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article imagePoll: Record number of Americans distrust mass media

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By Larry Clifton     Sep 22, 2012 in Politics
Mainstream media moguls in the U.S. might want to put away their White House talking points for a moment and listen up. The American people do not trust you in record numbers.
A Gallup poll confirmed what, apparently, most of us already knew. More Americans, about three fifths, or 60% of us, “have little or no faith” in the “accuracy” of your reports, nor the “fairness” of your perspective.
Meanwhile, the survey showed a minority of 40% still trust mainstream media.
The mistrust in mainstream media is growing. For instance, in 2011, a majority of 55% of Americans mistrusted mainstream or mass media, showing a five point increase in distrust this year.
Even more troubling for media outlets during the heat of the 2012 presidential election is that the divide is politically polarized with most Democrats trusting the press while a large majority of Independents and Republicans do not trust mass media.
A majority or 58% of Democrats trust the press compared with 26% of Republicans and 31% of independents. In total, more Democrats trust the mainstream media than Republicans and Independents combined.
Interestingly, more Republicans say they pay attention to the news than Democrats – 48% to 39% respectively. The survey showed 31% of Independents follow the news “very closely.” The survey shows that Republicans and Independents especially do not trust mainstream media’s presentation of “political news.”
The Gallup poll of 1,017 adults was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Meanwhile, many analysts say the mainstream media is trying to shape the 2012 elections by running far more negative stories against Mitt Romney than Barack Obama.
During an election that could be won by less than two points, many Americans are increasingly troubled by what they perceive as a left-leaning heavy-handed political agenda they say has become cultural in mass media.
Perhaps the clearest decline in trust for mainstream media came In 2004, near the end of a presidential election, when world famous mainstream media icon Dan Rather ended his career with CBS when he allegedly used forged documents to attack a Republican presidential candidate.
Rather, a long-time news anchor for CBS, retired in relative shame after being accused of using forged documents to go after former president George W. Bush over his service as a fighter pilot in the Air Force reserves.
Rather became a face for liberal bias in media coverage, and mainstream media continues to perpetuate that perspective according to the latest Gallup poll.
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