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Americans’ Confidence In Journalism Continues To Decline

A new Gallup Poll says that Americans’ confidence in television news has declined to its lowest level ever:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

Here’s the chart for television news:

And here’s the chart for newspapers:

As Gallup points out these numbers coincide with other poll results that show that Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country in general and, indeed, other polls have shown that large segments in the country believe that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and has changed for the worse over the past three to four years. The poll also shows that the decline in confidence occurred across pretty much all demographic and ideological groups, with self-identified liberals seemingly losing more confidence in the news media than conservatives or moderates, although the actual differences among the three are really rather marginal. So, this isn’t a rebellion against the media for being too “liberal” or too “conservative,” it’s a rebellion against the media per se.

So, what we’re liking looking at here is a reflection of the general decline in confidence in American institutions, public and private, in general rather than something specific to the media. Additionally, there’s no question that the news media itself has become more obsessed with sensationalism and scandal than with actual journalism and, while that may draw eyeballs, it hardly does anything to increase public confidence in the quality of the information that they’re getting from these so-called “journalists.” Factor into this the fact that, on cable, the line between “news” and political advocacy, on both the left and the right, is essentially non-existent, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for people to say “the hell with all of them” and switch over to ESPN.

The exit question, though, is with Americans losing confidence in so many institutions, what are the odds that it will ever return?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Even Zombieland is going to lose confidence in “fake but accurate” reporting. The public is dumb. But they’re not that dumb.

    Look, journalism is a farce. Has been for decades. No real screening mechanisms. No licensing requirements. No standardized testing requirements. No MCE requirements. Nothing. All you need to be a journalist are two hands and a mouth. Sometimes they even get to write and speak with them, if you catch my drift. Then what takes it from the absurd to the truly absurd is that nearly all the significant media outlets are part of major, publicly-traded corporations. Journalists today are fungible revenue units. That’s it. Nothing more. Their job is to bring in eyeballs. Show some more T&A and you’ll do very well. Scream louder and you’ll get a bigger contract. The final layer of absurdity is that such a monumental percentage of these dolts are partisan liberal Democrats with agendas.

    Going forward journalism is not going to get better. It will get far worse. They’re not going to get any smarter, their political biases are not going to abate, but their desires and needs for ratings only will get more and more craven. Bad combinations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  2. @Tsar Nicholas:

    That comment was bad enough to drag down not just itself, not just this article, but the medium itself.

    Good lord. Newspapers write out facts. With a little critical reading you can identify those facts, as well as what might be missing from the story. It’s on you.

    Or, you could go off to the blogs to where facts to keep their head above water …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  3. @this:

    I should finish my coffee …

    Or, you could go off to the blogs, where facts fight daily to keep their head above water …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  4. Herb says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: What is this “Zombieland” you keep talking about? It’s just….bizarre.

    Also, this:

    “Look, journalism is a farce. Has been for decades. No real screening mechanisms. No licensing requirements. No standardized testing requirements. No MCE requirements.”

    I don’t see how any of these things will help and some are just ridiculous. A licensed journalist? There’s a guy who won’t get to the bottom of nearly any government scandal.

    Besides, if the problem with journalists is that they give the public what they want, well….then I’d say the problem isn’t with journalists at all.

    I also find it curious that we complain endlessly about journalists and journalistic enterprises, and yet….we still watch the news, still read the newspaper, still visit our favorite news websites. We’re not all getting tape recorders and steno notebooks, pounding the shoe leather, making the calls. For most of us, especially the loudest complainers, we’re content to leave that work to the journalists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  5. reid says:

    My mother (76 years old) has been saying occasional wingnut-oriented things lately. Your basic shallow right-wing talking points, such as Obama’s indecisive and in over his head. I finally had to ask, and yes, she has been watching Fox news and even Beck and Limbaugh. I almost cried. My own mother….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  6. John D'Geek says:

    @Herb:

    and yet….we still watch the news, still read the newspaper, still visit our favorite news websites.

    One out of three’s not bad? I gave up Cable — the entire thing, not just “news” — a couple of years ago. Once in a blue moon I go to CNN, but other than here & Business Insider (which, sometimes, qualifies as “news”) I don’t even go to web sites that much for news.

    Once you leave the hard sciences, “facts” turn out to be pretty pliable. Won’t read the APA’s “research” anymore, for instance, because I know how politically biased it typically is. They should know as well (they are psychologists, after all) … but they don’t care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. @John D’Geek:

    Once you leave the hard sciences, “facts” turn out to be pretty pliable.

