Saturday, June 4, 2011

O'Reilly and the News Wars

by Paul Bedard*
May 20, 2011

In a stunning rejection of network news and nightly news anchors, cable news, driven by the Fox News Channel and mouthy Bill O'Reilly, is now the top most trusted source—by a mile.
In a new poll from Boston's Suffolk University, more than a quarter of the nation says Fox is tops when it comes to who they trust the most and O'Reilly is the most believable.
"This poll shows two things: first, the network news have completely lost their brand. Second, the only network with any intensity is Fox News," says Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center. "Bottom line: the more they attack Fox, the stronger it is getting," he adds.
But at the liberal Media Matters, Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt says the public's trust in Fox is disturbing. A regular Fox critic, he says the poll reveals that "Fox News viewers trust the information that Fox gives them."  (Z:  Trust information from both sides?  Maybe people just aren't used to it?  This guy's assertion is as biased and dumb as people who think Wolf Blitzer's any less bias than their least favorite Fox journalist!)

The key finding in the telephone poll of 1,070 likely voters is that network news is dying. Some 28 percent say that they trust Fox News the most, followed by CNN at 18 percent. After that, the trust in TV news nose dives. NBC was third, at 10 percent, MSNBC fourth at 7 percent, CBS and ABC tied at fifth with just 6 percent.
"In short, American's TV news preferences have come a long way from the sainted Walter Cronkite telling us, 'That's the way it is,' or Huntley saying good night to Brinkley, or Dan Rather," says Stephen Hess, the presidency and media scholar at the Brookings Institution.
Suffolk offered 28 different TV news personalities for poll takers to decide from on the trust question. As a result, the results were in single digits.
But of the top 10 most trusted new sources, O'Reilly is king, at 9 percent. CNN's Anderson Cooper followed at 6 percent, Fox's Mike Huckabee at 4 percent, Fox's Sean Hannity at 4 percent, Wolf Blitzer was sixth at 3 percent, followed by MSNBC's Chris Matthews at 3 percent, NBC newsman Tom Brokaw at 3 percent, CBS anchor Katie Couric at 3 percent and ABC's Diane Sawyer at 3 percent.
Being in the middle of the Top 10 was good for Blitzer, host The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. He tells us, "Happy to be Number Six. It's a very nice number—always has been one of my favorites."
Media Matters' Rabin-Havt added that it was encouraging that at least Cooper was second behind O'Reilly. "That's a very good sign," he says. "That would give me hope."
There was tie for last on the list. CNN's Elliot Spitzer and NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory each were the pick of just two of the 1,070 poll takers.

"Most interesting are not the tiny percentages for individuals, but rather the contrast of Broadcast vs. Cable," he tells Whispers. "ABC-CBS-NBC together nets 22 percent on the most trusted compared to 53 percent for CNN-MSNBC-Fox. The three broadcast network anchors combined only get 10%, compare to O'Reilly alone who gets 9 percent and CNN's Wolf-Anderson 9 percent," he adds.

*Bedard, for US NEWS & WORLD REPORT is faaaairly, shall I say ..."fair"?   I think so.  Worth a look.  (I'd have used Blitzer's image but he's so much even more biased than Cooper I couldn't have him here)



Always On Watch said...

I'm no fan of Bill O'Reilly, but he beats the hell out of watching CNN and MSNBC, both of which shill for Obama.

Joe said...

"Some 28 percent say that they trust Fox News the most, followed by CNN at 18 percent. After that, the trust in TV news nose dives. NBC was third, at 10 percent, MSNBC fourth at 7 percent, CBS and ABC tied at fifth with just 6 percent."

The problem with raw statistics is that they can be used and manipulated.

For instance, ABC could rightly report that only 28% trust Fox
News, while 41% trust other sources. (Who knows what the other 31% watch...if they're smart, nothing).

Then they would crow smugly that Fox News is on the bottom.

Fox, on the other hand, would phrase it, "Fox News has the largest trust quotient of any single network news outlet."

They'd be right, too.

"Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

Ducky's here said...

Exactly, Joe. The conservative population watches Fox and the rest of the country is spread over a diverse range.

The fact that the right can't venture outside Fox simply explains why they are so closed minded.

Brooke said...

Red meat for the trolls today, eh, Z? Did you feel like making progs have seizures when you rolled out of bed today? ;)

I'm with AOW. I rarely if ever watch news outlets, instead I gather my news from various internet sources.

