Poll: Asked Who They Trust For Political News, Plurality Say 'Not Sure' or 'None'

May 20th, 2011 1:19 PM

Update: Reaction from NB publisher Brent Bozell below the break.

For some time now, it's been painfully obvious that objectivity in political reporting is a farce. So it should come as little surprise that when asked who they trust most for political reporting, many Americans draw a blank.

That, at least, is what pollsters at Suffolk University have discovered. A 36 percent plurality of respondents to a recent Suffolk poll, asked who they most trusted for political news, answered "not sure" or "none." Fox News's Bill O'Reilly came in third with 9 percent.

In fact, 22 percent said they trusted some Fox News personality most, compared with only 16 percent who said they trusted a network news anchor most. Only six percent said an MSNBC host was most trustworthy on political issues (h/t TV Newser).

General attitudes towards the various news channels reflected the same trend: 28 percent of respondents, a plurality, named Fox as their most trusted source for political news. Only 22 percent, in contrast, named one of the three news networks.

The larger degree of trust placed in Fox and its hosts should come as little surprise, given the channel's center-right commentary, which, in contrast to the networks' soft-core leftism, aligns well with Americans' own ideological self-identification.

Here are Suffolk's findings with respect to media trustworthiness:

Though this poll shows Fox trumping the competition, on the whole Americans do not consider the media to be trustworthy on political issues. Perhaps they know what most reporters cannot bring themselves to admit: that no person can truly be objective. Opinions inevitably color reporting, and due to the dominance of liberalism in America's newsrooms, the resulting bias is a liberal one.


NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell had this to say to US News's Paul Bedard on Friday:

"This poll shows two things: first, the network news have completely lost their brand. Second, the only network with any intensity is Fox News," says Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center. "Bottom line: the more they attack Fox, the stronger it is getting," he adds.