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Will growing popular distrust in media help keep Romney in the game?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:48 pm - September 21, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Media Bias

Nick seems to have caught onto a trend yesterday when he called shame on “mainstream reporters” for failing to ask President Obama tough questions.  Gallup reports this morning that, “Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

Interesting that in 2004 when an embattled incumbent was facing reelection, distrust in the media was on the upswing. Perhaps that increasing distrust helped prevent their general distaste for the incumbent from jeopardizing his reelection.  Distrusting the media, independent voters were more like to take reporting with a grain of salt.  This year, with distrust even higher, the challenger may benefit, given the general media distaste for Obama’s opponent.

Note the circled parts in the graph below:

Another graph shows Democrats are the only ones who trust the “mass media.”  Fewer than one-third of independents and barely a quarter of Republicans have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the supposedly non-partisan purveyors of news:

Not just that, fewer people are paying attention to political news this year than in 2008.  And here the partisan breakdown is interesting.

Noting that “48 percent of Republicans are following presidential politics closely, but only 39 percent of Democrats are“*, HotAir’s Erika Johnsen starts speculating:

So, in conjunction with yesterday’s study suggesting that only 15 percent of Democrats believe that recent economic news is mostly poor, and if Democrats are really leading Republicans in the enthusiasm contest… Help me out here, folks: Are the more committed members of the Democratic faithful just in straight-up denial? Kind of like, oh, maybe a media establishment that skews unabashedly liberal and is hell-bent on constantly jabbing the public with less-than-subtle suggestions that Romney-voters should be discouraged and that President Obama has this in the bag? Is reality no longer of any consequence?

*Interesting that those who distrust the media the most are following presidential politics the most closely.



  1. It is vital for the left to achieve a permanent stranglehold on government before the populace fully awakens to how biased the Left Stream Media is.
    If the New Media message had gone out as widely as the LSM message went out in ’08 Bam-Bam would not have gotten into the primaries.

    Comment by Bill G — September 21, 2012 @ 2:44 pm - September 21, 2012

  2. […] Will growing popular distrust in media help keep Romney in the game? […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Executive privilege invoked to shield Holder’s shoddy management of Justice Department? — September 21, 2012 @ 3:09 pm - September 21, 2012

  3. Why not just make the media better? If the media in its current state is so terrible, there must a huge opening for a competitive and more profitable solution. Instead of complaining about how biased the media is, use the free market to create your own nonpartisan media.

    Comment by aj — September 21, 2012 @ 3:27 pm - September 21, 2012

  4. aj -you libs are incredibly blind, naive and dumb. The core of the MSM, the NBCCBSABCCNN cabal has about 271 combined years of history and progressive inbreeding. Fox News is 16 years old and the blogosphere about 10-12 years in the making. That’s it: 28 years building vs, 271 years of incest – pretty tough to compete.

    Give it some time though. Be a little patient. We will catch up mainly because the conservative side works off the TRUTH, where your lib side, lets say, is not so worried about the facts or the truth.

    Comment by mixitup — September 21, 2012 @ 5:49 pm - September 21, 2012

  5. 46% mistrust to 60%… that is a pretty big shift, as shifts go.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 21, 2012 @ 7:40 pm - September 21, 2012

  6. The MSM is in a death spiral as alternative media–Fox News & the internet–splinter their audience; the remaining audience is literally dying off. The more shrill the MSM, the more people will flee to find the real news.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — September 21, 2012 @ 8:30 pm - September 21, 2012

  7. The three major networks are generally watched by people over the age of 60, not an increasing demographic. And less people read newspapers, instead glancing at headlines and short stories on their web sites. As a result, the media will have less influence on elections, but not for another decade or so.

    Comment by davinci — September 21, 2012 @ 11:44 pm - September 21, 2012

  8. “Help me out here, folks: Are the more committed members of the Democratic faithful just in straight-up denial? ”

    Washington has been a bit perplexed by President Obama’s small but persistent lead in the polls. His administration would seem to fail the “Are you better off than you were four years ago” text. And presidents who fail that test lose, right?

    But perhaps that’s the wrong question. We focus on the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago” because we assume voters aren’t sophisticated enough to vote based on the right question, which is “are you better off than you would have been if the other party’s candidate had won the presidency four years ago?”

    The conventional wisdom: Voters don’t do counterfactuals. “It could have been worse” is a losing message. That’s been the Romney campaign’s theory of the case, certainly, and many in the media have bought it. But perhaps we’re not giving voters enough credit.