However, if I had to choose between an hour of O'Reilly or Beck vs Cooper, I'm definitely choosing the former.

Z said...

AOW....I don't watch him much, either, but he always shows both sides, which is refreshing.
When Shep Smith comes on, I turn to CNN.

I love your remark, Ducky!: "The fact that the right can't venture outside Fox.."
Oh, and Independents and Dems make a large part of the FOX audience, but you go right ahead thinking what you want to!! :-)
There are other links but you do your homework, I can't keep doing it for you:-)

Joe, good quote.

Brooke...Cooper has been asking hard questions even of the Left suddenly; I think CNN is waking up to the fact that they need to tell all sides and attack the Left if they see reason too, as well.

Mike said...

You can make statistics say whatever you want them to say. 83% of all people know that.

The data clearly shows that conservatives are closed minded. They only watch Fox News because they don't seek diversity of opinion.

Or maybe the conclusion is that there is a pervasive liberal bias in the media. Liberal viewers are dispersed among all the non-Fox outlets because they all espouse a liberal agenda.

Take your pick.

It has been noted that we can use statistics much like a drunk uses a streeth light: not so much for illumination as for support.

big fat tio mike

The Born Again American said...

Way to go Wolf, nothing like striving foe mediocracy...

Anonymous said...

I have as much confidence in O’Reilly as I do Jon Stewart, and the significant difference in these two “showmen” is that Stewart never claimed to be a journalist. My question is this: why should any American “trust” a newsreader?

In matters of a horrible bus accident on I-95 outside New York City, there isn’t much to analyze, but when it comes to believing one side or the other in a political debate, personal gray matter does count. God gave us brains in order that we can think for ourselves, and yes, some of the banter involving talking heads is convoluted and filled with half-truth.

Think, America.

Remember that it is possible for honest men to disagree … but ultimately, it is up to each of us to decide how to vote. Our vote must never depend upon what one or another newsreader told us.

One may therefore ask, “Who should I believe in the Medicare Debate: Ryan or Holland?” Here’s a counter-question: since 1900, has the government helped or hindered the rights of the American people to be free of government tyranny?

Pris said...

There are news anchors and reporters. These people are supposed to report the news, and no editorializing please.

Then there are commentators. These people are free to opine, and that's what they're paid to do.

However in many cases the line is blurred when it comes to reporting. Katie Couric had no trouble insinuating her opinion into nightly news.

O'Reilly is a commentator, not a news anchor. He's paid to opine, however he makes an obvious effort to walk a middle line, which he chooses to do. I find that to be a bit disingenuous. It seems to work for him in the ratings, and I'm sure that's why he does it.

Chris Wallace is a news anchor, and I think does a good job. It's difficult to discern where he stands on the libral, conservative line. His interviews are pretty tough on both sides of the spectrum.

What drives me nuts is the tabloid stuff. I never buy a paper like the Enquirer and I don't need that mind-set, getting mixed up in what should be news. But that's just me I guess.

Furthermore, do we really need a story about octomom for weeks on end when for the most part it should be at the most, a one day gossip bonanza.

After awhile it all sounds like noise, and events which should be important are talked to death and trivialized by both sides, until people don't care anymore one way or the other.

Fox news does present both sides of an issue, where other news outlets don't. The state run media on the other hand, avoids some important news like the plague unless it serves their bias.

Is it any wonder why Fox is first? Not to me.

Z said...

Pris, nobody knows CHris Wallace's politics and that's how it should be with all of them, but it sure isn't.

O'Reilly is a blowhard who tries to walk the centrist line probably because he has so many Dem and Indie viewers but it does seem disingenuous sometimes.....BUT, except for when he's clearly giving his opinion, he has all sides represented. When he has two Conservative lawyers on, he'll argue with them, too.

All the news venues just want ratings and advertising; I wish we could go back to NEWS AT 5, FILM AT 11.....blissful days when you didn't have to practically have news made up so the channel could fill the time.
I'm really done with murder trials and their most seedy details...I think that's really ruining our culture. One louse kills a child in some city none of us has heard of and we have to live with it day after day because it sells TIME.

Mustang "know how to vote"..that's a scary thing when we consider the schooling our kids are getting today.

Mike...most polls are pretty sound, especially when they're not a conservative or liberal polling company.

