Opinion / Politics

Corporate Media Pundits Dumbfounded as Public Trust in Media Continues Sharp Decline

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott


Last week, a new Gallup poll revealed that public trust in the media has reached a new all-time low, with just 16 percent of respondents saying they “had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers,” and just 11 percent saying they have a high degree of confidence in television news. Yet despite clear signs like this in recent years that the public isn’t buying the biased reporting, misinformation, and outright lies most outlets are selling, the reactions from within the media establishment have ranged from bewilderment to denial, reflecting a widening gulf between the media class and ordinary Americans.

Both the 16 percent and 11 percent figures from the Gallup poll represent a 5 percent drop from the previous year, and the continuation of a sharp decline since 2016 in particular. Both figures have been effectively cut in half since 2017, when 27 percent of respondents said they had confidence in newspapers, while 24 percent said the same about TV news.

This phenomenon has not been lost on those in the media class, particularly as liberal outlets like CNN have seen a marked decline in viewership. For MSNBC’s Katy Tur, the decline in public trust in the media has led her to existential angst. “People don’t trust us. They don’t believe us, and it makes me wonder if this job —as I’m currently doing it— is effective… if it’s doing more harm than good,” she recently said during an appearance on The Hill TV. “I don’t have a good answer for that…. I’m hoping to find a way to better communicate with people.”

To Tur’s credit, her comments suggest a level of introspection that is not shared by many of her colleagues. Take, for example, CNN’s Brian Stelter, who is arguably the most unrepentant and aggressive apologist for the media. His show Reliable Sources is billed as “telling the story behind the story – how news and pop culture get made.” Last year, when another poll found that Americans’ trust in the media was dwindling, he said flatly that he “didn’t believe it,” arguing that polls about the media “don’t really tell us a lot.”

Politico senior media writer Jack Schafer made a similar argument in an op-ed last week entitled “You Trust the Media More Than You Say You Do.” Schafer’s argument, it seems, is that Americans today are just more skeptical and cynical than they used to be about our institutions, while the institutions themselves haven’t actually changed all that much. “Institutions might not have changed as much as the perceptions of them have,” Schafer writes. “The best explanation for the uniform drops might be that we’re living in an age of heightened criticism and scrutiny that leaves no faults or blemishes unnoticed compared to earlier eras.”

Other publications have offered similar speculative defenses, yet almost none have taken a moment to ask themselves if the distrust is warranted. Nearly without exception, their arguments ignore the very real reasons that Americans have to be more skeptical of mainstream news outlets.

Even a cursory glance at just the past few years of media coverage quickly reveals a pattern of bias and misinformation that justifies such skepticism. Perhaps the clearest example was the media’s breathless coverage of the debunked “Trump-Russia collusion” hoax and false reporting on the Steele Dossier, which may now lead to criminal prosecution for those involved. There was also the media’s treatment of Covington Catholic high school student Nick Sandmann, who won defamation lawsuits against both CNN and the Washington Post for slandering him as a racist. During the summer 2020 riots, liberal outlets engaged in a coordinated effort to mask the violent nature of the unrest, perhaps best encapsulated by the now infamous “fiery but mostly peaceful” CNN chyron.

Some of these incidents were so egregious that even some in the normally shameless mainstream press were forced to offer multiple corrections and mea culpas to their viewers and readers. But more often, the response of the media to their lies being exposed has been to either simply continue repeating the lie or ignore the issue altogether.

Nowhere is this clearer than with the “Hunter Biden laptop” scandal. Clearly recognizing that the story had a chance to affect the outcome of the 2020 election, the liberal media – in cahoots with Big Tech and the Democratic establishment – worked overtime to systematically scrub the story from the internet. Only more than a year after Joe Biden was sworn in did outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post finally admit that the story was legitimate – notably failing to offer any explanation for why they summarily dismissed it as “disinformation” in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election. 

Nor does the corporate media seem capable of pulling out of its credibility nosedive. With its solemn coverage of the House Democrats’ Jan 6th hearings featuring only staged testimony and no dissenting witnesses, the media seems not even remotely aware it is only reinforcing much of the public’s view that the Democratic Party leadership and the major media outlets are one and the same entity. The media establishment also does not appear to understand that  encouraging Democratic Party fanaticism is what got House Democrats in their current electoral predicament and so drastically lowered trust in the networks and big newspapers to begin with.

But even these incidents are only a snapshot of the media’s gross dereliction of duty in recent years. Far from fulfilling their obligation to hold those in power accountable, the media have acted as the mouthpiece of those in power, running cover for the Democratic Party and all of their failings. Even today, most in the media have simply rolled over and gone along with the Biden administration’s attempt to redefine what “recession” means in a desperate effort to change the narrative about the economy ahead of the midterms. Until that pattern changes, it’s likely that Americans will simply continue tuning out entirely.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.  

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Allan E Brem
5 months ago

Reactions of the media are just about as fake as they are. They have their audiences and do not deviate.

5 months ago

Logic dictates that if only 11 and 16% answered honestly Bidens chance of winning in 2020 would have been zero.

