MSNBC's Martin Bashir asked a deliciously ironic question of one of his guests Tuesday that I'd like to take the liberty of answering for Americans across the fruited plain.
"Does Mitt Romney believe we are all imbeciles who can’t be bothered to check the facts?" (video follows with commentary):
I'm not sure what Mr. Romney thinks, but if the "we" Bashir was talking about were so-called "journalists" like himself, then my answer would be a resounding "Yes."
This is especially true for Bashir and his colleagues at MSNBC who wouldn't know a fact if it him them in the face.
It goes without saying that I am by no means alone in such antipathy towards the media as Gallup reported last September:
The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured. [...]
Americans remain largely distrusting of the news media, with 55% saying they have little or no trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, and 60% perceiving bias one way or the other. These views are largely steady compared with last year, even as the media landscape continues to change rapidly.
The folks at the Pew Research Center revealed similar findings that same day:
Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985. [...]
The widely-shared belief that news stories are inaccurate cuts to the press’s core mission: Just 25% say that in general news organizations get the facts straight while 66% say stories are often inaccurate.
As such, Mr. Bashir, it seems the overwhelming majority of Americans "believe [you] are all imbeciles who can’t be bothered to check the facts."
— Noel Sheppard (@NoelSheppard) June 9, 2012