BAA...excellent! Ya, "CNN, NUMBER ONE IN MEDIOCRITY" :-)

Silverfiddle said...

FOX is the only network that has real debate. FOX is conservative, but they have real liberals on who know how to debate and defend themselves.

To the credit of conservatives, we may not agree with Juan Williams, but we respect him because he's not a nutball screamer like the msnbc midgets.

CNN does try. I catch it every now and then, and I think they are tanking because they are trying to play it down the middle. Americans right and left want their news extra spicy.

Although I don't watch O'Reilly I defend him against conservatives who criticize him for not being conservative enough.

I tell them that he plays the "sensible moderate" to attract more audience. Plain and simple. And I don't begrudge him that. He's an entertainer (Not a slam. Even the serious news readers are) and he's gotta have his schtick.

Scotty said...

The fact that the right can't venture outside Fox simply explains why they are so closed minded.

Ducky, that statement only serves to show who is the real closed minded person, you! You and those like you assume that because one doesn’t agree with you is somehow, stupid, closed minded and limited in what they view.

It’s been my experience that the opposite is true with Bd being best example, on this blog.

It’s because conservatives, like there are here on Z’s blog, DO venture outside of Fox they able to easily put down the pap you and Bd like to serve up.

I and many in my circle of friends spend more time watching and listening to the other side than we do our own talking heads. I’m assuming that is the case with many on this very blog.

It’s YOU that needs to broaden your horizons. You’re world is way too small.

Some here on this blog have been to and traveled to places you could only dream about and because of that have gained experience in things that make things, like in the statement above you made, seem so petty.

There are some here with life experiences that make what you have done and do, pale in comparison. Open your mind, Ducky. You’re the one stuck in the rut.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Not terribly shocking, I submit.

The Left HATE that Conservatives possess a decent percentile of media exposure. I'm surprised there really hasn't been MASSIVE pressure for a version of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."


Ducky's here said...

Okay Bloviating let's look at it. O'Reilly draws some two million plus and the rest of the lineup often draw a million and change.

Now here's the deal ... it's the same two million slugs. They sit there and never change Fox.

O the other hand you have more rotation at the other networks and their total audience is considerably larger.

If you had experience in media buying you'd understand.

The Born Again American said...

Please continue to live in your fantasy world, in my best Rod Stewart, "You Wear It Well"... A little old fashioned, but that's all right...

Z said...

Ducky, can you tell us what should be changed about FOX that shouldn't be changed at MSNBC or CNN or ABC or NBC?
I'd adore hearing that........just adore it.

See you next week as you scamper off and hide :-)

Scotty said...

If you are really concerned about the media in this country, you'll give them a look now and then:

There's also a great article in this week's issue of Rolling Stone:

They both are on my reading list, every morning Bd. It's that comic relief to start my day!

The Born Again American said...

I'm in a quandry, in as much as at least Ducky has the nads (as infinitesimally small as they are) to post a profile, unlike Bd who doesn't and must have stopped looking for them when he broke the microscope that he got for his highschool graduation, that you would put forth a bogus news source such as "mediamatters"... If I wanted George Soros's slant on the world, I'd read the New York Times and Paul Krugmn...

Z said...'re gone.
the stupid innuendos are grating on me by now and I don't need it. This is my place.

Scotty, he tells us to read mediamatters! Imagine if we recommended Brent Bozell's group? THAT would be BIAS :-)

BAA...I know; Mediamatters :-)
But, it suits his/her politics so 'that's the good one'! YUP (smile)
it's like recommending MSNBC for news!

Joe said...

95% of all statistics are made up.

Z said... 95.1% I have it on VERy good authority.

THere was a super film called APARTMENT FOR PEGGY years ago, with Jeanne Craine and Wm Holden and she was always spouting things like "34% of all college students were in the war"...stuff that absolutely wasn't true but she said it with such flourish and certitude; it was a very cute bit.

Scotty said...

Scotty, he tells us to read mediamatters! Imagine if we recommended Brent Bozell's group? THAT would be BIAS :-)

They're sumthin', eh?

brianduffy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

But Fox is a stand alone point of view. This explains why propaganda machines posing as news outlets are such a formidable foe, though their viewership be small, their numbers are large.

PS I think the only reason MSNBC stays on the air is to make CNN look moderate.