The opponents of mainstream news have won the war. Legacy media has lost its credibility with most voters after years of attacks from right- and left-wing pundits and alt-news outlets.
The latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll reports that only 30 percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” (8%) or “good amount” (22%) of trust in the media. It joined Congress at 29 percent. Surprisingly, the intelligence community had 60 percent trust.
About half of Democrats (56%) had trust in the media, but only 9 percent of Republicans. More than a third of the public (37%) and most Republicans (59%) said they had no trust in the media.
It is ironic, however, that Trump and the new level of attacks have energized the media’s viewers and subscribers. Revenue is up and the defense of the First Amendment is now a top corporate priority. Trump has indeed achieved his goal of damaging the believability of mainstream media. But he has also empowered and emboldened them to keep up the tough scrutiny.