Add me to the list (Ed Morrissey and Andrew Malcolm) of people unsurprised at the Gallup report that trust in the media is at its lowest in... forever. 57/43 distrust/trust, for those keeping track: and it's only been in the last few years that the media's been underwater.
It's interesting to compare the two reactions to it represented in the above links. Ed, who is a New Media type who has expanded into radio and print, pins this long-term shift onto the outrageous attempt in 2004 by the media to smear the President with fake documents (an attempt so clumsy that a child* could see through it). Andrew, who is a print journalist who has taken quite happily to New Media, instead waxes hysterically sarcastic on the very idea that people don't take the mainstream media seriously:
According to that fringe polling outfit named Gallup, a record 57% of Americans profess little or no trust in this country's mass media to report the news fairly and accurately.
They could have put it another way: An amazing more than four out of 10 Americans (43%) may perhaps believe most everything they read in the news or see on television.
But no, Gallup has to go for the sensational, to feed this crazy belief among a few hundred million Americans that the media is somehow biased in its presentation of the people and happenings that go on all over this crazy place.
Andrew, in between throwing up pictures of American flags and Abraham Lincoln, goes on to reinforce his point that if anybody is surprised at the thought that people consider the media unbalanced, they shouldn't be: it's not like there's a lack of evidence. The portrayal of THAT WOMAN alone can, and did, fill a post.
For myself, I think that while the 2004 and the 2008 election are both important watershed events, not enough attention is paid to the 2006 election. To put it simply: the media really wanted the Democrats to win. They threw everything that they could, at every Republican that they could; and while I won't pretend that the GOP caucus at the time didn't enthusiastically participate in its own demise neither will I let the media off the hook for their own enthusiasm in sensationalizing the election cycle. I suspect that the aftermath of that is when a large part of the population permanently soured on regular media outlets.
Frankly, that's when I did.
Moe Lane (Crosspost)
*Or even Charles Johnson.