Nolte: Poll Shows 60 Percent Believe Journalists Take Payoffs from Sources

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 02: Businessman holding dollar bills in his hands on July 02, 2014, in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

A Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) poll shows that confidence in the media is at historic lows, lower than any other American institution.

CJR doesn’t break down the numbers. Instead, graphs are utilized to illustrate the trust gap, and as the graph below reveals, while CJR puts “the press” at second to last above “Congress,” it is the media who rank lowest when you add up “a great deal of confidence” and “only some confidence.” Moreover, the media are way ahead of everyone — law enforcement, the military, the Supreme Court, the executive branch — on the “hardly any confidence at all” ranking.

The “executive branch” is the presidency. Considering the unceasing lies and hate the media have thrown at President Trump for three years now, it must be a bitter thing to discover the American people have more confidence in an institution run by Trump than your own.

The reasons for this can be found in other numbers. Only ten percent of Republicans believe the media do not have a partisan bias. Incredibly, only 42 percent of Democrats believe the same.

The most revealing news in this poll of 4,214 adults comes in the form of this question: Do you believe reporters are paid by their sources? A whopping 60 percent of Americans said yes, including a majority of Democrats (54 percent) and more than two-thirds of Republicans (70 percent).

Think about that… This institution is so broken that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats believe reporters are paid by their sources. While I have always believed they sell their souls for free, who knows anymore? During the last decade, every other pillar of responsible journalism has been torn down by so-called journalists, and there have been reports about cash payoffs.

Keep in mind, though, that payoffs don’t only come in the form of money. How many so-called journalists have earned lucrative jobs at various Democrat political operations after years of offering those same Democrats favorable coverage?

What’s more, dozens of so-called reporters — literally, dozens — earned jobs in the Obama administration — an obvious payoff for glowing and unskeptical coverage.

The poll also shows that the public is finally wising up to the media’s use of anonymous sources, those unnamed people who, at least in the case of Trump, have been the most responsible for all the unceasing fake news about the president.

As of now, 41 percent of those polled said they are “less likely” to believe a story that uses anonymous sources, while only 36 percent said it makes no difference. That skepticism is very good news for America.

There is also terrible news for print newspapers and magazines: Only six percent said they use either as a news source. Meanwhile, 40 percent said they get their news from social media and the Internet, which ties with television.

Yep, alternative media are on the rise in terms of both readership and influence.

There is just no question the media have blown up all their credibility and moral authority in pursuit of their white whale, Trump. Those partisan and snarky tweets, the ludicrous fact-checking, and all the fake news…. My God, the fake news… The lies, the manufacturing of sources and events, and most of all, the media’s refusal to learn from their own scandals.

Every time the media are caught lying, they double down.

In just the last few months, we have witnessed this time and again.

After failing to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s rise to the Supreme Court with lies about him being a serial rapist, the media doubled down with a phony story about Trump ordering his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to commit perjury. When that blew up in their smug faces, the media attempted to destroy the lives of the boys from Covington Catholic High School with provable smears. When that backfired, the media went all in on this Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax.

As I write this, media are treating a disbarred lawyer and convicted perjurer as Moses delivering truth on stone tablets.

The media will never change. They can’t; they’re boxed in now. The only way CNN and MSNBC and the Washington Post and the New York Times can survive is by holding on to their far-left base. Everyone else has walked away. The only customers these failed outlets have left are the ones who demand Russian conspiracy theories, bigotry, and hate against innocent Catholic boys, and the like.

It’s not about journalism anymore; it’s about doing whatever is necessary, no matter how dishonest, crazy, or damaging to a community like Ferguson, Missouri, to hang on to the only customers they have left.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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