The number of Americans who have lost all confidence in U.S. news media has reached a record high, according to a new poll out Thursday.
A poll from Gallup examining American trust in mass media found 39 percent have “none at all,” marking an all-time high since 1972 when the pollster first asked the question. Another 29 percent said they have “not very much trust” in media, which matches 2016 levels. Only about 3 in 10 respondents reported any real confidence, with 32 percent saying they still have “a great deal” or even just a “fair amount” of trust in American media. Trust in the news media peaked in the mid-1970s.
While Democrats have historically demonstrated far more trust in the media than Republicans, even Democrats have begun to lose confidence.
“The latest gap of 47 points is the narrowest since 2016,” the pollster reported. “Democrats’ trust in the media has fallen 12 points over the past year, to 58 percent, and compares with 11 percent among Republicans and 29 percent among independents.”
From being lied to about Brett Kavanaugh’s fabricated history as a serial gang rapist to Donald Trump’s apparent secret status as a Russian agent, Americans have even more reasons to be skeptical of the corporate press after 2016. This week’s coverage of an explosion in Gaza only did more to erode confidence in American news outlets.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press and The New York Times published Hamas propaganda, claiming Israel fired a rocket at a Palestinian hospital and killed at least 500 civilians. Audio and visual evidence presented by Israel, however, shows the blast occurred in a parking lot and came from a Hamas rocket that misfired. The Israeli claims were later corroborated by American intelligence. The European Union and U.S. intelligence put the true death toll at “dozens,” not hundreds.
The New York Times later tried to justify the way it uncritically regurgitated talking points from Hamas terrorists. “It takes time to independently verify the claims from all sides,” the paper said on Wednesday.
By that point, however, the damage had been done. News that an Israeli airstrike had apparently caused a mass casualty event set off protests at U.S. and Israeli embassies across the Arab world.
“Incredibly, the media are still ‘both sides-ing’ the false reports about the hospital bombing that wasn’t,” wrote Federalist Editor Mark Hemingway on Thursday.
Earlier today, ABC News reported that ‘Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib refused to apologize Wednesday for saying Tuesday that Israel is to blame for the hospital explosion that day in Gaza, an accusation that sparked political backlash against Tlaib from Republicans as Israel denies fault.’ In the media’s telling, the problem is not that Tlaib is knowingly repeating false accusations that are being used to justify violence; the real story here is how there’s a Republican backlash?
Gallup interviewed more than 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older over the telephone from Sept. 1-23 with a 4 percentage point margin of error.