Skip to content

Media's Endless Fake News Loop Continues to Erode Public Trust

It is an infinite do-loop, where a course correction can never happen.

Three strikes and you’re out does not apply to the media. The media gets to bat and stay in the game despite infinite strikes.

The media sold ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ for six years, squashed the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election, and recently ignored findings related to the Biden family's alleged questionable business dealings by the Oversight and Accountability House Committee, led by Congressman James Comer.

Each story is a failure of the goal of journalism as defined by the American Press Institute. “The purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.”

Yet, you see the same folks giving Pulitzers to each other and patting each other’s back, something that can only happen in America’s partisan media world.

But the media’s actions have consequences. In a recent TIPP Poll, 71 percent of Americans following the laptop story said an honest representation of the Hunter Biden laptop issue could have swung the 2020 election in Trump’s favor.

The media played an important role in keeping the Russia hoax story alive for nearly six years, which was the foundation for its excessively negative coverage of President Trump and his first impeachment.

Mark our words. The Comer stuff is a big deal with the potential for impeachment. Based on detailed bank records and wire transfer reports obtained through subpoenas, Comer's interim report revealed a complex network of over twenty companies used to move and conceal funds. The records show that over $10 million from foreign sources, particularly China and Romania, flowed into accounts controlled by Biden family members and associates.

The usual formula the media uses is to ignore a story for a prolonged time before it eventually covers the issue, like the Hunter Biden laptop. As the Comer story develops, the media will have to cover it and won’t be able to wish it away.

Over the years, many have referred to the media as fake news. Recent events have conclusively shown how befitting the fake news description is. For instance, the Durham report fully exposed how the media sold Americans a false bill of goods on the Russia hoax. As an example of poetic justice, Buzzfeed News, which published the entire Steele Dossier before verifying its authenticity, died just weeks before the Durham report’s release.

These hit-and-run artists move on to their next act without admitting their mistakes. It is an infinite do-loop, where a course correction can never happen. The media has neither any shame nor remorse.

Americans are no fools and can see through the charade. Most Americans don’t trust the media. In a TIPP Poll of 1,480 Americans completed in early May, six in ten (60%) did not have any confidence in the traditional media. While 35% had little trust, 25% said no trust at all.

Only one in three (35%) trust the media, with 13% having a lot of trust and another 22% having quite a bit of trust.

Democrats mostly run the media, which leads to the media pushing narratives beneficial to the party and appealing to Democrats. Most Democrats (53%) and liberals (51%) trust the media.

Whopping shares of Republicans (77%) and conservatives (68%) lack trust in the fourth estate. Independents (75%) and moderates (64%) also distrust the media.

We ask the media trust question monthly and convert the responses to a compact index number to facilitate ongoing tracking. The index ranges from 0 to 100. 50 is neutral, above 50 is positive, and below 50 is negative zone.

The chart below plots the traditional media index from March 2021, two months after President Biden was sworn into office. The overall trust index has stayed in the negative zone, below 50, for 26 of the 27 months except March 2021, when it barely posted 51.1, above 50.

Democrats have stayed above 50 for the entire 27 months period.

Republicans stayed in the 20 to 30 range most of the period.

Independents polled slightly better in the 25 to 35 range.

The basement ratings are not something new. The pattern has been going on for decades. American media is beyond reproach. The burden the citizens are saddled with is the onus of separating truth from fake news.

For the sake of civility, we refrained from labeling the media as "fake news" for an extended period. However, the Durham Report left us utterly gobsmacked with its jaw-dropping revelations, leading many more to believe it is an appropriate moniker for the media. Better late than never - à la media style.

Like our insights? Show your support by becoming a paid subscriber!