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.'