Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In 2016 Race, Public Snubs Media Fact-Checkers

This election cycle has seen more than its share of candidate flubs, exaggerations and falsehoods, but it's the mainstream media fact-checkers who are getting bad ratings from the voting public, not political prevaricators. GOP front-runner Donald Trump also may lead in untruths, for example. A recent NBC News report notes that fact-checking project Politifact rates 41% of Trump's statements as "false" to date, and 21% as "pants on fire" false. Ben Carson has 43% of his assertions labeled false by Politifact, with 13% at the worst pants-on-fire level. The Democrats' lead candidate Hillary Clinton is not seen as 100% truthful either; Politifact rates 11% of her statements as false and 1% as pants-on-fire wrong, per NBC. Why aren't media call-outs of such political dishonesty affecting poll numbers? The NBC story supplies one explanation: According to a new Pew Research Center study, the American public has more distrust for the news media than ever before, with a whopping 65% saying the news media has a negative impact on the country, up from 57% in 2010. That's a worse rating than respondents give for popular villains like banks and large corporations, and close to the disfavor allotted Congress. The more conservative the respondent, the more likely they are to be down on the media. Pew found that 82% of surveyed conservatives thought of the media as a negative force, which may explain why media challenges bounce off Trump among his Republican fans. For more, read the NBC report at http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/booing-fact-checkers-how-low-trust-media-shaping-2016-n468986

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