Gallup: Faith in Basic US Institutions Erodes
By Staff News & Analysis - June 20, 2013

Majority of Americans Don't Trust Newspapers and Television News … Only 23 percent of Americans have confidence in newspapers, according to Gallup. Majority of Americans Don't Trust Newspapers and Television News … According to a new Gallup poll, confidence in mass media continues to fall … Continuing a decades-long downward trend, fewer than one-fourth of Americans have confidence in newspapers, according to a recent Gallup poll. – US News and World Report

Dominant Social Theme: You can trust the news. Just be discerning.

Free-Market Analysis: Maybe people aren't paying attention, but the news about US institutions is abysmal. Congressional approval is near the single digits and even President Barack Obama is not receiving the adulation of years past.

In Germany some 300,000 once turned out to hear him speak after his ascendance to the US's highest office. This time around (for the speech he just gave in Berlin) it is said to be more like 4,000 or 5,000.

In Europe the entire EU project – or at least the euro – seems in a state of collapse. And in China, the leadership has just vowed to reinvigorate the lagging economy with yet more capitalist freedoms. All over the world, civil institutions and the beliefs that hold them in place are turning tenuous. Blame it on the Internet.

Among the most important of these rolling apostasies is the gradual withdrawal of confidence in the US media – and Hollywood, too. The US media in particular is a cornerstone of the current globalist system and as it has lost credibility so have the pillars of internationalism generally.

How bad is the damage? Just look:

The percentage of Americans saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers dropped to 23 percent this year from 25 percent last year, according to a report on the poll, which was released Monday. American confidence in newspapers reached its peak at 51 percent in 1979, and a low of 22 percent in 2008. But newspapers don't stand alone. Confidence in television news has also been slipping — it's tied with newspapers this year at 23 percent, which is slightly up from last year's all-time low of 21 percent.

Newspapers and television news rank near the bottom of a list of 16 "societal institutions," according to the report. The only institutions television news and newspapers beat out this year are big business, organized labor, health maintenance organizations and Congress.

Americans expressed the most confidence in the military, at 76 percent, and small businesses, at 65 percent. Gallup attributed the drop in confidence to a number of factors, including a growth in social networking websites and an online audience that left news outlets struggling to find their place.

"Americans' confidence in newspapers and television news has been slowly eroding for many years, worsening further since 2007," the report says. "By that point, newspapers and television news had been struggling for years to figure out how to adjust their strategy for a growing Internet audience."

This is just bad news all around from the standpoint of globalism. Big business, organized labor, Congress … the basic building blocks of US society that the US has exported around the world are now held in abysmal repute in the country that created such institutions.

We have led the way in proclaiming that what we call the Internet Reformation is having a powerful effect on business-as-usual, and these numbers only tend to reinforce our argument … at least in our view.

People often explain to us that they see no evidence that most individuals, especially in the US, have any awareness of the economic, sociopolitical and military environment by which they are surrounded. But we think these numbers tell a story. Almost all the basic building blocks of the US leviathan are viewed skeptically by those civilians involved with it.

And so we ask, as we have before, how long can a society continue on a given track when the credibility of its basic institutions seems to be lacking?

We also note that the article mentions "social media" may one day replace legacy media as a credible source of information. Well … Rupert Murdoch already tried that and it cost him hundreds of millions of dollars. Social media is what it is, traffic driven by users. It's not a news facility.

In any event, given suspicions that large social media sites like Facebook are driven in part by Intel interactions, the chances that they will ever be seen as credible disseminators of "news" is probably increasingly slim, in the short term anyway.

After Thoughts

The Internet Reformation is not only proactive but also reactive. It is manifest in what people DON'T believe in these days, as well as in what they do.

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