|Gallup Poll chart|
The press has gone from having the confidence of 72% of Americans in 1976 to garnering the confidence of only 43% in 2010.
Still, Politico's Jonathan Martin is shocked to hear that Governor Sarah Palin thinks that "much of the mainstream media is already becoming irrelevant". Martin thinks Palin needs to follow Ronald Reagan's example in trusting and praising the press.
"Recalling his travels with the political press corps during a tough campaign, Reagan offered nothing but praise for the reporters who covered him and often wrote skeptical stories about his primary against President Ford.Martin thinks the press is the key to "improving vital relationships". With whom? Apparently not the American people.
"'I have to say their treatment of me was fair,' Reagan said.
"He added: 'We parted friends and I'm richer for their friendship.'
"Now, was such a gushing message only a heartful tribute to the fourth estate? Of course not. Reagan used the period between his '76 and '80 runs to court reporters — sitting for interviews with such big feet as then-Wall Street Journal writer Al Hunt — in hopes of improving vital relationships."
Palin's problem, according to Martin, has nothing to do with current credibility problems of the mainstream press. Rather, it comes from Palin's hurt feelings because criticism from the press "does get to her."
"Sarah Palin offered an extended tribute to Ronald Reagan in Santa Barbara Friday night, praising him specifically for not being bothered by criticism. Then, in an interview the CBN's David Brody following the speech, she said that if she ran for president she'd follow the same course of ignoring the naysayers.Martin apparently hasn't noticed that there has been a change in the press in the last 30 years. Or at least the American public thinks the press is quite different.
"But she couldn't help but get in a jab at the press in the same interview, telling Brody that 'much of the mainstream media is already becoming irrelevant.'
"Such shots have, of course, become staples of Palin's repertoire. They illustrate that, despite her claims, criticism plainly does get to her."
57% of Americans don't trust the media
Confidence in newspapers and television news is a "rarity"
More Americans express confidence in getting their political news from family and friends (46%) than from news reporters (32%).
Governor Palin's observations on the need for the mainstream media to be more balanced, truthful and factual in order to be relevant is in line with the American public's current view of the media.
Martin, on the other hand, seems to be stuck in the late 1970's. Not the best vantage point for a 21st century political commentator.