For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% who now say this is a record high by one percentage point.
The 43% of Americans who, in Gallup’s annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 13-16, 2010, express a great deal or fair amount of trust ties the record low, and is far worse than three prior Gallup readings on this measure from the 1970s.
Observing that before “late 2004, a majority of Americans had a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media“, Ed Morrissey identifies the event which turned the tide:
After that point in late 2004, the dynamic flipped, with a majority since having little or no trust in the media’s ability to report fairly. What happened? The CBS attempt to smear George W. Bush with the phony Texas Air National Guard memos. That episode made clear the political tilt and the situational ethics of the “layers of editors and fact-checkers” at CBS, providing a clear basis for the always-present suspicion that the national news media occasionally cooked a story for their own political purposes.