    I’d use a different word than “pliable.” GDP is exactly what it is. U6 Unemployment is exactly what it is.

    … we just need some self-restraint in interpreting them, remembering what they aren’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Even Zombieland is going to lose confidence in “fake but accurate” reporting. The public is dumb. But they’re not that dumb.

    Speaking of “Zombieland” and the loss of confidence in Journalism, I believe that this year will mark the 16th anniversary of FoxNews. Let the decline continue unabated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  9. george says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Even Zombieland is going to lose confidence in “fake but accurate” reporting. The public is dumb. But they’re not that dumb.

    It’s odd, but as a number of people have observed at various times, people who think the general public is dumb – using terms like “Zombieland” or “Sheeple”, tend to have a high opinion of themselves with little to back it. In fact, I’d argue that the majority of people who consider themselves exceptionally smart tend not to be … my observation from speaking with a number of extremely successful engineers, scientists, and businessmen, all of which seem to be quite humble, and attribute their success to hard work rather than extra intelligence (remember Einstein’s quote about perspiration versus inspiration?).

    It’s kind of hard to take anything you say seriously after that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  10. C. Clavin says:

    Tsar wants increased regulation??? WTF???

    Anyway…and I say this as someone who spent 15 years in Broadcast Journalism …we don’t do Journalism. We do stenography. Could the Death Panel lie flourish in a country with real Journalism? Could the WMD in Iraq lie flourish in a country with real Journalism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    Good lord. Newspapers write out facts. With a little critical reading you can identify those facts, as well as what might be missing from the story. It’s on you.

    Sometimes I pick up the newspaper and read a story focused on my particular area of expertise (telecommunications) and go, “Man, this reporter doesn’t have half a clue WTF he’s talking about.” Then I turn the page and there’s a story focused on an area in which I’m basically a layman.

    Now why should I have any confidence the reporter who wrote the second story is any more accurate than the reporter who wrote the first? Isn’t it just as likely he also lacks half a clue?

    There are some good mitigations for this, though. Much of the time a big-city paper will have reporters who are dedicated to specific areas and have gained significant expertise themselves.

    But situations like I described have really eroded my confidence in what I see in the media, and while I understand it’s “on me,” it is often difficult to find the time to do my own digging.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. JKB says:

    Wait, you can’t produce shoddy work, demand high pay for poor work and give everything an obvious bias without losing your customer’s confidence? It’s not like this lesson couldn’t have been learned from the UAW in the 1970s.

    Oh well, I guess “journalists” will have to work hard, provide well researched work with bipartisan objectivity again to get people to trust their work. There will still be work for the shoddy journalists, the NY Times will hire a few, here and there, 60 Minutes as well.

    They could have gotten away with it if it weren’t for the meddling bloggers. Scooby snack?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. Pardon the threadjack…

    Now this is chutzpah:

    http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/212306/158/Pepco–BGE-Allowed-To-Bill-Customers-For-Lost-Outage-Revenue-

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Racehorse says:

    Anytime that you buy a newspaper, you are buying an antique.
    Does anyone have famous newspapers from the past with the huge headlines?
    I still have some editions of Elvis Presley’s death. I remember people were pulling those out of the boxes by the armful, really hard to get. My parents had several days coverage of Kennedy’s assassination, but I don’t know what happened to them. I used to have a set of famous headlines from the NY Times that they used to sell.
    The days of printed newspapers are just about over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. @Mikey:

    I think we have to suspect “soft” articles. One example does not a trend make. I don’t know if you saw it, but there was “health care guy” who was interviewed again and again about his small business response to ACA. Joe Olivo, “typical small business owner” was on Fox News, and NBC, and NPR. Turns out he’s a conservative activist. Go figure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  16. John D'Geek says:

    @john personna:

    “Aye, but there’s the rub!”. What do these data points mean without interpretation? Nothing.

    The “objective” vs. “subjective” becomes … difficult even then. You can measure GDP and pronounce the number; but how you measure it becomes an issue. What is a “product”? We’re already a little subjective, and we haven’t bothered interpreting the number. There are debates on that issue alone among Economics wonks (not that I really understand the debate).

