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Marmorstein: Press Less Credible Than Trump and Ben Carson

I read in the newspaper that only 20% of Americans trust what they read in the newspaper:

According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, only 43 percent of Americans believe Donald Trump to be honest and trustworthy with even fewer (30 percent) describing Hillary Clinton as honest. Whichever candidate wins, we’re facing four years under a president the majority of Americans don’t trust.

But, in some ways, the more important (and more long-term) credibility problem lies elsewhere. Distrust of the media, growing for quite some time, has hit record levels. According to an American Press Institute study released last April, only 6 percent of Americans say they have a great deal of trust in the press, with 41 percent saying they have hardly any confidence at all in the media. More bad news from June’s Gallup survey: Only 20 percent of Americans say they trust what they read in the newspaper [Art Marmorstein, “In Political Strategy, All Are Luciferians Now,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.08.11].

The fact the my local newspaper is willing to print Marmorstein’s indictment of their own trustworthiness suggests that we can trust the local newspaper to print a better picture of the facts than our Presidential candidates.

Yet Marmorstein seems committed to distracting us from politicians’ flaws—well, from one politician’s flaws—by focusing on newspapers’ flaws. He calls into question all the “fact-checking” (Marmorstein uses mock quotes) newspapers do by pointing to one example from… which is a website, not a newspaper. Marmorstein picks at Snopes’s critique of Ben Carson’s ludicrous claim that Hillary Clinton is a disciple of Saul Alinksy and thus of Lucifer. (The claim was “oblique,” said Pulitzer-Prize-winning Politifact, but false, reported the New York Times in 2007, since Clinton repudiated Alinsky’s central point of activism through outside protest back when she was just Rodham and pursued change within the system.)

Marmorstein says something about “selection bias” undermining the reliability of newspaper fact-checking. Yet his selection bias, picking one absurd charge against Hillary Clinton and portraying it as even somewhat truthful and instructive, placing Ben Carson’s oblique charges of satanism over factual reporting, feels like another glaring example of the wild excusification to which conservatives are driven in this election.

“Credibility is a bottom-line issue for the media,” writes Marmorstein, “essential to retaining and attracting readers/viewers and the ad dollars they bring with them.” Absolutely true. We the press (the professionals at the Aberdeen American News as well as the amateur here up the street at Dakota Free Press world headquarters) have nothing to offer but our honesty and integrity. It is no wonder that Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has exhibited blatant dishonesty and disregard for integrity, feels compelled to brand the press as “the world’s most dishonest people” (another atrocious statement from Tuesday’s incredible “Second Amendment people” speech). Credibility should be a bottom-line issue for the President of the United States. Donald Trump has no credibility. He can only win if he destroys the credibility of the press that dutifully points out the evidence of his lack of credibility.

Yet the press soldiers on, giving people like Trump and Marmorstein the opportunity to express their views and hoping we can sort out the truth.


  1. Darin Larson 2016-08-11 08:18

    The latest poll that I saw the other day has Trump’s perceived honesty down to about 35%. Hillary was one point better.

    The fact that some people find Trump more truthful than what they read in the paper says more about the people than what it says about the papers.

    Trump can hardly say anything without lying constantly.

  2. mike from iowa 2016-08-11 08:29

    There is a website of Drumpf supporters that do their own polling and claim if you discount all the bias against Drumpf from the other polls, Rasmussen included, then Drumpf is ahead by one half point.

    Gallup notes between 1993 and 2015, HRC was voted Most Admired Female 20 times, losing once to L Bush and twice to Mother Teresa. People may not trust HRC, but they sure do admire her.

  3. happy camper 2016-08-11 08:35

    But it’s not the media’s job to sort out the truth, that’s our job to decide, it’s the media’s job to report facts in an unbiased way which you don’t want to do. Ends seem to justify the means I guess which is a denigrating road to follow. You’ve said that yes I’m opinion based news with a bias, embraced this and justified it by saying in the history of journalism they were biased, not until recently did journalism attempt to be unbiased. Sorry Cory that’s pretty lame you are part of the problem if you can’t report all the facts on an issue and then make the reasoned argument why you are right and why we should agree with you. The blog is interesting but there’s a minion of commenters that chase off meaningful discourse and diverse perspectives. That’s free speech we must embrace but if I’m gone for a month it’s the same Drumpf, racist, same old same old.

    Someone who simply wants all the facts with absolute minimal media bias has almost nowhere to go. I’ve found myself going over to Breibart or right wing media as well as Huffpost and the rest in an attempt to get the full picture. Not a healthy way to have a democracy. The media is utterly failing us.

  4. Timoteo 2016-08-11 08:35

    This reminds me of a recent credibility loss that I attributed to Dakota Free Press. Perhaps others will find it amusing.

    I was extremely annoyed with Cory for ridiculing an innocent person from the Libertarian convention who had agreed, in good faith, to a video interview. It seemed so mean-spirited (and a total betrayal) to name the resulting video “McNutt at SD Libertarian Convention.” Not until later did I understand that Jon Boon McNutt was the real name of the man in the video.

