CNN Poll Finds Whopping 58 Percent of Americans Don’t Trust Fox News on Coronavirus

Fox Coronavirus

A new CNN poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not trust Fox News for information about the coronavirus, while a similar majority does trust Cable News Network on that same subject.

On Tuesday, CNN published a poll that featured a raft of coronavirus-related questions, including one about trusted sources of information about the coronavirus outbreak. Respondents were told “I’m going to read you the names of some people and organizations. For each one, please tell me if you generally trust or do not trust the information you get about the coronavirus outbreak from that person or organization,” and asked about their trust in President Donald Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CNN, and Fox News.

That question produced a number of noteworthy responses. Among the individuals listed, Trump was the least trusted at 36 percent, and the most distrusted at 62 percent. Even among respondents who approve of Trump’s job performance, 21 percent said they do not trust him. And despite spiking disapproval of Trump’s overall handling of the outbreak, his approval rating in the CNN poll is the highest of his presidency at 45 percent — a level he has not reached since shortly after his inauguration.

Hot on Trump’s heels for least trusted and most distrusted was Fox News. A slightly lower percentage — 35 percent — trust the network on coronavirus than Trump, while 58 percent say they “do not trust” the network. That includes 31 percent of people who approve of Trump, but do not trust Fox.

The poll also found that a significant majority of respondents — 55 percent — trust CNN for information about the coronavirus, while 40 percent said they “do not trust” the network.

CNN, a competitor of Fox News, did not poll trust in MSNBC, the broadcast networks, or any other news source.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld criticized CNN over the poll question, responding to a Brian Stelter tweet of the results by writing “CNN survey asks if you like CNN. Surprise, you think they’re swell! Some other ideas for CNN survey questions:
-does this shirt make me look fat?
-did you notice I’m working out?
-will you be my friend?”

While CNN did commission the poll, it was conducted by SSRS, an independent research company that has an A/B pollster rating from FiveThirtyEight. Respondents were given the opportunity to express their trust or lack thereof in Fox News and CNN, but not in any other news source.

When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson referred me to a “list of studies which show that FNC has been a main source for Covid-19 news along with being the most-trusted.”

But no one is disputing that Fox News has a large viewership — although they are dwarfed by the broadcast network news as a “main source for Covid-19 news.”

That’s exactly the problem. The dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theorizing that’s spread on the network is all the more harmful because of that large viewership. It’s a problem Fox News even seems to recognize when contributors who aren’t crucial to their bottom line go too far.

And Fox’s claim to being “most trusted” is pure garbage, unsupported by actual data.

One study they referred to was actually a measurement of trust in news sources by loyal viewers of those news sources. Congratulations, 89 percent of people who watch Fox News regularly trust Fox News.

But they also try to spin other polls based on the fact that mainstream news consumption is fragmented, while conservative news consumption is concentrated.

For example, a recent Suffolk poll asked respondents “What TV news or commentary source do you trust the most?”

Fox got the highest total at 25 percent, but 52 percent chose another source..

And when respondents were asked “What TV news or commentary source do you trust the least?”, Fox News was the clear “winner” at 41 percent, followed distantly by CNN at 24 percent.

This broad dynamic has been true for many years, leading to many “Fox News is The Most Trusted… AND Least Trusted” headlines, but the gap is growing, and the stakes are considerably higher now.

It’s little wonder that a propagandist like Greg Gutfeld would rather you focus on CNN’s decision to ask whether or not people trust Fox News than focus on the dangerous consequences of the misinformation his network spreads.

But he does have a point, if CNN is going to ask about trusted news sources, they should have asked about other outlets to see if anyone else could get above 58 percent distrust. Hell, there’s always OAN.

In fact, Fox News has a very well-respected polling unit that could replicate CNN’s poll question to include a broader selection, and see how Fox fares next to the broadcast news networks or MSNBC or PBS.

I wonder why they haven’t done that.


Kate’s Corner ~ Being “Outted” in Australian Society

By Kate Doak.

As a young Transsexual woman, I’ve experienced what it’s like being “outted” to people in a way that doesn’t feel comfortable or safe. I’ve been bullied, sworn at, assaulted, lied to and ridiculed by others, purely because I’m supposedly something “different” to what they are used to. It’s not a pleasant feeling having somebody take control of your life in some way shape or form, and use it against you in order to suit their own ends.

As many of you within the Australian political tweets fraternity would know, a public servant who writes under the pseudonym “Grogs Gamut” was “outted” earlier this week by James Massola, who writes the “Capital Circle” column for “The Australian”. James Massola decided to publish Grogs Gamut’s real name under the supposition that Gamut is now a political figure, given his comments on media coverage of policy announcements during the recent Federal Election campaign, as well as his acceptance of an invitation to the recent Media 140 conference in Canberra. This last point is particularly strange given that there were numerous public servants at the conference.

