By Steve McCann
Source: Steve McCann
A recent landmark poll of 20,000 citizens undertaken by the Knight Foundation and Gallup found that Americans’ hope for and trust in an objective media is all but lost. They see not only an ever-growing partisanship in news reporting but a determination by the mainstream media to push a political agenda instead of honestly disseminating the news. While generic faith in the media has been gradually declining over recent decades, the precipitous drop in trust and questions about what motivates the mainstream media can be traced to June 2015 and Donald Trump’s entry into the presidential sweepstakes.
This latest Gallup poll is the most devastating indictment of the media in polling history. Some highlights:
84% of surveyed Americans lay either a moderate or a great deal of the blame for today’s partisan hostility at the feet of the media.
Further, 82% believe news outlets are either deliberately “misrepresenting the facts” or are “making them up entirely”.
This is further amplified as 79% of those surveyed say media outlets are trying to persuade people to adopt a certain opinion about an issue or an individual.
Similarly, while the respondents in the poll believe that the media is “critical” or “very important” to democracy, 86% say they have witnessed either a fair amount or a great deal of bias in news reporting. Damningly, 78% feel that this bias is reflected in the spread of fake news which “is a major” problem” that exceeds all other in the mainstream media environment. [emphases added]
By contrast, in 2007 62% of respondents in a Pew Research poll claimed to have witnessed either a fair amount or a great deal of bias in news reporting; in another Pew Research poll in 2012, that result increased slightly to 67% as compared to 86% today. How did the mainstream media sink to this abysmal level of distrust and disdain?
Donald Trump’s entry into the presidential field in 2015 was a godsend to the mainstream media that had been hemorrhaging red ink for many years. The denizens of the mainstream media hierarchies knew that unremitting coverage of Trump, a global celebrity, would dramatically increase viewership, clicks on the internet and newspaper readership and thus their bottom line. Since they were certain Trump had little chance of winning the Republican nomination and his foray into politics was, in all likelihood, a publicity stunt, they thought there was no downside. Moreover, virtually everyone in the mainstream media, from those in the executive suites to recently hired rookie reporters, were convinced it was a near certainty that Hillary Clinton would be the next president regardless of the overwhelming volume of attention paid to Trump.
Thanks to the self-serving Trump obsession of the mainstream media, over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign he received the estimated equivalent of 5.6 Billion dollars in free earned attention in all venues of the media. More than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio combined. In last 12 months of the campaign the future president received $3.4 Billion in free earned broadcast and online news attention; Hillary Clinton: $2.1 Billion. A difference in coverage which undoubtedly played a major role in his unexpected victory.
Additionally, Donald Trump, during the campaign, continuously pointed out the left-wing bias and misreporting in the mainstream media and popularized a phrase that is now part of the American lexicon: fake news. With ridicule and mockery, he succeeded in making the media a potent campaign issue and a focal point of voter resentment. While the vast majority of those in the mainstream media seethed at this disparagement, they, certain in the final outcome of the election, continued their unrestrained reporting and coverage of his every movement and utterance as their ratings and readership went through the roof.
No entity in the United States was more devastatingly affected by the 9.0 magnitude political earthquake that took place on November 8, 2016 than the mainstream media. Not only had they contributed mightily to the election of Donald Trump, a man they loathed, but they had willingly allowed him to make them the target of national derision and contempt.
After the election, the anger and single-minded determination of the mainstream media to seek revenge and prove they could still remove or destroy a President was palpable.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in their most recent National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Report claims 44,100 are currently employed as news analysts, reporters and journalists. Yet, among the vast majority there is virtually no diversity of thought or political philosophy, as they associate among themselves to the exclusion of the rest of the populace, live in urban bubbles of like-minded and similarly educated elites, and view themselves as superior to the rabble in the rest of America. Thus, they inevitably are susceptible to a herd mentality when it comes to shaping and theoretically reporting the news as the groupthink mandates.
Since November 9, 2016, the groupthink has mandated that Donald Trump must be destroyed regardless of the fallout or potential destruction of trust and reliance in the mainstream media. While pursuing that desired outcome, the public over the past 45 months has, as the current polls reveal, become increasingly aware of the tactics and dishonesty of the mainstream media.
The electorate has been privy to innumerable “fake news” stories about Trump, his family as well as his Administration, which continue to this day after virtually hundreds of stories over the past three-plus years have been disproven. It is now an unquestioned fact that the mainstream media, throwing away any pretense of objectivity, has overtly and unabashedly allied itself with the Democrat party and its dominant wing, the radical Marxists/socialists. It is common knowledge that the media will not honestly report on or criticize avowed militant Marxist organizations Antifa or Black Lives Matter and their penchant for violence and determination to incite a societal upheaval. It is also becoming evident to an increasingly larger swath of the citizenry that the mainstream media is determined to deliberately foment unfounded fear and anxiety about the coronavirus epidemic.
However, in what is the most egregious example of media malpractice in American history, the mainstream media was and continues to be complicit in, as well as co-conspirators with, the Obama Administration in the greatest scandal in American history — the Russian collusion hoax. This is a reality that an increasing number of Americans are becoming acutely aware of thanks to Attorney General Bill Barr.
Thus, more Americans on a daily basis have come to the conclusion that this credulous gaggle of mind-numbed robots are deliberately avoiding any honest reporting on any issue in order to further their political and retribution agenda.
The mainstream media’s obsession with revenge and proving they can destroy a presidency has brought them to the edge of the precipice and the point of no return as the devastating findings in the recent Gallup poll confirms. Particularly as these are the unvarnished opinions of an overwhelming majority of the American citizenry regardless of political affiliation.
John Sands, Director of Learning and Impact at the Knight Foundation commenting on this poll said:
We’re starting to see more retrenchment among those who have already expressed deep concerns. Moving the dial on these attitudes becomes more and more difficult for media organizations.
In other words, it will be nearly impossible for the mainstream media to ever recapture the faith and trust of the American people.
The mainstream media, in their determination to exploit Donald Trump’s notoriety and subsequent quixotic quest to destroy him, has achieved an unprecedented negative trifecta. Due to an insatiable need for ratings, the mainstream media was a major in-kind contributor to someone they loathed winning the presidency. This same motivation precipitated their willingness to became the butt of ridicule and mockery on the national stage they provided. And now they have forever lost the trust of the American people.