Polls show Americans are increasingly distrustful of the mainstream media. The damage the media's reputation has perhaps accelerated the decline in circulation for major metropolitan newspapers and falling viewership for TV news. (AP)
First Amendment: More information travels faster to more consumers than ever before. So why does a new survey show trust in media at rock bottom? Because so much more accurate information is available elsewhere.
When Matt Drudge in early 1998 broke the story of President Bill Clinton’s indiscretions in the Oval Office study with Monica Lewinsky, it was the dawn of a new era in news reporting. Woodward and Bernstein seemed like the hip, new faces of journalism when they came along in the early 1970s and helped bring down a president. But although no one ever made a movie about Drudge, with a big star playing him, his Drudge Report heralded a bigger change in the public’s reception of information.
Not only did Clinton’s impeachment not lead to the president’s conviction, he may actually be returning to the White House next year. The two reporters for the fixture of the establishment of the nation’s Capital, the Washington Post, may have had long hair, but Drudge in his retro fedora was the real revolutionary. And, unlike in Woodward and Bernstein’s case, the establishment did not cheer him on.