And their popularity is dropping below that of Congress
Members of the main street media are angered by GOP candidate Donald J. Trump’s accusations the press is unfairly attacking him. He accuses them of being untrustworthy and unfairly protecting his political opponent, Hillary Clinton. The press, in turn, deeply resents his bombastic style of addressing them. They prefer candidates cow-towing to them as opposed to confronting them. When it became apparent the press wouldn’t give Trump a fair shake, he wasn’t afraid to take them head on. At one of Trump’s press conferences, where he took the press to task, one affronted journalist asked, “Is this how your press conferences are going to be from now on?”
To which Trump answered back defiantly, “Yes.”
This did not sit well with the press. Then again, Mr. Trump is a political outsider and businessman who does not accept the status quo. He would likely pull his punches if the press had any credibility with the public, but Trump knows they do not, and there is clear evidence to this effect.
Last year in a Gallup poll, “Americans’ Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low” (Sep 28, 2015), they reported four in ten Americans say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly, but a whopping 60% said they do not. This ties the historical lows set in 2014 and 2012. Interestingly, prior to 2004, slight majorities of Americans said they trusted the mass media, such as newspapers, TV and radio.
In a more recent report from the Associated Press (Apr 17, 2016), they claimed, “just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.”
This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The report also states, “Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media.”
If this is true, it should set off warning alarms in the media that their vocation faces possible extinction. If the public does not trust the press to offer fair and accurate news, they will go elsewhere to find the truth, such as scanning the Internet or turning to social media. People may laugh and say, “How can anyone trust the news as reported on social media?”, but if they do not trust the main street media, why not? From this, we can conclude, the more people rely on social media, the less they trust the press.
Members of the media will likely discard such notions out of hand, but they obviously do not want to accept the fact their popularity is in sharp decline, something Donald Trump and his followers are fully cognizant of.
Trump is probably more knowledgeable about the foibles and weaknesses of the press than they are of him. For example, Trump realizes his words are under a microscope with the press. Knowing this, he figures he has nothing to lose and blasts the media every chance he gets.
The press likes to claim Trump is his own worst enemy, but then again, the same can be said about the press as well. As long as the main street media’s attacks on politicians remains unfair and visceral, the popularity of the press will continue to drop below that of Congress, making politicians and journalists two of the most despised occupations in this country.
Now, about those pesky lobbyists…
Keep the Faith!