The laser-like mainstream media focus on all things Donald Trump since November of last year has been overwhelming, perplexing and even a little bit frightening to watch. It has been strange to watch previously trusted institutions begin to relinquish their own integrity and sanity. As they relentlessly pursue the collapse of the Trump administration they have instead brought about signs of their own collapse.

Nothing can illustrate this point better than the recent, mind-boggling kerfuffle after CNN hilariously brought on their own humiliation by covering the story of their own blackmail attempt…over a GIF.  

Hoisted by their own petard, as they say.

As amusing as the whole incident was, it points to a larger problem of plummeting trust between the public and the media. Most Americans don’t have their head in the news all day every day like those of us in the business, but they do have a sense that other things are happening while CNN and their cohorts air wall-to-wall coverage of Trump/Russia/Covfefe every single day.

The Daily Signal released this graph in a tweet today that illustrates the shocking decline in mainstream media credibility during the first months of the Trump presidency (can you believe we’ve barely crossed the six month mark?). Last month the national network evening news programs covered Trump/Russia for a total of 353 minutes. The war in Afghanistan received 4 minutes. Obamacare repeal – you know, the one that would cause millions of Americans to suddenly drop dead where they stood because their insurance options widened – received a mere 17 minutes of coverage.

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This graph doesn’t even include the 24-hour networks. One can imagine such a graph would be even more staggeringly lopsided.

While our military are still risking and laying down their lives in service to their country and others the media entities that have the greatest ability to reach the most people are spending that capital to make the news instead of simply reporting on the news.

This graph isn’t just an illustration of news coverage, it is a visualization of absolute media malfeasance. This graph might as well represent the public’s declining trust of the mainstream media. That 4 minutes they spent on Obama’s war in Afghanistan? That’s about where the American people are right now in their level of faith in the media.

It will continue to plummet until organizations like CNN can get their act together and remember what it was like to be news reporters instead of newsmakers.