These new findings should surprise…well, no one.
Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993.
The findings are from Gallup's annual update on confidence in U.S. institutions, conducted June 7-10 this year. As such, the findings preceded the erroneous initial reports by cable-news networks CNN and Fox News regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's June 28 decision about the constitutionality of the U.S. healthcare law.
Among 16 U.S. institutions tested, television news ranks 11th, following newspapers in 10th place. The 25% of adults who express a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers is down slightly from 28% last year. Confidence in newspapers is now half of what it was at its peak of 51% in 1979.
At least the false reporting during SCOTUS’ Obamacare ruling -- as mentioned above -- was an honest mistake. Earlier tonight, for example, I tuned into one of the major television networks (can you guess which one?) and watched the so-called “pundits” drone on about the new Washington Post/ABC News poll showing Governor Romney and President Obama locked in a dead heat. Incredibly, what these “experts” failed to mention, of course, was that the survey was so deeply skewed and biased it didn’t even come close to accurately reflecting public opinion. Now, in fairness, I’m sure there isn’t a single television network in America above partisanship (just ask liberal Democrats), but that doesn’t necessarily disprove my point. (Oh, and before I forget, it certainly doesn’t excuse the fact Al Sharpton and Andrea Mitchell were both caught -- fairly recently, I might add -- selectively editing tapes to further MSNBC’s political agenda). Basically, my friends, the point is Americans should distrust television media -- after all, there's a reason why fact checkers and citizen journalists are now ubiquitous.