PEW Research Center reports:
- Almost 2/3rds of Americans say press "[s]tories are often inaccurate".
- More than 3/4ths of Americans say the press "[t]end to favor one side".
- An astounding 4/5ths of Americans say the press are "[o]ften influenced by powerful people and organizations".
Sloppy and biased reporting. Influenced by special interests.
PEW has a slight positive spin in saying that the press is more trusted than political candidates, government and business corporations. Not a high bar to beat.
Who wasn't on the comparison list? Family and friends. In a poll conducted September 8, 2008, Rasmussen found that "46% of voters say they most trust information about the presidential campaign from family and friends as opposed to 32% who trust the information from news reporters more." (Unfortunately the article is now behind a pay wall.)
Also not on the comparison list: military officers, day care providers, auto mechanics, nursing home operators and bankers who all ranked above TV and newspaper reporters in honesty and ethics.