NEWS AND OPINION:
Credibility still pays off.
The Washington Times has been named the 10th most trusted news organization in America by the Simmons News Media Trust Index — an industry study that gauged consumer trust in 38 U.S. news sources from the print, broadcast and online realms.
It revealed that The Washington Times ranked higher on the trust scale than CNN, Reuters, Fox News, Politico, The Hill and The Los Angeles Times, to name a few.
The top 10 were trusted by the majority of Americans: The Wall Street Journal emerged as No. 1, trusted by 58 percent of Americans. It was followed by ABC News, CBS News, BBC News, Forbes, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today — and in 10th place, The Washington Times, with 50 percent. The Daily Caller was in last place, trusted by 23 percent of the respondents.
“Based on our study, it is clear that news media is in crisis overall. The average percentage of respondents who rated news sources as trustworthy or very trustworthy was just 40.1 percent — not a ringing endorsement for journalism in general,” wrote chief scientist Steven Millman. “The least trusted news sources were all internet-first and hyperpartisan in nature (both liberal and conservative) representing brands that have been consistently rated as misleading and inaccurate by fact-checkers.”
Daily Kos, BuzzFeed News, The Daily Beast and Slate all placed in the bottom 10.
“What the study does not say, but what we all know to be true, is that trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. The newsroom’s efforts to keep news stories fact-based, balanced and buffeted with fair comment is key to our success. A collaborative effort between editors and reporters to ensure the information we relay to the public is vetted and properly sourced is more important now than ever before as the public approaches news with a jaundiced eye. The speed at which we provide information is important, but it is second to ensuring it’s accurate,” said Christopher Dolan, executive editor of The Washington Times.
The study — titled “Rise of the Doubters: Consumers Weigh-in on Fake News and Media Trustworthiness” — was released Wednesday and is based on a survey of 2,009 news consumers fielded in August.
TRUMP RALLY AS PHILOSOPHY
President Trump is off to Rochester, Minnesota, on Thursday for the second of four jumbo campaign rallies this week. These Make America Great Again events appear to be taking on a greater meaning these days, presenting a noteworthy opportunity.
“The rally will bring the national news media to Rochester, which in turn will provide coast-to-coast coverage of what takes place here. In that regard, we have a wish for everyone involved: Be civil. Please, no violence, no ugly taunting. Too much to ask? Maybe, given the nasty partisanship of the current political situation. But we’d like to think people in this region are better behaved, more respectful, than the crowds we’ve seen inside and outside recent Trump rallies. By all means, cheer until you’re hoarse, or protest until you’re exhausted. But bullying and demonizing are beneath all of us,” The Rochester Post Bulletin advised locals in an op-ed.
“We were taught to respect the office, even if we disagree with the holder of that office. The same can be said for honest citizens on both sides of any issue. We can disagree without being uncivil. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way people conduct themselves these days. It’s time for Minnesotans to set a higher standard, and this presidential rally is our opportunity to do exactly that.”
VOTE FOR WHAT’S-HIS-NAME
Keep in mind that the midterm elections are just about a month off.
A telling Reuters/Ipsos poll has revealed that 34 percent of Republican voters and 33 percent of their Democratic counterparts do not know the names of their party’s congressional candidates in their districts. No, really.
“Name recognition is critical in motivating voters, is the reason candidates spend millions of dollars on TV ads and is a major factor in incumbents’ advantage in fending off challengers. But it may be slightly less critical on Nov. 6 as many voters may view their choices as referendums on a man whose name will not be on the ballot: Republican President Donald Trump,” writes Reuters analyst Maria Caspani.
GOP: HOLD THE LINE
National Review political columnist Jim Geraghty has a reality check for Republican senators who wring their hands and dither over the future of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.
“The only thing that will stop the Left from hating you is total capitulation. There is another option of course, which is to teach them the hard lesson that everything they tried against you did not work in its intended goal, which is to get you to vote against Kavanaugh. All of this is to sway you, frighten you, intimidate you, and bend you to their will,” Mr. Geraghty advises lawmakers.
“The future of American politics depends upon Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Jane Mayer, Emily Bazelon, Michael Avenatti, Brian Fallon, and all the rest saying after the confirmation vote and the 2018 midterms, ‘Wow, that didn’t work.’”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, will have none of it.
“There is no chance in the world they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty,” Mr. McConnell said from the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 75 percent of U.S. voters say the midterm elections are “very important”: 80 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats agree.
• 20 percent say the elections are “important”; 17 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.
• 5 percent say the elections are “not very important”; 3 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.
• 1 percent says the elections are “not important at all”; 0 percent of Republicans, 1 percent of independents and 1 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: An NPR/PBS/Marist poll of 996 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 1
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin