CNN delighted in reporting the results of a recent poll question that asked: "How much do you trust the things you hear in official communications from the White House? Do you trust almost all, most of it, just some of it, or nothing at all?"
If a regular viewer of CNN were to choose anything higher than zero, you'd assume he was a victim of the opioid epidemic. Given the size of CNN's audience as a percentage of the national population, this was an issue.
Forty-three percent picked "some of it," as people tend to do in a poll. Twenty-four percent chose "almost all" or "most," and 30 percent picked "nothing at all."
Proving once again its inability to say anything at all positive about President Trump's administration, CNN presented these poll results as "only 24 percent trust the White House" and pitched it as a glorious victory for the "objective" media and independent "fact-checkers."
On his show "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter turned to Angie Drobnic Holan of the liberal site PolitiFact and said: "I admit this is a softball, but does this poll show the strength of journalism? That, yes, the public may be skeptical of our work, but they are paying attention to our reporting and they are learning about Trump's fibs and falsehoods?" (She said yes.)
But guess what CNN didn't ask in this poll to test public confidence: "How much do you trust the things you hear from CNN (or the rest of the press)? All of it, some of it or not at all?" Guess what else CNN never asked during former President Obama's first summer: "How much do you trust the things you hear in official communications from the White House?"
Eight years ago, CNN conducted a National Report Card, and in addition to grading the politicians, it asked the public to give a grade to the news media. It surely winced at the results: Forty-nine percent gave the media an F, and 19 percent gave them a D. (Just 4 percent gave them an A; 11 percent gave them a B, and 18 percent gave them a C.)
In July, a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll asked how much people trust the Trump administration and the media. Thirty-seven percent said they had a "good deal" or a "great amount" of trust in Team Trump, while only 30 percent said the same about the media.
In January, a Quinnipiac University poll asked point blank, "Do you think that most members of the news media are honest or not?" The media were rated dishonest by 57 percent and honest by 39 percent. The parties were very divided: Democrats voted 65 percent honest to 29 percent dishonest, while an overwhelming number of Republicans picked dishonest, 86 percent to 13 percent.
The media are trusted ... to please the Democrats.
Before the media celebrate the "fact-checkers," they should try a poll on "fact-checkers" themselves. Stelter interviewed and honored PolitiFact's Holan and Washington Post "Fact-Checker" Glenn Kessler on his show. Both are trustworthy - you can trust them to go soft on Democrats.
Check out their tilt since Jan. 20. PolitiFact has a category called "Pants on Fire" for what it rates as egregious falsehoods. Since Inauguration Day, it has given Republicans this rating 21 times and given it to Democrats just four times.
The Washington Post "Fact-Checker" team is even worse. When you count up the claims receiving a "Four Pinocchios" rating for obvious lies, there are 35 such ratings for Republicans (23 for Trump alone) and only four for Democrats.
It has been documented endlessly over decades that these watchdogs are as liberal as their friends in the "news" media. In 2016, their tilted ratings were used to make the bizarre claim that Hillary Clinton was "fundamentally honest." Clinton is just as honest as the press that tried so hard to get her elected using "fact-checkers" as a weapon.
L. Brent Bozell III
and Tim Graham