Almost 90 percent of Americans believe the news media helped Barack Obama get elected president last November.
Beyond this, 70 percent feel the press are promoting his presidency, with 56 percent saying they're pushing ObamaCare "without objective criticism."
Such were the findings of a new national poll taken by Sacred Heart University.
In fact, according to Wednesday's press release, almost half of Americans "have permanently stopped watching a news media organization, print or electronic, because of perceived bias" (h/t NBer Par for the Course):
Poll results found 83.6% saw national news media organizations as very or somewhat biased while just 14.1% viewed them as somewhat unbiased or not at all biased. Some, 2.4%, were unsure.
A large majority, 89.3%, suggested the national media played a very or somewhat strong role in helping to elect President Obama. Just 10.0% suggested the national media played little or no role. Further, 69.9% agreed the national news media are intent on promoting the Obama presidency while 26.5% disagreed. Some, 3.6% were unsure.
Over half of Americans surveyed, 56.4%, said they agreed that the news media are promoting President Obama's healthcare reform without objective criticism. Another 39.3% disagreed and 4.3% were unsure. Further, a majority, 57.6% of those surveyed agreed that the news media appear to be coordinating efforts to diminish the record of former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. One third, 34.6%, disagreed and 7.9% were unsure.
"It is sad," suggested Jerry C. Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute, "when we find that only 55.9% say they expect the media to tell them the truth today." He added, "This perception of bias will eventually catch up with the news media outlets -- we found 45.9% have permanently stopped watching a news media organization, print or electronic, because of perceived bias."
Some additional findings:
In 2009, 86.6% (87.6% in 2007 and 70.3% in 2003) strongly and somewhat agreed that the news media have their own political and public policy positions and attempt to influence public opinion. And, 85.3% (86.0% in 2007 and 76.7% in 2003) strongly and somewhat agreed that the news media have their own political positions and attempt to influence public policies.
"The results suggest that we are witnessing a new era of partisan media with the important difference that current news outlets claim to be offering objective coverage when they often aren't," says Sacred Heart University Media Studies and Digital Culture Associate Professor Jim Castonguay.
Researchers were asked which national television news organization they trusted most for accurate reporting. Fox News was named by 30.0% of all respondents -- up from 19.5% in 2003 and 27.0% in 2007.
Those named most frequently as the television news organization most trusted for accurate reporting in 2009 included: Fox News (30.0%), CNN (19.5%), NBC News (7.5%) and ABC News (7.5%). Fox News was also the television news organization trusted least. Just over one-quarter, 26.2%, named Fox News, followed by NBC News (9.9%), MSNBC (9.4%), CNN (8.5%), CBS News (5.3%) and ABC News (3.7%).
Also of note, viewers of Fox News continues to increase, while those of other television news outlets decline:
As you might imagine, none of this is at all surprising!!!
Researchers asked respondents which television news organization they turned to most frequently. The top five news organizations were Fox News (28.4% - up from 26.5% in 2007), CNN (14.9% - down from 16.0% in 2007), NBC News (10.6% - down from 11.8% in 2007), ABC News (9.3% - down from 11.0% in 2007), and "local news" (7.6% - down from 8.5% in 2007). Other organizations respondents turned to most frequently included CBS News (7.4%), MSNBC (4.3%), PBS News (1.3%), CNBC (0.6%) and CBN (0.1%).