James Massola has argued throughout the week since Gamut was “outted” that he did so with the interests of the public in mind. With arguments ranging from “the public should know when a public servant is biased”, through to “Grog put himself in this position”, James Massola has been gently stoking the flames within the volunteer and academic media, in order to promote the circulation of his own work online. That’s typical of most print journalists within the political confines of Canberra, as the more hits your stories are getting, either online or otherwise, the safer your job becomes.

James Massola has been claiming  that going after Grogs Gamut hasn’t been about getting revenge on a critic whatsoever. If you believe that line, then I’ve got a Pelican for sale that knows how to tap-dance as well. By it’s very nature, the Canberra Press Gallery is a conservative institution. Unlike many other parts of the media industry, change isn’t welcome to many of those who have clawed their way from obscurity into the nation’s limelight. Nor is criticism, especially when it’s constructive.

Ontop of that, James Massola would have had to of known that Grogs Gamut was invited to the Media 140 conference by it’s Australian convenor, Julie Posetti. Possessing one of the finest journalistic and academic minds around, Julie is nobody’s fool when it comes to anything of a political or media nature. If anyone were able to verify whether somebody has a political agenda or not, it would be a prominent Journalist, who just also happens to teach Journalism students for a living.

While Massola was well within his rights to “out” Grogs Gamut, was it the morally right thing to do so? Grog hasn’t lost his job (yet), so no harm done, right? It’s cavalier attitudes like this that either get people hurt, or end careers. In more than a few situations, it’s resulted in both. What would have happened if Grog had of lost his job over this? If you look through his entire blog, Grog has been meticulous in making sure that he only blogs on issues that are already in the public arena, and never on anything that could possibly come across his desk at work.

Around midday on Friday, James Massola did a live audio interview via a web-stream on “The Australian”’s website, with fellow Canberra Reporter Latika Bourke, and his editor, Geoff Elliot. In an attempt to justify the actions of “The Australian” over the past week, Massola said why he published details about Grogs Gamut, while Latika Bourke was coached into saying why she disagreed with some of the characteristics of online Bloggers. What followed to this “Journalistic Threesome”, was a diatribe as to why the “established” media were right on this issue, while everyone else, including journalism academics, are wrong.

What’s surprising is that no one with a Blogging background was included as a part of this broadcast, even though the topic was “Blogging” itself. While some might argue that Massola’s background with the pro-Catholic “Eureka Street” during his early career might qualify him as a blogger, there’s a difference between “writing for work” like journalists do, and “writing for fun”.

That in itself raises a question: why did James Massola and Geoff Elliot choose Latika M. Bourke to be a part of that interview? As many of you (from Australia that is) are aware Latika Bourke is employed by 2UE, which is owned by Fairfax. Fairfax owns both “The Sydney Morning Herald” and “The Age”, which are in direct competition with “The Australian”. Given that News Corporation have their own journalists who have just as much experience in Canberra as Latika (some of whom are also more experienced in social media), it’s surprising that she was called in for this “interview”.

Now if you listen closely to the recording, nearly every time James Massola said something Latika Bourke was in complete agreement. Now nothing against Latika Bourke, as I think that she’s one of the smartest young journalists to have covered Canberra in a long, long time, though something stinks about this. Latika Bourke is normally rather blunt with both her questions and her answers, so seeing her act pretty much as a “yes-man” to everything that Geoff Elliot and James Massola were saying is just plain weird.

During the conversation, I tweeted the following to James Massola which he then proceeded to read out on-air:

Massola then proceeded to state that I’d missed the point and that he’d praised Grogs Gamut during the early part of the campaign. While that much certainly is true (the praise), it doesn’t explain why he suddenly thought that Grogs Gamut was instantly newsworthy now. Media 140 is predominantly an education-orientated organization, rather than a professional one in the sense of the National Press Club. The conference run by Julie Posetti was designed to benefit both professional journalists and bloggers alike, regardless of politics. In that regard, Grogs Gamut had as much of a right to attend Media 140 as anyone else, particularly given the apolitical insight that he gave on the coverage of the 2010 election. If “outting” Grogs Gamut’s identity wasn’t newsworthy at the time of the election, then it can only come across as an act of spite by “The Australian” now.


Kate Doak is a Postgraduate student at the University of New England, Australia. Since 2004 she’s changed career paths twice, genders once and has developed a major interest in radio. These days, Kate mostly focuses on Modern History and International Politics.