    The new Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll tested this directly. First, they asked the standard “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” A plurality said they were not. Then they asked, “are you better off because Obama won in 2008″? A plurality said they were….

    The most popular interpretation is that they’re overly biased towards the incumbent, and that weak growth that might be sufficient in a normal economy does not get you reelected in a terrible economy. That’s been the Romney campaign’s theory of the case, for instance. But another interpretation, and one that increasingly seems to fit the election, is that they’re actually understating Obama’s advantage. in this view, voters understand the economy is horrible and they understand that what made it horrible began before Obama, and so they’re grading Obama on a kind of curve.

    That suggests, again, that the question they’re likely to ask isn’t “Do I feel better off than I did four years ago?” Voters may not expect to feel good four years after the worst economic crisis in generations. Rather, the question is “has Obama done a good enough job under the circumstances, or at least a better job than the Republicans would have done?” And the electorate’s answer, so far, seems to be that he has.”

    Comment by Passing By — September 21, 2012 @ 11:53 pm - September 21, 2012

  9. Ah yes, Ezra Klein.

    Media Bias: In the early days of the Gulf War, pundits marveled at the specter of Iraqi troops surrendering to journalists. Well, now it’s even worse: Journalists are giving the Democratic Party its talking points.

    The Washington Post’s 27-year-old star blogger Ezra Klein has been called “whiz kid,” and “brat packer” and a “wunderkind.” Now he’s actually advising Democratic chiefs of staff, briefing them last week about the supercommittee in Congress, according to a report by Fishbowl-DC on

    That means the relatively novel idea that bloggers can be placed on an equal footing with reporters in congressional briefings has been one-upped: Bloggers like Klein are now giving the briefings.

    That’s because Klein himself sports the imprimatur of one of the most vaunted news organizations in the world, the Washington Post. He’s supposed to have the Post’s high standards. But instead of reporting the news, even at a slant, as bloggers do, Klein takes bias beyond that. Instead of commenting on news, he makes it.

    The problem here is not just that he blurs the lines between journalism and activism. It’s that the Post is perfectly content with it, and Klein himself says that such activism is actually part of his media ethos.

    Think we are kidding? The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli told the Washingtonian last year that Klein “is a new paradigm,” for journalism, and “one we would very much like to replicate.”

    Amazingly, this is all a matter of the public record.

    “I used to have political aspirations,” Klein, a former campaigner for Howard Dean, told the Washington Monthly in 2004. “But over time, I found that I enjoy writing far more. More to the point, I think that the creation of a media environment that can sustain and propel progressivism is more important than any single elected official,” he said. “The media is as effective and important an agent for change as the legislative bodies, and I think it’s where I’m happiest and most effective.”…..

    Klein is famous for starting the secretive political-media members-only clique of some 400 journalists, political operatives, White House staffers, think tankers and lefty economists such as Paul Krugman known as JournoList. Until it was shut down by exposure from the Daily Caller and, the JournoList group discussed talking points to create a media echo chamber, tried to falsely smear opponents as racists, and cooked up ways to take Fox News off the air.

    In other words, Passing By, you are quoting someone who is willing to say and do anything to push the Obama Party, including lie, cheat, and smear.

    And in doing so, you prove why the media is distrusted.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 22, 2012 @ 1:02 am - September 22, 2012

  10. Link for above.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 22, 2012 @ 1:03 am - September 22, 2012

  11. And of course, there is more, with what Ezra Klein and JournoList were doing:

    Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

    In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

    Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

    “Richard Kim got this right above: ‘a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.’ He’s dead on,” Tomasky continued. “We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease.”

    You keep defending lies, Passing By. Why is that? Why do you and your fellow Barack Obama supporters insist that the media exists for the sole purpose of promoting and pushing “progressivism” and Barack Obama?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 22, 2012 @ 1:20 am - September 22, 2012

  12. Passing By seems to be the reincarnation of “Torrent Prime;” the last troll who came by to spew talking points in favor of his Marxist Messiah.

    Comment by V the K — September 22, 2012 @ 10:26 am - September 22, 2012

  13. When a troll keeps returning, are they really just passing by?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 22, 2012 @ 10:38 am - September 22, 2012

  14. #13 – ILC, I have a similar question:

    If a libtard troll keeps echoing talking points in the forest and nobody is around to respond to them, do they still not make sense?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. 😉

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — September 22, 2012 @ 12:00 pm - September 22, 2012

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