In July, Gallup published the results of a poll showing a decades-long slide in Americans' confidence in print and TV news media. According to Gallup, only 16% of U.S. adults state they currently have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Those are "all-time low points," says Gallup, dropping consistently over the last 30-to-50 years from highs of 51% (newspapers, 1979) and 46% (television, 1993).
In a Washington Stand piece yesterday, Family Research Council senior fellow Joseph Backholm says the mainstream media has "earned every bit of cynicism" it is now receiving because it has proven itself deceptive.
"I think people instinctively recognize when someone is lying to them," he is quoted saying. "There are so many examples now of the media saying something that turned out not to be true. It's simply a case of the boy who cried wolf."
Heightening that distrust, according to Backholm, have been the media's coverage of the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic – along with the related campaigns against alleged misinformation; as well as the media's biased narrative regarding the issues of gender identity and sexuality. The majority of the public, he adds, concludes the media is not trustworthy when it quotes "smart, supposedly elite experts" saying boys can become girls and men can get pregnant.
Backholm's advice to his fellow believers? "The responsibility for Christians is to care about the truth first …. We don't shoot the messenger, we test all things and hold fast to what is good."
Mainstream media – 'No allegiance to truth'
Those record lows in media confidence only reinforce what former Attorney General William "Bill" Barr said in May during an interview with the Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson on the podcast "Uncommon Knowledge." Donald Trump's former AG said obsession with his former boss has driven American bedrock institutions – starting with journalism – toward a breaking point, and it could cost this country everything.
"If our Republic goes down, I think one of the chief culprits will be the mainstream media. They have become a completely corrupted institution. They are essentially an extension of the progressive movement," Barr stated.
"There's no allegiance to truth," he continued. "In fact, I think they basically don't accept that there is such a thing as truth; there's only narratives – because their world is in this progressive mindset."
Podcast host Peter Robinson agreed, arguing that an already discredited press may have passed the point of no return when it buried the Hunter Biden laptop story in order to change the outcome of an election.
"It used to be that you could at least count on the press to go after a story – [and] that was a huge story," he pointed out. "[It involves] the son of a major presidential candidate; part of it is he's talking about deals he did with his uncle [the candidate's brother]; and he's clearly engaging, in my opinion, in influence peddling."
Barr didn't stop with his warning about the media being destroyed by the Left. "More institutions are going down the same road," he warned. "[In] the medical profession, the truth of science is subordinated to political objectives. [And] the legal profession is becoming thoroughly corrupted."