted peace. The wealthy were greedy. Planet Earth would succumb to global warming. And Planned Parenthood cares about children.

All this created a national hunger for alternative sources of information. The addition of Fox News, conservative talk radio, and conservative news websites and blogs in the ’90s is decried as the dawn of a new era of “misinformation.”


The media's dramatic tilt has clearly taken a toll on their image. Rasmussen told Attkisson that 78 percent of voters say reporters don't report news so much as they promote their agenda: "They think they use incidents as props for their agenda rather than seeking accurate record of what happened. ... Only 14 percent think that a journalist is actually reporting what happened."

That result is just devastating. The "news" media no longer exist.

Then Rasmussen added a layer of public cynicism: "If a reporter found out something that would hurt their favorite candidate, only 36 percent of voters think that they would report that." The public sees the media for what they are: flagrant activists manipulating the democratic process.

Attkisson also interviewed former CNN anchor Frank Sesno to react to this massive credibility problem. Sesno toed the company line and, in so doing, tripped over his own tongue. "The public understands fundamentally what journalism should be," he said. "They don't understand how it's actually practiced." What does that mean? The public isn't well-informed enough to know how well-informed it would be if it were to trust the press?

If media organizations really wanted to improve their image, they would address public skepticism seriously, taking some very simple steps. Stop trying to bury every bit of good news for President Trump and every bit of bad news for Bernie, Biden & Co. Try to acknowledge that policy debates have two sides. It is fair to question climate change, support our national identity and oppose the abortion industry trafficking human carnage.

Is it too late? Conservatives have walked away from these networks and newspapers, which means that their audiences are now mostly liberals who reject everything conservatives champion. Obviously, from all we've witnessed, liberal journalists are much more sensitive to criticism from fellow liberals than they are to the American public. That's unlikely to change, so the credibility crisis will only deepen.

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27 thoughts on “The Media’s Massive Credibility Problem”

  1. It is actually worse than Rasmussen is saying. He has the right of it but fails to tell us that the media has been down trending in credibility for decades. Most media is owned by a multinational business. Meaning, it is not America being reported on by an exclusively American press by a multinational owned press. And this multinational owned press is globalist in sentiment. That sentiment is the eventual destruction of America.
    No President has ever faced such hostility from this multinational owned media. Why? Because prior presidents like Obama doing the bidding of the multinationals. No conflict of interest. Trump come along and clearly represents expressly American interests. The Press and the Democrats are ordered to get rid of him as he is inimical to the interests of the multinationals. This is what is happening.

  2. The liberal media has been biased for a very, very, very long time!
    I recall reading a book in 1971 written by Edith Efron of TV Guide called “The News Twisters”.
    It’s only gotten worse!

  3. For decades I have maintained that MSM is left leaning for some simple reasons.

    * They are located in major cities which are predominantly left leaning (NYC, LA, etc.), and for their survival/profit they depend upon their readers (left leaning) and businesses (left leaning) to buy ads.
    * Probably 90+% of the people working at these MSM sources have always voted democrat and are left leaning, so how could they truly understand conservative viewpoints? And what is their incentive for reporting conservative views truthfully?

    Trump has just flushed them out into the open now so it is obvious to everyone now.

  4. Unfortunately liberals have closed minds. They only listen and watch liberal media. They will not seek other sources of information and badmouth these sources. The main stream media is controlled by globalists. If we ever get an uncorrupted congress they can put limitations and add liability to media outlets. If we remove the slander liability limitations, they will be left with omission as their only tool of misinformation.

  5. In my days when I used to subscribe to the NY Times, I can remember writing them
    that their paper would be much more interesting if there was a dialog going on between
    the opposing viewpoints, and that their readership was not as BLUE as they seem to
    think it is. The zombies that that vote overwelmingly Democratic in the metropolitan
    cities are not the ones who read their paper. If they cared to look they’d see a significant
    number of RED and BLUE readers. The warning fell on deaf ears and I, and many others like
    me, went our own way and the Times is left preaching to their own choir.

  6. We can only hope that there are still some young journalists out there willing to uncover the truth and report it no matter the consequences. I pray that at least a few young students were able to survive the previous administration’s attacks on History and Facts and graduate with their morals and scruples intact. If they were truly meant to be journalists then they were able to research their subjects and uncover the facts in spite of their “teachers” attempts to dumb them down. I guess only time will tell and I must have faith that GOD will show the truth to all of us.

  7. I do not watch, or read, main stream media, all they do is lie, & make up, what they want you to know. It is only a matter of time, before they will cease to exist. They are bringing it all on themselves, they are so corrupt, & untrustworthy, no one believes them, at all. They have lied to us, for so long, that they are starting to believe their own lies. They are the only ones ,because we are to smart, to fall for the corrupt, lying, deceiving, crap that they try to sell ! Keep going in the direction, you are headed, & it will be your demise. the more you fools go down this road, the more people will turn to the truth,& to the right.

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