Anna Sheffer
April 09, 2018 8:13 am

Update, April 9th 9:04 a.m. PT: This piece has been amended to include Howard Kurtz’s clarification that he did mean to use the graphic in question. The headline has been changed to reflect this as well.

In the past two years, fake news has become a frequent talking point, regardless of what side of the political aisle you fall on. And while social media is being revamped to make it easier to discern which sources are credible and which are not, biased news sources have led many Americans to have a lack of trust in the press. Fox News recently demonstrated this when it accidentally displayed a graphic revealing that fewer Americans trust them than the competition.

During an April 8th Media Buzz segment, a graphic was splashed onscreen showing the results of a Monmouth University poll question about whether cable news networks were considered more trustworthy than President Donald Trump. According to the poll, Fox News was trusted less than other networks, with 30 percent of those polled saying they trusted the network more than Trump compared to 48 percent for CNN and 45 percent for MSNBC.

Host Howard Kurtz had been discussing a different question in the poll, which asked those surveyed if they felt the press regularly or occasionally reported fake news. After seeing the incorrect graphic, he hurriedly demanded that it be replaced.

Producers immediately took the graphic down, and Kurtz continued the segment by saying that, more than three-quarters of Monmouth poll respondents believed the media occasionally reported fake news. But the host did return to the first graphic, and had always meant to do so, as he noted on Twitter.

As Kurtz continued the segment, he asked his guest, conservative pollster Frank Luntz, why cable news was trusted more than the president.

Luntz answered by saying that “nobody trusts anybody anymore” and noted that Trump’s attacks on the press don’t benefit the president or his political party.

It’s true that the Monmouth poll results are incriminating for Fox News. But fake news and the lack of trust in the media as a whole should not be dismissed. It’s important that, as media consumers, we continue to ensure that the information we read is credible.

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