PPP's 5th annual poll about trust in TV news continues to find what it does every year: Fox News is both the most trusted and least trusted name in news.
35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet, followed by 14% for PBS, 11% for ABC, 10% for CNN, 9% for CBS, 6% each for Comedy Central and MSNBC, and 3% for NBC. It leads the way because of its continuing near total support among Republicans as the place to go for news- 69% of Republicans say it's their most trusted source with nothing else polling above 7%. Meanwhile Democrats are split between a lot of different outlets when it comes to who they have the most faith in- PBS at 21%, CNN and ABC at 18%, and CBS and MSNBC at 12% all poll in double digits. It's interesting that while Fox News and MSNBC are often thought of as equivalent, Fox News is by far and away the most trusted source of GOP voters while MSNBC is only tied for 4th among Democrats.
Fox News also leads the 'least trusted' list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation to 19% for MSNBC, 14% for Comedy Central, 11% for CNN, 5% for ABC, 4% for CBS, and 2% each for NBC and PBS. That's largely because 57% of Democrats give it their least trusted designation, with only Comedy Central at 18% also hitting double digits with them. MSNBC leads the way among Republicans at 38%, but CNN at 17% and Comedy Central at 13% both hit double digits as well. It's interesting to note that Republicans seem to hate MSNBC more than Democrats like it.
When you look at the 8 outlets we tested individually, only one is clearly trusted by a majority of Americans. That's PBS, which 57% say they trust to 24% who don't. Most Democrats (80/6) and independents (49/31) trust it and it at least gets an even split with Republicans at 38%.
Voters are closely divided about most of the rest of the outlets- Fox News comes in at 44/42, CBS at 39/37, CNN at 40/40, NBC at 39/39, and ABC News at 37/38. In Fox's case 75% of Republicans trust it while only 20% of Democrats do. For all the rest of them around 60-70% of Democrats trust them, but only around 20% of Republicans do.
The two outlets that poll the lowest on trust are Comedy Central (29/38) and MSNBC (34/44). In both of their cases the share of Republicans trusting them drops down to about 10%, even as a majority of Democrats still express faith in them.
Finally for fun we did some more specific testing of voter attitudes about Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert. O'Reilly has a 41/37 favorability rating, which is actually better than we found for every potential Republican Presidential candidate in the results we released yesterday. Colbert is not as well known as O'Reilly, with 58% name recognition, but has a better net favorability with those who are familiar with him at +16. 37% see him positively to 21% negatively, with 43% not having an opinion either way.
A hypothetical Presidential contest between the pair would be a toss up, with O'Reilly getting 38% to Colbert's 35%. Colbert has a lot more room to grow though since 31% of Democrats would be undecided compared to just 20% of Republicans. Colbert does win one contest with O'Reilly though- by a 38/13 margin voters say he has better hair and there's a bipartisan consensus on that with even Republicans narrowly saying that Colbert wins the hair wars.
LOL, democrats are more likely to distrust Comedy Central than republicans.