Tuesday, December 28, 2021
2021: the year the media paid for its lies
The Associated Press reported, “Outlets hurt by dwindling public interest in news in 2021.”Given that AP’s customers are the news media which pays for AP’s services, one can hardly expect objectivity when AP reports on the media.
The data in this report are grim. In the last 12 months, the Washington Post’s online traffic is down 44%. The New York Times is down 34%.
Prime-time viewership is down 38% at CNN, 34% at Fox, and 25% at MSNBC.
Nightly news viewership is down 14% at NBC, and down 12% at both ABC and CBS.
AP spun this as an off-year.
It began its story, “The presidential election, pandemic and racial reckoning were stories that drove intense interest and engagement to news outlets in 2020. To a large degree, 2021 represented the inevitable hangover.”
The spin was both laughable and a symptom of the disease that is laying the media low.
They were riots.
Oh, the media called the riots “mostly peaceful protests,” which is why people tune the media out.
Then there is the vaccine. I have been vaccinated twice and likely will get a booster next month.
But, man, did the media oversell the vaccine.
In a March 29 broadcast, Rachel Maddow said, “Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person… The virus does not infect them…It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to get more people.”
She is the reason I don’t call PhD’s doctor.
It is not that the public is no longer interested in the news. It is that the public no longer believes the news media is delivering the news.
The distrust is bipartisan.
On December 17, the Washington Times reported, “Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much, but a new poll found that most voters from both parties agree that the mainstream news media promotes a political agenda rather than reporting the facts.
“The survey by the Trafalgar Group revealed that 76.3% of respondents from all political affiliations said that ‘the primary focus of the mainstream media’s coverage of current events is to advance their own opinions or political agendas,’ compared to only 23.7% who said news media was interested in ‘finding and reporting the facts.’
“Voters on both sides of the aisle have grown frustrated with the inability of national television and print media to give them the undisputed facts of what’s happening in the world rather than political spin, said pollster Robert Cahaly, who founded Trafalgar Group in 2016.”
The story also said, “A March 2020 Gallup poll of 536 employed adults found that Americans ranked the media’s handling of the covid-19 outbreak dead last in a list of nine institutions — with just 44% approving of the media’s handling of the pandemic, it was also the only institution to receive more negative than positive marks.”
That was in March 2020, when the covid saga began. People intuitively knew to distrust the media because of years of lying.
The AP’s spin is that the end of the Trump presidency caused the loss in audiences.
But the truth is, the way the media covered Trump up with lies, gossip, and just plain bullshit cost the media its credibility. And if you don’t believe what they are saying, why tune in?