    In mathematics, an imaginary number is an imaginary number. In Political Science … not so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Mikey says:

    @john personna: There’s a term for the experience I described, which I can’t find at the moment. Basically people are very critically-aware when reading articles in their areas of expertise, but tend to accept at face value the rest of what’s printed. Personally, I’m not going to cancel my subscription, I just understand it means “take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt.”

    I wish I had a dollar for every example of a “typical such-and-such” who’s actually pushing an agenda. That happens on both sides.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. John D'Geek says:

    @george:

    Sorry, can’t resist the quote:

    “Agent J: People are smart, they’ll understand.”
    “Agent K: No, a person is smart. People are dumb, panicky creatures …”

    (Pretty sure I’ve got the agent’s names right, but it’s been a while).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. anjin-san says:

    What is this “Zombieland”

    Remember that kid you knew in the 8th grade, who endlessly repeated a line he was sure was brilliantly clever even though no one else did?

    Tsar was that kid…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  20. @John D’Geek:

    It’s easier than ever to divert for a definition. We don’t have to ask “does anyone know what U6 Unemployment is?”

    I don’t think it’s time to punt on that kind of personal responsibility. I mean, this is the stuff League of Women Voters back when you had to get in your car and drive ..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. anjin-san says:

    Wait, you can’t produce shoddy work, demand high pay for poor work and give everything an obvious bias without losing your customer’s confidence? It’s not like this lesson couldn’t have been learned from the UAW in the 1970s.

    Or the financial services industry much more recently. But I guess it’s worth going back 40 years if it will help you confirm your bias…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  22. wr says:

    @Herb: ” What is this “Zombieland” you keep talking about?”

    Apparently, he accidentally tuned into The Walking Dead and assumed it was a news show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Herb says:

    @wr:

    “Apparently, he accidentally tuned into The Walking Dead and assumed it was a news show.”

    You mean it’s not?

    In all seriousness, Tsar’s insistence on using this phrase –whether he realizes it or not– hints at the bubble he’s in. He knows what it means. Everyone inside the bubble does too. But outside looking in, “Zombieland” is a Woody Harrelson movie with an ingenious Bill Murray cameo and nothing more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. jan says:

    @John D’Geek:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Always refreshing to read your comments. They stand out from the crowd pleasers here.
    Also, ‘Zombieland’ is a current and apropos description of MSM journalists and their, more often than not, scripted, dull talking point type of news. What a lot of the polling is indicating is that the public at large is not very impressed with the MSM, the Congress, many of the policies that have been enacted under this administration, the economy, the POTUS, politicians (in general). Apparently the ‘change’ isn’t working, and they want yet another ‘change.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  25. Wayne says:

    Re “ Newspapers write out facts”
    HA ha ha that is a good one.

    Part of the deal with the MSM is it has been caught not only not telling the truth but in fabricating facts. Also the internet has been useful in people not having to take a reporter word for it. People can now research opposing views and it is a good research tool. Yes there is plenty of false information out there to.

    Not all that long ago when a reporter stated a study said this or that, there was no way a verifying it. Now you can pull up other excerpts from the study and sometimes the study in its entirety. I for one would like to see more studies posted in their entirety on the web. You also have more media to check on other media accuracy.

    In the old days, if a reporter made a misstatement like that Zimmerman had no injuries, it would have gone uncheck and believe to be fact. Now it is different. Now how serious the injuries were is subjective. As I argue in the past, people have often claim subjective opinions as objective facts.

    There was a “big” fire downtown is subjective because of the word “big”. There was a fire downtown would be objective. Unfortunately, many people even intelligent ones can’t distinguish between the two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. @jan:

    Guess what? That fails the critical reading. It has neither concrete facts nor progression from principals of philosophy. It is only (again) “I like what I like, and I don’t like what I don’t like.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. @Wayne:

    I’ve given examples of facts above, with GDP and U6, and distinguished those from “One example does not a trend make.” One is measurement, one is a story.

    I think what you are telling me is that you cannot see the difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. @Wayne:

    In the old days, if a reporter made a misstatement like that Zimmerman had no injuries, it would have gone uncheck and believe to be fact. Now it is different. Now how serious the injuries were is subjective. As I argue in the past, people have often claim subjective opinions as objective facts.

    You mean, back in the good old William Randolph Hearst days?

    Or do you mean later, when government created the Fairness Doctrine?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. EddieInCA says:

    Here’s the problem with modern journalism in a nutshell (and that goes for OTB as well):

    CNN

    Wolf Blitzer: Today, the GOP released a statement stating that 2+2=5. Immediately, the Democrats and Mathematicians disagreed. Shortly, we’ll speak to a panel to get their take on this newest controversy and how it will affect this years Presidential Election.”

    There are two parties. Two Major Parties. One of them can’t win a national election without cheating (voter supression), lying about everything (see Romney, Mitt), or conspiracies (see, Trump, Donald J). The media has created a sense of false equivalence that cheapens the truth, and refuses to call a lie a lie.

    2+2=4.
    The Earth is getting warmer.
    Man has been on the earth longer than 6000 years.
    Alternative Fuels is not a four letter word.
    Lower Taxes do NOT spur economic growth. The facts prove that.
    The GOP, as currently constructed, is insane.

    And people like James and Doug defend the insanity constantly by claiming false equivalencies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  30. @EddieInCA:

    Well, I’m sure someone is claiming 2+2=3 even now! Both sides do it 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. anjin-san says:

    Part of the deal with the MSM is it has been caught not only not telling the truth but in fabricating facts.

    I am pretty sure that is part of the deal with the entire human race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  32. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “Also, ‘Zombieland’ is a current and apropos description of MSM journalists and their, more often than not, scripted, dull talking point type of news.”

    Thanks for the clarification, although I’m confused about something.

    The term “MSM” wasn’t dismissive enough? I mean, that means “Mainstream Media,” which used to be a shorthand term for the professional media back when bloggers wore pajamas and were more hobbyist amateurs than legitimate media sources. (That’s all changed of course.)

    But then MSM became shorthand for “non-right wing media.” And yes, that’s how most people use it. After all, Rush Limbaugh is more “mainstream” than Air America ever was and, if Neilsen ratings are to be believed, Fox News is more “mainstream” than MSNBC.

    But alas, the term MSM is as meaningless as Zombieland. It conveys one thing: “I don’t like that.” Big deal…..you don’t like something. Welcome to the world.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Tsar Nick is referring to the media when he talks about Zombieland. I think it’s just his clever way of dismissing with the wave of a hand the views of folks who don’t agree with him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. anjin-san says:

    I think it’s just his clever way of dismissing with the wave of a hand the views of folks who don’t agree with him.

    It strikes me as the sort of attitude a clever 17 year old might have – fancying himself to be the sighted man in the land of the blind. Some clever boys grow up and realize that it takes more than a bit of cleverness to succeed in life. Some don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. Dave E. says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Actually, it might be on topic. But first, where’s the chutzpah? As the article notes:

    …the billings would amount to a tiny portion of the utilities’ revenues and are intended to offset storm losses.

    The Maryland Public Service Commission allows it, so what’s the problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. John D'Geek says:

    @john personna:

    It’s easier than ever to divert for a definition. We don’t have to ask “does anyone know what U6 Unemployment is?”

    True enough, but I’m referring to the validity/interpretation/conflict inherent in the definition itself. I mean, Astronomers are in hot water because they couldn’t properly define a “planet”; I can look up the definition of GDP, but then the definition itself is subject to far more controversy than what a planet really is.

    Well, I’m sure someone is claiming 2+2=3 even now! Both sides do it 😉

    Naturally! Every mathematician knows that 2+2 = 3 for sufficiently small values of 2 (or if you choose the right Number System)! (Though it is far easier to prove that 2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2) 😀

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “But then MSM became shorthand for “non-right wing media.” And yes, that’s how most people use it. “

    MSM, to me, means media which doesn’t have opposing opinions or debates on critical issues. Just look at the WI recall election coverage, and Ed Schultz’s biased reporting, along with Rachel Maddow. Do these media people even comprehend what neutral reporting entails? It certainly is not explicitly rooting for one side, or publicly crying, depending on who wins or loses. However, when there have been surveys done, detailing the political persuasions of reporters at these MSM outlets, most of them are dems, and it shows in how they oftentimes selectively present or suppress “facts.”

    MSM is also the type of establishment media which will ignore the transgressions of one party while putting relatively minor or gossipy ones on the front page of another. What comes to mind is the WAPO making a big deal about Romney’s teenage haircutting incident almost 50 years ago, while hardly reporting anything on F&F until they could no longer ignore it. Or, the coverage of Romney’s speech before the NAACP today, in which the major clip captured were the boos following his comment concerning the intention to repeal HC in order to remove policy obstacles that discourage job creation. Other comments (I heard the entire speech), denoting education views, job creation measures, access to the WH should he become president etc., generating generous applause, have been either omitted or sparsely reported.

    Many, if not most of you, ridicule Fox News. However, when I have cable available and am able to watch news programing I find Fox, in particular, has spirited debates from both sides of the aisle, along with sharp questions directed at both R and D guests. This is less apparent on CNN, and almost non-existent on MSNBC. Also, while most here disparage Fox, how can you comment on their reporting ‘bias’ when you apparently deem not to watch it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  37. anjin-san says:

    when I have cable available and am able to watch news programing I find Fox, in particular, has spirited debates from both sides of the aisle

    Ah, comedy tonight.

    I was at the dentist recently, the doctor is a big Fox guy, and I caught about 45 minutes of Fox programming. If they would drop “fair and balanced” and go with “The Obama Sucks Network”, we would have some truth in advertising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    MSM, to me, means media which doesn’t have opposing opinions or debates on critical issues. Just look at the WI recall election coverage, and Ed Schultz’s biased reporting, along with Rachel Maddow. Do these media people even comprehend what neutral reporting entails?

    I hate to bring this to your attention but Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow are opinion people, not reporters. You equate them with a reporter for the Washington Post or the New York Times?

    FoxNews calls themselves a news station, yet they make no pretense to objectively report anything. They have a viewpoint and they promote it in the service of right wing politics.

    Schultz and Maddow do not call themselves news reporters, they are left wing opinion columnists, thus you knew that they would report the Wisconsin Recall story from a {{{gasp}}} left wing perspective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. reid says:

    Criticizing Schultz and Maddow while at the same time defending Fox News? You can’t be serious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  40. anjin-san says:

    Psssssst Jan – tune in to Fox, quick! Forget about Obama and Hillary, Ahmadinejad is going to take your guns!!

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/11/un-arms-treaty-could-put-us-gun-owners-in-foreign-sights-say-critics/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “Other comments (I heard the entire speech), denoting education views, job creation measures, access to the WH should he become president etc., generating generous applause, have been either omitted or sparsely reported. “

    Jan, it’s hard to take you serious when this is your complaint. It’s not a lack of bias that you seek, but a bias favorable to your own preferences. Of course the boos will be reported, while the job creation measures won’t be mentioned and it’s not because a lack of balance or liberal bias or any of that nonsense. It’s because “Mitt Romney speaks in front of a hostile audience” is a story, whereas “Mitt Romney speaks” is not.

    I’d like to believe everyone prefers a “just the facts” straightforward reporting style, but that’s bunk. Hardly no one wants that. We want a mirror. Not just the liberals. Everyone.

    Fox News watchers should understand this more than most, one would think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  42. george says:

    @jan:

    Differentiating between Fox news and the rest of media is just, well, wierd. I agree that the MSM is pretty bad, and can safely be ignored. But any definition of MSM which doesn’t include Fox along with CNN, The Times etc is so far into fairy tale land that I have to wonder if its just a troll opinion?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  43. mannning says:

    The Daily Deceits:
    Biased reporting, shaded meanings, key phrases left out, entire stories from the other side ignored, negative adjectives thrown in for free, highlighting the gaffe in the middle, deliberate misspelling, getting the facts wrong, getting the time of day and date wrong, throwing in invidious comparisons, outright condemnations, sly condemnations, and so on, all are part of the arsenal of tools of the mainstream media, alongside of extreme puffery for their man, calling him Godlike in effect, a gift from heaven, the most intelligent ever, etc etc. puts a twist on the casual reader’s take, either directly, or subliminally.

    A thoroughly misinformed public on key issues from the other side appears to be the goal, however it is achieved. There are masters at using these tools, rewrite men that work over the reporter’s words, such that even a sharp reader will have trouble realizing why he came away with a negative impression artfully inserted into some subject. A second or third read is sometimes called for, editing out the biasing or slanting content. This is more effort than the average reader will (or listener can) put forth, and that is the crux of the matter: an impression is deliberately set in the casual mind that something is bad or good, just as the media wants it to be perceived.

    One must often read only the sports scores to be sure of avoiding the daily deceits, and even then, Murphy’s Law ensures that some of it will be wrong.

    Does anyone else recognize the NYT, WAPO, or LAT from this?
    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0