Researchers at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government polled 1,207 adults in September 2007 to ascertain the public's 'confidence' in American leaders in a variety of sectors, including the military, business, government and the media. The poll (PDF) found 'leaders in the press have inspired less confidence than leaders in any other sector during each of the three years of the National Leadership Index (2005-2007),' with the military garnering the most public confidence. Americans told pollsters they thought the press was 'too liberal' and focused on trivialities; nearly two-thirds said they did not trust media coverage of the presidential campaign.
'64% of Americans say they do not trust the news media's campaign coverage.'
By a two-to-one margin, (61% to 30%), Americans say they 'believe the news media's election coverage is politically biased.'
Of those who saw bias, most (40%) said the bias favored liberals, compared to 21% who saw a pro-conservative bias.
While 68 percent of Republicans 'believe that the press is too liberal,' vs. 10 percent who saw a conservative bias, Democrats 'are statistically equally likely to believe that the press is too conservative (28%) or too liberal (25%).'
'88% somewhat or strongly agree that the news media focuses too much on trivial rather than important issues.'
'84% believe the news media has too much influence on voters' decisions.'