In a recent Pew poll, the legendary paper of record was voted less “believable” than ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC news, and CBS News. What a comedown for the Grey Lady.
Not only is the paper considered less trustworthy than most others news organizations, the decline has been sharp. The average believability of the 13 news organizations reviewed was 56%; the Times came in at 49%. (The Wall Street Journal comes in at 58%, by comparison.) Whereas trust in all those outfits has dropped in recent years, the Times has fared worse than most. Since 2010, their rating has sunk from 58 to 49.
For a paper that boasts a proud heritage and certainly a devoted following among liberals, this should be worrisome. Indeed, in his “farewell column” published this past weekend, Public Editor Arthur Brisbane, essentially the paper’s ombudsman, took the Times to task, saying that its “political and cultural progressivism…virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.” He describes the paper as a “hive on Eighth Avenue…shaped by a culture of like minds” – a uni-view that he suggests is more visible from the outside than the inside. That may or may not be correct, but for sure, Americans have taken note.
For the Obama White House, this disaffection with our leading newspaper should be something of a heads-up. If the Times acts as a virtual mouthpiece for the administration, and people do not find it credible, what does that say about the president?
It is not only 63% of Republicans that judge the Times lacking in credibility, it is also 56% of independents. Among those same independents, only 45% consider the Wall Street Journal unreliable.
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