- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Viewers appear wary of TV news: almost half of American voters — 48 percent — say network TV news is “less trustworthy than in the days of Walter Cronkite,” according to a new poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University. More than half of Republicans - 56 percent - agree, along with 52 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats. Another 35 percent overall say TV news is about as trustworthy as it was back in the Cronkite era, when news was delivered without much embellishment. Twenty eight percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

“American news watchers long for an era where the person in the big chair could be truly trusted,” says assistant poll director Tim Malloy, adding Mr. Cronkite’s signature sign-off phrase, “And that’s the way it is.”

Meanwhile, the competitive news marketplace has a clear winner in the poll: FOX News offers the most trusted network and cable news coverage, say 29 percent of the respondents. FOX is definitely the Republican choice, cited by 58 percent of GOP voters - and only 3 percent of Democrats. Overall, CNN garnered 22 percent of the vote, followed by NBC News and CBS News at 10 percent each; ABC News earned 8 percent and MSNBC 7 percent.

The wide ranging survey also tabulated opinions about two newsmen who have recently had a few challenges: The numbers:

51 percent of U.S. voters have not heard Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s reporting has been challenged; 56 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

23 percent overall say Mr. O’Reilly should remain on the air; 30 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

12 percent say Mr. O’Reilly should be “fired”; 4 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent say he should be “suspended’; 8 percent of Republicans, 9 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent say NBC News should allow Brian Williams to return as anchorman; 33 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent overall say he should not be allowed to return; 42 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University National Poll of 1,286 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 26 - March 2 and released Monday.

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