Six out of ten Americans say the establishment media are to blame for misinformation, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights poll revealed Monday.
While 60 percent say the establishment media are to blame for misinforming the public, a similar number say they bear responsibility for addressing it.
Nine out of ten Americans say the media’s misinformation is a problem. About 33 percent of Americans told the pollsters they see misleading establishment media headlines or false claims from politicians every day.
Americans also blame the establishment media for political polarization. About three out of four Americans say the media are responsible for the polarization, and just under half of those sampled have little to no trust in the media’s accuracy or fairness in reporting.
Only 16 percent say they are very confident that the media report the news fully and fairly. Forty-five percent told the pollster they have little to no confidence at all.
Respondents were also skeptical of the establishment media’s intentions. Just 20 percent said the media are working to protect the nation’s democratic republic. Four in ten said the media are trying to hurt it.
Despite the skepticism, Democrats rate the establishment media more favorably than Republicans. Sixty-one percent of Republicans say the media are hurting the nation, compared with only 23 percent of Democrats.
“Majorities across party lines say the news media fuels political division, but Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say that’s happening a lot,” the poll found.
The poll surveyed 1,002 adults from March 30-April 3 with a 4.4 point margin of error.
Public trust in national news media has plummeted in recent years. A February poll found 50 percent of Americans say the national media intend to mislead, misinform, and persuade the public. Only 35 percent say most news organizations can be relied upon.
Thirty-five percent of respondents say national news organizations, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the Washington Post, and Politico care more about pushing cultural activism than reporting news that interests their readers, viewers, or listeners.
A recent example of the media pushing disinformation is Hunter Biden’s “Laptop from Hell.” At least 15 establishment media personalities claimed Hunter’s laptop emails were likely Russian propaganda before the New York Times admitted it was authentic two years later. CNN finally admitted that Hunter’s laptop was authentic 532 days after the initial story broke on October 24, 2020 — notably calling it “Russian disinformation” and “made up” at the time.
Recent polling shows 79 percent of Americans say former President Donald Trump would have won reelection in 2020 if Hunter’s laptop had been known to voters. Seventy-one percent of Americans believe accurate reporting of Hunter’s laptop could have altered the 2020 presidential election.