Depending on which network you choose to watch, this may or may not be news to you. If you’re a conservative, you’re probably nodding your head because you already know that Fox News, while dominating the ratings, has consistently reliable reporting, much to the dismay of its competitors. If you’re a liberal, I’m sorry, but this is probably a terrible shock. With stories of media bias always in the headlines, much of it directed at Fox, it’s time to take an honest look at who exactly the American people trust to report the news.
According the poll by Suffolk University, Fox was the most trusted news source by 23% of respondents. The second most trusted was CNN at 15%, while NBC placed a distant third at 10%. Only 5% of viewers found MSNBC to be the most trustworthy. The only sources to perform worse were Comedy Central and C-SPAN. Yes, even Jon Stewart’s final hit pieces were more virtuous than whatever tirade Rachel Maddow is on right now. Looks like MSNBC’s reliability has caught up with its ratings in the race to the bottom.
It’s old news by now that Fox has swept the competition in ratings for years. And how a network’s “trust” is measured probably goes hand-in-hand with the number of viewers. Fox was certainly bolstered by the August 6 GOP presidential debate, which shattered the record for a cable news program. However, it’s worth noting that Fox is also the most trusted among political independents. Bias is everywhere and nearly impossible to eradicate, but all the evidence suggests that Fox has done a decent job at providing some balance across ideological lines.
As the summer of Trump fades into fall and we are just a couple months away from the first primaries, voters will choose the networks they trust to receive fair coverage of the candidates. I have a pretty good idea where they’ll be tuning in.