(Aug. 5) The establishment media continues to become more and more unpopular — for a very good reason.

A major survey came out this week showing deep distrust in the media, and then a top producer at MSNBC and a recently deposed opinion editor from the New York Times aired their own biting critiques. The message from all three is that the media has forfeited professional standards and ethics. The message is correct.

“We are a cancer and there is no cure.” That’s what “a successful and insightful TV veteran” told Ariana N. Pekary, who two days ago quit her job as a producer for MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Pekary penned a blog post agreeing with that assessment.

According to Pekary, the “model” used by cable news networks (and presumably other news outlets) “blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentives to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others.” She wrote that the cancer “risks human lives … [and] risks our democracy,” in part because “context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience.”

The main thrust of those sentiments reaffirmed the message of Bari Weiss, the New York Times opinion staff editor who resigned her position on July 14 with a scathing exit letter of her own. On Friday, during Real Time with Bill Maher, she amplified her point.

“I don’t want to live in a world where the views of half of the country can’t be heard in the paper of record,” Weiss said. “And that, I fear, is where we’re heading.”…

…A huge portion of the American public agrees with Weiss and Pekary. On Tuesday, the Knight Foundation and the Gallup polling organization released the results from a massive study of public attitudes toward the media. The results all look bad for the media, and almost all of them are worse than in the organizations’ previous study two years earlier.

An astonishing 86% of people see at least a significant amount of bias in the media, with 49% of those polled seeing “a great deal” of bias….

[The full column is here.]


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