News and Commentary

The Media Is NOT Going To Like This Poll

A new YouGov poll on trust in the media spelled more bad news for the old guard establishment news organizations, which once were considered the incorruptible beacons of the truth but are now regarded with widespread skepticism on both sides of the aisle.

YouGov found that a total of 70% of Americans agree that news organizations report in a biased manner, a view held by majorities in both political parties, though Republicans were far more skeptical than Democrats.

YouGov’s poll, published on June 20, found that an overwhelming number of Republicans (85%) agree that “news organizations tend to provide only one side of the story depending on who owns them or funds them,” while a majority of Democrats (52%) felt the same.

Just 21% of the general population disagreed with the statement, including 14% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats. Chart below via YouGov:

The polling group found a similar difference between the two political sides in response to a related question: “Do you trust news organizations that have a reputation for objectivity proven by track record?”

Democrats were more likely to say they trusted news providers with strong track records than Republicans. While about two-thirds (67%) of the general public agreed, 83% of Democrats agreed and 58% of Republicans agreed. 24% of the general population disagreed, as did 10% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans.

The clear takeaway from both questions is that Republicans have grown more distrustful of news organizations in general, including those that have been traditionally regarded as reliable sources of information. YouGov’s chart of the results below:

YouGov’s poll falls in line with trends other polling groups, like Gallup, have been tracking over the last few years: the American public continues to lose more confidence in the Fourth Estate. In one especially galling poll for the national media conducted soon after Donald Trump was inaugurated, Emerson College found that just 39% of American voters trusted the media while 53% considered it untruthful. That same poll found trust in the Trump administration higher: 49% of voters found it honest; 48% found it dishonest. Ouch.

The real question here is why do so many Americans distrust the media? And why do Republicans tend to be far more skeptical of news organizations than those on the Left? The last year has made the answer to both questions glaringly obvious: because the media — particularly those establishment organizations that boast “good reputations” and “proven track records” — have exposed themselves as overtly biased, and largely in favor of leftist ideology and the Democratic Party. It has simply become impossible to ignore — not just for those on the Right, but even for a majority of those who vote Democrat, as YouGov found.

For a recent example of this bias at work, check out this comparison of media coverage of the shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords.