Public Policy Polling:
Just like its actual ratings, Fox News has hit a record low in the four years that we've been doing this poll. 41% of voters trust it to 46% who do not. To put those numbers into some perspective the first time we did this poll, in 2010, 49% of voters trusted it to 37% who did not. Fox has maintained most of its credibility with Republicans, dropping just from 74/15 to 70/15 over that period of time. But it's been losing what standing it had with Democrats (from 30/52 to 22/66) and independents (from 41/44 to 32/56).
We find once again this year that Democrats trust everything except Fox, and Republicans don't trust anything other than Fox.
When it comes to asking Americans which single outlet they trust the most and least out of the ones we polled on, Fox News once again wins both honors. 34% say it's the one they trust the most, compared to 13% for PBS, 12% for CNN, 11% for ABC, 8% for MSNBC, 6% for CBS, and 5% each for Comedy Central and NBC. Fox News is the choice of 67% of Republicans, while Democrats basically split their allegiances four ways between ABC and CNN, both at 17%, and MSNBC and PBS, both at 16%.
Even more Americans identify Fox News as the outlet they trust the least- 39% give its that designation to 14% for MSNBC, 13% for CNN, 12% for Comedy Central, 5% for ABC and CBS, 3% for NBC, and 1% for PBS. 60% of Democrats give it their lowest marks while Republicans split between MSNBC (24%), CNN (19%), and Comedy Central (14%) on that front.
I actually find these numbers fascinating in that Fox has managed to create a situation where their viewer base ONLY trusts the information they get from them. However the fatal flaw in that business strategy is that the market that they cornered are most often the elderly, who are also technologically ignorant. That means that quite literally their audience is dying off and there is no information starved younger Americans to replace them.
I think this is my favorite sentence from this article: We find once again this year that Democrats trust everything except Fox, and Republicans don't trust anything other than Fox.
Just roll that around in your head for a minute. Then imagine what would happen to these people if suddenly Fox News ceased to exist. I imagine elderly men and women stumbling around zombie-like searching desperately for affirmation of their prejudices and political point of view.
I also find it interesting that at the same time Karl Rove and the Tea Party are battling over control of the Republican party that Fox News is also doing some cosmetic work by ditching Sarah Palin and Dick Morris.
Of course for those of us who get out information from a variety of sources (None of which are Fox News), we realize that no matter what they tighten, lift, or change, both the Republican party and Fox News will never be anything more than the bastion for a rapidly disintegrating political outlook and a propaganda machine aimed at a demographic that is dying out while bathed in the blinking lights of their sixty inch plasma TVs.
Update: If you want to hear the difference between Fox News and MSNBC you listen to this very revealing interview with David Shuster who at one time worked for both. Listen particularly closely to what he said about the coverage of the 2000 election.