Larry W
6 months ago

The institutions of higher learning have done a great job in brain washing. Since no alternative points of view are allowed these news people come out of college believing that they ae right and so everyone else has to be wrong. On top of that you have the public schools indoctrination of our children with godless viewpoints so they will go along with the whatever hollywood and the media spin as normal.

6 months ago

I tend to agree with shafer. Not sure why the polling is that low, but somewhere close to half the country still votes dem. Therefore, despite the polls, the treason media is apparently quite effective in maintaining a very large leftist voting block. Lets not kid ourselves that these polls mean the dems are hemorrhaging voters or that dems are abandoning leftism.

Laura Germani
6 months ago

Sounds a lot like gaslighting to me. However, it’s not going to work anymore. The American people are too smart to fall for the media’s propaganda. I don’t bother with the news or newspapers. I get most of my news from conservative radio.

6 months ago
Reply to  Laura Germani

”The American people are too smart….” Hahaha. Then how the hell did we get in this mess? We choose who to believe instead of using our own brains to evaluate what we see. Everything is a popularity contest in our country. AMAC likes to peddle their fair share – Russia attacked uprovoked, Putin is a nut case, ……… I only wish you were Right!!

Michael Lewis
6 months ago

If Special Interests are half as powerful as we the people have been led to believe, we should question who is behind Campaign Finance Reforms?

President Andrew Jackson 7th President 1829-1837
Every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add… artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society–the farmers, mechanics, and laborers–who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. (President Andrew Jackson, veto of national bank bill, July 10, 1832).
Abraham Lincoln 16th President 1861-1865
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the dollar power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” Abraham Lincoln 1809 to 1865

Grover Cleveland 22nd President 1885-1889 24th President 1893-1897
As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters (President Grover Cleveland, 1888, quoted by Hughes, Jonathan, R. T. The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991, p. 112, citing Swisher, Karl Brent, American Constitutional Development, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1954, p. 422).
Reformers are you aware it was a Supreme Court Case, “Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad – 1886, that is credited with giving corporations 1st Amendment Rights.

Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
“It was not until the 1920s that you really get the notion of professional journalists, the way we think about them today,” says Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. “A lot of different schools of journalism started, codes of ethics were developed, the whole notion of the journalist as objective came into play …. of standing outside the story, telling both sides, of being factual rather than opinionated.” 1920s

Woodrow Wilson President 28th President 1913-1921
Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process.” Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, 1907
E.W. Scripps – American Newspaper Publisher 1854-1926
In the words of E.W. Scripps: A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper’s income… The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few…that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote…in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes.
Alexander Edward Carey an Australian writer, author, social psychologist, academic and sociologist. Praised for his work regarding corporate propaganda – 1922-1987
“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”
Reformers are you aware it was the Federal Campaign Act passed by Congress in 1971 that granted Corporations Superior 1st Amendment Rights?
52 U.S. Code § 30101 – Definitions (9)(B) The term “expenditure” does not include— (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; -law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30101

Ben H. Bagdikian – 1920-2016 – an Armenian-American journalist, news media critic and commentator, and university professor.
It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence. – Excerpt from Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian – 1920-2016
In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. In 2011, that same 90% is controlled by 6 companies. Campaign laws are responsible for the corporate voice having more influence in our elections than the voice of natural persons!

Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970
Tip offs, discretion on policy.
Unlined announcements
President Richard M. Nixon initially opposed the passage of the act (as had his
predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson) as being antithetical to the essential practices and character
of free market capitalism.
He reversed himself upon receiving a letter from Richard E. Berlin, CEO of the Hearst chain of
newspapers and magazines. In the 1969 letter, Berlin intimated that failure of the law to pass would
carry political consequencesand hinted that supportfrom Nixon would conversely help the
President and his allies. The Nixon Administration supported the Act’s passage, and in the 1972
Presidential Campaign, every Hearst newspaper endorsed Nixon for reelection.


6 months ago

They live in their own little world and think everyone thinks like them. They have no idea what real people think and what they care about. They don’t get it and they never will.

6 months ago

Rush Limbaugh had a very definitive term for the media; “the drive by media”. They’re like the looky loo’s who hover on the sidelines of a horrible hiway pile up and then invent their own little narratives.
But it’s painfully obvious they’re bought and paid for thugs by the entrenched wannabe dictators like Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell (the worst of these self serving little potentates) who’s a rino, and others.
Years ago the dictators did away with term limits. IE:limiting the damage they could do to this country. With precious few exceptions, they give a rip about upholding the Constitution they swore to uphold and as far as We the People? We’re just the “riff raff” to steal from, lie to and generally run down. If anyone is unsure of the true motives to strip us of our gun rights, just spend a looooong evening on the ATF website perusing the thousands of gun laws already. Don’t forget to do a historical search (say to 1993) of the deliberate and with malice weakening of the now laughable “justice system.” “We gotta get rid of those dad gum guns that can act all by their little selves!!”
There are hopefully, signs that more and more true Patriot’s are stepping up to prepare for “war”. If this nation isn’t taken back by actual American’s soon … use your imagination…or learn Chinese or Russian.

Deb Rockwell
6 months ago

They lie to us. Repeatedly. Get caught lying. Repeatedly. Then wonder why we don’t trust them. Hmmm. I say let these fools crash and burn.

6 months ago
Reply to  Deb Rockwell

I am skeptical they actually “wonder why we don’t trust them”. The de facto mainstream media thought leaders (the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc.) are on record admitting to consciously not reporting “news” but rather being advocates for what they deem their social agenda, which aligns with and supports the far left-wing radicals that now run the formerly liberal Democrat party. The left-coast “journalism” schools are teaching the same, and many local newspapers in large- and mid-sized markets follow the lead.

The media’s problem since the time of Walter Cronkite (IMO, the father of liberal media spin) is to pretend to be “real news”—plain and simple. So, until some big change, like people stop watching the national network trash, the media will continue to bombard us with hourly “breaking news” crises, fake news stories to support their agenda, and mass censorship and omission of real news that exposes the crimes and conspiracies of their Democrat benefactors.

I mean, we all know by now that every day the major network news and talk shows, and the late night talk shows all receive their talking points memo from the DNC, Democrat congress members and the White House.

Kim L.
6 months ago

In 1839, Edward Bulwer-Lytton said “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Tragic what’s going on in our media today.

6 months ago

Back about 1974 or 75 some of us noticed (counting myself, I am aware of 3 people) that the ‘media’ simply, and completely, stopped reporting news. Every form of media simply began ‘opinionating’ in place of reporting.
I haven’t paid for a newspaper or magazine since.
Since the time of the muslim Communist, the media hasn’t even pretended to be ‘media’. They became biased front men for the evil people among us us. AKA the demonRat Communist Party.
Media committed suicide in 2008.
Shut them all down by fining them out of existence for their lies. That includes ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

6 months ago
Reply to  Becky

All true. I think it started in the 1960’s with Walter Cronkite leading the way, who IMO is the father of fake liberal media spin. This really ramped up during the ’70s when they had to deal with very bad Congressional policy, the Nixon attacks and then, the disastrous Carter administration.

6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes yes yes. Cronkite announced after Tet that no way we could win that war even tho our troops had bled the n vietnamese white. I’ve read that around that time the dem establishment decided to dump johnson along with the vietnam war, and why not? Their goal is to weaken the country and the fiasco in vietnam accomplished that more than anything else before or since. They closed the deal when they took congress after watergate and reneged on our promise to resupply the south. This guaranteed the deaths and maimings were in vain. This eroded the patriotism of the boomer gen and set the table for the millennial gen who are quite comfy with socialism and electing someone who swore to fundamentally change this country but didnt say how or why.

6 months ago

I kinda look at the media and their coharts such as the current Democratic party as a used car salesman. They’ll tell you ANYTHING and even CHEAT ta get that sale. Once that car’s down payment is made and it’s off the lot, your SOL about any complaints. They won’t take it back and they’er sure the hell ain’t gonna fix it cause it’s yours now.

Philip Hammersley
6 months ago

Media “whores” listen only to one another. They have NO idea what the common people (“deplorables”) think nor do they care! Morning Joke, Rachel Madcow, Don Lemonhead, etc really think they are better than we plebes are!

anna hubert
6 months ago

They are trained monkeys performing accordingly to trainer’s instructions on their own they’d be lost ability to think independently is nor there

John D. Beach
6 months ago

There is a serious, dangerous and injurious lack of intellectual honesty, curiosity and forthright objectivity on the part of most of the mainstream media. They are blinded by partisan-political perspective, prejudice and discrimination with respect to truth and provable fact and are playing a game of partisan advantage, whether for economic reasons or personal, belief system. This adversely affects the concept of equal justice before the law and, more importantly, equal obedience to it. This attitude has, negatively, impacted the education systems of the country and the influence and consequences of it will be difficult to correct. The importance of freedom of the press to tell the truth and report the facts has been undermined by political affiliation and economic pressure or blackmail, censorship and a malevolent use of power to deny freedom of speech.

Kevin S
6 months ago

I wonder the percentage of people who believe MSM are the same who “graduated” K-12 but still can’t READ!

David Millikan
6 months ago

Like DICTATOR Beijing biden testing positive for CHINA VIRUS and then miraculously in 5 days he test negative.
NOBODY on the planet gets well 5 days later.
That was so DICTATOR Beijing biden could extend his emergency pandemic LIE to MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER EVERYBODY.
LIE after LIE is policy.

Philip Hammersley
6 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Notice that Nasty Nancy must cancel her trip to Taiwan because she now has the virus. SURE!

Sharon Ormsby
6 months ago

Does she? Since we suspect she’s an alcoholic, that weakens her system…hmmm, excellent news.

Sharon Ormsby
6 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

My daughter did. This later virus isn’t virulent at all. However, he was treated with that drug that rebounds, so I expect him to test positive again. My daughter was treated with IV’s of lactated ringers and hefty vitamins, because she’s allergic to the COVID vaccine in general. It reduced it to a sinus infection, which was then treatable for her. She was well, then.

Sharon Ormsby
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Ormsby

She not he…dang typing….

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