  5. Darin Larson 2016-08-11 08:38

    Cory, I would like to see a poll asking who voters trust more to tell the truth, newspapers or Trump. I think Trump would lose. I think there is a lot of polling bias depending upon how the question is asked. Do you trust what you read in the newspaper is somewhat of a loaded question. Do I trust everything I read in a newspaper? No. So, if people take the question to be do they trust 100% of what they read in the paper, the percentage that says yes is going to be low.

    I can’t explain the fact that even a third of people find Trump honest and trustworthy.

  6. happy camper 2016-08-11 09:51

    It pains me to view Cory as regressive because I saw him always willing to dig down and burst any bubble, granted that was the old days before becoming “liberal media” with political aspirations so maybe that’s why. I can’t explain why so many of my liberal friends (who I identified) wear blinders (willful ignorance misdirected altruism) and won’t speak truth. On line there’s a growing number of people calling for actual liberal values. I’m hopeful my lefty friends will swing back to sensibility at some point:

  7. Darin Larson 2016-08-11 10:26

    Oh, for crying out loud, happy, you are totally off base. Cory is not a journalist reporting “just the facts, ma’am.” He is not just setting out the facts and letting you draw your own conclusion. His blog is more of an opinion piece in the context of news media. His is an honest and straightforward opinion from SD’s “True Liberal Media.” There is no hidden agenda. His agenda is clear: to convince you that his position is correct on an issue and to invite debate about said issue.

    As to your rantings in general on the media, there is some truth in what you say, but your indictment seems over-broad. Fox news, as a prime example, claims to be “fair and balanced” when everyone can plainly see that they are a far right propaganda mill. Where is your outrage for them? It turns out Roger Ailes had a political hit team committed to going after anyone that trifled with him or Fox’s right wing agenda. Where is your disgust and outrage?

    Reporters are human beings so they are going to be colored by their own experience and views even if they attempt to give both sides of the story. Many reputable media sources at least attempt to give a fair hearing to both sides of an issue.

    As far as Trump being an issue on here constantly, this just in, HE’S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND IS THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE. What the heck should we talk about on here, the weather in Timbuktu? And I don’t know if you have noticed but Trump is the most dangerous man with a chance to become president in modern times. So ya, he’s going to be talked about. And when he makes more stupid, false, bigoted, hateful, misogynistic, narcissistic statements in a week than most people would make in a lifetime, he is going to be a lightning rod for criticism.

  8. mike from iowa 2016-08-11 11:13

    Breitbart, HC? You must be real desperate or dropping acid.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2016-08-11 11:30

    Thank God for the internet.
    Having spent my life in West River country where the only print media is the conservative Rapid City Journal I have to reach out elsewhere to find legitimate news.
    The Journal is not just conservative, they are totally evasive of important news. They don’t report on Trump’s gaffes and insults, to me that refusal is an endorsement of Trump.
    They have only reported periodically on the corruption in South Dakota, EB-5, Gear Up and the murders/suicide were left to linger.
    There has always been a fine line between the media and politicians, especially during presidential elections.
    As a news reader and viewer it is my responsibility to discern what is fact, what an exaggeration, and what is a lie.
    Voters that swallow every morsel of propaganda news are more dangerous than the media.

  10. mike from iowa 2016-08-11 11:32

    Think of DFP as a rich, flavorful stew. Cory brings the stock pot and bouillion and stirs the pot when necessary. Commenters add their tidbits and seasonings as they see fit.

    Not all chefs will agree with what is thrown into the pot. Some spices will be too strong, some not strong enough. But, no one is being forced to partake of this bounty. Some can’t/won’t get enough.

  11. David Bergan 2016-08-11 12:06

    I’ll speculate that the real issue here is comparing an individual to a group. A group or committee almost always polls poorly compared to a single person. For example, the President always has a higher approval rating than Congress. In fact, one’s own Congress-person will always have a higher approval rating than Congress collectively. Bill Gates is better-liked than Microsoft. Warren Buffet is better-liked than “billionaires”.

    “News” collectively will almost always have a poor rating. Fox News lovers will think about MSNBC when they answer that question, and vice versa. However, if you took one individual, like Lester Holt or Scott Kelley, they would certainly poll as more trustworthy than Trump/Clinton.

    Kind regards,

  12. happy camper 2016-08-11 14:43

    Fine, then Cory is a blog of opinion backed by selected facts to make a point but it’s also a little bubble. Nick Cohen from the liberal Guardian says we have a breakdown in trust because the new business model cannot support traditional news. There’s just not the money to send reporters around the world. Are we going to pay for the New York Times to read things we don’t like or click all the opinion news sources that make us feel good inside. The answer is obvious, but they mention even at The Times an opinion piece just made the front page. Cohen is an older liberal who blasts the Regressives from the perspective of Britain being 5 years ahead of us on the divide that’s forming on the left over multiculturalism and the far left embracing illiberal values. Very interesting interview (1 hour) worthy of consideration by the way Fox News sucks:

  13. Roger Cornelius 2016-08-11 16:02

    Happy, for as long as I have been reading Madville Times and DFP, Cory has always called it a Liberal blog.
    Cory is consistent in supporting a liberal point of view and effectively challenging corruption when he finds it.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-08-13 09:07

    (Oh, Timoteo—that’s funny! Naturally, it never occurred to me that someone might look at that name as my own creation rather than what the guy told me.)

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